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Any early feedback about EMP's new format??


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Any early feedback about EMP's new format??

ricardo87 | Sep 7, 2010 12:58 PM

Although it just launched today, I'm wondering if anyone has feedback about EMP's new menu format. What do you think of the new concept? Any ideas on what prompted the changes?

The explanation of the new format and a sample "menu" is up on their website: "Our menu format is intended to offer an experience in which our guests can enjoy the inherent surprise of a tasting menu, while still maintaining some control. Dishes are listed solely by their principal ingredients, and guests are invited to make their selections, share any ingredient dislikes, and allow us to design their meal from there."

Personally, I'm not very excited. At all. I have a dinner reservation in a couple of weeks (made before I knew about the changes) and was planning on the Gourmand menu, but that option is gone now. I don't get to travel to NYC very often, so when I do I enjoy trying as much as I can by getting longer tasting menus when they're offered.

Now at EMP the only option at dinner is a four course meal at $125. It's kind of hard to tell from the sample online, but it looks like 3 savory and one that's either cheese or dessert (or your choice?). I just called the restaurant to ask if the Gourmand still existed, and was told that the four course "menu" is the only option. I was told that you can request to add extra courses to the four course meal, but they got rid of the longer tasting menu. She also told me it's not coming back.

To me, this seems like the format of Blue Hill Stone Barns gone wrong. I enjoy BHSB and think the format is fun, but they have 5 and 8 course options. I'm not sure what motivated the changes, but removing the option of a longer tasting menu certainly puts them at a disadvantage compared to other top restaurants in NYC (there's a tasting menu with 8 courses at Le Bernardin, 9 at Per Se, 7 at Jean Georges, etc).

So what you think? Good idea? Bad idea? What do you think about not having the option of a longer tasting menu? Obviously I can't comment on the execution since I haven't been yet, but the limited options have me worried.

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Blue Hill
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

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