Monday, October 15, 2012

Prime 112 – Miami’s Prime-Time Steakhouse Leaves Us Only Half Full

A major part of our trip to Florida this week was to celebrate our anniversary, and we spent the actual day in Miami in the South Beach area. Although it’s a big scene, I really enjoy visiting, staying at a fun hotel and trying a new restaurant each time.

Since we wanted to make things really special, we chose Prime 112, the sceney Miami steakhouse as our top choice. Hearing nothing but the best, I was excited to try it and wanted to see if it’d live up to the hype. Although I can’t complain about the food, the obnoxious (and too cool for school) atmosphere left a bad taste in our mouths.

Even though we knew this place to be very high profile and known for big dinner crowds, we didn’t expect it to be as hectic as it was. Even the process of checking in was a big cluster (you know what), and it was an accurate indication of how the rest of the evening would go.

After checking in to find out we’d have to wait another 30-40 minutes for our table, we headed over to the bar to enjoy a leisurely drink and some bacon that they put into wine glasses for patrons to munch on. I gotta admit this was a really nice touch, and the bacon was amazingly salty-sweet and nicely crisped. The group of ladies next to us took the whole glass for themselves, and were eating it with gusto, which was funny and awesome to see.

The wait and the crowds continued for another half hour, until it was after 10 p.m. and we still hadn’t been seated (we had a 9 p.m. reservation). Finally we had it, Dan gave someone a piece of his mind and voila…we had our table. I wonder if that’s their strategy – make your patrons wait until they lose their patience and they’re almost ready to walk out. I don’t know where you’re going with that, Prime 112…

The menu includes all your staple steakhouse items, only turned up a bit. I like that there’s unique little twists to everything such as the use of truffle oil on sides, lots of fancy cheeses, an entire potatoes section, including 12 different varieties, and tons of unique sauces (they call them chapeaux) and butters for the steak.

Appetizer – Since the apps were really really expensive (as was everything else on the menu), we went with one and shared it, which turned out to be a great choice. Although a non-traditional dish to share, we got the French Onion Soup, with aged gruyere cheese and brandy.  Presented beautifully in a red earthenware bowl, Dan and I enjoyed it to the last bite, taking big spoonfuls of the flavorful broth, intermingled with tons of onions, soft croutons and of course all that salty, well-done cheese on top. If you’re not a cheese lover, I wouldn’t recommend it, but for all you guys that appreciate a good queso, this one’s for you.

Steak – Looking forward to the main event, which is of course their steak, Dan went with the laaarge 22 oz ribeye (bone in), while I chose the 14 oz NY Strip (sans bone). In addition to just the meat, we each ordered a topping of choice, mine being the gorgonzola chapeaux and Dan’s the garlic herb butter.

I’m happy to report that the steaks were absolutely perfect, done to our exact specifications and the meat being incredibly flavorful and nicely charred on the outside. The gorgonzola chapeaux added a nice tang and more richness, which the steak didn’t need and although I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn’t over indulge like that again. Dan had the same sentiment about his garlic herb butter, which went unused for the most part.

Side – The helpful waitstaff advised us that the sides were really large and good for splitting, so we ordered just one, the 4 cheese truffled mac and cheese. I liked it very much, but thought that it was too cheesy, especially since I got that gorgonzola chapeaux, so I think it was total cheese overload. In retrospect, we should’ve gone with a potato dish or maybe even the colossal fried onion rings that looked fabulous.

Service and Cost:
After we sat down, the service was just lovely. All the waiters were professional, cordial and totally synonymous with a quality steakhouse atmosphere. I liked that there were two of them, and even though the restaurant was super busy, I always felt taken care of and not the least bit neglected (unlike before). 

Costs are (there’s no other way to say it) stupid expensive:

Appetizers - $13 - $25
Steak - $38 - $88
Sides - $13 - $14
Dessert - $15

2 Mmmms

Prime 112 – 112 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach FL 33139

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