Empire Steakhouse (54th) overall score: 84
This joint is right near my apartment, so it was just a matter of time before I wandered in. I’d been to the other Empire location a while back. It was okay; room for improvement there, but I still wanted to try this other location. I went with my wife for a quick dinner. Check it out:
I had the bone-in rib eye. It had a great sear and crust on the outside, and it was cooked to a nice medium-rare on the inside. There was not one drop of bleed-out, as the steak was properly rested before it was served. Aside from a bit of gristle in one spot, this was a great cut of beef. Better than the other location (which is now closed).
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
Empire covers the basics in a plentiful way. They offer porterhouse for two, three, or four; ribeye; filet; strip; and even prime rib. To top it off there are veal and lamb chops too.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions here are average to good. The creamed spinach is enough for two to share at $11. Even the creme brûlée dessert is probably big enough to share. At 22-24oz, the steak is a good size too.
Great prices here. Our bill was just over $100 because my wife didn’t have much of an appetite.
This is a great bar to hang out in. The bar room itself is beautiful, but not only is the atmosphere cool, but they have over 400 different bottles of wine and over 100 different single malt scotches – not to mention a serious bourbon and cognac selection.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The great thing about this place is their pre-dinner price fix menu. At $49 you get a soup or salad to start, then either a filet or strip with crab cake or grilled shrimp, a side of either broccoli or mashed potatoes, and dessert. Awesome. I will definitely be back here for that deal.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
Unfortunately, the chilled seafood platter missed the mark for us. The shrimp and lobster portions of the dish were just really bland and lacking in flavor. The lump crabmeat was excellent though. I noted the same problem in the review of the other location as well.
I had to drown it in their steak sauce to get some enjoyment out of it.
The creamed spinach was really good. It may have been a bit too salty, but I didn’t necessarily mind too much.
This creme brûlée is the best in the city. I’m serious. I’ve had them all over the place, and this shit was perfect. So creamy and light. Amazing texture and flavor, and just the right amount of broiled sugar on top.
Seafood Selection: 8
Aside from the chilled shellfish platter, I really can’t make an assessment on this here. The shrimp and lobster cocktail in that shellfish tower were just no good. Not rancid or “bad,” they just had no flavor whatsoever. It is my hope that, based on the greatness of the lump crabmeat, some of the other seafood selections are better. I recall liking the oysters a lot at the other location, so there’s that.
Our waiter, Tim, was awesome. We got to talking about cameras and photography when he noticed my camera, which he is currently in the market to get for himself. The rest of the staff were all very courteous and kind, and the service was FAST! We got our meal very quickly, and the servers were very happy to refill our plates with spinach and/or shellfish from the tower when we ran low. Decent bread basket, though not warm.
This place was a little stale for me. I did like their private dining room, and loved the front of the house and bar, but the main dining hall was just lacking a little oomph for me. That said, does it really matter, as long as the food is good?
237 W. 54th St.
New York, NY 10019