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Em's Restaurant - 16 Reviews - 271 Ctr St, Salt Lake City, UT - Romantic Dining Reviews - Phone (801) 596-0566

Em's Restaurant

271 Ctr St
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 596-0566
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


( 7 )
( 2 )
( 1 )
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( 5 )


Em's was the perfect place for my husband and I to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary. The dim lighting and clean decor gave to a romantic, classy atmosphere that was comfo...


My expectations were perhaps too high. Appetizers (scallops, stuffed figs) were pretty good. On the other hand, myself and one other at our table of five ordered new york ...

horrific service 6/28/2011

I would not recommend Em's to anyone. The food is decent, but the service is terrible and slooow. The waitstaff refuses to split checks AT ALL. Even if there are two people at a table who each want to pay separately, they simply will not bring out two checks. It's a strict policy. The restaurant is very understaffed. Oftentimes, only one server is working at a time, and I would suspect a very small kitchen staff because you'll typically wait more than an hour for food to arrive. Also, Em acts like her customers are lucky that she would deign to prepare food for them. Pretentious, arrogant and rude. more

Great atmosphere, incredible food! 2/17/2011

Em's was the perfect place for my husband and I to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary. The dim lighting and clean decor gave to a romantic, classy atmosphere that was comfortable, not pretentious. The food, start to finish, was remarkably good; gourmet and unique while maintaining a familiar, comfort-food type of feel. The pesto-gnocchi appetizer was outstanding! My husband's braised short ribs were perfectly tender and served with some of the best mashed potatoes I've ever tried, and the ""potato lasagna"" that I had was even better than the high-expectation I held for it. The chocolate peanut-butter torte we shared for dessert was decadent and rich, and balanced nicely with whipped cream and some really delicious brittle. Our entire dining experience was highly enjoyable--one of the best dining-out experiences we've had in a long time. Em's comes with my highest recommendation! more

Food quality variable 10/29/2010

My expectations were perhaps too high. Appetizers (scallops, stuffed figs) were pretty good. On the other hand, myself and one other at our table of five ordered new york strip medium rare. What we received was tough and grisly. One was overcooked, the other was blue and cold inside. The meat was accompanied by a few pieces of potatoes cooked to the point of charcoal. Dessert was good. more

Someone from this planet! 9/26/2010

My wife and I are not ""chefs des cuisine"" but we are competent in the kitchen. And..... we are actually capable of appropriate grammar and spelling. more


My wife and I with children ate there more than a year ago AND HAVE NEVER RETURNED - AND WILL NEVER RETURN. We were with a party of more than 30 people; Em's restaurant INSISTED on giving the check for ALL 30 people to one person, who got stuck with a bill of hundreds of dollars - although I paid more than my share of the bill. I've NEVER SEEN any other restaurant do that. To have a party of more than 30 people, means lots of money for any restaurant, which should be glad to make separate checks. As a result of the terrible and unfair service, a man got stuck with a bill of hundreds of dollars. My dinner was a small plate of lettuce with goat's cheese and cost $8. I've had a lot tastier and a lot more food for lunch at the Golden Corral and KFC for a lot less money. And don't tell me I don't know a classy restaurant; as a kid raised in a mansion and as an adult, my parents took me to the fanciest restaurants in Washington, D.C., our nation's capital: e.g. French restaurants, fancy hotel restaurants like the Mayflower, famous restaurants that Congressmen and celebrities went to. Unfortunately there are always those who think that a high-priced menu means quality - just as some stores have over-priced products to appeal to those who think spending lots of money means buying quality. Pros: The weather was nice. Cons: Way over-priced, BAD SERVICE more

Awful-I wish I could give negative stars... 2/3/2010

Worst restaurant I've been to in SLC. You may notice, in the ""You might also like"" category it lists Olive Garden...You're better off there than Em's. Your better off heating up Easy Mac at home...Cheaper and same quality. The chef doesn't understand how to cook anything... from steak to pasta. Sent my steak back 3 times, only to have it returned rubbery... I'm sure it was thrown in the microwave. The food was awful. If you open a restaurant, actually enjoy food! The service is ridiculous. Plates were served at random intervals, none of the people in my party ate at the same time. The server seemed more interested in his hair gel than his performance. I could hear what I assume was the owner, nagging staff in a harsh tone all night long, guess if I had a boss like that I wouldn't care about service either. Finally, to get the bill, I would've rather have gone to Taco Bell and saved a hundred bucks. Don't waste your time. Pros: Can't think of one Cons: Food, Service, Price, you name it more

hands down the best restaurant in this city 8/26/2008

any local who is classy enough to create a neighborhood joint with amazing ambiance, in and out, shop locally and organically, and cater to those who are looking for something special (this ain't no chain)- is a WINNER in my book. the fact that capitol/marmalade dwellers can walk to a lushly planted patio with a view, enjoy a bottle of wine, incredible food and friendly service takes this area and this city to another level. Em's IS the up and coming and I urge you to give this experience a try. it's unmatched and should be celebrated and supported. more

