Monday, April 14, 2014

A Great Meal at Empire Diner, Amanda Freitag's New Restaurant

Growing up in NJ, diners are still a go-to spot for me for a quick casual meal. I'm also a big fan of the show Chopped on Food Network and of Amanda Freitag, but regrettably wasn't able to try her food when she was the executive chef at the Harrison.  I was very excited to find out that Freitag is now the chef at the newly reopened Empire Diner in Chelsea, where she takes modern approaches to reinventing old-school diner classics.  

Freitag's playful riff on the Buffalo wing using the same flavors, but she uses a skate wing instead, which is lightly fried and tossed in hot sauce.  The wings are appropriately accompanied by shaved carrots in a light blue cheese dressing.  Pretty cool concept, with familiar flavors.

The Greek salad with octopus was OK, with a well dressed salad and a grilled piece of Octopus on top.  The octopus was pretty good but I wish the piece was bigger!

The entrees were where things really started to shine.  The "pork on pork" had a huge piece of pork chop topped with bacon and served with beans.  The pork chop was cooked perfectly and the bacon mixed so well with the chop and the beans.

The oyster pan roast was basically a kick-ass chowder.  If you like seared pork belly, oysters, and chowder, this IS the dish for you to order!  The pumpernickel toast  garnish soaks soaks the soup up nicely.

The entrees were great, but man I was so glad we ordered dessert because the cake and the pie we ordered were both outstanding.  First off, the "Impossible Cake" had a very rich chocolate cake with a rich flan "filling".  This was served with a chocolate and caramel sauce.  Rich and decadent, but not overly sweet.

The dulce de leche pie was also amazing.  The caramel mouse filling was super light and fluffy.  

Empire Diner's menu rotates seasonally so I for sure will be going back...If you do end up going, make sure you leave room for dessert!

Empire Diner
210 10th Ave, 
New York, NY 10011
(212) 596-7523


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