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Jun 19, 2012 06:12 AM

EMP - lunch or dinner?

Hello - coming into NYC on holidays and so have flexibility in when/where to eat for a bit with no time constraints.

It seems that everyone says the tasting at EMP over lunch is a considerable amount less than the tasting at dinner. I can afford both... but would not be happy paying much more for the same amount of food, if just served at different times.

Is this true? As chowhounders - would you always recommend lunch tasting over dinner tasting then?


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    1. re: Nancy S.

      So its worth the $x extra just for dinner? Can you pls elaborate why?

    2. EMP is one of the very few restaurants in the city were you can get a remarkably similar experience any time of day. You will be happy with either.

      In the United States, dinner is usually the big meal of the day and so I tend to end up at EMP around dinner time. Cultural habit, i guess. But the times I have been there for lunch, I have really, really enjoyed myself.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nmprisons

        Ditto what nmprisons said. Lunch can be particulary nice if it happens to be a beautiful day outside, the light in the room is fantastic, the lunch pace (like dinner) is casual, and there is just something wonderful about lingering over lunch. We recently did a dinner and lunch in very small span of time and I would be hard pressed to identify anything on the dinner that was omitted during lunch. I think the only differences I have ever seen in lunch and dinner is the level of diners dress can be somewhat more "relaxed" and the wait staff can be a little (very little) more laid back (but this could very well be thier ability to read the diners and adjust their "level").

      2. According to an insider I spoke with, there is literally no difference between the lunch tasting and the dinner tasting, in terms of the food on the plate. Also I saw a blog about a lunch tasting menu that occurred a few weeks after the dinner one I had in February, and they meals appeared nearly identical - some of the courses were switched (we got squab, they got beef...) but the number of courses, amuses, intermezzos, pre-desserts, mignardaises, etc were all the same.

        The only major difference would be they wouldn't be as likely to do kitchen visits during lunch (nor do they do them for everyone to begin with - and I've heard they're phasing those out, anyway) - and Humm probably wouldn't be personally in the house during lunch hours.

        But as far as the concrete aspects of the meal go, they're identical.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sgordon

          Humm is in the house during lunch. He stops by each table and chats for a bit towards the end of lunch service.

        2. I enjoyed the lunch tasting menu twice last week and agree with Spiritchaser: the light that penetrates the room is incredible. Also, I could be mistaken, but lunch reservations seemed easier to secure.

          2 Replies
          1. re: degustingdiary

            Twice in one week? Wouldn't it have been an identical meal? Spread the culinary love around, DD...

            1. re: sgordon

              It certainly wasn't my intention. I wanted to order the duck for two, but my dining companion's flight got delayed, so I made a second trip back for the duck later in the week. And there was enough variation in the two lunches to keep me spellbound throughout.