Hot Eats: Prime 1000
This new Downtown restaurant excels in the art of steak.
Although the moniker would suggest otherwise, Prime 1000 isn’t a typical steakhouse. It’s a restaurant that has spectacular steak, among other creative and intricately crafted dishes. The space feels more like a trendy city hotspot than a stuffy steakhouse. Mirroring the large-scale steakhouses you’d find in Vegas, Prime blends chic design with modern appointments that make use of the interior’s beautiful existing architecture. Beyond the exposed brick and high ceilings and windows, no familiar sights remain from the building’s previous tenant, Kitchen K. You don’t think you’re in a steakhouse, which is exactly what General Manager Rusty Oakes said owners had planned with the restaurant’s design firm, Space Architecture.
A Prime Menu
When it comes to the food, there’s more to Prime than beef. The menu intermixes contemporary fine-dining fare with adventurous touches like emulsions, exotic mushrooms and even a Chartreuse-infused soup. The latter combines sunchokes and chili oil that hits perfectly on both sweet and herbal notes, while the carrot and elderflower soup is unforgettable with its harmony of the aromatic elderflower, speck (Austrian ham) and candied sunflower seeds. Starters should not be bypassed, including the charred shishito peppers or the crispy sweetbreads, if you have a taste for them, which are a hearty mix of bacon, artichoke and truffle emulsion. And of the non-steak plates, the goat cheese ravioli was perfection, and featured a crisp baby beet and butternut anglaise, as was the roasted chicken with a sweet celery root puree and butterscotch carrots.
Steak still commands attention, due largely in part to its source, aging and preparation, and is well worth the price points. For starters, Missouri grassfed and American wagyu are offered, as well as certified prime—any foodie will appreciate that. But what separates Prime 1000 from other steak spots is the dry-aging process, which any steak novice will affirm trumps the more widely used, less expensive wet-aging process. Aged on site in a cooler, the steak loses moisture and becomes tender during the process, thereby producing a richer beef flavor.
The result is sublime—filets are tender, as are the ribeyes, especially the grain-fed prime. I ordered the grassfed New York strip, which was seared perfectly and well-seasoned, with a side of scalloped sweet potatoes with chipotle and maple. The list of 11 sides is innovative and decadent: a pastry filled with maitake, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, smoked white cheddar mac n’ cheese and grilled zucchini with shaved parmesan and lemon are my top picks.
The carefully chosen sides play well on the Midwest meat-and-potatoes notion. But all steak and side options promise a satisfying meal; the kitchen team has created a solid preparation process. And though a good steak should never hide behind a sauce, the six offered, from Uni (sea urchin) butter to candied bacon jus to wild mushroom and balsamic, are delicious enough to add an extra kick to the steak without masking it. A prime way to enjoy a steak for sure.
Pan-Seared Black Bass with maitake mushroom, candied bacon, uni emulsion and hydro watercres
Photo credit: Photo by Jennifer Silverberg