It's bring-your-own picnic basket this month at the Empire Lounge and Restaurant

Chef Jim Cohen wanted to celebrate summer while still capitalizing on the strengths of his kitchen at Louisville's Empire Lounge and Restaurant. His solution? A "picnic menu" composed of a number of grilled items -- Empire's kitchen centerpiece is its mesquite charcoal grill -- with an emphasis on being picnic-ready.

"The special menu is just a fun menu for people wanting to go out," Cohen says. "Everything is good to go and good at room temperature." Cohen highlights menu items like grilled chicken, shrimp and flatiron steak as picking up the flavors from the grill particularly well, and options like fried chicken, deviled eggs and the bread, tomato and cucumber salad as being well-suited to picnicking.

Check out the new menu yourself on Empire's website. And get this: If you bring your own picnic basket in, you'll get 10 percent off.

The menu launched today and goes through the end of the month, though Cohen says he'll likely carry it through Labor Day -- tweaking as necessary when different produce comes into season.

The Empire Lounge and Restaurant is located at 816 Main Street in Louisville. For more information call 303-665-2521.

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