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45 Tudor City Pl. (E. 42nd St.) Send to Phone
Translating from Italian to "empire" in English, L'Impero lends its Italian cuisine to Fred French's Tudor City development.

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED L'Impero Restaurant Review

: In this genteel residential enclave overlooking the UN, L'Impero is hidden in the ground floor of an apartment building (on extra cold days, diners enter through the lobby). But walk inside and you'll pass a groovy mood bar (the back light changes color; it's a psychedelic aquarium of a nook when blue) and into a sophisticated dining room that cocoons you in luxurious textures---linen drapes, smooth chocolate-brown banquettes and a slick lacquered ceiling---while tall votives stand sentinel. Well-heeled 50-somethings discuss animatedly the parade of sensual dishes that highlight chef Michael White’s skill with textures and deep flavors. A ceci bean purée with rosemary gets a sweetly meaty accent from daub of sausage. The moist, roasted Vermont capretto with English pea and potato groestle, contrasting nicely with the chewy white truffle risotto, is first-rate. Other main courses continue the flavor arc: roasted loin of venison is shockingly tender in a juniper-cassis sauce, while roasted black cod in porchetta marries the fish's natural taste to the subtle flavor of wild fennel. Playful desserts include olive oil cake with goat's milk panna cotta, apricot, lemon and thyme; and a cheese plate with accompaniments of figs and honey-olive oil emulsion. Powerful, elegant...contemplative and Sweet & Sexy are two of the headings you'll find in the well-conceived wine list that ranges wide in price and region, so you're bound to find something no matter what your budget or taste. All hail the emperor.
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