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EMP vs Atera vs Momofuku Ko ??

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chefpt Feb 3, 2014 03:17 PM

Only have time to check out 1 of them - which one should it be ? Open to other tasting menu suggestions too. THANKS !

DISCLOSURE : have been to EMP ( grid choice menu ) prior to the new one; have already been to : Per Se, Le Bernardin, Daniel, Modern, Marea

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    PorkyBelly RE: chefpt Feb 3, 2014 03:39 PM

    I'd pick brooklyn fare over all of them.

    1. ellenost RE: chefpt Feb 3, 2014 04:02 PM

      OMG you've picked my 3 favorite restaurants. Obviously you have exquisite taste -:)! This is like asking me which of my children I love the most.

      Depends on what type of experience you are seeking, budget, any time constraints, and how casual you wish to be dressed.

      All three have superb cuisine and excellent service.

      EMP will be the most traditional of the three since you will be seated at a table with beautiful decor (but you know that since you've already dined at EMP). I find EMP the most fun due to its interactive nature. Both Ko and Atera are counter seating with Atera having more comfortable seating (although I've never been uncomfortable at Ko). Atera is more dressy than Ko. Dinner will take 3 1/2 hours at EMP; 3 hours at Atera, and 2 hours at Ko. Cost: $225 at EMP; $195 at Atera; and $125 at Ko. Number of courses: about 16 at EMP; about 20 at Atera; and about 10 at Ko. I dine most often at Ko. EMP is the most difficult reservation to obtain, followed by Ko and Atera.

      Bottom line: you'll have an amazing dinner at any of these three restaurants. Have a wonderful time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ellenost
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        Shirang RE: ellenost Feb 4, 2014 08:52 AM

        I had the 9pm seating at Atera, wasnt done until a bit after 1am.

      2. ipsedixit RE: chefpt Feb 3, 2014 04:12 PM

        Based on what you've said, I would do Atera.

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          fooder RE: chefpt Feb 4, 2014 07:17 AM

          EMP was my favorite meal last year http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892924
          I did not particulary enjoy my meal at Atera http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879430 but I've heard that it's gotten better since then. I haven't been to Ko in a couple of years.

          I think ellenost did a pretty good job covering a lot of the non-food details that may help you determine which you prefer. It mostly depends on what style of food you're interested in, and how creative or visual or classic you prefer the food relative to your dining experience.

          1. kosmose7 RE: chefpt Feb 4, 2014 08:55 AM

            EMP. There's no contest.

            1. sgordon RE: chefpt Feb 4, 2014 09:16 AM

              Tough call. I'd say EMP if you're feeling like something very luxe, with the smooth service and all that.

              If you've never been to Ko, it can be a fun experience - if you're "cheffy" yourself, they'd be the most interesting since you actually get to interact a bit with the chefs (though depending which one is by your station, they could be talkative or not. I've had pretty good luck there.)

              That said, if you want to do Ko, make a rezzie at EMP or Atera before looking at Ko, since they book four weeks out and Ko only two, and by that time EMP and Atera will likely be fully booked. That way if you don't get into Ko, you've got something else already.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sgordon
                ellenost RE: sgordon Feb 4, 2014 12:18 PM

                Ko books dinner 10 days in advance. I've been lucky at Atera booking solo spots the day before; weekend (Friday/Saturday) dinners will book up faster. One must book EMP 28 days in advance, but I've lucked out sometimes with last minute availability.

                1. re: sgordon
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                  kathryn RE: sgordon Feb 4, 2014 06:47 PM

                  Ko books 2 weeks ahead for lunch but only ten for dinner. Always including the current day.

                  "*please note: we only take reservations 10 days in advance (including the current day) for dinner, and 14 days in advance (including the current day) for lunch."

                  1. re: kathryn
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                    ah6tyfour RE: kathryn Feb 4, 2014 08:56 PM

                    There's also a weird quirk to Ko lunch in that the website says they book parties of 1, 2, and 4, but they DO NOT actually have reservations of four available. I found it strange that lunch was a single seating with six staggered start times in the span of 45 minutes. With 12 seats total, there's no way a reservation for four could be offered.

                    I called Ko to ask and, indeed, the lunch spots are programmed to allow parties of 2 (and sometimes 1). If you're hoping for a lunch reservation and choose to look for a party of 4, you will never see an availability. They told me to book two groups of 2 at different times and they would do their best to serve us as a party of 4.

                    For dinner, only the 6:20 and 8:40 spots are coded to allow parties of 4. If you choose to book for four, those are the only two times you will be allowed to choose.

                    1. re: ah6tyfour
                      ellenost RE: ah6tyfour Feb 4, 2014 10:28 PM

                      BTW, 6:20 and 8:40 are the only seatings available for solo diners too.

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