BLT Prime

BLT Prime overall score: 90

Over the last two years I have heard nothing but great praise for BLT Prime. It was high time that Johnny Prime stepped through the doors here. This time was a birthday meal… for me.

Flavor: 9

You can certainly taste the quality angus beef in this steak. I had the ribeye and it was really great, other than the fact that it needed a touch of salt. The steak comes with a half head of roasted garlic and rosted bone marrow. That was amazing, but it was almost a little TOO much melty fattiness on the plate at once. Perhaps the marrow would have been better suited to go with the bread and chicken liver pate before the meal (which was psychotically amazing – for real, the bread is “stab your mother in the face” good). They claim to broil the meat at 1700 degrees; this should make for a great crispy char on the outside, locking in the juices beneath the surface, but my steak wasnt so crispy on the edges. They serve the meat with a steak sauce that is somewhere between a gravy and A1. It’s not bad, but certainly not for putting onto CAB quality prime beef. That would be tantamount to sin. Mortal sin, like eating the faces of limbless mentally challenged midgets after blowing inch thick rails of bath salts and getting naked in the streets of Miami with your homeless friends.

the ribeye

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10

All the meat here is prime, aged, and Certified Angus brand, so you are basically guaranteed top notch cuts. BLT Prime boasts an impressive selection of carcass too. Two versions of strip: bone in “Kansas City,” and boneless “New York;” a filet; a porterhouse for two; a “cowboy” bone-in ribeye; and even a hanger. On top of that, they even have a small selection of “Kobe Wagyu” cuts (please refer to my prior post about Kobe and/or Wagyu beef in this country): a ribeye, a top cap, and a skirt, all boneless and all the same size (10oz). At least the menu had the good sense to explain that these were domestic cuts, not the real deal. They also have braised short ribs on their entree menu, and they offer a special organic porterhouse for two, in addition to a number of other dead animals. They have a host of sauces you can order to top your steaks as well, but I passed on those. This review blog isn’t about the dress; it’s about the meat underneath.

Portion Size & Plating: 9

Ounces are listed as follows: bone in “Kansas City” = 20oz; boneless “New York” = 16oz; a filet; porterhouse for two = 38oz; “cowboy” bone-in ribeye = 22oz; hanger = 10oz; fake Kobe Wagyu selections = 10oz. These portion sizes are average to slightly above average for steaks. Other menu items were slightly smaller in terms of portion size (with the exception of the bacon app and the special fish entree), but you get so full with all the little freebies that it doesn’t matter. My ribeye came out on a nice cast iron skillet, as did the peas and creamed spinach sides (in cast iron tubs). My wife’s whole roasted fish was served head on, beautifully plated.

whole roasted black bass

4) Price: 8

The prices for the main cuts range from $44 (filet) to $57 (bone in strip), and they seem fair. I’m not quite sure why the one strip clocks in so high. The ribeye is $10 cheaper and 2oz larger. The other items were a bit pricey. Our total bill was about $270 for three apps, two entrees, two sides, two desserts and a few drinks a piece. Not too bad, but some items felt wasteful. The oysters seemed a bit pricey so we skipped those this time around, but there were two kinds in my seafood platter (also high at $34). But it was delicious. On the other hand you can get a really great price fix menu of four courses for $60, which in my opinion is a steal.

Bar: 8

The bar was nice, modern, elegant, minimal, and clean. Great wood on the actual bar surface. A nice big image of the Wall Street bull graced the lounge seating area across from the actual bar. The martini was made well; crisp, clean, cold. It was $12. They also offer a great selection of specialty cocktails; we tried the blueberry bramble (gin, blueberry puree, lemon juice, simple syrup, shaved ice).

