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Mar 3, 2014 06:24 AM

EMP - redux

Went back to EMP this weekend. First time back since they have gone to tasting menu only format. I couldn't find the thread but there was someone asking about EMP and a few other place as an option for his wife's birthday dinner and wanted an update on the atmosphere.

I would say the scene is pretty lively for the tax bracket most EMP denizens inhabit. Crowd is a mix of families (like we were), young and older couples celebrating and groups of friends. Didn't seem like much in the way of the expense account crowd since it was a weekend dinner. It was lively but you could easily have a conversation so I think it would be a great place for a fun 40th birthday celebration as long as you weren't planning to drink the champagne from your wife's shoe.

The staff was as accommodating as ever. Very friendly and informative. Has to be the most polished FOH in the city. Somm was great. We did the wine tasting with dinner.

I won't go into the menu very much as its pretty changeable. We had very good dishes but I wouldn't say that anything was memorable other than the pastrami interpretation of NY deli. I would love an entire sandwich of that stuff. Katz's has nothing on this stuff. Some of the gimmicky elements I had heard about like card tricks didn't seem to be present. The closest it got to that was when they brought out the cart to make the waldorf salad as well as an original copy of the waldorf cookbook. That was an interesting book for our table to look at. It was inscribed with an 1898 date.

The wine pairing was very good and they were generous with the pours.

While the food with one exception wasn't outstanding, it was very good and the combination of everything made it an outstanding evening. The only thing I would add is that dinner is a marathon. 13 courses took nearly 4 hours. I'm exhausted.

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  1. I was there this weekend as well and agree with all points of your post, Bkeats.

    EMP is a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion or gather together and enjoy a 14 course meal as we did. We did not choose the wine pairings but our host in sync with the Somm’s suggestions hit the mark on the food/wine pairings.

    We agreed unanimously that EMP’s take on the NY deli sandwich was perfectly executed. The men at our table craved another round of pastrami with pickles, rye, mustard & fennel and continued to talk about it throughout the rest of our meal. Our critique was the final two courses no one had any room for. We would have been satisfied ending with the Baked Alaska as our final course. Perhaps we should have enjoyed more apple brandy!

    1. Was it still $150 for the wine pairing? Or did it increase with the menu recently?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Heeney

        We asked to go light on the pairing as we didn't want all 10 wines that were part of the tasting so we got a rose champagne, two whites, two red and dessert wines for $95 IIRC.

        1. re: Bkeats

          I guess I'd never really thought to ask of champagne is part of the beverage pairing.
          Is it? We are going in a couple weeks and don't know if we should just get the pairing and assume it starts with champagne.

          Last time we went we started with champagne and then got the pairing and they "topped us up" for our first pairing.
          It ended up being a bit much and I almost had to be carried out feet first. :)

          Well not really, but it wasn't far off.

          1. re: Heeney

            Our wine tasting started with a rose champagne to go with the oyster and scallop courses. We got two full pours of it. I'm pretty sure they can tailor the wine tasting to your preferences so there won't be a need to order champagne before you start a pairing.