45 Tudor City Pl., New York, NY, 10017
nr. 42nd St.
By CLI on 4/16/2004
We were anticipating a really good evening based upon reviews. We already started to worry as we approached the restaurant's dark, poorly lit entrance on a cold, blowy night. The patio in front is all broken; high heels are tricky. The front door was backed up with a plastic sheet! to keep the cold out. The bathrooms were terrible. The tables are on top of each other and the host could offer nothing larger for two people; just a tiny table on top of everyone else. The food was barely passable and NOT as some reviewers raved. Small portions, and nothing memorable. The waiter had an attitude and had little input regarding wine list. The busboy was very good. It is NOT an elegant spot nor a place to linger over a nice cognac.We departed for the Ritz-Carlton Central Park South where they know how to treat a customer and KEEP a customer!
By bambola on 3/7/2003
I should have known I was in for trouble when I asked the waiter for my pasta 'al dente' and he looked at me quizically and said 'well, i'll see if I can get to it fast enough'... Or, perhaps it should have dawned on me when a busboy came by with a breadbasket loaded with wholeweat and french and I asked him for the brown one and he said 'We don't have any brown bread anymore, it has too much fiber, but we have wheat or french'. Or, it could have been when the sommelier came back 3 times telling us our selection was 'not available at this hour'. I think it finally hit me when I saw my plate arrive, skate, all dried and shriveled up (probably sat waiting too long for the al dente pasta) on a bed of lentils that had turned into a mini block of concrete... I happened to be dining with a very fussy eater, and the arrival of his plate, after a 30 minute delay, a wrong order, made us get up and leave.. something I haven't done in this city in years... A restaurant in tudor city: YAY, L'Impero: NO WAY!
By Lex142 on 11/21/2004
My, what a cold place in a beautiful,warm neighborhood. We should have turned around the minute they skipped "hello". This is a noisy place with slow, dull staff.The menu is a mess. It is a shame. Great squash soup and a delightful coat-check person.
By liberte on 3/28/2005
After hearing great things about L'Impero, we finally made it for dinner. Although the food was good, (though not spectacular) we were very unhappy with the service. Maybe our expectations were high, but you're paying $100-$150 per person, you expect a certain level of service. This was well below average. Won't be going back!
By loremar on 5/19/2003
Service and decor certainly add to a restaurant. However, to become worthy of high marks, food should also be fresh and prepared well. On the night we ate at L'Impero the steak was dry and tasteless and the branzino had a fishy aura. On the whole, it was a very uninspiring meal.
By luv2travel on 11/30/2005
Food was good however service was horrible. Waiter took forever to give us a menu and then they gave us bread 15 minutes later. On the whole the dishes were good. Desserts were nothing special. Would i go back? Probably.
By thedonsl on 8/5/2007
Great dessert here, that's about it. Food is very good, however very small portions, I asked the server for bread 4 times because I was so hungry! Girlfriend ordered soup and wasn't told it was a cold soup. Place was empty, which now I know why. I wouldn't go back here. Bottom line, I had better food at the ballgame.
By Alan Katz (NY MAG) on 1/14/2003
nestled in the out of the way but easy to reach tudor city you feel like you're someplace else. from the moment you enter through the velvet covered entrance till you hit the romantic lighting you know you have arrived. the food overall was terrific. the prix fixe tasting menu was spot on. it gives you the opportunity to sample from all areas of the menu and you'll be glad you did. from the salads to the pastas to the fish and game everything our table ordered was perfect (the angoletti, the lobster salad, the venison, the branzino). i wish i could say the same for the service...a little slow and inattentive. not terrible, just could have been better. overall--a winner!
By emily1 on 10/14/2004
I have longed for properly cooked squid ink pasta and this is the place to go if you love intricate delicacies. The only caveat is the room itself, it's a bit stuffy.
By sensei on 1/10/2005
Fresh white truffle pasta... it's worth it's weight in gold - and priced accordingly - but a truly sublime creation, not to be missed. Decor is soothing, cushy and opulent, service is attentive but not overpowering, timeliness and presentation of food was perfect. An exceptional culinary masterpiece in New York.