Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 01/08/2014
Photo: Lauren Barrett
198 Ave. A., 646-682-9529, East Village, Manhattan
Just when you thought all the genius ideas were taken, along comes Empire Biscuit, a modern design of a café open 24 hours and singularly focused on Southerners' favorite carb. All the bases are covered here, with "Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner-Drunk" emblazoned on the window and on the menu, specifying when (and in what state) you can satisfy your cravings for such savory fare; the fillings range from foie gras butter to Benton's bacon, egg and cheddar. That egg is normally served runny, oozing into the biscuit's crevices, but they'll scramble it up if you'd prefer. The homesick may weep over the good biscuits and gravy and then find strength to go on thanks to a jolt of fortifying Blue Bottle coffee. The clever partners behind Empire are restaurant vets Jonathan Price and Yonadav Tsuna, who met waiting tables at Bouley. They are continually pushing the biscuit's envelope, crafting combinations featuring red pepper and jalapeño jelly, pimento cheese and even one stuffed with the elements of banana cream pie.