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Mar 18, 2011 03:02 PM

41st Bday - EMP for lunch or The Modern Dining room for dinner ?

Nice to have these kinds of choices in life I guess.

I could not get an Eleven Madison Park dinner reservation for next Weds, although I was able to secure a 12pm lunch spot.

Alternatively I am able to get a 5:45pm spot at The Modern in the dining room.

EMP for dinner is the first choice - but I wondered would the hounds steer me towards doing EMP
for lunch instead of The Modern for dinner for a birthday celebration ?

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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  1. EMP without any hesitation.

    1. These are 2 of my favorite restaurants in NYC and they have both been very very good to me, If this was my decision it would come down to when you want to dine, I usually think of evening for more special celebrations but if that is no concern I will give the nod, but not an slam dunk over whelming nod, to EMP. Which ever you choose you will have a wonderful dining experience.

      1. Are you on the wait list for dinner at EMP, if not, it's a good idea. I've had success this way a few times.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nancy S.

          This is excellent advice. For a Wed night, I would think you'd have a pretty good chance of getting a dinner res in the end. And if not, you've still got your res at The Modern to fall back on, which is not a bad place to be.

        2. Absolutely EMP. I had a superb lunch there this week. I actually prefer lunch there over dinner. The room in the daylight is spectacular. And service at lunch is just as sublime. A delight in every way.

          The Modern is not in the same league.

          6 Replies
          1. re: gutsofsteel

            I think regulars on this board know which I would choose. However, I do think you are being a little bit too dismissive of The Modern Dining Room. Of course, it isn't a 4-star. But Chef Gabriel Kreutzer is very talented (he won the JBA Best Chef NY a couple of years ago), and we've had some absolutely astonishing food there. We've also had the kind of service one expects at a Danny Meyer restaurant. As for the room, I think its modern design with the view out to the sculpture garden is very fitting for its location in MoMA. My big gripe is that when the Bar Room is busy, the very high noise level there can be heard in the Dining Room, which would certainly be the case at the time of the o.p.'s reservation. We have had dinner in the Dining Room much later in the evening when the Bar Room was not so busy, and noise was not a problem.


            1. re: RGR

              I didn't say Kreutzer isn't talented nor did I "dismiss" the Modern. I don't pay any attention to the JB awareds - I think it's all a silly popularity contest based on politcs, nor do I care about the NYT start system - in fact you have said as much yourself. But I still think the Modern is not in the same league at EMP. And I find the service not anywhere close to the level of service at EMP. I like the Modern, but it just doesn't come close to EMP.

              1. re: RGR

                I find the noise level to be bad at The Modern, but it is quite good fun to be a bit frazzled at lunch, not dinner though, definitely dinner at EMP.

                1. re: bronwen

                  I dont find high noise levels "fun" ever.

                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                    As I've made quite clear countless times on this board, neither do I!


                  2. re: bronwen

                    I went for lunch in the bar room on 3/29 and actually found the noise quite modest - it wasn't Cafe Boulud or EMP quiet, but certainly no more loud than Ai Fiori or Rouge Tomate on the same trip.


                    Cafe Boulud
                    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                    Rouge Tomate
                    10 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

                    Ai Fiori
                    400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

              2. Presuming you mean Wed., March 23rd, a check of OpenTable right now shows that EMP has a reservation for two on that evening at 6 and 6:15 p.m. -- a bit later than your 5:45 p.m. at The Modern. So, if you prefer to celebrate at dinner and want to do so at EMP, grab one!


                6 Replies
                1. re: RGR

                  Thanks for the responses all. I did manage to change my reservation to 6pm at EMP.

                  I'll let you know how it went.

                  1. re: RGR

                    Hey guys,

                    Another question, is there anything you recommend in particular?

                    We are thinking about going all out for the tasting with wine pairings (only live once)

                    I heard about a duck dish that you have to order ahead of time ?


                    1. re: nycgenki

                      There is a duck for two that gets raves but I don't think you need to order it ahead of time. You should be able to order it once you're there. Happy birthday.

                      1. re: nycgenki

                        I've had the wine pairing several times and have always been happy. If there's an egg dish as one of your choices, I would recommend that.

                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          Since this string is related to birthdays and EMP I have to add this becuae this was just so fantastic.

                          Very recently celebrated my GF birthday at EMP, did a modified 4 course, and had paired wines. Not only was there a hand written note/card to my GF waiting at the table BUT at the end of the evening our captain (Sophia) dropped off a couple envelopes, we looked inside and upon first galnce we thought it was copies of the menu but upon further inspection we realized not only were they menus but each item we had selected was typed into the appropriate square, there was another set of menu with the wines typed into the appriate course. I thought that was so incredible thoughtful and it is just one more testament to why EMP is the best restaurant in NYC.