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Finally got EMP reservations!!!

I'm in NYC every Christmas holiday season, and have been trying for 4 years now go get in to EMP. Well, I finally got a reservation for Saturday, Dec 29th @ 7pm and cannot wait.

Just wondering about a few things. Now that the format is tasting menu only, how much is the wine pairings per person, and is it worth it? And I'm assuming that I won't be overdressed in a suit and tie?

Anything else I should know about or specifically ask for?

Thanks in advance...

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  1. Some recent posts here:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879309
    "We did the wine pairing - in retrospect, I wished we had either shared the pairing or simply ordered a bottle of champagne. The wines were great, but were all whites except for one. Not our favorite."

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878669
    "4 - Wine list had some great values and the somm geared us to a great bottle. Lots of decent bottles with some age for not crazy prices (though sadly not as much as there used to be). From what I saw the table next to us getting, the paired tasting was all wines from the BTG list and did not seem to be a great value. Better to go for a few glasses and then do a bottle or half bottle."

    Suit and tie will be fine. Ask for a kitchen tour if you want one. Their cocktails are also excellent.

    1. My preference, after having too many disappointing pairings in various restaurants, is to spend a similar amount on an excellent bottle, or two, depending on the menu, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. I personally can't recommend the wine pairing. I wish I'd spent the money on a nice bottle of wine instead at half the price. *sigh*

        1. While I've never had the wine pairings at EMP, their wine list is one of my favorites: great selections at fair prices.

          1. Congrats! I'm going Friday for lunch and cannot wait either.

            To anyone that's been there before, does the duck have to be ordered for two? I loved the chicken at Nomad so I'm assuming I'll love the duck.

            1. I'll go against the grain and actually side with the pairings, with the caveat that you should tell them your personal tastes / likes beforehand. With the menu itself down to only one choice - beef or duck - the beverages are where you can still have a little control over your meal, IF you take the initiative.

              The last time we went (and had an early iteration of the "NYC" tasting menu) we went with pairings, but I specifically asked our wine guy to be more adventurous than usual - throw in a few beers as he saw fit (they have one of the best craft beer selections of any restaurant) - and that I was partial to funky/sour ales a la Lambics and such. Also that I was a fan of wines with that sherry-esque, slightly "oxidized" quality - Vin Jaunes, orange wines, etc. He put together a spectacular pairing for me, while my girlfriend had the "standard" pairing (which was nice enough, if nothing terribly memorable...)

              Anyway, if you're willing to have a five minute talk with your beverage server, they'll very likely be able to put something together for you. I'm NOT generally a fan of pairings (it actually winds up being too much hooch by the end of the meal, and usually just the cheapest stuff from the winelist) but they really knocked it out of the park for me. Just my experience.

              1. The more and more I look at the wine list, the more I think I'll end up with a couple cocktails and a couple bottles of wine. Should I really expect to spend 4 hours eating? Also, should I ask for a tour of the kitchen when we're seated, or after dinner?

                Thanks for all the comments...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Corporate_40

                  I would ask after meal and/or mention your interest when doing the phone confirmation. When getting seated there's just other stuff going on (and you don't want to come across as an eager noob like me).