I had lunch at EMP on Wednesday, Nov. 14. I had a similar experience to Tubulus (although his was dinner). I won't go into the menu so as not to ruin the surprise for anyone, but I share Tubulus' thoughts re: parsnip and salsify courses. We were also allowed a choice between beef and duck, and chose the beef because we had the duck on a previous visit in 2011. I thought the entire experience was wonderful and fun, with lovely touches like a card thanking us for making EMP our Christmas present (it was).
A few things I noticed:
There were more than a few open tables during the lunch service. I thought this was odd, but maybe it was intentional.
Not everyone gets invited to the kitchen for the cocktail, as another poster observed. Not sure how they decide who gets to go for this.
We did the wine pairing - in retrospect, I wished we had either shared the pairing or simply ordered a bottle of champagne. The wines were great, but were all whites except for one. Not our favorite.
I know that EMP scaled back on the narrative after the negative feedback they got, and even though I voiced a desire to hear it, the narrative was minimal. But still a fun, NYC type experience.
The apple brandy or whatever it is they leave on the table at the end is AWFUL. Just objectively awful. What happened to congac?!
I agree with posters who suggested that it is a transcendent experience, but "how many times can you see that show?" and so forth. The meal was the most expensive of my life. As much as I loved it, I don't see myself going back there on my annual trips to NYC unless they bring back the 2-course lunch menu or something.