This restaurant is now closed.
I’ll admit right off the bat: I love Empyrean Events and Catering, an upscale event planning company at the top of the town in Fort Wayne, IN. They bring a much needed creative touch to my hometown and their social media feed fills my heart with much delight because I love to look at pretty things and get ideas for all my imaginary parties. Empyrean hosted my glamorous rehearsal dinner and another beautiful function that I attended last week, so I have mad love and admiration for pretty much everything they do.
You can imagine my delight then, when I learned they were opening Empyrean Cafe in the Foellinger Freimann Botanical Conservatory boasting a “modern and upscale cafe experience” downtown Fort Wayne. SO FUN! Of course, I had to go. Right away.
Atmosphere is adorable. Minimalistic with enough dressy accents like fruit-infused water on the counter and calligraphy menus hanging on the wall. You can get your lunch to-go or enjoy in the conservatory’s atrium or patio. The menu is pretty standard cafe fare with sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and sides such as orzo pasta or house-made chips. I ordered at the counter and the food was brought to our table. Items were surprisingly affordable. Did I mention they serve their food with adorable recycled wood silverware? Because they do and it’s awesome. Pretty much my favorite part because the food was a little bit of a letdown.
I ordered the roast beef sandwich with orzo pasta. My mom ordered the Caesar salad with salmon and we shared a mini turtle cheesecake. And this is where the story gets sad. Too much bread on my sandwich and it was tough to chew. Caesar salad was incredibly basic with the smallest piece of salmon I’ve ever seen. Cheesecake was refrigerated way too much and we had to hack at it a while to get through. I think most of the flavor was lost in the over-chilling…or the hacking.
So, overall? Great concept. Fun ideas. Awesome environment. Convenient lunch spot. But this is the Empyrean and I’ve learned to have high expectations because I know they can deliver. I think they have a little room to grow to continue to impress me, so I’ll keep soaking up their social media and maybe give them another chance.
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