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Jan 13, 2012 08:08 PM

EMP, Le Bernardin, or Gramercy Tavern for Special Occasion

I'm splurging on a nice meal for a special occasion and have narrowed it down to EMP, Le Bernardin or Gramercy Tavern. What are your thoughts?

I've done my research and am familiar with the pricing, reservation policies, etc. We would be ordering the prix-fixe options, not the tasting menus, at each place. My top priority is good food, rather than service. I've read that EMP has the most amazing service, but please let me know what your thoughts are in terms of food only. I'm sure I'll be satisfied with the service at all three restaurants :) Also, any comments on the quantity of food would be appreciated. I want to make sure that everyone leaves the restaurant feeling full!

My plan is to go for dinner, but I see that EMP and Le Bernardin have the same prix fixe menu for lunch. Is there any difference at all between lunch versus dinner at these two restaurants?


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  1. At my most recent dinner at EMP, we were treated to a liquid nitrogen cocktail as well as the bottle of cognac left on the table at the end of the meal. I am not sure they do either at lunch. We left completely stuffed and my meal was excellent (crab, white truffle, duck for two, chocolate). I was lucky in that some of my favorite foods were on the grid--it really depends on what is on the grid when you dine. That said, I've eaten at Le B and GT, and enjoyed EMP far more. I think Le Bernardin is just too subtle for me, though I recognize the quality of ingredients and cooking.

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

    Gramercy Tavern
    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    Le Bernardin
    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019