Food was good, nice ambience if you don’t mind noisy, service was horrific. Literally had to ask for water, ask to order drinks which took 25 minutes, at no point was our server proactive about taking orders for apps or entrees.
The service was very good and our booth in this special underground space is excellent for our business conversation. However, how does a small plate of pasta and a cup of coffee add up to $24 before tip? Not a good value.
I guess "energetic" is a euphemism for loud. We arrived early but had we arrived later I don't know if we would have been able to hold a conversation. The room is impressive, lots of bricks but the hard services and large parties meant a lot of noise.
Portions were good size, and the salads looked like meals in and of themselves. Server didn't know if the asparagus was local, and it being spring in Sacramento this is a selling point she should have known. I had read they have a dessert cart but it was a regular menu of desserts. I was too full to contemplate but it seemed like a good selection.
Love this place for a happy hour, a date, or with a handful of friends. Specials that serve two and four have yet disappoint, though neither have individual entrees. This restaurant remains a go-to spot for impressing out of town friends new to the Sacramento food scene.
Impressive structure. Good Barbera by the glass. Only real complaint, Hot dishes arrived just warm.
Second time at Empress. It’s a cool spot, and I love the look of the interior design. It is very loud and a little dark inside, but it has good energy and eminence. The food is very good. The rolls are delicious, and the food was cooked perfectly. I got the prime rib, which was good. I could do without the potato skins though. The teapot of alcohol is a favorite of ours. We will definitely go back, and next time bring another couple to get the family size steak.
The restaurant has nice ambiance, however the noise level was fairly loud. The selection of in-house drink specials was fun however the overall menu was fairly limited. The service was quite slow; we had been seated almost an hour before our main entree's were served, although we had been served our salads. Our meals were very good, and our server was knowledgeable and appropriately attentive. Although I enjoyed our dining experience, we won't likely return due to the limited menu selections.
beautiful space and nice big tables made for very enjoyable environment. the food was very creative and had a little something extra to make it not your ordinary burger. very enjoyable meal.
Pre- show dinner for Book of Mormon. All the food was delicious. We explored the menu and walked away enjoying everything!
Our first time - but not the last! Can’t wait until we are in town again!!! Will bring friends.
Extremely loud, not impressed with menu, over indulged servings
Second time dining here, first time was a week day evening so it was not as busy & the noise level wasn't at it's peak. This time a Saturday night & the noise level was off the charts. Dining with friends & trying to have a conversation was difficult. The food was good, service was good until dessert & our waitress went MIA. I'll go back, but only on a weekday evening. Love that they had a birthday card for my husband on the table, nice touch!
We had an outstanding meal prior to a musical at the Community Theater. Our server offered to hold our “doggie bag” until after the show so it could stay refrigerated. The value for the money was crazy, the rib dinner for two was enough for 4!
Noise level so high you can't have a conversation or hear the waitress
Great place to take someone special. Great staff!!!
Food quality is slipping in the last 6 months. Loud as usual but that’s fine if the food is high quality.
Haven't been here in a year. I used to love this place but was disappointed this time. Wine pour was very small for the price ($11) maybe 3 ounces. Had to ask for bread, server didn't offer it. My husband had prime rib with "crispy potatoes" which were fried potato bits. For $45, I would think a real amount of potatoes would be included. I had the scallops and they were good but not great. Nothing with them either, no veggies, just a piece of pork belly. We split a salad which was the best part of the meal. I guess since they have gotten so popular, prices can go up and quality down. Will go somewhere else before the next show.
Our wait person was really distracted and very inattentive, however what seemed to be the parking attendant (had shirt that looked like it) was an absolute great waiter, he did everything the senior should have and more, he was very curtious and attentive. Hire him fill time and get rid of I THINK I'M GQ.....
Excellent good as always. We tend to leave Empress very satisfied and tonite was no exception!!
Really liked the ambiance, food and drinks. A little on the noisy side but was still worth it.
Very crowded for a wednesday night. The bar didn't have any spots at 6pm and the bar area is crawling with leg staff. Kind of a stuffier crowd than I was expecting. The place is also very loud, making it hard to hear the person across the table from you. They should install noise adsorbing surfaces in there because the noise kind of takes away from the intimacy if you're looking for a good date spot.
