Ok so I am going to give you a really long-winded review because I think EMP totally deserves all of the praise I am about to give it. But to just sum it up into once sentence which really does not do this great institution ( yes I am calling it an institution) justice---- One of the best nights/dining experiences of my life! Ok so now I will start getting a little more detailed....
It all started with me calling the restaurant and asking if I could substitute the suckling pig entree as my appetizer. I spoke to the manager Megan who was absolutely awesome. Then I had requested to have the duck for two served for one as my entree. BOTH requests granted without the blink of an eye. And the best is I was not charged extra for either. They gave me the ENTREE portion of suckling pig for my appetizer. And for the duck they said they had a smaller whole duck in the kitchen that the chef would make for me. Already without even eating the food I thought "This place is amazing". And Megan told me to ask for her as soon as I got there.
I went with two of my friends and upon arrival we were seated promptly at 5:30 on the DOT. They took our coats and whisked us away to the gorgeous dining. Probably one of the nicest places I have ever been to so homey. The waiter came over and took our drinks orders. SHortly after we received our FIRST of many amuse bouches. A bunch of delicious hors deourves and warm cheese gougeres to munch on while we persued the menu. Well, while my friends did neway lol I knew what I was ordering.
As soon as the waiter came to take our order he said to me sir I heard you would like the suckling pig as your app and the duck as your entree. I was astounded-- how did he know that? The communication at this place was incredible. Megan came over shortly to greet me and she was just as pleasant in person as she was on the phone. She came over to check on us like 5 times throughout the meal. We also had about 5 different general managers come out to ask how our meal was - really the best service I have ever encountered in a restaurant. On top of every detail without being too pretentious and they were really genuine.
Onto the food. After our amuse, we got another amuse a mushroom soup with a parmesan croquette. Think the best little french onion soup ever. Then two pieces of bread with 2 different kinds of butter an fleur de sel salt. Amazing. In the beginning you're thinking wow these portions seem to be really small but trust me I was completely satisfied by the end of my meal- and anyone who knows me knows that is always a big thing for me. I hate these fu fu places that give you miniscule portions. But I will elaborate on that later on.
Apps- We all decided we would share and order different things. I had the suckling pig (unbelievably rich and the meat was incredible meltingly delicious with incredible crispy skin on top so amazing and the sauce that accompanied complemented it perfectly. We all loved it), Gnocchi with prawns and calamari (incredibly short and pillows of goodness with perfect shrimp and calamari), and the prawns and scallops with cauliflower cous cous. All were amazingly delicious.
For mains- I had the duck, friend has the lamb, and the other friend had the beef tenderloin and glazed short rib. NOW HERE IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE MEAL. I am a stickler when it comes to duck. I loved a crispy skin and a rare breast. I was assured this would be the case and it certainly was. The honey lavender sauce that came with it was amazing. Perfect dish the best duck I ever had. Then I had requested to have the duck legs as well and Megan said to me unfortunately they do not give you the legs but instead take the leg meat and give you a duck confit cake which was also delicious. Seeing my disappoint though this is what she did... She took the legs off of ANOTHER DUCK and wrapped it up for me to go! No joke they have me 4 duck legs at no extra charge! At this point I am thinking This place is truly incredible. But of course ( and I dont know how) it gets better. My friends lamb was incredible cooked perfectly rare. My friends beef tenderloin was one of the best pieces of beef I have tested. And yes I am steakrules85 who has been to just about every steakhouse int he city. The short rib was fall off the bone tender, and it also came with the oxtail and bone marrow thing covered in like goat cheese I cant even explain it but it was fantasticccccccc. As far as the portions they were on the small side but at this point with all the freebies we were feeling quite satisfied! So happy at this point and I knew I had my whole duck waiting for me to go home!
Dessert- At this point we had talked to about 5 managers- all of whom were so gracious in accomodating us and making sure the meal was executed to perfection. But it was Megan again who came back to give us her detailed descriptions of dessert and her recs. She made everything sound soooo good. And at this point we knew it would be. We couldn't decide on just 3.. of course there was a fourth that sounded too good to pass up so I asked if we could order it for an up charge and of course she agreed. However, once the desserts came out the manager said "this one is compliments of the chef" or something. SO we got the extra dessert for free. We had the vermont quark souffle (AWESOME so light passion fruit sauce was a great compliment and this was my fave), the "malted milkshake, chocolate gateaux with coffee and hazelnut sorbet, cranberry pastilla with white chocholate in phyllo dough WOW. Thats all I can say. They were all quite small but once again it was nice not feeling overly stuffed so we got a taste of all and it was really delicious. Everything was plated incredibly and executed to perfectioN!
And then just when we thought it was safe... they come out with these mignardises after dessert. Incredible little pastries for all of us about 7 each. And they even offered us more. They came over 7 times to give us coffee refills. All in all we were there for 3 hrs. Time flew and they spaced out the meal just right. I have to say the portion sizes were just right with all the freebies. It really turns out to be an 11 course meal leaving u feeling completely satisfied not stuffed. For the price this was a steal. And they send you home with little candies to take home with you. I could sit here for another hour and keep typing away about how great this place is but my fingers would fall off. THAT is how great of an experience this was. I urge you all to go here and FAST! Thank you especially to RGR and kobetobiko for recommending this. You were both influential in my decision and this certainly was quite the experience for me and my friends! Nobody is perfect but this place is as close as it gets omg spectacular.