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Dec 1, 2012 08:10 AM

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:

        15 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

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

          What a'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: 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!