A great day of eating...here goes...
L'Impero...first impression before walking inside was great. I thought I would fall immediately in love with the place...considering its Tudor City locale. Upon a clumsy entrance (door + thick drapery concealing the entrance (when exiting) we walked past the oddly out of place bar area (very cool, but just seemed out of place...and very tiny)). We sat on the upper level and found ourselves with an incredibly sloppy waiter. Could I really be at the right place? The host was so nice and charming, yet our server was either drunk or hungover or just not talented...having spilled relatively decent amounts of wine on the table cloth (3 separate times!!!). The room itself was nice but was not impressed with the "Miami Vice turquoise" chairs. Just didn't fit with the rest of the place, although it added some color. On to the food...
Puree of White Bean Soup escarole and pancetta
This was excellent. Both my dining partner and I had this and it did not dissappoint. Presentation, execution and taste all matched wonderfully. A very good dish and one worth recommending.
Seared Turbot carmelized onions, endive, leeks and salsa verde
This was a bit underwhelming. The greens were extraordinarily bitter and the turbot was exceptionally bland with the exception of some heavy peppering on some parts of the fish. Overall...a poor dish...but also a poor choice. I was undecided and rushed into it (my dining partner had the roasted branzino (which I might have ordered) and was, apparently, delicious).
For dessert we had a cheese plate including:
Gorgonzola -Cremifacato- (cow's milk) Lombardia doc shaved bitter chocolate, orange marmelatta and peperoncino. This was by far the best of the three. DELICIOUS! Could have just had 3 servings of this although the Robiola was quite good.
Robiola Bosina -Due Latte- (cow/sheep's milk) Piedmonte italian -cogna- mixed berry reserves
Parmigiano, Vacca Rossa, (cow's milk) Reggio Emilia 12 yr. old balsamico di modena
I was definitely intrigued with the accompaniments to the cheese. It definitely added something to the dessert..but I might prefer to have the option of including them or not. Either way, I liked this. Very good.
Overall, a decent lunch with the exception of the main course for me and strange waitstaff behavior (we even got the dessert menu before our entrees). Worth a return visit.