Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prime Meats, Yummy Eats

I have been excited to go to Prime Meats ever since it opened about a year ago.  Then, when the New York Times gave it a 2-star review, my palate was even more intrigued.  But, when it first opened, Jon was working at Buttermilk Channel, a mere 3 blocks down Court Street and a NYT star shy.  A fierce (and rather amiable, we are talking about geeky hipster waiters here) began between these two restaurants, and Jon being the loyal guy he is, decided that we shouldn’t go… (or if we did, we would have to go seriously incognito, but only under the pretenses that we were scoping out the competition… not there to devour the yummy wiener schnitzel.)

Jon left Buttermilk Channel at the beginning of the New Year so our conscious was free to explore.  We finally made it to the restaurant last Saturday night.  Jon’s job was just up the block and we were meeting a friend for drinks after, and figured it would be the perfect time to try. 

7:00pm: I go into Prime Meats looking for the hostess.  I am fully expecting a wait as it is a very popular restaurant, they take no reservations, and it is Saturday night.  I’m about second in line, a bunch of us randomly stare around looking for the hostess, since the staff is all dressed in regular cloths, and half of the patrons are hipsters, its really hard to tell the staff from the patrons.  Finally, the hostess appears.  The girl quotes the first hipster a 1 ½ hour wait, he walks away.  Yay!  One less person in front of me.  Quotes me an hour and half wait, I’m fine, I had a snack, and plus we are meeting someone for drinks.  I give her my name and my cell phone number.  (One of the great things restaurants are doing these days is letting you leave and calling you when your table is ready, I love it!)

7:10pm: Across the street at Minibar (my favorite bar in Carroll Gardens) very small, dark, and has a midget (excuse me, little person) bartender (whose name I can never remember, but knows Jon, me and all the other Buttermilk Channel crew really well.)  We have a drink with Jon’s good friend Bruce, and his baby Henry (aka Hank).  Henry is so so sweet, just to wrap this up, I played with the baby and Jon and Bruce drank.

7:55pm: Telephone Rings!! Alas, it is Prime Meats!! See ya Bruce and Baby, time for chow.  

8:10pm: We walk back in to Prime Meats and she seats us right away.  I am instantly struck by how nice the setting is.  In Brooklyn restaurants have a tendency to be jammed in so tight that you are basically in your neighbors lap and you might as well share your first course with them (hey you get to sample more!).  The tables at Prime Meats were very nicely spaced out and the noise level wasn’t too loud.  I hate when I am sitting across from Jon and we have to shout (also, Jon’s hearing isn’t the best from working in loud kitchens).  I am instantly at ease.  I sit in a large wooden banquet, which is deep and supple.  Perfectly sized for me at 5’9”, I can lean all the way back and be comfortable, I don’t feel squished.  Normally banquets are so short I hate to sit there because I am so far forward.  Be warned, this banquet is for tall people, the other little short girls had to sit all the way at the edge and didn’t look as comfy as me… ha! (sorry, its hard to be tall sometimes).

8:20pm:  Jon orders a very fancy cocktail, a punch, with Gin, bitters, Campari, and a few other things and loves it.  I have a quartino (about a glass and a half) of Gruner Veltliner.  This Gruner Veltliner was crisp, tart, and medium bodied, and complex.  Sometimes Gruner’s are too light, this was not. 

Jon and I then get down to business, what to order.  Jon and I ordering is a complicated dance of give and take.  We want the right balance, to be able to sample lots of things, but also to be able to satisfy each of our individual cravings.  It’s a strategic game of strategery (hahaha, sorry, that just made me laugh.)  It’s a dance.

Farm salad with bacon dressing
Bone Marrow

Burger with Maytag blue cheese (rare)
Pork chops
Schnitzel with wild mushrooms

8:45: Appetizers Arrive.  Two big cow bones of delicious bone marrow are set in front of Jon and a salad of mixed greens, apple slices (julienne) and bacon are sat in front of me.  We dig in.  I instantly am not a fan of mine.  The bacon dressing was heavy and not enough acidity from the apples to cut through.  I eat a few more bites and leave it.  I “help” Jon eat his marrow (he is so sweet to share with me)!  The marrow is delicious and decadent, exactly the way it should be… the marrow made me feel alive!  Like releasing a limbic spasm of happiness… even though I didn’t kill the cow, I’m eating some of the best parts.

9:10 Entrée.  Definitely the better part of the meal.  Again, I’m happy with my choice of the bovine.  My hamburger was done perfectly and was juicy and rich in flavor.  It came with bib lettuce (my favorite for a hamburger) tomato (which Jon says is wrong because it’s not summer) and red onion.  The French Fries were thin, crispy, and salty.  The only bad thing was the jarred pickle on my plate, it tasted like they had fished it out from the bottom of a Vlasick pickle jar from 2006, not crisp, not pickly, it was bad.

Jon’s pork was very well done, nice, but honestly, not memorable.  That’s all I have to say.  The schnitzel was delicious, pasta cooked perfectly and the mushrooms were savory and moist.

All and all, I really enjoyed my meal.  What made it the best for me was the ambiance, I was so happy just sitting and sipping my wine.  It is a very adult place, and in Brooklyn, that can sometimes be hard to find.  It was comfortable and classy without being pretentious.  Yes, the waiters were all hipsterd out, but honestly, the clientele were mostly older or like Jon and me, just normal people from the neighborhood.  And the check wasn’t bad either, actually great for the food we had, $110 + tip.  I give it a solid one star, I will be returning.

I am happy today because it finally feels like spring and I know there is something delicious on the horizon!

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