Credit Daniel Gonzalez for The New York Times
The restaurant’s ratings are as good as it gets: three stars from Michelin, and four from The New York Times. But for all the success of Eleven Madison Park, its owners, Will Guidara and the chef Daniel Humm, are about to start a major overhaul.
They plan to close the Manhattan restaurant on June 9 to renovate the kitchen and the dining room, and to ship the operation and staff to a more casual, temporary setting in the Hamptons. If all goes well, they expect to reopen in mid-September with a new look and a revised menu with some new dishes.
“It’s time for a change,” Mr. Humm said. “We’ve been at the restaurant for 11 years, and it’s been open for 20 years. We’re still using Danny Meyer’s brasserie.” Mr. Humm was referring to the restaurant’s original owner, who sold it to them in 2011.
Back then, they considered closing and renovating but held back because they thought it was more important to establish their footing. So they made only small changes over time to their stately dining room, with its Art Deco geometry and soaring casement windows overlooking Madison Square Park. The kitchen is also nearly 20 years old; its renovation will require closing the restaurant.
Mr. Humm has already ordered a Molteni stove from France, a Rolls-Royce of cookery with a comparable price tag. But he does not plan to outfit his kitchen with lots of cutting-edge electronic gear. “We cook in a pretty traditional way,” he said.
The partners are entrusting the redesign, which has not been completed, to Brad Cloepfil, who has offices in New York and Portland, Ore., and whose only restaurant work has been in Portland. He designed the Museum of Arts and Design, at Columbus Circle, and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.
Mr. Cloepfil knows Eleven Madison Park well and has been a regular customer. “I’m thrilled to be doing this,” he said. “It’s a great, elemental, historic room that needs preserving and updating.”
The partners want to open up the entrance, which is now partitioned from the dining room, and rearrange seating to give the whole room a more symmetrical, central focus. There will be rugs on the terrazzo floors and more color everywhere: grays, blues, greens and golds.
Credit Sasha Maslov for The New York Times
The most significant change will be in the bar area, which will be enlarged somewhat and given a more distinct identity.
The partners decided that during the renovation this summer, they would need to find a way to keep the staff working. “We thought about what New Yorkers did in summer — they go to the Hamptons,” Mr. Guidara said.
Once the restaurant closes, they will move into a big white farmhouse on Pantigo Road in East Hampton. For decades, it was the Spring Close restaurant; in the past few years it has been Moby’s, for fish.
They’re calling their pop-up EMP Summer House; it will open in late June with an indoor restaurant, a dining room under a tent with picnic tables for large-format dinners like lobster boils, and another outdoor area. The equipment they will no longer need in Manhattan will outfit the kitchen. Reservations for indoor seating will be taken online starting on May 1.
There are a number of design and logistical details regarding the renovation and the summer pop-up that have yet to be confirmed.
In mid-April, before Eleven Madison Park closes, the partners will replace its current menu with an 11-course, $ 295 tasting menu recalling favorites over the years. Dishes will include sea urchin cappuccino, carrot tartare, foie gras with maple syrup, poached chicken with black truffles, and the creamy-crunchy dessert called Milk and Honey.
When the restaurant reopens, Mr. Humm plans to offer multicourse tasting menus that are similar to the present nine-course format, perhaps with more choices. (The particular dishes have not been determined.) In recent years, the number of courses has gradually been reduced, and the number of choices increased.
“We’ll be starting over in many ways,” Mr. Guidara said. “And we’ll finally be making the restaurant truly our own.”