Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bits and Morsels goes for The Prime (Grill)

The Rib Eye Steak at The Prime Grill (in the process of being eaten).

Sunday night I went to dinner at The Prime Grill, located at 60 East 49th Street. The Prime Grill is a kosher steakhouse that is ever-bustling and popular with celebrities such as Madonna. It’s in the heart of midtown and a block away from the Waldorf Astoria, so it attracts a big lunch and dinner scene. Besides serving up an array of aged prime steaks, they also offer a full sushi menu. On Sunday night I noticed there were just as many sushi platters leaving the kitchen as there were steaks.

To start, I love the spicy tuna on crispy rice. The rice cake is crunchy and warm and the tuna (which is actually spicy — always a pleasant surprise) is topped with a sliver of a red pepper. The main event at The Prime Grill are the steaks, and while they are on the pricey side, they are worth it. I prefer steak on the bone, and needless to say, it must be juicy. The New York Rib Eye is an excellent choice (it's even moist and tender when cooked well done).

For sides, stick to the garlic spinach and French fries. After dinner I asked the maître d’ Ziggy if I could snap some pictures in the kitchen. He went above and beyond, giving the digital and me a tour of the lower level of the restaurant including the prep kitchen and aging rooms.
The Prime Grill, 60 East 49th Street. Ziggy in one of the walk-in fridges.
I am happy to report that my back-end tour of The Prime Grill was a spotless one. The dry aging room bountiful with steaks and homemade beef jerky was especially fascinating. Steaks usually dry age for a few weeks in order to develop their flavor. Throughout the process the texture and color of the meat transforms from soft and pink to a firmer gray. I always ask to see the kitchen of the restaurants that I visit, and more often than not I get a big "no" (the digital gets an emphatic "NO"). It says a lot about a restaurant when they are willing to open their kitchen doors.

The Prime Grill
60 East 49th Street
Getting wet aged.
Steaks in the dry aging room.
A wide selection of sauces clearly marked in the fridge.
Beef jerky in the dry aging room.
Some applewood from the smoker.
Steaks on the grill.
Spicy tuna on crispy rice.
Garlic spinach and French fries.
The Rib Eye (I remembered to photograph only after I cut into).
The Breslin Bar & Dining Room is the new restaurant from Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield. It’s located in the brand new Ace Hotel at 16 West 29th Street; and it’s hot. I’m a fan as it’s nice to have a hip place to meet friends not too far downtown. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait for your table. I waited about 45 minutes and that was on a Monday night. The Breslin is a comfortable space and it’s easy to have a long, lingering dinner.
Ken Friedman with Johnny Marr of The Smiths.
Before you order, start with the snack section of the menu which includes spiced almonds, caramel popcorn (don’t tell my dentist), and scrumpets with mint vinegar. A scrumpet is pulled lamb meat that is breaded and fried. The food is very heavy with an English slant. Some of the dishes include warm smoked salmon with garlic butter, onion soup with bone marrow and smoked pork belly with mashed potatoes. You must order a side of French fries with your dinner. They come with mayonnaise and spicy pickles and they are perfectly crispy. Of course the best way to end a meal at the Breslin involves a cup of Stumptown coffee with some sticky toffee pudding.

The Breslin

16 West 29th Street

Everyone is talking about the Breslin. It was reviewed in New York Magazine this week and in The New York Times the week before.

P.S. I hope your New Year's resolutions to eat healthy are going better than mine.
The Breslin menu.
Caramel popcorn.
French fries with mayo and a side of pickles.
Onion soup with bone marrow. A good look at a lamb scrumpet.
Clockwise from above: Lamb scrumpets; warm smoked salmon with a garlic butter sauce; Pork belly.
Halibut with potatoes and anchovy sauce.
Sticky toffee pudding. A cup of Stumptown coffee.
Here is a thorough article about the health effects of salt. Mayor Bloomberg is calling for food manufacturers and restaurant chains to lower the amount of sodium in their food. The good thing is you only need to cut back a little on your intake to see results. Like calorie postings, this is a smart way to assist in making people healthier. [The New York Times]

The new Coke bottles are now made partly from plants. This is much better for the environment than plastic bottles. The new bottle is made of petroleum and sugar cane-based materials. [The Wall Street Journal]

My favorite week!! It’s Restaurant Week from January 25th through February 7th. Restaurant week is a great way to try out restaurants that you have always been curious about without spending a lot. [NYC Go]

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan is going to open a pop-up cookie shop from February 8-13 in the Mizu salon in Brooklyn. I love Dorie Greenspan's writings and she really is an authority on the subject. Hopefully this will lead to a permanent store where you can get her cookies year-round. [Time Out NY]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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