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Jan 17, 2013 07:36 AM

EMP secret to getting res.?

Desperately wish to dine at EMP Friday of Valentines Day weekend.. What's the best strategy? call or OpenTable? Would they accept earlier than 28 days if we beg or beseech?

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  1. Be on BOTH OpenTable and the phone at 9am on Friday.

    Try having more than one person call / be online. The online tables open at exactly the same time as the phone lines.

    > Would they accept earlier than 28 days if we beg or beseech?

    No, that's not fair to the many, many people who wish to dine there. The policy exists for a reason.

    1. So you want a Feb 15th res right? As kathryn suggested, be on Open Table and the phone at 9:00 this Friday, and if you have some people trying for you at the same time it can't hurt but remember, they are gong to ask for a CC to hold the res so if you have people also calling for you be aware of that.

      1. I just made a rez at EMP for early next month. Call up at EXACTLY 9am (and try opentable too). When I called, reservation lines actually opened a minute or two after 9. You will get placed on hold. If you don't get placed on hold, hang up and call back because the lines might not be open yet. I had to hold a little over 10 minutes, but I eventually got a table. It probably helps if you choose an off-day. I chose a Monday. Good luck.

        1. Thanks everyone. We both called at **exactly** 9am and went on Open Table, but no res -- we're on the wait list. Don't know what our chances are - they said it wasn't a long list.... sigh..... we have a backup early dinner at Bouley, which I've heard is also top notch.

          5 Replies
          1. re: foodieiam

            Is there another date that works for you?

            Friday night + Valentine's Day + long weekend for some (who have President's Day off) means greater demand.

            1. re: foodieiam

              Love both EMP and Bouley. You'll have a wonderful dinner at either restaurant!

              1. re: foodieiam

                May not be an option, but if you have an Amex Platinum, EMP has a special arrangement with them. Have never had an issue getting reservations at good, peak times here (ie. Fri or Sat night, 6:30-8:30pm). As long as you give them enough heads up (ie. tell them before the 28 days), you're basically guaranteed.

                Not all restaurants have that special relationship with Amex (many, they just do the calling for you), but EMP I know is one of them that do.

                1. re: tylerchris

                  I wanted either Friday or Saturday one of two weekends in December, and Amex platinum failed all four times. I called myself three times (had a meeting one day), and was waitlisted twice and successful on the the last go. This was despite the fact that I reminded Amex platinum each time on the afternoon before the lines opened. It also wasn't the first time they messed up reservation requests.

                  In retrospect, I would have chosen the bar over the 9:30 reservation that I finally got. They were running slow, and we first seated at our table around 10. I personally was just to full and too tired to appreciate the last five or so courses. After the main course, the waiter came to check in and said we had a bunch more to go--he almost acted like he was hoping we would cut it short, but instead they just rushed us through, and we left nauseously full. I would definitely pick Bouley at 8 PM over EMP at a bad time.

                  1. re: downtownchica

                    That's unfortunate to hear about the bad timing (totally agree btw, I really try not to start these long tasting menus later than 8pm if possible. When you're paying this much, you don't want to have to "settle" on anything, but sometimes it is out of your control).

                    Surprised to hear about Platinum concierge failing with EMP. It's possible you had bad luck on who handled your reservation - I've eaten at EMP 3 times, once on Fri night and twice on Sat night, and all 3 times, got a time within my range.