Prime Steakhouse and Spirits September 2013 (dt)
7.23 – 8, 7.5, 7.25, 7.25, 7, 7, 7, 6.8

big dessert plate, but not big enough for the Prime Rib earlier

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Beef heaven met DP8!
          Although Prime’s menu features plenty of choices in the seafood and chicken categories, everyone went for the namesake’s strength:
==> filet mignon: a ten ounce cut of moist meat (Don: a rare pick, ordered medium-rare and very good; Kriss: ordered well-done, came butterfly, and moist, perfect! would have voted 9!)
==> mignon kebab: a stew of vegetables and gravy, with chunks of filet mignon strewn over a dinner platter brimming with rice (Deb T: huuuuge, no skewers, and good enough)
==> prime rib special: a humungous slab of meat (Dennis: quite good; Ken: ordered an end in hopes of medium-well but was closer to medium-rare, still good)
==> strip steak (Chay: excellent; Julie: very good)
==> skirt steak: (Deb K: excellent)
          (I don’t think DP8 has seen so much beef on a table since Bear’s in ’05!)

Sides for most of these entrées included a choice of baked potato, smashed potato, or rice; and broccoli, string beans, or creamed spinach. Good enough.
          Included with the entrée was a side salad, arriving at the 55 minute mark – a six inch plate of spring greens with two slices of cucumber and two cherry tomatoes. Dressing of choice came in the metal holder.
          
Two baskets of napkin-enfolded large rolls came at the forty minute mark, with a small bowl of wrapped pats of butter.

The dessert list was a short one, compared to the meal list.
==> black and white cookie sundae: a dinner plate, with a base of a large vanilla fluffy cookie, topped with a big scoop each of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, accompanied by two large dollops of whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce—excess personified: (Don: average-ness overshadowed by size, a rarity for him not to finish a dessert; Kriss: huuuuge)
==> coconut cream pie (Deb K: very good)
==> chocolate cake—an out-of-house stock item of rich cake, layered with gooey chocolate fudge (Deb T: first choice was out of stock, eh)
==> apple pie (Dennis, who may have shared with Julie, ok)
==> black Sambuca for Chay
==> more coffee for Ken who was not asked for a dessert choice

Service was certainly sincere, attentive and intense by server Mark. He was sweating and seemed rushed with other tables on what we thought was a busy night but he suggested it was usually busier. He attended to all our needs, checked back several times but was gone a good stretch mid-meal. Removal of dishes was reasonably quick, perhaps quicker than most. Adequate to satisfactory to good was the consensus.
          Water in big glasses, with a straw, were filled often. Ken’s coffee was satisfactory (restaurants should know he wants a big mug, checked regularly—ha!).
          Drink order consisted of an initial selection of Kenwood 2009 Sonoma Merlot, not our usual pick, but proved to have enough body for the meat, and we ordered a second bottle. Two sodas and a water filled the order.
          Pacing was to our liking once bread arrived (mentioned before). A small gap might appear—it was never long enough to get fidgety.
          Prime occupies the spot formerly taken by a gift shop and before that a pharmacy. About 50’x20’ (30’ wide at the bar), the single dining room seems to stretch a looong way. A 30 bar stretches from front and disappears into the horizon, with a few tables by the front windows. Otherwise, banquettes on the remaining wall space seated about forty.

Husky wood dominates with wide panel pine for a ceiling, divided by large neat beams; more stained wood above the banquettes; more wood on the floor; and attractive wood slab tables completing the effect. A cloth napkin holding two forks and a knife sat beside a white bread plate.
          Lighting was comprised of a few sconce-types and a couple of spinning-blade fan-chandeliers but most of the lighting came from five-to-six unit ceiling tracks, set apart about every ten feet the length of the ceiling, with the individual lights scattered in different directions. The overall effect was for dim lighting but it was likely that one or two individual lights were shining right at you (the people facing the banquette probably did not have that happen).
          It’s a warm feel, relatively noisy although the ends of the four-by-four seating arrangement (with the males on the ends) mostly managed to hear what was said with some concentration.
          The bill (food, drink, tax, tip) came to $95 per couple, eliciting a couple looks of surprise, with anticipation toward something higher.
          A few suggested trying Prime again to sample the non-beef entrées.

We had started the evening at the Karneses’, with the enterers becoming unwitting players in Deb’s training of Kalli to sit respectfully for newcomers. Kalli tried awfully hard!
          Deb had prepared a celery-carrots-pepper tray and a basket of large corn chips, both of which steered toward the guacamole dip or green fresh salsa. All was good, and light enough for the half-hour trip ahead. Good choices, Deb.
          Chay kept our hands full with beer, soda, or a Trapiche Malbec.
          There, or at the restaurant, or in the cars, conversations ranged far, wide, close and back, as usual. The big one was Matt’s wedding—weather, location, and more details, food, attendees, weather, honeymoon, dancing, weather (under the tent on a raw & chilly day). It sounded like one of life’s landmarks, and, congratulations to Matt & Kara, and parents, too. Ken and Kriss are in-laws for a second time. (...)?
          Other topics: Kalli’s training; neighborhood animals, especially a bear or two; reports of the Adamses’ travels, house, and grandkids; ...; Julie’s running; Den’s rocks and trips; C-D goings-on and use of teachers’ prep time; Cooperstown; Vanderbilt House in Hyde Park; biking (third century – Mt. Greylock; “Labor Day” 50 miles ride coming up); Deb’s parents—hospitals, eyes, and stress; and, of course, welcoming Den & Julie who subbed this month for long-term absentees Tim & Judy. There must have been more but….