The passions of Steve Grubbs and his business partner, chef Hugh Acheson, are proudly on display at Empire State South. The thoughtfulness, playfulness and all-around quality of the wine list is indicative of the entire enterprise. The menu isn't particularly expansive, but it manages to be versatile all the same. The snacks section of the menu provides the most fun: The plate called "in jars" comprises a collection of hors d’oeuvres, including pickled eggs, a rich chicken liver pâté and outrageously delicious lamb rillettes. For the most part, fish and meat are beautifully handled, though there are still occasional signs of growing pains on the plate. In the end, small gaffs are far outweighed by the passion and attention given to every aspect of the experience. Full review here.
Price: $$$ ($20-$30)