The Hamptons season is months away, but one of world’s top restaurants is already gearing up for summer on the East End.
Eleven Madison Park, the Manhattan temple of high gastronomy that was No. 3 on last year’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, will take over the old Moby’s spot on Pantigo Road in East Hampton in late June, a few weeks after its high-ceilinged, art deco home across from Madison Square Park closes for renovation. The summerlong pop-up will be called EMP Summer House.
Chef Daniel Humm will be bringing his three-Michelin-star cooking, about 100 employees and selected kitchen equipment to the Hamptons through early September. But there will be no $300 tasting menu; the East End food will be more casual, with lobster boils, fried-chicken dinners and take-away picnic baskets.
“We wanted to show a different side of who we are,” said co-owner Will Guidara.
There is a catch. Those who want to reserve seats or order takeout will only be able to do so if they hold an American Express card. They will have to pay with the card as well. Reservations will open May 1 and EMP Summer House is currently scheduled to open the weekend of June 22.
American Express is an exclusive partner for the project, funding a portion of it, helping to find a location and providing input on the design and menu, said Heather Norton, director of Amex’s corporate affairs and communications.
“A number of our card members travel out to the Hamptons every summer so it was a natural fit,” she said. “We are working to curate this experience with them very closely.”
The partnership is part of a new program Amex launched that gives cardholders, particularly Amex Platinum cardholders, exclusive dining experiences, Norton said.
For the past several years, the credit card company has provided certain cardholders a concierge service to secure otherwise difficult-to-obtain restaurant reservations. Eleven Madison has been one of the “most requested,” Norton said, though she would not provide numbers.
Discussions with the owners of Eleven Madison Park began last summer after Humm and Guidara renewed their lease on the restaurant for another 20 years and decided to renovate the entire space.
The two men were looking for a way to hold onto their 100-person staff during the renovation, Guidara said, and had considered possible pop-up restaurant options, including one overseas. He and Humm ultimately decided to stay in New York.
EMP Summer House will offer indoor and outdoor seating, with a seafood-focused menu and, under a big tent out back, lobster rolls, burgers, salads and grilled fish. Diners will also be able to reserve large-format meals (including a Humm’s take on a fried chicken dinner and a lobster boil) and order takeout baskets for home or the beach.
Further out, on the lawn, there will be bar service and games such as cornhole. Dinner at EMP House will be served every night of the week except Wednesday, when the restaurant will be closed for a designated staff beach day. Lunch will be served Friday through Sunday.
Currently, the pop-up is scheduled to close after Labor Day weekend, but could linger longer depending on the Manhattan renovation.