The Empire Plate TV show started as a project with Bill Vinci and his son Ryan to showcase family restaurants across Central New York, and they're still going strong after 7 years as they eat their way to the 400th episode and beyond.

Bill Vince/Empire Plate
Bill Vince/Empire Plate

When Bill and Ryan started the show, they never thought it would be around this long, let alone be this successful. They travel all over New York State and to showcase family-owned restaurants to highlight their story and food. Bill tells us:

We obviously hit a bump in the road along with the restaurants in March 2020 with COVID-19. Restaurants need to be open for our show to survive.

Thankfully, The Empire Plate filming schedule is filling up fast as restaurants are re-opening. "We entertain any family-owned restaurant in NY State. They can contact us through our Facebook page, The Empire Plate," says Bill.

"Our crew consists of myself Host/ Producer my son Ryan Vinci Assistant Producer and occasional appearance and Lafayette Cunningham videographer and editor. We are booking like crazy this spring/ summer already booked into August but always have room to fit you in the schedule."

We asked Bill:

Where was your first filming 7 years ago? 1st show ever was Fresh Mex in Rome, owned by Chip Travis.

What's your most memorable show and why? The most memorable show was at The Mill in Rome that was our family’s restaurant for 65 years. Filming there brought back so many memories.

The funniest or craziest thing that happened while filming?  The craziest thing was when food wasn’t cooked all the way through, and somehow we had to digest it while talking on camera, lol!

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Over the years, Bill has had some famous guests participating in the tv show ranging from sports stars to rockers and celebrity chefs.

Famous Guests Featured on The Empire Plate TV Show

You can watch the show on their Facebook page "The Empire Plate" or YouTube. Be a part of the show. Just join them while filming, the restaurant remains open to the public, and everyone's invited to participate. Here's the latest schedule:

  • Cafe 108 January 14th
  • Mona's March 4th
  • The Gateway Diner April 6th
  • Mario's Pizzeria April 8th
  • My Uncle's Place April 22nd
  • Kris’ Mid City Tavern April 29th
  • Parkside Drive May 11th
  • Cosmic Donuts May 13th
  • Let's Twist Again May 16th
  • Southern BBQ Catering Affair May 19th
  • Square One Cafe May 24th
  • Illusive Restaurant & Bar May 27th
  • Lakeside Restaurant June 5th
  • East Ave Deli & Sundae Best June 8th
  • Frog Alley Brewing June 10th
  • Sandye's Cafe June 14th
  • Oh Crepe & Waffles Food Truck June 15th
  • Margarita City Mexican Grill June 24th
  • Little Sodus Inn June 30th
  • The Colonial July 1st
  • Beer Bones & Taproom July 7th
  • Ravenswood Pub July 8th
  • Hitchin Post Steakhouse & Grill July 15th
  • Whiskey River Pub and Grill July 22nd
  • Cassidy's Diner TBA
  • Rustic Ridge Winery TBA
  • Union Hall Inn Restaurant TBA
  • Mayfield Grill TBA
  • Double H Bar-B-Q TBA

Here's a look at some of the dishes from family restaurants around New York State on The Empire Plate. I hope you're not hungry!

Food Featured on The Empire Plate

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