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Oct 29, 2008 12:49 PM

Gramercy Tavern, EMP lunch vs Joel Robuchon Pre-Theater Menu

Have an unexpected day off next week, was hoping to take advantage of it to get a good deal at a good restaurant in the city (I usually am out of town). GT and EMP both have lunch tastings for about $60, and Robuchon also has a pre-theater menu for $59 (5:30-6pm seating).

I've tried GT and EMP for dinner, and like them both, and have not tried the JR in the city (though I did try it twice in France a few months ago). Love them all, so it's a hard choice. Pretty sure I'd be happy going with either one of them, but if anyone has any thoughts on whether one of these places is better for a lunch/pre-theatre setting, please let me know. Thanks!

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  1. Are any of these special menus online?

    Of the three, I adore the other two, but I'm a huge Robuchon fan -especially if you like (and if they include it on the pre-theater dinner) foie gras.

    1. I would love the pre-theater menu for $59. just I looked at their menu on-line and it was not listed. Do you know what they offer on that menu?

      10 Replies
      1. re: John Lowrey

        The Gramercy Tavern menu:

        EMP menu:

        Robuchon menu (not online):
        $59 for one appetizer, one entree, one dessert

        Turnip veloute, crab canneloni with Yuzu
        Seared day boat scallops with an endive salad
        Salmon marinated with lemon and lightly seared served with a cucumber capellini

        Pan sautéed amadai served in a lily bulb broth
        Meat of the day with its garnish
        Spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and basil

        Pastry of the day
        Mango and vanilla coulis, passion fruit mousse, exotic fruit sorbet
        Chocolate cream, bitter chocolate sorbet and Oreo cookies

        Thinking of doing EMP just because the foie is on the lunch tasting, and it's the best foie gras dish I remember having. But it does feel like Joel Robuchon is great value for dinner too. Tough choices!

        1. re: kewlly

          Of those choices, I think I'd pick the EMP too.

          But at a later date if you're looking to splurge, do Robuchon for some of the foie gras courses. Outstanding!

          1. re: BW212

            So basically from what people are saying, it's not really "worth it" to go to Robuchon for the pre-theatre since there's no foie on the menu, it seems. When I tried it in Paris, the foie and langoustines were my favorite dishes. I'll most likely go with EMP. Anyone know if their lunch portions are similar to dinner portions?

            1. re: kewlly

              When I first saw the title my pick was instantly Robuchon. Then when I saw the pre-theater menu I had the same sentiment as BW212. The dishes were not the best dishes Robuchon have so I will rather save it for a proper dinner there.

              I personally found EMP to be better than Gramercy. At lunch time it is usually not crowded at all, and you can linger for a long time after your meal. At Gramercy there are usually too many people waiting in line that you feel bad for staying longer after you finish your dishes.

              At EMP, I found the portion size at lunch to be the same or slightly larger than at dinner. Perhpas because there are less courses involved.

              1. re: kobetobiko

                Thanks. It's looking like a vote for EMP. I just found out Gordon Ramsey also has a 3-course lunch special for $45, so I'm considering that too. I've never been to GR, so that gives it a plus in my book, but the EMP lunch Gourmand menu still just sounds so good it'll probably take some persuading to get me to forgo it. That, and the EMP menu seems like a really good deal compared to the very similar Gourmand menu - one less lamb dish, and $50 cheaper. If the portions are similar, it seems like a steal.

                1. re: kewlly

                  The EMP lunch Gourmand and the dinner seasonal tasting menu both have the same number of courses -- five. Both also include an amuse and mignardises. One difference is that you do not get the assorted hors d'oeuvres at lunch that start the meal at dinner. Right now, three of the five courses are the same on both menus. At dinner, the cost is $125 while at lunch it's $58, so the difference is $67. We've had many lunch Gourmands, including the current one. Definitely a bargain!

                  1. re: RGR

                    Will definitely have to try their lunch menu. You have proven to be great on your recommendations, RGR.
                    I have been to GR for both dinner and lunch. Both are very enjoyable experiences, but it is a 3 course not a 5 course, so EMP sounds like a much better value.

                    1. re: robinsilver

                      Thanks for the compliment, Robin.

                      Although we haven't eaten in GT's dining room since Chef Michael Anthony took over (though we have been to the Tavern Room twice), at lunch, there is a 5-course tasting for $55.


                  2. re: kewlly

                    Ramsey is VERY good. We went for dinner with another couple and everyone was impressed with all the courses. Lovely servers too.

                    1. re: BW212

                      I'm going to try EMP. Will report back next week. But I think I'm going to need to try hard to find 3 more free weekdays to try GR, GT and JR deals sometime too.

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