LFM: The Empress

Sauteed calamari in garlic white wine sauce

My interest in the local food scene has an ebb and flow. I guess when I’m tired of eating my own cooking I check out what everyone is talking about. The Empress has had consistent local buzz online and in print since last year so I told the hubby since we’re in an “eating out” mood we might as well check it out…finally… even if it meant driving all the way downtown.
The Empress immediately scores positive points with me. Their salads and entrees all have options to add a side of duck confit. That …is…effing…brilliant.

Rare seared tuna with honey ginger sauce

Their menu had many interesting items that made it exciting and confusing to choose what we wanted.
We ended up ordering the grilled romaine lettuce with a side of duck confit and sharing two appetizers: the seared ahi tuna with honey ginger sauce and sauteed calamari garlic white wine sauce.

Wild boar scallopini – sage, parmesan truffle pasta

For my main dinner I had the wild boar scallopini with sage, parmesan truffle pasta and the hubby had the pistachio crusted duck breast with onion, mushroom feta oats.

pistachio-crusted duck breast

For dessert I had the banana and bittersweet chocolate crepe while the hubby had the lemon ginger sorbet.

All the dishes were delicious, some more outstanding than the other but we enjoyed everything. I like it that the portions are not huge so the prices can be kept reasonable.
I like the refreshing combination of flavors like how the habanero blueberry jam complemented the duck and feta oats. The truffle pasta on its own was underwhelming but speared with a slice of wild boar scallopini – perfect!

Our favorite was the calamari – not fried or grilled for a change – but sauteed in a garlic wine sauce reminiscent of mussel dishes; it was served with fresh herb focaccia that was excellent for soaking up the thick garlicky broth.

My one complaint is the long wait for the food. It was long enough for me to notice, but not too long to completely annoy me. We were the only table when we got there so I was wondering what was taking a while. I guess good food, done right, does take time to prepare.

The Empress
2043 W. Broad St. RVA – 804.592.4000

{Their website indicates that they are closed between June 29th to July 11th for summer vacation.}

6 thoughts on “LFM: The Empress

  1. Lovely meal Veron. I’m especially entranced by the calamari. Done right it is irresistible.

    Thank you so much for sharing…

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