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Jan 11, 2011 06:32 PM

EMP: 4 course vs. 7 course dinner perks

hi all,

long-time-reader, first-time-poster.

i searched around for threads to piece the answer to this question together, but no dice by my count.

i'm looking to reserve a dinner for two at eleven madison park-- i've only been there for lunch and was wildly impressed-- and have a question regarding the four course verses the seven course menu. while $125 is a tad out of my price range, $195 is even more of a poor financial decision.

one of the highlights of EMP that 'made' lunch for me were the lots of extras-- plenty of amuses, candies, etc.

i'm wondering if there's a difference in these 'extras' between the four and seven course menus. do both get a quick tour of the kitchen if desired? and that cocktail? and candies?!? perhaps this makes me sound greedy. i'm not! just curious before i decide where my next fiscally unsound dinner is going to be.

many thanks in advance!

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  1. Have a dinner reservation here next week. After being blown away from a recent lunch (my first visit since the restaurant's revamp) I am interested to hear more feedback re their tasting menu.

    Is it 7 courses? I've read conflicting reports between 7-8 and didn't know if the menu was set or there was options. I feel that given EMP's emphasis on customer satisfaction, you could make substitutions as they see fit. Also really want to try their famous duck since I've only done the Gourmand menu in the past and dined solo during my last visit.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. sdmarcus, If you do the 4-course dinner menu, the meal will start with the parade of amuses -- a few more than are provided at lunch -- and mignardises are served at the end. There is also a parting gift: a jar of granola. If you wish to visit the kitchen, just ask your captain. What do you mean by "that cocktail"?

      TDA, Although we have been back to EMP several times since the new menu format began, we have not yet done what they are now calling the Tasting Menu. However, I did ask them about it, and they told me that it is actually what used to be the 11-course Gourmand, brought back by popular demand. The menu is at the whim of the chef, though they will, of course, make changes for any allergies. The duck can be added and carries a supplement (not sure the cost). If you want it, it's best to call and let them know in advance.

      Photos of our most recent lunch at EMP can be viewed here:

      6 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        RGR, thanks for the info. After my lunch last week at EMP, I was talking with Chef Humm and Kevin, my captain, about the tasting menu, but haven't heard much feedback from other hounds re the experience. Re the duck, I remember reading somewhere that the Duck is available (off-menu) and carries a $30 supp. I've always enjoyed the food of Chef Humm and welcome the prospect of letting him cook for us, but was just wondering what other experiences were like.

        sdmarcus, as RGR said, if you wish to visit the kitchen just ask your server. You could also call and have them make a note of it as Kevin said its sometimes harder to accomodate during the busier dinner service than a relaxed lunch. On my recent visit the staff prepared a play on a Hemmingway Daiquiri - rum sorbet (nitro), grapefruit, pop rocks and a pink grapefruit foam (nitro).

        Seeing how much I enjoyed the Gourmand, I'm very excited about tasting menu and will be sure to report back about my experience for future reference.

        1. re: RGR

          Just looked at your gorgeous pictures...recognized several of the same courses (Lobster, Lemon) from my lunch. Beef looks incredible but may have resulted in a bit too much foie (is there such a thing?) since I ordered the foie and recieved both the terrine and creme brulee!

          1. re: TheDegustationAsian

            TDA, Thanks for the compliment re: my photos. :)

            I asked my husband if he remembers what the surcharge for the duck is, and he said it's $35.

            I'm a foie gras addict and especially love it seared. I do love Chef Humm's torchons and had already had the current iteration. Only once before in all the time since he's been at EMP has he served seared foie gras. That was on a lunch Gourmand menu several years ago. The moment I heard that there was seared foie gras on that beef dish, there was no question: I had to have it! My husband had it as well. The entire dish was perfection personified!


            1. re: RGR

              Haha, thats exactly how I was after being told the Pork preparation included both the loin and confit! I absolutely love Chef Humm's pork preparations, but after hearing your rave review re the seared foie, may have to stray in the future.

              1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                Could be it's on the Tasting menu. If not, even though there's bound to be a foie gras torchon dish on the tasting, perhaps, you might want to request the beef. (For me, there's no such thing as foie gras overload. lol) It's definitely at or near the top of my Best Dishes of 2010. I'm hoping to have a chance to have it again before Chef Humm replaces it with a new beef preparation.


          2. re: RGR

            My sister and I are returning to EMP next week for the tasting menu. Glad to hear it's similar to the 11-course Gourmand menu. We loved it last year.