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Eleven Madison Park - 5.45 or 9pm

My husband and I have dinner reservations in June at Eleven Madison Park. I've managed to secure reservations over a couple of nights and would like your advice as to the best time slot, considering day of the week, the atmosphere and the fact that it's a 3-4 hour meal.
We have Wednesday night at 7pm
Thursday night at 5.45pm
Friday night at 9pm

I'm leaning toward the Thurs 5.45pm, for timing sake.....though I'm concerned it will be too early for any real buzz? Any thoughts on the better night for atmosphere.....we are really looking forward to it.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Earlier, while not too cool or hip, will enable you to walk it off afterwards, sort of a very late lunch.
    when l did a 6 hour very extended at Per Se a few years back, it was lunch and afforded me the luxury of digesting, seeing other sights and sleeping not stuffed.
    OTOH why do you have three reservations, that seems pretty callous and may very well prevent others from getting a res there, tough ticket to begin with.
    There is currently a thread on Paris board on having multiple reservations and how unfair to restaurants this practice is.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Agree with you that an earlier reservation is better. I would go with the 7:00 reservation. I dined at EMP last month, and it was wonderful! (That Per Se lunch has never been surpassed for me in either duration or quality).

    2. If you aren't constrained by day of the week I think the 7:00PM is the Goldilocks time. Regardless of when you decide to go no need to worry there won't be any buzz.

      *I answered your inquiry due to our love of EMP but I think it is really selfish to hold 3 reservations for the same restaurant when you know you aren't going to be using them all.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        I would think she's holding 3 reservations, will choose 1 from the advise here and cancel the other 2.

        I'd choose 5:45. Lucky you - so jealous!!!! Report back your dining experience. :)

      2. Thanks all, I think we will keep the earlier one. I'm really looking forward to the evening and appreciate the responses to my questions.
        For those of you concerned by my hoarding of 3 reservations (!) if you happen to be on the wait list for the dates I'm about to cancel, then lucky you!
        On a serious note, keeping multiple bookings is not a practice I normally follow however we are in New York (from Hong Kong) with our children for a week only and had to juggle a few things before we could confirm a date. It's a bit of a last minute trip so I wanted to make sure I got to EMP on a date and time we could actually make.
        Thank you once again, I'll report back after we've been.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hkgirl

          I would say earlier as opposed to later since you have kids. Even if they don't go with you eating at 9 means you wont be back at the hotel until well past midnight. Who wants to wake up early after a meal like that??

        2. I would go with 7. 5:45 is way too early and 9 would mean that you would not be done until after midnight.

          1. Eating early is HEALTHY. Go with the 5.45 pm. By the time you settle down and decide on what you want. By the time the first food/amuse arrive, it will be around 6.30 pm. Perfect time for dinner. You should finish by around nine to tenish. Enough time for the food to digest before bed.

            The 9.00 pm seating will take you way pass midnight!!

            BTW, in 'busy' establishments, kitchen staff will be more relax and fresh for early seating. By late evening, staff will be tired and exhausted and could impact on food quality. Dinner service during a weekend Friday will for sure be a hectic one!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Charles Yu

              have you been to EMP? service is amazing regardless of timing, and at this level restaurant, service will not suffer depending on time. also, the only "choice" is picking your main protein, so while you certainly aren't rushed, at a 5:45 reservation the volley of amuses will likely start around 6:00.

            2. Friday at 9 p.m. would be my choice.

              Doing EMP on a hump day just feels weird, even though 7 p.m. is in the sweetspot of time slots.

              Eating dinner before 6 p.m., to me, just feels awkward.

              While 9 p.m. is a tad late, and you might end up finishing dinner Saturday morning -- literally -- it's ok, cuz it's Friday night, and you get the entire week to build up anticipation, and the rest of the weekend to work off the meal and bask in the glow of the experience without having to deal with "work" ...

              1. I think it all depends on when/how much you eat for lunch.

                With a nice meal like that, my primary concern is always timing a meal so that i don't go in starving (because then i'll devour the food without appreciating/pay as much attention) or, obviously, so full that i similarly won't enjoy the food.

                if you're like me, 9 o clock is just too long not to go out for a snack and a drink or three beforehand, and i always regret doing that before a really nice meal.

                i would probably do 545... but that's usually because i skip breakfast and eat an early lunch, so i'm plenty hungry by then. but, i also can't say in a place like that i'm worried about their being the right amount of noise/people.

                i'm just trying to optimize the eating part.

                1. I would do the 5:45. You won't finish til 9 at the earliest and you probably won't get to serious (nonamuse) dish til 6:30 or later.... Besides it is one of the most beautiful rooms in the city (especially in daylight; and especially when not too full).... The room will fill soon anyway. And you will get the kitchen tour when they are not packing up -- which is more interesting.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Polisax

                    For sure, the room looks great in natural daylight, and you get to experience the transition.

                  2. 545pm

                    This was the time slot we chose last time, and it was perfect. By the time our dinner ended, it was 9ish. I was stuffed. It still allowed for a few hours of strolling to help digest. We're not early sleepers by any means, but having a few hours to slowly digest all those courses makes for a comfier night. It's all up to personal choice of course.

                    Whichever time slot you choose, it will be a fantastic meal!

                    1. +1 to the list of 5:45 ers. Especially if you want to go out afterwards. It may or may not be packed at 5:45 but by 7pm it will be so you will hardly notice the difference in a 3+ hour meal.