Lots of fun, and not to costly 8/10/2008

I thought this was a great local restaurant. The staff was fun and pleasent, and the food was great. The courses are presented in a fashion as to not be overwhelming in size, nor underwhelming. I was able to have a full course and not feel like I couldnt walk. The salmon and crab rolls are delish and the short rib while a simple classic, was absolutely wondeful. The ice creams I found out were made on sight and were very good. Pros: Great food, great location. Cons: Probably not good for kids more

Very Satisfactory 6/28/2008

I am surprised to see the one star ratings on here. We have eaten here several times with nothing even close to a rude comment. The food was good, definitely better than average, the service was more than adequate and I thought the prices were reasonable. The ambiance of the neighborhood was fun. It didn't even feel like we were in Salt Lake City. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. more

Delicious? Yes. Good Service? Yes! 4/9/2008

I've eaten here several times and have never been even remotely dissatisfied with service or food. The people who work at Em's are always nice when I come in (and no, I'm not even remotely close to a regular so writing nice treatment off as that doesn't work). The atmosphere is really upscale and stylish, as if it should be in a big city rather than Salt Lake, but I'm glad it's not, otherwise I couldn't eat their delicious mashed potatoes or habenero chocolate ice cream. Pros: food, ambience, service, ice cream more

Nice neighborhood restaurant 2/19/2008

My wife and I have been here at least half a dozen times. A couple for dinner and the rest for weekend breakfast. We like the neighborhood feel of the place and we live near by so it feels like ""our"" place. We have always had good service. Not service that hovers over you or constantly comes by the table but professional service that makes sure you are taken care of. The food isn't 5star but very good and always tastes fresh. We particularly like the salads and the very light touch on the house dressing. This was my wife's choice for Valentines day and we made a reservation a week in advance and had no problem. I agree the place was not too full, but unlike other places they don't require a credit-card number for a holiday reservation so they may have had a few cancellations. Pros: Food is fresh and tasty. Neighborhood feel. Cons: Not a bargain, not good for kids or large groups more

Only Average 2/16/2008

Not as good as it's cracked up to be nor as bad as some have experienced. Service was friendly but basically indifferent. (At their prices, I want Service.) The ""braised short ribs"" turned out to be one piece of chewy beef on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes accompanied by seven thin, greasy sting beans. The pecan bread pudding was dry and definitely needed the caramel ice cream that comes with it. My wine was served in a soapy glass. My girlfriend had the chicken which was moist and delicious. I had tried three times previously to make reservations but was told they were fully booked. This time they said the only time available for us was 5:30. Although quite early, we were eager to try the famous Em's. I was surprised when we left at 7:30 on Valentine's Day to see the place was more than half-empty. Maybe they just pretend to be popular. I might go back again in the summer to enjoy the patio, but I can dine al fresco at the Rio Grande for a whole lot less (Em's cost $70 for the two of us inc. tip.) more

Worst restaurant experience ever - and with the owner 7/11/2006

Took coleagues here from out of town. After waiting over 2 hours to get our entrees - one entree was missed. Another one of the guests who had ordered his steak medium rare, politely sent his steak back because it was well done. He was told that they didn't have anymore RibEye, but invited him to come into the kitchen to look at how his steak was cooked under the light - which he did. He was told by what turned out to be the owner, Em herself, that she didn't agree that the steak was undercooked. When he politely disagreed - she told him to never come back. more

fabulous food 7/6/2006

I have been to Em's several times and overall the only better restaurant I have been to in SLC is the Metropolitan (which is many times more expensive). Their food is accessible so you can take your conservative friends there, but there are some nicely executed things like Habenaro chocolate ice crm. as well. The bad review is from 2003 (well before I went there) so I have to assume the place has changed-- I cannot imagine that happening at the Em's I have been to. Pros: Food quality Cons: can be slow at lunch more

Beautiful patio and view 8/13/2005

We had a wonderful evening. A great small restaurant. We went with friends and lingered at our table until 11:00 pm. We were never rushed. The food was excellent, and most entrees were under $20. It is a small menu, but everyone raved about what they ordered. Everything was very reasonably price. The maple glazed scallop appetizer was terrific, as were the speciality salads. Entrees were excellent, and great desserts. It has a wonderful patio that was perfect on a warm summer evening. Pros: Great patio, excellent food value, very good service Cons: small menu more

A Bad Experience 7/29/2003

Our special night out was ruined by our dinner at Em's. My husband ordered the steak ""special"" and it was tough and full of gristle and other waste. When he politely complained, he was treated very rudely by the waiter, brought the least expensive item on the menu as a substitute (with no adornment), and then charged the much higher price of the special! When we protested the price, we were told he ""ate quite a bit of the steak,"" which was not true--it was inedible! No effort at all was made to correct the problem or make us happy, and we were treated as though we were trying to get away with something. Our first and last visit to Em's. Cons: bad service, bad attitude, low quality meat more
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Menu for Em's Restaurant

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  • The Scene
    In a renovated brick storefront, votive candles illuminate white tablecloths, silver place settings and glass bud vases. Diners linger in conversation while servers dressed in...

  • 8/14/2003 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Wed: 11am-2:30pm, Fri: 11am-2:30pm, Sun: 9am-1pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Discover, Visa, American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Rio Grande, Millcreek