New York’s Empire Steakhouse Keeps Its Premises’ Swank And Glamorous History

Time was when New York was awash in glamorous supper golf equipment whose meals mattered lower than their swank: the Hawaiian Room with hula women; the Persian Room with two dance orchestras; El Morocco, with its well-known zebra stripe banquettes; and Versailles, which had a rhumba band led by Desi Arnaz, a palm reader named Doris and visitor stars onstage like Bob Hope, Martin & Lewis and the incomparable Edith Piaf. When the enchantment of such soigné watering halls wore skinny within the Nineteen Sixties, the premises had been both closed or recast as extra critical eating places. Versaille’s operators, Nick Prounis and Arnold Rossfield, bumped into federal tax troubles and between the afternoon and night service shuttered the place and bought the constructing. After a number of extra homeowners Versailles has now grow to be a first-class steakhouse with all its former trappings intact, not least a mural of Piaf herself belting out her Parisian road songs. 

The Empire Steakhouse is run by the redoubtable Sinanaj brothers, Montenegrin immigrants who rose by means of the ranks of New York eating places to make their dream of bankrolling their very own a actuality. Now, Jack, Jeff and Russ Sinanaj have two Empires in New York (and one in Japan),  in addition to Jack’s Steakhouse in Manhattan and Chazz Palminteri’s Ristorante in White Plains.  


Empire’s East aspect department has a shocking bar and lounge up entrance, you then enter upon an unlimited room ringed with tufted grey velvet  banquettes above what was as soon as the dance ground, now full of spacious, well-set eating tables.  The lighting is ok, particularly on the white tablecloths that showcase friends and meals at their greatest. The wine listing is extraordinarily complete for any connoisseur’s style (although the wine glasses are thick-lipped), and the service workers, as in any respect the Sinanaj eating places, isn’t officious, at all times cordial and fast-paced.

It’s an enormous menu within the beneficiant American custom of steaks and chops homes, starting with an array of seafood appetizers that embrace jumbo shrimp cocktail ($27.95) and jumbo lump crab meat cocktail ($27.95), and so they’re not kidding once they say “jumbo.” The “Empire’s Scorching Platter” of shrimp scampi, stuffed mushrooms and baked clams is an effective purchase at $27.95, as is the sesame seared tuna ($27.95), which is superbly seasoned and really, very recent. Grilled octopus is first fee, served over creamy white bean purée with garlic and chili oil ($26.95). the Maryland crab cake with roasted pepper sauce ($27) comes as a somewhat flat browned patty. Completely crisp fried calamari ($19.95) are wonderful, and, sure, they provide scorching Canadian bacon by the slice ($8.95).

There are three soups, French onion ($13.95), lobster bisque (($19.95) and one of many day ($12.95), in addition to a number of seafood pastas that features a bountiful merchandise referred to as “A Bronx Tail” ($59.95) piled with considerable lobster tail meat, clams, shrimp and a lightweight spicy tomato sauce over housemaid fettuccine. 

The choices for beef are myriad, all made out of USDA Prime, from a porterhouse for 2 ($127.95) that may simply feed three, which is an alternative choice at $191.95 or for 4 at $255.95. There’s steak au poivre made with filet mignon ($62.95) , a sirloin ($60.95) and the now in style tomahawk ribeye with bone ($135.95), in addition to a Cajun bone-in ribeye ($70.95). The menu additionally now gives American wagyu should you’re keen on that overrated beef. Should you want lamb, there’s a beneficiant double rack with brown mint sauce ($57.95), although I want they nonetheless purchased American somewhat than Australian lamb. 

Like most New York steakhouses the kitchen at Empire does effectively by seafood like broiled Chilean sea bass ($47.95). The steak fries ($13.95) and residential fries ($14.95) are the perfect aspect.  

Desserts, made in home, are monumental and a desk of 4 want solely order two. Of explicit curiosity are the apple strudel, the chocolate ava cake, the pecan pie and the  crème brûlée, which go along with a protracted listing of dessert wines. 

Empire’s 30-page wine listing is the truth is wealthy in each class, with 22 wines by the glass of each pink and white, most at a really cheap $16.50, together with a slew of half-bottles, magnums and enormous format bottles that supply the perfect worth on the listing. Nice to see New York State labels together with a Montenegrin pink referred to as Plantaze Vranac.

The Sinanaj brothers’ Empire Steakhouse on the West Aspect with the identical menu and is good for pre-theater. However the East Aspect Empire presents a singular and historic venue whose swank and glamor makes ladies wish to gown accordingly. Males: concentrate!


151 East 50th Avenue


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