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Waitlist chances at EMP?

I am 13th in line on a waitlist for a Saturday night at EMP...what are my chances?
The man I spoke with told me the most cancellations usually happen in the last week before the date. We are a party of two people and I let them know it is our 1 year wedding anniversary celebration....fingers crossed!!!

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  1. During the Holiday season cancellations probably won't be as likely as other times but it's still possible, An anniversary is pretty important so you may not be open to the idea but you could always try the bar area if the main dining room doesn't work out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      Thats what I was thinking too...since people are coming from out of town. Sigh*****

      I'm not interested in eating at the bar for our anniversary, although I will so miss the food if we can't get a table!

    2. Sorry to not be optimistic, but I would highly recommend that you make an alternate plan for your celebration. While EMP is excellent, there are a number of other wonderful restaurants in Manhattan where you will have a fantastic experience.

      1. When did you call? Did you try OpenTable simultaneously? Exactly 4 weeks in advance at 9am NY time? Can you do a weekday lunch instead?

        December is basically the 2nd tourist season for NY. And you wanted a Saturday night, so I doubt that a over dozen people in a row will cancel/not pick up the phone...

        See also:

        21 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Yes, I tried opentable and I called simultaneously right at 9am on the dot.

          What a shame...it's my favorite restaurant. I know there are lots of choices in NY, but I really had my heart set on EMP.

          Next on my list is either Daniel or Jungsik I guess.

          1. re: eviemichael

            As kathryn had suggested, any chance you would consider a weekday lunch? If still no on EMP how about The Dining Room at The Modern? Very nice place for a special occassion, looking out on to the sculpture garden.

            1. re: Spiritchaser

              I already booked the rest of my meals for our 3 day trip (and I looked for reservations with EMP for lunch during those days and nada!- all booked up as well).

              Thanks for the tip! I'll look into it. Would you recommend The Modern over Daniel?

              1. re: eviemichael

                Well, we have had nothing but wonderful meals at Daniel really but based upon others comments I would err on the side of caution and go for The Modern, If you do, ask for the two top at the center of the glass wall.

                1. re: Spiritchaser

                  Yeah I've noticed there's not a lot of love on the boards here for Daniel. Also, the menu doesn't really excite me.

                  Thanks for the suggestion. Should I also consider Jungsik? Or is it not very romantic?

                2. re: eviemichael

                  There have been several threads concerning the best prix-fixe lunch in NYC. Most would agree that the list includes Le Bernardin, Del Posto, Daniel, Jean-Georges and, perhaps, a few others. If your dinner plans don't include any of those, I recommend trying to book.

                  1. re: famdoc

                    I have been to Jean-Georges and Del Posto, and not really interested in going back to either.

                    Daniel is my backup plan if EMP doesn't come through. I'd love to try Le Bernardin, but my husband wouldn't enjoy a meal centered around seafood as much.

                3. re: eviemichael

                  I highly recommend Jungsik over either The Modern or Daniel. The dining room at Jungsik is lovely and the 2 end tables are booths that look perfect for a celebrating couple.

                  1. re: ellenost

                    Thanks! Have you had bad experiences at Daniel?

                    1. re: eviemichael

                      Yes I have had very snooty service at Daniel and at DB Bistro. Their maitre d's for some unforgivable reason decided that women dining without a man at the table would accept horrible tables (at Daniel, they tried to seat my mom, sister and me at a table between 2 serving stations on which the New York Magazine reviewer had just criticized them; at DB, they tried to seat my mom and me at a table in the front room next to a family with noisy toddlers even though we had a reservation for the more formal back room. I am lucky enough to be able to dine at some of the finest restaurants both in the US and in Europe, and the Daniel Boulud restaurants win the prize for the most horrid treatment of women.

                      1. re: ellenost

                        I'm sorry to hear that...that's awful! Did you speak to the management about it?

                        1. re: eviemichael

                          No, but I refused the tables. After the second incident, I've decided to boycott Daniel Boulud's restaurants. There are too many great restaurants that provide women with equal treatment.

                          1. re: ellenost

                            For sure!
                            I may be in total denial, but I am saving hope for an EMP reservation to come through. The man I spoke with seemed optimistic.

                            1. re: ellenost

                              Should I also keep checking in at opentable in case people may cancel within the month?

                        2. re: ellenost

                          I don't think they did that to you because you're a woman.

                          I think they did that to you because you're a non-regular.

                          They try to give male non-regulars the same shitty seats.

