Its name has been synonymous with elegant, upscale kosher dining for years and it is so highly regarded that it has been the destination of choice for those looking to pop the question, celebrate a milestone event or otherwise indulge in gourmet cuisine. With a sophisticated menu that is so well executed that it appeals to culinary connoisseurs of all stripes, not just those who are looking for kosher fare, The Prime Grill has managed to retain its position as the premier kosher restaurant in the New York area by providing guests with incredible service, sensational food and an unparalleled dining experience and it is no accident that politicians, celebrities and professional athletes have all been spotted dining at The Prime Grill.
It has been nine years since my last visit to The Prime Grill and since that time it has changed locations, moving to 56th Street just west of 5th Avenue. The new restaurant is truly exquisite, with a multi level dining room that affords wonderful views and gives diners the feel of a smaller, more intimate restaurant. Surrounded by crystal chandeliers, dark wood paneling, handsome couches and sweeping staircases, just sitting at The Prime Grill gives you the feeling that you are in a place that exudes class and sophistication. In no time at all that sense of privilege blossomed, as the solicitous waiters kept coming to our table to pour our water, open our chopsticks, de-crumb the tablecloth and provide me with a cushion for my pocketbook so that it wouldn’t be resting on the floor. To say that the service at The Prime Grill was impeccable would be an understatement.
Our meal began with a basket of crispy grilled pita and an assortment of innovative and creative appetizers, each of which was both delicious and beautifully presented. Our artfully arranged sushi platter held some of the best sushi I have ever tasted. The yellowtail Carpaccio with jalapeno was lovely and smooth, the lightly fried katsumaki roll with avocado, mock crab, sundried tomatoes, teriyaki and truffle oil was exquisite and spicy tuna on crispy rice was outstanding. The summery endive salad with thinly sliced beef Carpaccio was light and refreshing, topped with an amazing poached pear fan, delicately flavored with cinnamon, star anise and red wine, while the crackling duck salad with arugula, frisee, poached egg, duck confit and cracklings in a champagne vinaigrette was meaty and substantial and felt like a man’s salad.
The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form. Made of chopped chicken breast deep fried in a waffle batter, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with an absolutely heavenly maple aioli, this was brilliantly conceived and executed. The maple aioli was so insanely good that I contemplated asking the waiter to pack up the extras for us and I dreamed that night that I opened my refrigerator and was pleasantly surprised to find a large container of maple aioli waiting for me.
Reading the menu, I wasn’t quite sure what exactly the wood fired oven baked flatbreads were but when one arrived at our table we discovered that they were essentially meat topped pizzas. Our lovely duck Bolognese flatbread was accented with basil pesto and fresh mushroom slice and we could see that several other flatbreads brought to nearby tables were topped with cured meats and looked equally appealing.
I confess that after sharing all those appetizers, we could have easily finished up our meal and pronounced it simply sublime, but a visit to The Prime Grill isn’t complete without one of the restaurant’s signature steaks. Both my 10 ounce reserve cut and my husband’s 14 ounce center cut rib eye were everything a USDA prime certified Angus dry-aged steak should be: melt in your mouth, amazingly good steak, steak that is so good that while both the béarnaise and red wine shallot sauces were quite excellent, they just weren’t necessary. Our steaks came with lightly dressed salad and a generous portion of frizzled onions and we also ordered several sides, each one of which was better than the next.