It’s finally happening: This Saturday, June 24, Eleven Madison Park—recently named the best restaurant in the world according to the World’s 50 Best list—will open its pop-up restaurant, EMP Summer House, in East Hampton.
The opening is sure to be the hottest and most highly anticipated of the season. Since news of the pop-up first appeared in the New York Times this past February, locals have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the restaurant and its owners, Will Guidara and the chef Daniel Humm, who will be spending their summer on the East End while their world-renowned restaurant on Madison Avenue undergoes extensive renovations.
Housed in the space formerly occupied by Moby’s, EMP Summer House will offer guests a delicious, seafood-focused menu in a beach-inspired space that pays homage to its South Fork setting. The dining room is elegant but casual, with all white walls and tablecloths. Outside, guests will dine beneath white- and yellow-striped umbrellas beside a yard peppered with corn hole boards. The overwhelming visual message? That, yes, they’re doing fine things here—but it’s summer and they’re also having fun.
Ahead of EMP Summer House’s opening, we spoke with its chef and co-owner Daniel Humm about what to expect, how the idea for the pop-up came about, and more. Here’s what he said.
Edible East End: “We love how the idea for the pop-up came about. You thought, ‘What do New Yorkers do during the summer?’ and the answer, naturally, was, ‘They go the Hamptons.’ How did you decide on East Hampton though? Was it the space itself on Pantigo Road that sold you?
Daniel Humm: “It was a long process—figuring out what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go, and then finding that specific space—but once we got to the Pantigo Road space we saw how much potential it had and how exciting it could be to bring a bit of EMP to it.
EEE: “Do you anticipate that being on the East End will change how and from where you source your ingredients? Are there any farms, producers, or fishermen you’re especially looking forward to working with?”
DH: “We’re lucky that we already work with some great farmers and purveyors out there, but I am sure we will grow our network even more as we get deeper into the menu development process. It’ll be great to be only miles away from folks like Amagansett Sea Salt, Satur Farms and Widow’s Hole Oyster.”
EEE: “The New York Times reports that EMP Summer House will be more casual than its counterpart in the city. How will the menu reflect that more relaxed vibe?”
DH: “We looked at the vibe pretty simply and just asked ourselves what would we want to be eating when we’re in a beach community—a long tasting menu didn’t make sense in that context, but the more casual, a la carte vibe definitely does.”
EEE: “What are you most excited about regarding this move to the Hamptons? What are you most looking forward to doing in your free time (if, in fact, you have any free time)?”
DH: “We’re excited about the opportunity to do something new and different, to bring our food and service out east, but also for the unique team building experience it will be. We have the most amazing people working for us and to be able to go out there together and do what we love, it’s going to be very special. And we have some fun things planned with our partners at American Express too.”
EEE: “What are some of your favorite restaurants on the East End? How do you think EMP Summer House will fit into the fabric?”
DH: “Hampton Chutney is a regular stop, and we love the casualness of Lunch and Clam Bar. Highway is a favorite as well and we need to get to Bay Kitchen Bar since we’ve heard such good things about it. But we also cook at home a lot when we’ve visited since it’s so easy to get incredible seafood and produce.”
EEE: And finally, is there any chance you’ll stay out here permanently? (This is a selfish question.)
DH: “As much as we would love to say yes, it’s just not in the cards. We have to get our team back to Manhattan to re-open Eleven Madison Park!”
Reservations for EMP Summer House are available, but they’re admittedly tricky to come by. To secure yours, visit EMP Summer House’s Tock site—and make sure you have your Amex nearby. Because the pop-up is made possible by a partnership with American Express, you’ll need an Amex to hold your reservation (and pay for your meal once you dine; cash is the only alternative option).
For more information on EMP Summer House, please visit the pop-up’s website.