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Empire Steak House

Empire Steak House

Empire Steak House is located right in the middle of all the action surrounded by Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, it’s got a great location in midtown. Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by the manager who took us to our table. The decor in the restaurant has a typical steak house feel, it’s warm and inviting, and somewhat reminiscent of a 1930’s speakeasy.

Shortly after being seated, our server Burim, came over with menus and offered us the wine list. They have a nice selection of wines including a very reasonably priced wines by the glass section. We opted for the Pinot Noir (I believe it was from California) which is currently my favorite red wine, and I was not disappointed. It was light and fragrant with some berry notes, and paired very well with my steak.

The menu had a lot of the typical steak house options along with seafood and even some pasta selections. I decided to go with the Baked Clams as an appetizer and the New York Sirloin Steak. P got the French Onion Soup and the Ribeye. I really wanted to try the Porterhouse for Two (as after many years of steak tasting, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that this cut is my favorite), but I prefer my steak rare which is a little too bloody for my husband’s taste! We also went for some of the traditional steak house sides – Creamed Spinach and German Potatoes. While we sipped our wine, and enjoyed the ambiance I noticed a bottle of homemade steak sauce on the table, and was intrigued by its rather reddish color and looked forward to trying it when my steak came.

It didn’t take long for our appetizers to come out, which was perfect because I was famished! I had been starving myself all day just to enjoy this meal. Now, baked clams is not a dish that I get very often, but when I saw them on the menu something about them just called to me. They were good – the clams had a nice consistency, and the lemon really brightened the flavors. P’s French onion soup came piping hot filled with gooey cheese and tasty onions.

Our server, Burim, was great and frequently came to check in on us and see how we were doing. He was very attentive without being over-bearing. I also really liked the fact that when I had finished my clams, which I finished quite a bit before P finished his soup, they waited until he was done to clear both plates at the same time. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, and is a lost art in most restaurants.

And now for the steaks!

My sirloin steak came on a sizzling platter from which our server neatly cut up and served to me bit by bit. Every time my plate got close to becoming empty, he’d magically appear and load some more onto it. And for those of you that know me, I can never say no to seconds:) {or thirds, or fourths… } My steak was nice and rare for my first portion, but I noticed that by the time I had my second and third servings, it had continued to cook since it came out on such a hot plate. By the time I finished it, (yes I ate the whole thing and believe me it was huge!), it had turned to more of a medium rare. The steak was tender and had a nice sear on it, but could have used a bit more seasoning. I also got to try the homemade steak sauce, which I thought was quite unique and very different than what I had seen at other steak houses. It definitely had more tomato sauce in it, and I detected hints of horseradish. It somewhat reminded me of shrimp cocktail sauce (which sounds strange), but I thought it was very good, and gave the steak a nice kick. I thoroughly enjoyed the creamed spinach, as I always do! The German potatoes reminded me of a homestyle breakfast potato of sorts with some sautèed onions, but they came out a bit dry.

P’s ribeye was huge! You certainly get your money’s worth with the portion sizes at this steak house. He couldn’t even finish the whole thing, and ended up taking the rest home where Nico (our dog) was lucky enough to inherit the bone after daddy finished up all the meat. The ribeye was also tender, and cooked to my husband’s liking, but he felt it lacked some seasoning as well.

We were both pretty stuffed at this point, and when our server came by with the dessert menus we sadly had to decline. But Burim did not take no for our final answer! A couple minutes later he appeared with a dessert sampler, featuring the New York Cheesecake, a Chocolate Mousse Cake, and their homemade whipped cream. How could I resist?!

Needless to say, I didn’t resist! It’s for the good of the blog right? And I couldn’t NOT eat it…
I loved the presentation with all the chocolate and raspberry drizzle and powdered sugar all over the plate. I’m not usually a big whipped cream fan, but this homemade one was really delicious! It was so light and airy, and was amazing with the sweet chocolate and raspberry drizzle!

This was a sweet ending to a lovely dinner. I must compliment our server Burim who did a fantastic job, and made us feel right at home. All of the staff made us feel very welcome and were very warm and friendly – great service over all. Thank you Empire Steak House for inviting us to enjoy your restaurant!