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“Good people watching, not intimate”

Empire Restaurant and Lounge
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Ranked #259 of 3,602 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$30
Cuisines: Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Seaport District / South Boston Waterfront
Cross street: Northern Ave
Transit: Silver Line: Courthouse Station Red Line: South Station
Description: Operated by the award-winning Big Night Entertainment Group, Empire is a 14,000-square-foot boutique Asian restaurant and lounge located in the Seaport area of Boston, just steps from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Empire offers a tantalizing menu from executive Chef Kevin Long (Tosca, Shrine, Red Lantern, GEM, Scorpion Bar), stylized interior and ethereal atmosphere that will transport guests to another world. With a capacity of 600 guests and three 40-seat private dining rooms that open up to one large private event space, Empire can accommodate groups of all sizes for receptions and seated dinners.
Reviewed 14 September 2017 via mobile

My wife and I just enjoyed a rare, kid free night at Empire. For starters, the hostess was subpar for a few reasons. We had an 8 PM reservation for two on a Tuesday night and when I had called to make the reservation, the gentleman on the phone made it very clear that there was plenty of availability. I called again at 7:40 PM to say that we had decided, on our walk there, to stop in and grab a quick mezcal cocktail at a nearby mexican joint and that we would be running a few minutes late. The hostess was insistent on knowing specifically what time we would be getting there - was it 8:15, 8:30, 8:45? We settled on 8:15 but I was sort of confused why it mattered. When we arrived at 8:20 we awkwardly waited several minutes while she decided which of the 100 free tables she would eventually seat us at before she finally selected a table set for 4 next to a large and somewhat boisterous party of ~20 who were a few bottles into some good wine. The other TA reviews I had read all mentioned the open floor plan so I wasn’t surprised but my wife and I did briefly consider requesting a different table that was a bit further away from all the action. Reminder - the restaurant easily has 100 plus tables and was probably operating at 1/4 capacity.
Next we ordered some drinks and spicy edamame to nibble on. When the drinks arrived we ordered some hot and sour soup (really yummy) and a lot of sushi. The soup arrived a few minutes later and, as we were wrapping up, we asked about the edamame - whoops, she had forgotten to put that order in.
Things got better after that. The large party cleared out, the sushi arrived and we finished our meal which was pretty good. The who experience reminded us of eating at a PF Chang’s with a slightly higher end clientele. The people watching was good and the view of the kitchen in the center of the restaurant was pretty cool. While we probably wont go back here again anytime soon, the food was good and I think our kids would like it if we had a family night out in the city. If this review helps, don’t forget to upvote by clicking on the helpful icon.

Date of visit: September 2017
1  Thank Humarock_Seth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 41 of 239 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2017

Went to Empire on a Friday night with family and friends - 6 people party
The first impression was "surprise"! Doors as big as in a great temple or castle, huge bar, loud music [not my kind of music though], many people.
The cocktail list is impressive. My Thai Bengal was excellent!
Then making choices on the huge menu is not the easiest part of the experience.
There are a lot of attractive proposals.
Twice cooked pork belly and polynesian duck breast were really outstanding.
Some very good sushi/rolls as well.
However the pinnacle of the dinner was definitively the shortcake - Pastry Chef Maria did an outstanding job with that. I'm not a great dessert lover BUT this one was really incredibly good, something very special.
I think this restaurant is more for young professionals than for an older guy like me but all considered it was a very good dinner with quite some creativity in the kitchen.
Short wine list a bit pricey - the Gigondas "Montmirail" was excellent [but from Côtes-du-Rhône, not Burgundy - please fix that on the menu] and the Chablis Vocoret very good.

Date of visit: August 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marc L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

My 12 year old birthday girl was so impressed with this amazing must stop dinner venue in Boston!!! We were greeted by beautiful, stylish, and friendly hosts and and waitstaff, the food and drinks were amazing, and the whole restaurant was gorgeous!!!! Can't wait to go there again with more family and friends!!

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank Jennifer443
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 July 2017

We had a tasty dinner at Empire. Service was great although there was a slight miscommunication but the server promptly corrected. It is pricy... no doubt you pay for the ambiance and quality! Now if it was only a tad quieter...

We had reservations early evening for dinner. We were seated quickly and drink orders were taken quickly. Note we did ask for a quiet place to eat as upon entering the "disco" vibe was in full force. The restaurant overall is dark but warm. It is quite large.

We started with two Arnold Palmers which after receiving the bill we found out were specialty drink orders and did not include refills ($6/ea) ... surprise! Nonetheless, the appetizers were great: beef skewers and pot stickers, both tasty and great to share. For entrees we had sushi. Now upon ordering there was a mix up between number of cuts versus number of orders. Those at the table heard a confirmation of cuts while the waitress heard number of orders. When the food arrived we asked about the additional food and the waitress took responsibility and credited for the extra portions. SUPERB customer relations!!! A+++ for Mandie our waitress. The sushi, unagi, yellow tail, red dragon roll, and salmon; all were great cuts and tasty. Dessert was tea and Mango & Chocolate Dreams however they were out of mango sorbet so it was mango and chocolate cake with blueberry sorbet. Nonetheless, it was delicious, large portion, and heavy (in a good way). I would suggest sharing this dessert lest you have to roll yourself out of the restaurant.

Overall, great food, excellent service, in a loud and hi environment.

Date of visit: July 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank _leland_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 July 2017

Empire is really big and almost always busy, so I would suggest making a reservation before you go. The menu is extensive, but the drinks menu is much larger, which gives you a clue about the type of place it is. The decor is really nice, and the service is great. The place tends to turn into a bit of a party hub as the night progresses, so while it is OK to go with kids, you should leave before 9-9:30 which is when the pace begins to pick up. There are some unusual dishes on the menu like the torched yellowtail roll, and if you are feeling adventurous, most of them are quite delicious. The dessert is also excellent, so if you planning to eat here, definitely include dessert. The place is a bit pricey, but the food does meet expectations.

Date of visit: June 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Karthik S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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