Specials and Other Meats: 10

On special BLT Prime had an entire menu of items. White asparagus, fluke carpaccio, whole grilled black bass, lamb rump roast, organic porterhouse, spring peas, shishito peppers, banana cream tart with praline ice cream, and chocolate fudge cake with mint ice cream. As far as “other meats” go, they offered braised short ribs, rack of lamb (in addition to the rump/lamb ass on special), veal chop and roast chicken. This, combined with the ample supply of traditional steaks and other specialty cuts demonstrates great diversity. On Sundays they even have a prime rib special for $47, and they have a daily price fix special of four courses (limited selection to the special items I first listed above) for $60. Awesome.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We ordered fluke carpaccio, bacon, and a seafood platter for apps. The platter had a small half lobster, two clams, two oysters, a rock crab claw and knuckle, and a few jumbo shrimp. The lobster was sweet and perfectly cooked. The crab was a little on the bland side, but still good. The shrimp were awesome, and the raw shellfish were really crisp and creamy. My wife liked the fluke carpaccio but I was a little put off by it; perhaps because I despise dill. But I was expecting more of an usuzukuri style japanese ice cold sushi dish, but this was still nice. The bacon was more like ham, and the fat between the meat was a bit too stringy to eat. It was also just warm, not sizzling hot like some places. On the bright side the order came with four strips rather than the standard one or two for the same price. I’ve been to places where the bacon ranges from $5-$10 per slice. Here it was $10 for four slices, but not nearly up to snuff when compared to other bacon apps I have had (in terms of flavor and quality). On the side we had the creamed spinach. It was pretty good. Rich flavor, creamy, with crispy minced garlic on top. A bit on the heavy side, however, and a little small in size. There was also the spring peas on the side. They were a bit too firm/uncooked and grainy for my liking, but fresh, minty, and flavorful nonetheless. They were dressed up with bacon and cipollini mixed in. For dessert we had the banana cream tart with praline ice cream, and they served me a complimentary order of birthday donuts with coffee ice cream and dark chocolate sauce. Both were delicious ways to end a great meal, and the ice creams that came with each were amazing, packing in lots of natural, mild flavors with smooth airy textures. By the way; the fries looked amazing but we were way too full to order anything else.

seafood platter, fluke carpaccio, plantain chips, bacon (left); donuts (top); creamed spinach & peas (bottom)

Seafood Selection: 9

Wonderful seafood selection. In addition to the fully stocked app section (platters included), they also offered a wide variety of entrees. Dover sole, branzino, ahi tuna, Maine lobster and shrimp. On special there was also the fluke app, and the whole black bass entree. The bass had nice crispy skin, yet it was tender inside. It was HUGE too. Really beautifully cooked and simply delightful to both look at and eat.

Service: 10

Our waiter was AWESOME. I wish I remembered his name to give him some praise here (maybe Scott?). First come the incredible table breads; a nice toasty slice of soft yet crispy ciabatta bread with a latched mason jar of chicken pate to spread across it. Unbelievable. I was licking the spoon for every last bit of pate. Then comes the cheese popovers. Made fresh, they are hot, airy, and crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, with a nice briny cheese flavor throughout. We took a bunch of stuff home with us, but the waiter and bus boy gave us extra cheese popovers, fresh and hot, right in the bag. AWESOME! I would seriously come here just for the bread. It is THAT good. The best part: a recipe for the popovers is included with the doggie bag. There was also a freebie of thinly sliced (longways) fried plantains that went nicely with the seafood apps. Oh and also a freebie of mini rum cake brownies that came with dessert. They’re called “petits fours” in the foodie world, for you culinary morons, but that is a quiffy, fucked up, faggy-ass French term, so I don’t blame you for knowing about it or caring about it. Fuck that shit. And yeah that’s right: I said “faggy,” but I used it in the right way, so don’t go getting all bent out of shape, assholes. Oh yeah and my dessert was free for my birthday. Holy shit! They wished me happy birthday… several times! As you can tell the service here is incredible, seriously. Last, if you fill out a comment card and sign up for a “BLT” credit card of sorts, you get 15% off your next meal there. Not too shabby, since I am almost certain I will be at a BLT establishment again sometime in the future.

chicken liver pate bread and cheese popovers

Ambiance: 9

The decor was modern and elegant, yet sleek, minimal and robust. The dark wood floors are stunning. Nothing here is overdone or too fancy; in fact the coolest feature is the gigantic menu they have posted on a fuzzy black board that takes up the entire left wall of the rear/main floor dining area. The main dining room boasts gorgeous, angled, greenhouse-style glass-paneled skylights that slope up to create a high vaulted ceiling. On the opposite side of the dining room there is an elevated area for private seating overlooking the dining room on one side and the bar/lounge on the other. There is also a private room downstairs for parties or gatherings. There’s even some outdoor seating, curbside, which is rare and awesome at a steakhouse. Another cool feature about this place is that the reverse side of the menu has a great pictorial beef chart that shows where virtually every commercially available (in the US) cut of beef comes from on the cow. It is so great that I need to share it with the beef community. The bathroom was clean and nice, with thick disposable paper towels in stacks beside the marble sink. A fine place to drop a deuce if needed.

BLT PRIME
111 E. 22nd St.
New York, NY 10010

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