Thursday, July 23, 2009

restaurant week diary: primehouse

After watching hours of Top Chef reruns last night, we couldn't settle for takeout pizza for dinner. "We're gonna eat somewhere good right?" Mika said as we stared at the beautiful plates on the flat screen. "Definitely," I agreed. It's Restaurant Week in New York right now, so I racked my brain for a spot nearby and decided on Primehouse. I'd always been intrigued by this place. At 8:30PM I was able to secure a 9PM reservation. Awesome.

To be honest, I didn't have spectacular expectations of the place. It's beautiful but massive, and I'm always weary of massive spots in New York. You know, the types that make you feel like you could be anywhere in the country, say, North Carolina. But I actually ended up having one of the best restaurant week meals to date there! Goes to show how much I know ...

Unfortunately, the dark and romantic atmosphere resulted in terrible iPhone pictures so you'll have to take my word for it that the food was superb. We started with the passionfruit gazpacho with lump crab and avocado, and heirloom tomato, goat cheese and micro basil salad seasoned with sea salt and aged balsamic vinegar. The appetizers really showcased the ingredients, which are in season now. The heirloom tomatoes were soft, sweet and just plain magnificent. The gazpacho was full of flavor, and the crab and avocado accompanied it well.

For entrees, Mika had the hangar steak accompanied by an arugula and grilled portobello mushroom salad, and roasted pepper salsa. The hangar steak was beautifully medium rare—seared at the crust and a beautiful rose color inside. Mika also really enjoyed the arugula and portobello salad. As for me, I had the dry aged sirloin, which was accompanied by a salsa of sweet corn, onions, string beans and other assorted veggies. I was very happy with my steak because it was also perfectly medium rare despite the fact that it was a rather thin slice of meat (the RW portion is 7 ounces, which is perfect for me). With our food, we had a bottle of Italian nebbiolo recommended by our server. It had just been shipped in that day and was not on the menu yet, but ran about $50 a bottle. It was a beautiful wine. Very succulent and complex, and just wonderful with the steaks.

Food bliss continued on with dessert. I was so excited to try the summer berry pavlova. I've always had a thing for pavlovas because it's named after the great ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who loved this dessert. What's not to love about a soft and chewy meringue topped with creamsicle sherbet and berries? Mika had the bittersweet chocolate tart with a salted pretzel crust and nutella ice cream. No more beautiful words out there than nutella ice cream, I think.

Definitely a great restaurant week experience. Great value for money, and wonderful food for every course. Go, go, go!

Primehouse is located at 381 Park Avenue South at 27th Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel. 212-824-2600

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