Comfort food on the pricey side. Obviously a downtown millennial hangout (not a bad thing), but we're in our 70's. Exceedingly loud as place filled up. Seems like nothing can be done about brick walls and sound. Service was excellent with a great waiter (tall with beard & goatee) who took care of us. food came quick.
Nice location, interesting setting, good food & service, thanks!
Can't wait to go again. Selected this restaurant for proximity to crest theater but now want to go again to try more of the menu. Our server was great and attentive. Food was awesome and so were the lemon drops.
The food was amazingly delicious along with the drinks. The waiter was attentive for a Monday night. Will be coming back to try the burger.
The food was fabulous and I now love the choices on the menu. I can’t wait to go back!
Dinner here with friends before a concert at Crest Theater. Waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. I had an appetizer and it was filling for me. Others at the table either had appetizers or entrees. Entrees looked delicious - will try one on my next visit. Ambience was great but noisy. I would visit again.
Was attending a concert at the Crest Theater next door and needed a close place for dinner as I had my mobility-challenged mom with me. There is an elevator down to the restaurant (although she did have to descend a few steps to get to that level). The decor is brick walls with interesting architecture, open and welcoming. The staff was lovely, and the food was delicious. We would definitely return.
Great food and excellent service. Staff was attentive and made great suggestions.
It was my mom’s 50th birthday, which I put into the reservations. They had a card that said happy birthday, something about how the people dining with her were great, and that was it. I’d think for a special day like #50 they would have put in a bit more effort. A flower or small dessert. Even if the waitress said a kind word, but nothing else was done/said. Other than that, the food was good and staff was nice.
I went to this place based on reviews and pictures. Most of the pictures on yelp are old and they do not have them on the menu. 3 of the things I wanted they don’t longer offer them. Pretty disappointing. Place was a little loud. Got the salmon it was ok I wished I got the prime rib instead it looked better than the fish for sure. I tried some apple dessert it was too dried and a little weird not really an apple crostata or apple pie, looked like a soufflé but too hard more like a biscuit.
Delicious lunch, one of the best salads ever. Great staff and beautiful environment. The brick vaulted ceiling and interesting decor add to the overall experience.
Very noisy and thus difficult to have a conversation across one of the round tables (there
were 5 of us). I discovered after arrival and being seated that there are booths on one side of
the large room (hidden from the entry by the large bar). One of these would have been best for
us but they were all spoken for (reserved). We had a reservation via open table, but there was
no notice about requesting a booth. One can't ask for one if one dees not know they exist. Food was very good...no problem there.
This was my friend's first time here and I was so excited to introduce her to this restaurant. The food was great, the atmosphere is incredible, and the service was perfect.
While this was one of the noisiest restaurants I've been in in quite a while, the prime rib/sausage meatballs and the special filet mignon so pleased my senses that I completely forgot about the din.
Not enough vegetables or salad options. Waaay too much salt, especially on the vegetables. Don't bring your vegetarian friends or those on a salt restricted diet. The rotisserie chicken was excellent as well as the short ribs stroganoff. The fried chicken and mashed potatoes less so - both seriously boring. The venue is fantastic. The location at The Crest is nice. The service was enthusiastic, accommodating and professional.
Great waitress food food and drinks. Will go back again.
Empress Tavern never disappoints. From start to finish you feel like the most important person in the room.
We love the food here and the service is great! We HATE the noise level. Something really needs to be done to improve that. Only the booths make it worth going and still very noisy! When we dine out at a upscale restaurant we don't want to have to shout at our friends and family, And ask them to repeat all most everything they say. Shame, since it's an awesome space.
My wife had the Stroganoff which was really beef short ribs with broad noodles underneath. One mushroom, very little sauce - this is NOT beef Stroganoff. My fried chicken was good but not exceptional. Our friends had the expensive prime rib but at $45 each, "not worth it". Waiter tried hard and even brought us a complimentary "dessert cocktail" -- nearly undrinkable!
There are too many good restaurants in Sac to bother with this one again