Open for over 20 years, Empire Turkish Grill looks like a debutante ballroom inside, but probably serves way better food than and is a lot more enjoyable than sitting around a table with people who might miss the Reagan administration. Expect dishes like a mixed mezze platter of tangy and acidic vegetable dips and several different lamb, beef, and chicken kebabs. Empire could easily make any casual date night intimate if your date’s fingers happen to brush over the ezme. A couple orders of mixed platters could also satisfy a large group for a polite dinner. Empire also serves ciger. The pleasantly gamey fried calf’s liver arrives with fresh, thinly sliced onions and lemon—squeeze generously to cut through the richness and balance out the fattiness of the liver.
Mixed Appetizer Platter
This dish could be a meal in and of itself, especially given all the extra pita bread you’ll need to polish it off. Mixing the spicy ezme vegetable dip with the patlican soslu roasted eggplant is an elite move.
Why argue over who will get what when you can have everything on one plate? This massive plate of grilled lamb, thinly sliced crispy lamb gyro, chicken, and mixed beef and lamb adana kebabs feeds two, but could also make for excellent leftovers for one person.
The Fried calf’s liver tastes sweet, tangy, a bit gamey, and is fried until slightly crispy. No bite should be without a few slivers of onions and a spritz of lemon.