emotional eating isn’t always bad
Black and antique gold trinkets line the tall black cabinets welcoming you to Emmerson. In juxtaposition to the familiar “label maker” branding, you’re at once made to feel at home but also, exceptionally important.
We’re cared for by Ben Foot, assistant general manager, and Tre Gerbitz, general manager (and personality) of Emmerson. They’re dressed to the nines, explaining to us that some staff members are off at Mishawaka seeing Explosions in the Sky and then, rehashing the time they spray painted the back room of Emmerson late one night, to which Tre coils back and remarks on how he hopes none of what he’s about to say or do will be used against him.
We sip on decadent drinks: Queen of the South, Impeachment and Hi-Tech. The cocktails are paired with a comic book, each comic paired with a song. In the spotless dining hall, we play aloud, Empty Walls by Serj Tankian to match the cocktail, Impeachment.
Our food rolls out intentionally. Columbia River Salmon, Dry-Aged Lamb Tartare, Heirloom Tomato Salad. Each an aesthetic masterpiece somehow reminding us of a time we swam deep in the ocean or a camping trip we took as a child.
“It’s an emotional, nostalgic experience… we want to shock people into awareness,” Tre confirms.
Chef Michael Gibney walks into the dining hall with a large squash encircled by hay and a torch. He sets the hay on fire, and the smell of fall infuses the room while the other early diners gasp at the display. We eat the Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash savagely.
The music shifts easily from ambient and instrumental to Chance the Rapper without disruption.
Every single dessert is hand-delivered
to us by pastry chef, Jeb Breakell. Blueberry Cucumber Sorbet, Sudachi Miso Flan, Chocolate Fudge. Even through the oddities in flavor, we’re unstoppable, curious about what the intent behind each combination means.
We dine for three hours. By the end of our stay, the restaurant is relatively busy but not overwhelming. The tall ceilings, abstract light fixtures and overall grand floorspace provide incredible breathing room for each party. Even sitting at the community table there is a sense that you’re in a private space with loved ones.
We’re given teeny-tiny wine glasses of rosé to top off our night and eventually, reluctantly, we saunter into the rainy night feeling full.