We walked in on a Tuesday evening around 7 without a reservation and there were plenty of seats to choose from. We were not greeted at the door for a few minutes – it seemed that someone had just dropped a glass and 4 people were fussing in the bar area sweeping it up. We were left standing for a while so it didn’t make a great first impression. We were finally seated in the lounge, only to be left there for another 5 minutes without a menu or water. Once the service truly got started, it was much better!
We each ordered a big glass of wine to start and decided on a couple starters. We ordered the soft pretzel for $8. It came with a coarse mustard and a beer & cheese sauce. OMG. It was really delicious! The pretzel was soft and warm with a perfect amount of salt and dunked in the beer & cheese sauce it was hard not to order another! We also ordered the spicy brussel sprouts for $6, thinking it would be a small dish that would be good to share as appy. We were wrong – the dish was HUGE! It really could have been a dinner portion for 4 people to share. The two of us picked at the dish all night, then I took home the leftovers and had them for lunch the next day and still had some remaining! The brussel sprouts were good – cooked el dente, made spicy, with bacon and seasoned nicely.
I ordered the chicken with veggies as my main. I’m pretty sure I was served half a chicken! The serving was huge and good value for $24. The veggies were awesome – I was full but kept eating more of them. I took home half the chicken along with some veggies and my brussel sprouts. My friend ordered the salmon for $27 and switched up the side from the cauliflower slaw to the mashed potatoes. She got a pretty large piece of fish and a large pile of mashed potatoes. I tried the potatoes and they were buttery and flavourful. Yum!
In short, I think there’s good value for the price at One18 Empire. Everything we had was good, but I’d most recommend the soft pretzel. The chicken with veggies was a healthy lower carb option for dinner. If you need veggies for a crowd, go with the brussel sprouts!