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Aug 7, 2012 07:21 AM

EMP Dinner TONIGHT - Need Menu Help, Please

Anyone eat at EMP recently??? I read there were some recent changes and had a few quick questions regarding the menu.

We are having dinner there tonight for our anniversary.

1) The website says there is a 4 course & a tasting menu. Is that still true?

2) Any recommendations on how to order from The Grid???

3) Do men need to wear a jacket? I assumed not.....

All food suggestions welcome... I went from excited to actually being concerned about dining there tonight. : (

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  1. First don't be concerned. You'll have a great time. The 4 course is still avaiable till the end of the month. I can't give you any recommendations from the grid. I always get the tasting menu.

    4 Replies
    1. re: stevel

      Stevel -

      While I was concerned about spending the extra money for the tasting menu... is it really a huge difference from the 4 course???

      I'm just wondering if the 4 course is a huge "step-down" ... will we be disappointed?

      I've heard such amazing things about the tasting menu & all of its choices.... that I guess I'm beginning to think the 4 course may not be as great an experience.....

      1. re: rk1

        I wouldn't call it a step down. It's still amazing. But I do feel the there is a significant difference between the 4 course and the tasting menu. I'm going on Saturday. If you enjoy wine, get the beverage pairing.

        1. re: stevel

          We've done the 3 course (when it use to be available), we've done the 4 course more times then I can remember, we've done the Gourmond (when it use to be called that) and we've done the tasting several times. The difference for us is the variety of the courses and, not to over simplify it, that's about it. They don't take any less care in creating the dishes, if you want the 4 course and that's the best price point for you then do it, it in no way lessens the experience IMHO.

          Oh, I also wanted to say EMP is very much a place where you get out what you put in, speak with your Captain, your Sommelier, your servers, it's amazing their depth of knowledge.

          1. re: stevel

            call ahead, but i think that for 35 bucks you can BYOB. That is very attractive whereas sitting for 3 or 4 hours eating is not attractive to me.

      2. Continue to be excited, EMP is a special place and you should have no concerns about it being anything less than wonderful.

        Yes, 4 course and tasting still exists. The four course is an understatement due to the amuses and what not. Since there are two of you dining it may be a lot of fun to each do the 4 course but order different items.

        Ordering from the grid is no big deal, you will see the major component of a dish listed in rows. This is intended to create a conversation between you and the Captain OR you can refrain from details and be "surprised" by the dish. You will be asked if you have allergies or aversions and that may inspire additional discussions.

        Although jackets for men are optional I never go to EMP for a meal, lunch or dinner, without a jacket and usually a tie. That being said I have seen almost every level of dress there from EXTREMELY casual (not a fan) to people looking like they were headed to the prom or a wedding. I am from the camp of "If it's special, dress for it". But you'll be fine regardless.

        Also, do they know it is your anniversary? If not, let them know, they will usually acknowledge it.

        Happy anniversary, enjoy the eveing.

        1. 1. The four course goes away "some time after Labor Day" says the New York Times.

          2. The four course is NOT a huge step down, it is just different, you get to tailor your meal much more.

          The 7 courses on the tasting menu are typically two vegetable, foie gras, seafood/fish, a meat, cheese, and dessert. The tasting may not be the way to go if you don't want that exact format.

          Also you'll both be served the same preparation of a course on the tasting unless you specifically request otherwise. However, the tasting menu has more amuses / grouped mini-courses.

          Last time I went, I didn't want vegetables or a cheese course, and I wanted to be able to have larger portions of some items. So we did the grid. It depends what you're looking for.

          3. The dress code for dinner is "jacket preferred."

          Have a great meal. EMP is one of my favorite places in the city. You'll be in good hands. I suggest getting there a little early and relaxing at the bar with a cocktail. Happy anniversary!

          1. EMP is one of my most favorite restaurants. I prefer the 4 course menu to the tasting menu since I like to try different dishes on the menu and I am able to share them with my dining partner.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ellenost

              Thanks for the wonderful boost... I am feeling much better about going tonight!!

              Spiritchaser- Your in-depth description was extremely helpful. Now I'm going to be more comfortable asking questions! : ) And I did tell them it's our anniversary, thanks!

              Kathryn- Based on your description... the 4 course is a better option for us. My husband doesn't eat meat.. so the grid will suit him better.

              Ellenost - Great suggestion... I think the 4 course is what we'll do. And I think we'll try & order different options so we can share.

              Thanks!!! I'm looking forward to our dinner... Btw - I also asked for a kitchen tour... I hope we get to see it.


              1. re: rk1

                Eleven Madison Park - Update

                We went last week & I thought I'd post an update in case it can help someone going there in the future.
                Some observations:

                4 course menu- I was concerned it would be "less" than the tasting menu... It was fantastic and yes it lasted 4 hours.... : )
                If you are served a dish, that you are not happy with... please tell them. They really do care & really want you to be happy.
                Kitchen tour - we asked, they obliged and it was the HIGHLIGHT of our dinner. Still talking about how spotless & amazing it is.
                Jackets - My husband didn't wear one, many folks did not. Either way is fine.
                Be sure to tell them all the foods/ingredients you don't like.. it really does matter. It was only by reading the extensive menu postings of others, here on Chowhound that I learned that one of the courses (goat cheese lollipops, i think... ) were dipped in curry. I never would have thought to mention curry, (or for that matter... coconut, celery, licorice, cayenne pepper, etc. ) Be specific.
                Server - Again.. thru the advice of others, I tried ( & tried....) to get our server to tell me more about each forthcoming dish. He would not..... I was frustrated. But in the end, the food was terrific.

                So my advice to any 1st-timers... really do read all of the prior posts about the menu to familiarize yourself... it helps if you want to have some sense of what to expect.... or else just be totally surprised.

                1. re: rk1

                  Glad you had a great time, and thanks for reporting back!