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Apr 10, 2012 06:34 AM

EMP... Timings

I'm bringing my husband to NY for his 30th Birthday in a few weeks time. I bought him the EMP cookbook for his birthday after looking for a topical NY cookbook, unfortunately I hadn't realised how difficult a reservation would be and now he's obsessed about going, my own fault I know...


we are only around for a weekend which is unfortunately mothers day weekend so I'm anticipating getting a very late reservation if one at all! for either the Friday or the Saturday.

If we end up with a late reservation does that mean we get rushed through the service without the extras? I'm worried with some people saying to leave 2-3 hours for a meal there this would be a silly idea.

I was going to email them and explain his obsession and see if I could get him a peek in the kitchens but I'm worried they wouldn't do this for a late reservation.

Any advice :$

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  1. I've never, ever felt rushed at EMP. Unless you drop hints that you have to be somewhere, you'll be fine.

    If you want to dine on May 11th or 12th, they haven't started taking reservations yet.

    Call at 9am (and have your computer on with OpenTable open too) exactly 4 weeks in advance (counting the current day). Refresh OpenTable right at 9am as you dial their number. Do this on Friday and Saturday morning of this week.

    If you don't get the time you want, try for lunch and/or ask to be put on the wait list. Also they serve the prix fixe lunch at the lounge area/bar. For dinner they serve a la carte there.

    I would say that if you dine early or late you have a BETTER chance of getting a kitchen tour since they won't be quite as busy as they are during the main dinner rush.

    Also consider their newest place, the NoMad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Yes it's this friday/saturday I need to call, I did a practice run on open table last weekend so I knew what I was doing and ended up with 9.15 showing as an option so fingers crossed I do as well this weekend. Great advice on phoning, I'll try that too!

      1. re: hannikins

        Last time I was there, we had 6:15pm reservations, and relaxed with cocktails at our table for quite some time, while discussing the menu. Then came the canapés. The real food didn't start for a while, maybe 7:30? That could be another option.

        Good luck! You should enlist your husband in trying, perhaps, if he can?

    2. No, you won't be rushed. Once I had a 9:30P reservation. Because other patrons were taking longer than expected (they weren't rushed out), we started our amuse-bouche items in that little lounge area. I think we were probably seated around 10:30P. By the time we were finished with dinner it was about 3:30A! They encouraged us to linger and we had a grand ol' time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        brilliant! I won't be too worried about the 10.15 option then!

        1. re: Miss Needle

          The last time we went we had a similar experience - though our rezzie was actually at 10:30, IIRC. We did tasting menus and were there until some ludicrous hour, along with two other tables - a four-top and a solo diner. Not one single person even looked at us as if we should rush. In fact, once the cognac was placed on our tables it seemed as though the waitstaff intentionally stayed out of sight, leaving the room to the seven of us, as we all wandered between each others' tables and got to know the other remaining diners.

          1. re: sgordon

            That must have been some night! I don't think we did any table hopping, but I can't recall if there were other customers there at that time. I think I had a bit too much wine in me by then.

        2. Thanks All :)

          one last question, do you have to have the tasting menu to "qualify" for the kitchen tour?

          3 Replies
          1. re: hannikins

            No, not at all. Though I'm sure you can request for a kitchen tour when you make the reservation or when you confirm the reservation just to be safe. EMP is very accomodating.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage

              Thanks all, I'll ask when I call so it will be a complete surprise :)

            2. re: hannikins

              In December, we did the prix fixe, they noticed that we really enjoyed our cocktails, and asked if we'd like to have one in the kitchen and meet Chef Humm.

            3. YAY I did it!! managed a friday evening at 9.30. Don't think I have the nerves to try again for saturday so I'll be sticking with that instead!

              1 Reply