Review by Joanne Wisset
This establishment has a long-held reputation for its food and ambience, located in Clitheroe. It doubles as both an informal yet classy daytime eatery and classy Brasserie in the evenings, renowned for the cosmopolitan atmosphere and great service it really it worth a visit. The portions are huge but prices very reasonable, considering the location.
Review by Isopod
Always enjoyed it here, nice place, quirky, young staff, and like young staff some are surly and some are confident and friendly - lovely soups.
Review by Anonymous By Request
The Emporium.... ladies who lunch, the soccer-mum set, X5s and Porsche Boxsters.... you name 'em, they're there. Regardless of the clientele, the Emporium has been absolutely exceptional in the past. Once they know you, you're pretty much guaranteed a good dining experience. We used to hide ourselves in there on a Sunday afternoon and spend a good few hours reading the papers and abusing the staff's good will. The menu is varied without being eclectic, and we would recommend going for the larger dishes as some of the smaller portions can be a little on the begrudging side. I had a rare rib-eye steak on a number of occasions and considered it exceptional, served simply with slender, crispy salty French fries and a sprinkling of salad leaves. The cheese platter used to be a sporting stand-in for less substantial diners, and is dished up with a variety of cheeses and pate. Some of which could have come from the adjoining Sainsburys, but the majority were good to excellent. Their pasta is generally very agreeable and comes with what appear to be semi-cuit tomatoes - whatever they are, they're damn good. Drinks are served well and efficiently, and the glassware is perfectly proportioned. Iced-water is provided promptly when asked for, in the correct glasses and with the right amount of ice and lemon. Cutlery is of an appropriate standard, and the napkins are clean, crisp, white linen. The place itself is maybe a little cluttered, particularly so on the ground floor. If you don't smoke, make the journey upstairs where the atmosphere is much more pleasant. The building is air-conditioned, although it was always light and airy when we were there. Decoration is provided by the adjoining furniture / bric-a-brac shop - worth a look if you have more money than you know what to do with - and everything is for sale. Sometimes the tables can be a little on the 'aged' side, with creaking joints and wobbly legs. However, the furniture is re-varnished and repaired on a fairly regular basis, and anyway, the judicious use of a few beer mats (or discarded sections of your Sunday Times) will prevent your chicken ragout from taking a dive... However, in the past year it appears that the magic formula has lost it's sparkle; the staff are occasionally surly, the food is occasionally un-inspiring. Last time we visited (3-4 months ago) we witnessed one of the female staff (why do they always want to show us their bellies, even when they've got bigger ones than mine?) actually arguing with a customer over the size of a salad portion.... unthinkable! Seems to me that whoever ran the place between 2002 and mid 2004 took their eye off the ball. Maybe the franchise is spreading a little too fast.... James Warburton, please make sure that you don't neglect your existing customers in the rush for further expansion! Go when it's mid-busy; too quiet, and the staff get bored. Too busy, and you may want to nip next door to Sainsburys for a snack in-between courses. In summary, I hope that the management get to grips with the (minor) problems that have crept in over the 12 months, because it really used to be an exceptional place to 'do lunch'.