It's been a while since I went to Empire Steakhouse and definitely never been to their new location attached to the Hilton Hotel Midtown. I went there on a Thursday for dinner, eager to eat some good steak that is aged for a month. I love steak (my favorite cut being the ribeye) and was expecting the kind of meal that makes you regret not wearing stretch pants...
The location on 54th is quite big with a bar at the entrance and a large cozy dining room in the back with a warm decor that was different from your typical from steakhouses. I started my meal with an old fashioned cocktail, made with Michter's Bourbon, sugar, bitters, an orange slice and cherry.
I then got some delicious appetizers. Of course there was the Canadian bacon that you can order by the slice that is always a crowd pleaser and an artery nightmare. It was perfect with and without their house made steak sauce.
As well as the seafood tower that was composed of delicious shrimp, lobster and crab, all of them perfectly cooked.
But what I was really looking forward to was the tomahawk steak. Funny enough, when I asked the waiter about the size of the steak, we went back and forth between 16oz (him) and 60oz (me), 16oz being impossible for a tomahawk ribeye! He then told me that it was for one person only. Well, when the plate came, it proved I was right: this steak was easily more than 26oz and when I commented on it, the waiter assured me it was 16oz without the bone, that was unlikely. Although it looked impressive, I admit that I was expecting a nicer presentation, probably too much influenced by instagram...The steak was cooked medium rare, but had a bit too much fat and was a bit tough to cut. Otherwise, some parts of it were really good, the steak being juicy and quite flavorful.
As sides, I tried: creamed spinach, fried onion rings and truffle mac and cheese:
From all the sides, my favorite was the Mac and cheese that was delicious and is for me the best side to go with steak. The onion rings however were not that great, the onion not being fully cooked.
With the steak, I got some Pinot Noir Sanford Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County 2008 that was amazing:
Last was dessert. I went for a classic key lime pie with a decaf espresso. The pie was very good, not too sweet.
I had a good time at Empire Steakhouse, but admit that I was a bit disappointed with the steak. I went already few times there and also to its sister restaurant Ben & Jack's where I had phenomenal meals, so I guess it was a bad cut and off night. I'll have to go back to be sure...
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Empire Steakhouse - 237 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019