Take a Peek at Empire, Opening to the Public Tonight
Tonight marks the opening of Empire, the latest den of swank to come from the team behind nightlife temples such as Shrine, The Estate, Red Lantern, and most recently, Gem. Empire will take on an luxe Asian-fusion bent, with dishes like lobster scallion pancakes with coconut-lime crema, Korean-style rubbed sirloin with chive mashed potatoes, and tuna poke with Vidalia onions. Of course, Empire isn’t designed to be merely a place to eat, as it’s a lavish, ornately-designed 14,000-square-foot (!!) space with multiple areas for eating, boozing, and lounging. We stopped by recently to get a preview—check out what’s in store ahead.
If the plan is to have drinks and conversation set to the musical selections of local DJs, the lounge is the ideal spot for camping out. This section goes for the comfort factor with plush red chairs, golden leather couches, candles, and, of course, close proximity to the bar.
Speaking of said bar, it’s embellished with marble counter tops and rich wooden shelves carved in the shape of keyholes to showcase stemware and bottles. Bar stools wrap around one side of the thirty-seat bar to allow patrons to have a more interactive experience with the rest of the space.
Looking for a more conventional dining experience? Empire has options for those folks too. First there is the “Imperial Room,” a formal dining room that rests on a busy carpet design (strikingly similar to that of a Las Vegas casino floor) with Chinese Imperial-style furnishings. This room is set at a higher elevation than the rest of the restaurant, allowing for a more exclusive dining experience.
A lower and more casual section is equipped with simple wooden tables and chairs and located next to the sushi bar. It’s almost as if this smaller area could be detached and exist on its own as a standard sushi restaurant.
If you’re seeking out a more interactive experience, well, there’s that too, of course. A huge open stainless-steel kitchen allows diners to take a sneak peak at the food preparation as well as get a front row seat to all of the action.
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