Friday, October 26, 2012

Empire in the Seaport

When word got out that the people behind Red Lantern were planning a massive new restaurant in the Seaport District, you knew that it would also have the Big Night Entertainment's signature eclectic over-the-top look.  When M and S wanted to get together for dinner, both were curious about seeing what Empire was all about, and we all know I am always up for trying a new restaurant!  The space is HUGE - over 14,000 square feet and decked out in contemporary Asian decor.  Every nook and cranny of the space has the Asian theme done to the fullest extent.

Empire's Lounge
When I arrived a bit early I grabbed a seat at the bar, ordered a drink and took in the atmosphere.  The cocktail list is extensive, and after a bit of debating, I settled on the Dancing Geisha, a martini with Grey Goose, Lillet Rose, Pomegranate and Lime.  The martini was strong, but I was hoping for a bit more depth.  After a few quick sips of the drink, the rest of my party arrived and we were brought to our table in the main dining room.

Dancing Geisha
Open Kitchen
We decided on ordering a bunch of dishes and just sharing it all.  To begin, we had some edamame, which actually isn't on the menu but our waiter hooked us up.  We were trying to look for some little green to balance out the rest of the meal we knew we were about to eat.

Pot Stickers - Traditional Pork Dumplings, Caramelized Shallots, and House Made Chili Garlic Sauce
Spicy Salmon Rice Bites - Seared Sushi Rice, Spicy Salmon Topping, and Togoarashi Special Sauce
Hamachi Tartare Roll - End Up Roll, Avocado, Gobo, Cucumber, topping of Spicy Yellowtail Tartare
Wagyu Beef Nigiri - Crispy Shallots and Dark Rum Glaze 
Smoke Salmon Nigiri - Bonito, Nori, Lemon Aioli and Cinnamon Smoke
Torched Bluefin Toro - Fatty Tuna, Gunkan Style in a Cucumber Wrap
This was a great way to sample many different aspects of Empire's menu.  Many of the menu items had some creative combinations of flavors.  While the menu has some general Asian dishes, the focus really seems to be on sushi.  Even items not billed as sushi actually seem sushi-like!  I enjoyed my meal but wished the the complex plates came across a bit more in my mouth.

For dessert we ordered the tiramisu combination, a chocolate malt and a green tea.  The presentation was impressive with a large green tea chocolate strip coming out of the dessert itself! Empire's Asian spin on the traditional Italian dessert was surprisingly delicious.

Amazing Plating
Close up on the layers
Empire is definitely an impressive place.  We were there on a Wednesday night and when we left at 10PM the bar area was packed with people, which surprised me given the location of the restaurant and how big the bar is!  While the Seaport has a load of restaurants now, Empire is unique with its Asian menu and decor.  It was a nice spot for the three of us to enjoy a long conversations over a bunch of small plates and drinks.

Empire Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. That space looks really nice. I can't wait to check it out.

  2. I love going to the Seaport but rarely ever make it out there. This sounds like a good excuse to venture there soon!

  3. Those potstickers look incredible!

  4. The potstickers alone might get me in there!


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