A Derby day tradition continues off Madison Square Park
The 137th Kentucky Derby was celebrated in style at Eleven Madison Park Saturday afternoon. Ladies in glorious sundresses and large, elaborate hats mingled with men decked out in dapper seersucker suits and bow ties. The Maker’s Mark flowed a plenty in frosty metal cups of mint julep, tall glasses filled with a gingery Mississippi buck, and the Separatist—a cocktail made with Maker’s Mark 46, Amaro CioCiaro, lemon and orange. Upstairs chef Daniel Humm had prepared a well-appointed taste of the south with tender fried chicken with jalapenos, bite-sized waffles with maple syrup, tiny wedges of iceberg salad, a classic Kentucky burgoo stew, and house pickled green beans, cauliflower, and spring carrots.
This is the third year the restaurant has hosted a Kentucky Derby party and Humm describes it as a way for the restaurant to show another side. "We roll up our sleeves and let our hair down,” says the chef. As The Defibulators rocked the inside, The Crooners had people holding on to their hats and Nat Sherman cigars as they jumped around in the May sunshine. But nothing compared to the hype of the two-minute race. While most people had no clue who was competing, the cheers from the crowd when Pants on Fire walked down the track. That horse lost, but the victory of number 16, Animal Kingdom, didn’t stop the celebration as glasses clinked and the party raced on. —Linnea Covington