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The Return of an Icon

March 24, 2014
Empire Diner
When New York’s iconic Empire Diner – once the go-to late night spot in Chelsea for patty melts and coke floats – shuttered in 2010 after no less than thirty-four years in the business, it felt as though a gaping hole had been left in the city’s historic landscape. However, much to the delight of Gothamite gourmets, chef Amanda Freitag (formerly of Tribeca’s The Harrison) is now tentatively bringing the beautifully polished Art Deco dining car back to life as of this past January. And thus far, her decision to keep the original vibe with black and white chequered flooring, stainless steel countertops and grey leather booths has been a hit with regulars who remember Empire Diner in its former glory.

Despite the throwback appearance, this isn’t your everyday greasy spoon. To start, there’s actual stemware for the strong list of over 30 red, white and sparkling wines from a Greek Zoe Rosé to a Benoît Mulin from France. Next, on the all-American menu the former staple patty melt is paired with taro chips, and the mac n’ cheese is updated with black truffle butter and orzo pasta instead of the usual elbow noodles. Finally for dessert, caramelised bananas and walnuts come together with Neapolitan ice-cream to make that all-time classic banana split. But despite the upgrade, one thing at the Empire Diner hasn’t changed – guests better be prepared to queue!

210 10th Avenue
Daily: 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
+1 212 596 7523