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Sep 10, 2007 09:57 PM

Chowhound Blasphemy: EMP - No Good!

Yes, you read it right folks. Although service and atmosphere were excellent. I was incredibly underwhelmed by the food, which to my understanding, was the main draw of this restaurant.

My girlfriend and I did the Gourmand tasting menu, and sadly to say...11 courses, 3 hours, and $400 later, we left hungry and disappointed.

I was quite amazed they were able to spread so little food over this much time and plating. And by the third course, my girlfriend had told me if another course came encased in "gelee" or "custard" we would be asking for the check.

I am welcome to opposing views, but I feel very ripped off. Very.

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  1. The atmosphere and service at EMP is excellent, but I wasn't wowed by my meal from start to finish. There were definately certain courses I loved, and certain that I was not impressed by. (I judge a restaurant on the meal from "start to finish." Basically, if the meal was great from appetizer to dessert, then I highly recommend/love it.)
    My overall experience at EMP was good. I've never had such delicately prepared food (the lobster "lasagna"); and the service was almost flawless.
    Would I go back more than once or twice a year? No; but I do think this type of experience is something to try.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. ive been sleeping on going since im not a fan of danny meyer restaurants...i find them boring and not progressive. while daniel humm has gotten tons of press from people i respect, the menu just doesnt appeal to me...and for the price of the tasting menu, i have no major desire to go.

        good review.

        1. Hi foodieforthought,

          While preference of taste is very personal and I can understand if you are not impressed by EMP's food, leaving hungry after the gourmand tasting menu? I was so stuffed to the end that I could barely finish my dessert! (No disrespect here, just want to tell my experience)

          Just out of curiosity, which restaurant impressed you in the past?

          2 Replies
          1. re: kobetobiko


            I was so hungry after EMP...I had to venture over to Shake Shack and drop another 20 bucks (not willingly) on two burgers.

            I truly do not understand how one could have been full from the amount of food i was given, and over the timeframe allotted.

            Granted, Chef Humm's presentations were outstanding, but I felt so much time and effort went into the pretentiousness of plating that he overlooks the sheer practicality of food: it's supposed to feed you!

            And personally, the overmanipulation of textures and tastes does not impress me. "Tomato water" and "peekytoe crab jelee" are not things I really enjoy, nor do they sound remotely appetizing.

            I don't want to sound cheap because I understand how lucrative NYC restauranting is, but just the constant reminder that I received maybe $30 worth of food for $145/pp truly truly bothered me. I reiterate, the only word I can use for EMP is underwhelming.

            If you can ever get out to Long Island, check out Prime in Huntington. My favorite restaurant by far.

            1. re: foodieforthought

              Funny, my boyfriend and I had the opposite experience. I'm a HUGE eater and I went in thinking that a three-course meal was not going to satisfy me. Let's just say we crawled out painfully full. Maybe it was all the bread we ate, but jeez, it was supernatural.

          2. Personally I thought it was fabulous but DH was disappointed as you were. We both though that the quantity of food was fine, but he too was expecting more. While he thought the suckling pig was good, it wasn't magnificent like he read about. He said he would have preferred the suckling pig you get in Chinatown.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              MissNeddle - This is the second post I have read of your where you refer to DH. What is that?

              1. re: princeofpork

                usually means "dear husband" ... though Miss Needle may have another take on it.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Yes, indeed it means "dear husband" in my case. Thank goodness he loves food as much as I do! : ) He's my partner in crime in food.

              2. re: Miss Needle

                I recall a number of years ago, New York Magazine did a Holiday food story on The Best Roast Pig in the city. They cited many top restaurants including Continental, German, Spanish, Italian, Jamaican, Cuban and/or any other ethnic version that you could imagine. Ratings went from fair to good, nothing memorable or recommended only if you the end, in the last paragraph of the article, it simply stated although they did not review any Chinese establishments for the article, you could go down to Chinatown in any restaurant and get better Roast Pig or Roast Baby Suckling Pig at any time and any day, than any versions the reviewer sampled for the story.