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Jul 30, 2013 07:04 AM

What's the current EMP bar dining situation?

My husband has very little interest in food, and I'll never get him to EMP for the full tasting menu. But my birthday is coming up, and he'd be game for drinks and a dish or two at the bar. Can anyone tell me what's offered now, after the last changes to the main dining room menu? And do CH'ers think dropping in for the bar is a good idea?

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  1. First of all, yes, IMO, dining in the bar is an excellent idea.

    Shame on me for not having the bar menu memorized (we just had food at the bar a couple days ago) and I am drawing a blank on all of the apps but I remember a foie gras (which is always OOTW) and a cucumber salad, the entrees chocies were; Halibut, 140 day dry age beef (which I had an as usual it was wonderful), guinea fowl, and an eggplant dish (GF had an loved it).

    The dishes skew on the smaller side but they are wonderful and come from the same incredible kitchen. It is a wonderful way to get the EMP experience without the investment of time/money required for the dining room. Timing can be tricky and the bar area can get quite full on Friday evenings, other times it usually doable. Don't be afraid to sit and eat at the actual bar; interaction with the bartenders can be very enjoyable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      Even during the week the bar at EMP can be "mobbed". I had a 5:30 reservation last Tuesday, and there must have been a corporate gathering. No seats at the bar/bar area and the group was very noisy. They finally left after about an hour (thank goodness!).

    2. Reporting back after our evening there. Very much what I had hoped for -- a few great dishes, lovely atmosphere, terrific service.

      We arrived about 8:00 on Tuesday evening. There were a couple of open seats at the bar, and one empty table. It had a "reserved" card but when we said we were interested in a meal, we were seated there.

      Last night's menu had four appetizer choices; four entree choices; two desserts. Between the two of us we had three appetizers, one entree and one dessert, plus the wonderful house-baked rolls. Agree with Spiritchaser's description: dishes on the small side but wonderful.

      Service was friendly and attentive, but not hovering.
      Bill for the above plus a few glasses of wine and a cognac was $220 before tip.

      My only quibble is that the table next to us got a series of dishes which were not on the menu (we noticed because one was the "smoke under a glass dome" presentation). Asked and was told it was an "appetizer tasting" (I think), but that wasn't listed on the menu, so we didn't know it was an option.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Elizabeth E.

        Is it possible they were doing the full dining room tasting menu (the smoke under glass is a part of that) ?

        I'm really glad you liked it.

        1. re: Elizabeth E.

          What were the dishes on the menu (or the dishes that you ordered). I've always wanted to dine in the EMP bar area. Thanks.

          1. re: ellenost

            This is what I can recall, asterisks by the ones we ordered:

            Appetizers: cucumber salad with buttermilk dressing*; summer bean salad with parmesan*; foie gras crème brûlée*

            Entrees: beef with cherries; duck; eggplant with greens and grains*

            Desserts: sassafras sorbet with banana cake*; cheese plate

            1. re: Elizabeth E.

              Thanks very much. All of the dishes sound great.

          2. re: Elizabeth E.

            Sometimes I have gotten some extra courses when dining at the bar. The table next to you could had been family/ friends. It's really up to the staff.

            1. re: Elizabeth E.

              The smoke under a glass dome thing is part of their caviar service. I've also seen people get it at the bar.