                          1. re: ellenost

                            on my first trip to Daniel a million years ago, they sat my husband and me so close to the kitchen I could fell the wind off the door. I'm certain they didn't mistake him for female. Somebody has to sit at all the tables, why shouldn't regulars get better treatment? What would make you think it was because you were women?

                            1. re: danna

                              It's fair for regulars to receive certain advantages, but that can't be at a disservice to new diners. Crappy interior design and aggressive male (read: privileged) maitre d's deserve no excuses.

                              Now personally, I generally love sitting by kitchens.

                              1. re: calf

                                Calf, I'm not trying to justify what they do.

                                I think the shitty treatment of non-regulars is a reason to write Daniel off (at least if you're not a regular).

                                Indeed, the shitty treatment of non-regulars goes way beyond seating. They give them materially worse food. (That's why there's such a discrepency between the professional reviews and what people here experience.)

                                1. re: Sneakeater

                                  All tables need to be seated so unless they build a new restaurant that doesn't have a bad table someone will need to be seated at the less desireable tables so it's not a stretch to think preferred seating would go to more regular clientele, the claim of inferior food however is, IMHO, ludicrous. And FYI, I'm not a professional reviewer, not am I even in the "business".

                                  1. re: Sneakeater

                                    Michelin has confirmed this as well:


                                    They can do what Del Posto and EMP have done in the past - just eliminate those tables (albeit they were going for higher NYT and Michelin ratings at the time). Honestly if I'm spending that kind of money and got one of those tables my first time there, I'd probably never go back; as well as tell all my friends. So it's pretty much the opposite of the Danny Meyer philosophy.

                                    Note that I went to Daniel once and got a decent 4-top.

                    2. Just prior to the pre-$195/magic show era, I was on the wait list at EMP. I didn't inquire where I stood on the wait list, but I called back regularly to see if any tables had opened up. Then, I read that they took hundreds of names for their wait list monthly and chances of getting in were slim.
                      I called and confirmed that my chances were, indeed, slim and booked elsewhere. As others have said, particularly during Holiday month of December, it seems unlikely that many would cancel.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: famdoc

                        The man I spoke to was much more optimistic about our 13th place in the line and told me that many cancel the week before the reservation once credit card information is requested. But you're right, the holidays make it more difficult. :-/

                      2. Basically no chance. I was "at the top" of the waitlist, called daily (even while out of the country and through the day-of) and didn't get the res. What a disappointment!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BonVivantNYC

                          Yeah I've gone from hope to resignation...Hopefully next year we can make it!

                        2. *UPDATE* Woo-hoo! We got a lunch reservation! I would have preferred dinner, but I'm sure lunch will still be fantastic since it's the same menu. They also confirmed that they'd have the duck.

                          The only downside is that I also have reservations for Minetta that night....gonna wear loose pants for sure. :-/

                          What is the dress code for lunch at EMP?

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: eviemichael

                            When is your Minetta reservation? You should probably be able to push it back...

                            1. re: kathryn

                              Our EMP reservation is at 12 and Minetta is at 6:30. I called Minetta and they said to call a few days before to see if a table opens up around 7-9.

                              1. re: eviemichael

                                Also keep in mind that if you order the cote de boeuf at Minetta, it does take a little bit of time to cook.

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Good to know, that should help. Does the NY strip steak take a long time to cook as well?

                            2. re: eviemichael

                              Congratulations on the EMP reservation! Many people prefer the lunch reservation at EMP, and since the meals are the same, you may be luckier. I look forward to your reports.

                              1. re: ellenost

                                Hello all!
                                We have a lunch reservation for 1pm at EMP on the 18th. How long does the entire meal usually take? We have reservations for the Nutcracker at 6pm, but don't want to be rushed with our EMP experience.
                                Any help is much appreciated!

                                1. re: Suzie4399

                                  Suzie, they told me that dining takes about 3-3.5 hours, but I'm always reading/hearing that it's a 4 hour experience. I'm sure if you told them what time you need to leave, they would pace the meal accordingly.

                                2. re: ellenost

                                  Thanks ellenost! I will definitely report back. Why do people usually prefer the lunch reservation?

                                  1. re: eviemichael

                                    One reason would have to be the light in the room is beautiful if it's sunny outside.

                                    1. re: eviemichael

                                      Also if you start at at 8pm, you're not done until midnight. Depends if you're a night owl or not. And if you live in the city or need to take a train/drive home.