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Jan 30, 2012 01:34 PM

Bernardin, Tocqueville or EMP for GF's b'day?

My lovely SO's birthday is in April, and I'm already thinking about where to take her. Neither of us have been to any of the above three, and I know I can't go wrong with any of them, but what do you all think?

GF has a couple of dietary restrictions (both self-imposed and medical): no pork, lobster, foie gras. She LOVES duck, so I'm thinking maybe EMP, for their famous off-menu roast duck?

All three are jacket-and-tie, as well, yes?


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  1. Le Bernardin and EMP are several cuts above Tocqueville.

    Given your SO's restrictions (and duck preference), EMP is probably a better choice (even if I personally prefer LeB -- AFAIK, I'm not your SO).

    None of them requires a tie.

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

    1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

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

    11 Replies
    1. re: Sneakeater

      The fact that you can advise me on this matter proves that you are not my SO! I think...

      Would you happen to know if the duck at EMP is available at lunch?

      1. re: howdini

        Not me -- sorry.

        SOMEONE will know.

        1. re: howdini

          So, technically it isn't (or at least isn't always, or at least wasn't as of maybe 18 months ago). But, if you request it when making your reservation it is unlikely to be a problem.

            1. re: nmprisons

              Ah. I am WRONG. The duck IS now available with lunch. My info is outdated. But, still, it never hurts to mention it when you call.

              1. re: nmprisons

                No worries! This is all good info.

            2. re: howdini

              Last time I was there about a month ago, the duck for two was standard on the lunch menu -- in your third row. And it appeared quite popular in the dining room. Also, it's ridiculously good.

              1. re: ejswanso

                Your more recent report trumps mine. I do remember one time it being on the lunch menu when I was there and another time it not. I assume they only have a certain number of ducks in any event. Either way, the best bet is just to request one when you call.

            3. re: Sneakeater

              "Le Bernardin and EMP are several cuts above Tocqueville." - I agree 100%

              "Given your SO's restrictions (and duck preference), EMP is probably a better choice." - Yep.

              1. re: Sneakeater

                Give Jung Sik some consideration, I was just there and I loved it.

                Jung Sik
                2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

              2. Another vote for EMP above Le Bernardin and Tocqueville.

                Also, Le Bernardin is jackets (no tie) required.

                The other two are nice, and you wouldn't feel out of place in a jacket, but they're not as strict.

                1. Le B is the only one with a jacket requirement, as was pointed out above.

                  But that aside, Duck = EMP. It's a no-brainer.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: sgordon

                    At EMP is it possible to get the duck and the tasting menu at dinner?

                    1. re: PorkyBelly

                      If you let them know in advance, pretty much anything is possible at EMP.

                      1. re: sgordon

                        Even rashpicox (rabbit stuffed in a sheep stuffed in a pig stuffed in a cow stuffed in an ox)?!?!

                        1. re: howdini

                          Make sure to give them at least 36 hours on that one, and you might have to dine in the park.

                          1. re: howdini

                            The GF is taking me there for my birthday on the 15th, and I'm totally ordering it. I figure two weeks must be enough advance notice.

                            1. re: sgordon

                              It's a bit early in the season for ox, but by all means, go for it!