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Aug 1, 2009 04:49 PM

11 Madison Park, Nougatine, or Gramercy Tavern???

One night. My only fancy dinner in the city. Those are my 3 options, no other choices - what's the consensus hounds?

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  1. Nougatine is not at the same level of EMP or GT. What's your personal preference? Some more grand or something more farm-to-table?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      My preference is for the best, most memorable food. Fancy does not matter at all, I'm sure all of these places are nice. I've eliminated GT as the menu does not excite me.

      1. re: OC Mutt

        As you can see by my repvious post, good decision to eliminate G.T.

        Even if "fancy" does not matter to you. there really is no comparison between the food at Nougatine and EMP. While Nougatine's is fine, EMP's is sublime!

      2. re: kathryn

        @kathryn: I'm a bit confused by your question. Which restaurant in that threesome are you attempting to associate with "farm-to-table?" I'm reading Nougatine, but I somehow suspect you mean Gramercy Tavern.

      3. Regulars on this board know that EMP is our #1 favorite NYC restaurant, so for me, it's no contest. It has the whole package. The cuisine is exquisite, the wine program is excellent, service is cordial and polished, and the room is gorgeous!

        Now, aside from that, as kathryn indicates, Nougatine is not the place for a "fancy" dinner. (That's the bailiwick of the flagship, Jean Georges.) And I cannot recommend Gramercy Tavern because the meal we had in the dining room a few months ago was sorely disappointing. My first and main courses were ill-conceived and unappealing. My husband pronounced the dishes he chose "decent but unexciting." No complaints about dessert, but that hardly redeems the rest of the meal.

        1. EMP without any hesitation. My sister and I (last week) had a wonderful dinner. We had the 11 course Gourmand menu (it took 4 hours -- very well spaced pauses between courses). But even if you don't have 4 hours for dinner, the regular menus are wonderful too! Very attentive service; great wine list.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ellenost

            OK, sounds great - what's the dress code at EMP? I know it says Jacket suggested, but what's the least fancy one could get away with and not feel as out of place as a clown-suit at a board meeting?

            1. re: OC Mutt

              Where does "it" say, "Jacket suggested"? The EMP website says the following: "We ask that you wear proper attire. No shorts, t-shirts, or sneakers are allowed." Ergo, you can dress casually. Even a nice pair of jeans is quite acceptable.

              1. re: RGR

                You're right. I got the "jacket suggested" from when I made the reservation, and just assumed it was on the website.

                1. re: OC Mutt

                  I thought that OpenTable might have been where you saw it. Well, you know what they say about "assume"... ;) In any case, you will see a range of dress at EMP from jacket and tie to casual shirt and nice jeans.

                  Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

          2. Just had a FABULOUS meal at EMP last Tuesday for my husband’s birthday. I think both of our expectations were exceeded, we loved it. We chose the 3 course pre-fixe menu but literally, it ended up being 9 courses because of all the amuse bouches, intermezzes and petit fours. The food was sublime, the service was very attentive and professional but not overbearing, and the room is very grand indeed. We requested a romantic table in the back which was perfect for a more “intimate” birthday celebration. We had a wonderful time and were there for almost 4 hours! Also, don’t be afraid to take advantage of the byob for the $35 corkage fee if you have a special bottle lying around. It was worth it. Enjoy every moment, you made the right choice!

            PS My husband got the duck and I got the beef which were both outrageous.

            1. I'll be the dissenting opinion and say that i much prefer Nougatine to EMP, from a food perspective. I guess Nougatine isn't as "fancy" as EMP, but at least in my experiences there, it's not a slouch either and the space it self is beautiful.

              t's not that EMP was bad, but I loved the dishes I had at Nougatine, whereas at EMP, I walked away saying good, but not great. Like the much discussed duck, which almost everyone else seems to love, was really good, but nothing I'd rave about to others.

              again, just an opinion, which i know many will disagree with...