For Chinese New Year, make an Empire of your own in Boston

Happy Chinese New Year! If you are in Boston, there might not be a better way to celebrate than Empire Restaurant and Lounge.

Set on the increasingly concrete-congested Fan Pier, Empire is big, bold, and beautiful. Music pumps, lighting is low, and its black filigree fittings and Buddha statues say lady of the night meets hippie chic.

Empire’s pan-Asian culinary blueprint originates at sister Asian-themed restaurants Shrine, at MGM Grand at Foxwoods, and Red Lantern on the Back Bay/South End border. Here, it’s crafted by stoic chefs in full view in the central open-plan kitchen. Each dish is stylishly presented and accessorized to the max, including gorgeous desserts. Sushi is a real treat. Most of it voluptuous, but as much as Osetra caviar finishes a smoked salmon roll, more humbly, avocado ripe with flavorful oils is bound by nori to sticky rice.

There are Korean and Thai dishes, too, but a preponderance riffs on Chinese. Preternaturally white, steamed buns packed with braised shitake have pickled cucumbers that add piquancy to the mushrooms’ density. A scallion pancake with lobster meat has a crisp radicchio salad topped with a creamy coconut and lime dressing. Alaskan black cod with a sake soy glaze is a monochromatic marvel with a charcoal colored exterior wrapping tender white flesh. It sits on wilted bok choy in a delicate white miso sauce flecked with edamame. A fine dice of red pepper adds a flash of color and subtly zaps the dense flavors with bright fruitiness. It’s a genius touch on a menu that errs on the clever side of ostentation: Plenty, but not too much.

New Moon on Sunday

Celebrations for the Chinese New Year and the Year of the (Female Water) Snake begin with February’s New Moon (Feb. 10). Foodies snub non-authentic ethnic food, but what’s authentic? Reputedly, Singapore street noodles were developed by Asian Indians in Hong Kong to attract Singapore workers. Empire’s is a satisfying winter warmer with shrimp, veggies, and char sui pork adding a barbecue flavor twist. Hot peppers give its peppery Madras curry spice a stratospheric boot in the rear.

Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge
Entrees: $21-$49
One Marina Park Drive, Boston
617-295-0001
www.empireboston.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.