In my previous post covering the recently opened Empire Steakhouse just around the corner from Radio City Music Hall, I zeroed in on their delicious grilled porterhouse steaks. Chef Jack Sinanaj and his brother Jeff, grew up on a farm in Montenegro where from an early age they were involved in the entire evolution of cattle ranching from pasture to selecting the best cuts at slaughter. This experience carried them successfully into Ben and Jack’s, their first independent U.S. venture. Now at Empire Steakhouse, their second brand, the Sinanaj family has notably taken the time to explore outside the rote steakhouse formula maturing into a more eclectic menu while remaining true to their roots.
This time, I purposely went beyond their signature steaks testing out their grilled Norwegian wild salmon and fresh-made soup which definitely demonstrates their talent in the kitchen. This especially comes in handy during times when red meats may not be as popular such as during Lent and Passover. After devouring their salmon and homemade vegetable barley soup, I left the table just as satiated as if I had their decadent steak paired with an
Argentinean Malbec and hearty mashed potatoes. The salmon had an ever-so-thin sweet glaze covering succulent sea salted pink meat that was moist yet well done to the center. The soup’s numerous barley pearls were ensconced in a rich vegetable broth brimming with wholesome vitamins and beef marrow. I could have made a meal out of this soup and their assorted roll basket alone but the Sinanaj brothers hospitality refuses to be restricted to such limitations.
No matter the entree, hearty sides like steamed broccoli and flash-fried cottage fries are not left to chance on an al la carte wasteland like so many other steakhouses in the neighborhood. Jeff Sinanaj was quick to point out that steaks are their specialty and I certainly can’t argue with that assertion. But I think what sets Empire Steakhouse apart is their extreme hospitality and their ability to showcase obvious culinary talents beyond the blackening flame.
I found that the added bonuses of Coney Island Brewing Company beers on-tap along with classic rock via satellite radio elevates this top-quality steakhouse steps away from Times Square into a comfort zone reserved for royalty. Don’t forget to cap off the experience with their decadent chocolate silk cake and frothy cappuccino. After all this, a cigar is in order but I leave this particular selection up to your discretion.
photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible courtesy of the generous complimentary hospitality of the Sinanaj brothers.