The Emporium is that good.
We had the rosemary flank steak and a lamb chop special. The steak was cooked perfectly, with just the right touch of rosemary, and the accompanying mashed potatoes were what I dream of when I dream of mashed potatoes. The lamb was tasty and juicy, and the accompanying basmati rice and vegetables added wonderful flavors. The only critique I had was that there were too many vegetables. I had to dig through them to find the three delicious lamb chops.
For an appetizer, we had the Country Olives and Bread small plate appetizer. The olives were out of this world, marinated in an amazing mix of herbs and ... well, you have to taste it. The bread was toasted to perfection.
For dessert, we had a delicious creme brulee.
The Oregon pinot noir we chose from the comprehensive wine list was the perfect accompaniment to the steak and lamb, with the right touch of tannin.
Oh ... and the restaurant is beautiful. The large paintings in the dining room set the perfect tone for the food, reminding me of what Mark Rothko might have done if he had painted still lifes of fruit and vegetables. Even the restrooms are perfectly decorated.
I had labored for years under the idea that Applebee's was the best restaurant in Scottsbluff, with an occasional detour into some tasty Mexican food. I was wrong.
The Emporium's food and decor would succeed in any city in the U.S. ... and I have eaten in fine restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston and New York.
Pros: Perfectly cooked meat, interesting wine list, real coffee
Cons: Perhaps too many accompaniments