EMP Summer House Reservations: How to Get Into a Hampton's Hotspot
(Bloomberg) -- In case you needed a reason for summer to arrive quickly, at noon on Monday, May 1, reservations will open for the EMP Summer House in East Hampton, N.Y.
The sure-to-be-scorching-hot restaurant is a temporary outpost of Eleven Madison Park (the No. 1 restaurant in the world, according to the World’s 50 Best list), and it will be open from June 24 through Labor Day.
It will be the East End's reservation of the summer, so pull out your American Express card now. (More on that later.)
The restaurant, which is taking over the former Moby’s space near Amagansett, will encompass three areas. There’s the indoor dining room (co-owner Will Guidara prefers to call it "the House"), an outdoor tented space that made Moby's a popular summer party spot, and a big area for games. (Guidara reports that the restaurant is going to acquire as many ping pong tables as possible, along with space for corn hole and the bocce-style lawn game, petanque.)
The menu will focus on seafood and wood-oven cooked dishes. Think prawn salad, fluke ceviche, poached lobster, and spicy ham and green tomato flatbread.
The House will feature an à la carte menu by chef Daniel Humm, with such dishes as fluke ceviche with radishes; prawn salad with sorrel and lettuces; and poached strawberries with meringue. There will be a selection of flatbreads with toppings like clams, bacon, and corn; bouillabaisse for two; and wood-fired steak for two.
“We originally considered a tasting menu,” said Guidara. “But who goes to the beach for a tasting menu?”
EMP Summer House’s outside dining area will have an added bonus: such roll-up-your-sleeves, large format dishes as lobster boils and fried chicken, that are ordered in advance. Eleven Madison Park regulars will have some familiarity with those dishes: Humm previously served an elegant lobster boil on a tasting menu. (“That was Daniel’s elegant take on a lobster boil; now you can see him roll it back," noted Guidara.)
Likewise, fried chicken has been a mainstay of Eleven Madison Park’s blowout annual Kentucky Derby party. In the Hamptons, you’ll have the option of a side of caviar. Also available outside: Humm’s superb burgers and lobster rolls.
Expect a carefully curated wine list and a specialty summer cocktail program from beverage director Leo Robitschek. You’ll also find a take-out window, where guests can get fried chicken picnics to go (order online ahead of time) to eat at the beach—or at home.
Guidara reports that he and Humm hatched the idea of EMP Summer House in February 2016. The restaurant's Manhattan home base was scheduled for a three-and-a-half-month renovation, and "losing our staff was not an option," he explained. "We considered doing international pop-ups, but it was too obvious a solution; that’s been done. And then we had this thought: We want to be a true New York restaurant. So why don’t we do what New Yorkers do and go to the beach for the summer?”
EMP Summer House will be open every day except Wednesdays, from 5.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (11.30 p.m. on weekends). Friday through Sunday, it will open for lunch, too.
Since EMP is partnering with American Express on this pop-up, that will be the only credit card accepted at the restaurant. (Don't even think of pulling out your Chase Sapphire Rewards card.) Moreover, only American Express cardholders will be able to make reservations. Non-carriers will have to get in line with the rest of the plebes. Seats in the indoor dining room and large format dinners will be available via reservations. Everything else is walk-in.
Amex Platinum card holders can use their concierge to book. “Eleven Madison Park is one of the most requested restaurant reservations, and dining is one of the top categories of spend for Platinum Card Members," said Janey Whiteside, senior vice president of Global Charge Products. "It made sense to partner with Daniel Humm and his team to open the EMP Summer House.”
The Staff Setup
Perhaps the most impressive thing about EMP Summer House, as anyone who has looked for a house in the Hamptons will appreciate, is that it has secured lodging for a 120-member staff. How? “It helps to start planning a year and a half ahead,” said Guidara, who wouldn’t reveal how much is being spent on the endeavor.
Stay tuned for surprise entertainment announcements throughout the summer. “We are definitely, obviously, throwing a big 4th of July party,” promised Guidara, already excited.
For reservations, visit empsummerhouse.com.
To contact the author of this story: Kate Krader in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.