EMP gets plenty of love on this board, and now I can see why, having recently enjoyed a fantastic five course tasting dinner at the restaurant.
My experience at EMP is a little unique in that I attended a special dinner series for Chase Sapphire cardmembers. I'm sure things were tweaked slightly for the event, and some might say it isn't completely representative of a true dinner there, but paying $210 a person for five courses and wine pairings, tax and tip included, is a pretty phenomenal deal. Plus, we got to mingle with Daniel Humm beforehand, who seemed like a cool, low-key guy. Chase throws similar events like this throughout the year, so if you're a cardmember, take advantage!
We were served two pre-dinner bites: a savory black and white cookie and a smoked sturgeon sabayon in chive olive oil. I was blown away by the smoked sturgeon, and the cookie tasted like a fancy cheese cracker sandwich. I'd be curious to know if these amuse-bouches are the norm at the restaurant. We were also served this amazing bread that resembled a croissant roll. It was buttery and flaky, and it tasted even better as you peeled away the layers. Of the five courses that followed, I loved the striped bass and the roasted beef. Obviously everything tasted great, even the foie gras, which I'm actually not the biggest fan of.
I like how the cooking is very clean and classic. There's nothing overly complicated or elaborate about the presentation. I noticed some French influences, but overall something about the food seemed very new American. If you need a special occasion restaurant to splurge on, I can't really think of a better place.