Dylan Prime overall score: 81
NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED!!!
This review has been updated. Click HERE for the new review.
First, I’d like to thank Tom for picking up the bill. That was really generous; thank you for a great meal with great company.
Friday was my first time eating at Dylan Prime in TriBeCa. In all my years of living in the neighborhood, I am surprised I never tried it before I moved out. My ribeye was DELICIOUS. I had a few bites of the filet as well, and it too was equally mouth-watering. Two guests I was with tried the strip; they said it was delicious but I did not have a bite. Dylan Prime manages to get a really crispy coating of seasoning across the entire steak that really adds texture and flavor to the meal; we all experienced this and commented positively on it. The ribeye had at a few distinct flavors as I worked from one end to the other. One area was gamey; perhaps it aged differently in that section, causing it to have a varying flavor. Usually I don’t like gamey flavored red meats, but this was interesting; I welcomed it. The majority was just a really delicious buttery-fat ribeye flavor, perfect in almost every sense (missing the mark a bit on portion size, and no bone-in options). I ate every ounce of it – even the fatty parts were good; it was the kind that melts in your mouth and isn’t chewy. Great job on the steaks, Dylan Prime, and that is what really matters in the end.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
The main 4 cuts (strip, filet, porterhouse, and ribeye) are all represented on the basic menu, however they did not offer various ages, and everything was boneless (except the porterhouse I imagine). They offered two sizes for the filet and strip, but we all agreed that the cuts were a little on the small side. The porterhouse for two was only 35oz; maybe they are trying to make America thin by limiting portion size or some other garbage. Other meats are represented, like lamb, as well as skirt steak, hangar, short ribs, and a very enticing “bacon chop.” Top marks for variety and quality. I only took a point off for lack of aging choices and larger cuts.
Portion Size & Plating: 7
The portions are slightly smaller than usual. The ribeye was 14oz (boneless). It is possible that the steak started out larger and lost size in the aging process, but 14oz is a bit small for a ribeye. I maintain that the ribeye portion should be around the 20oz mark. The other cuts were slightly on the small side as well, but the filet was average sized. What Dylan Prime lacks in portion size, however, they make up for in taste. Appetizer portions were small as well (see below), but dessert was normal or above average in size.
I can’t take too much off for price, since, thanks to Tom, I only spent money on drinks at the bar while waiting for some of our party to arrive. But, as an objective observer, the price seemed a bit high for the portion size, but close to spot on in terms of quality.
Dylan Prime is essentially cut in half; the right side is the main dining room, and the left side is a large bar that is not overtly or obviously integrated with the restaurant. The two areas feel like two entirely different places. I am on the fence about whether that is good or bad right now, so I won’t let it alter my scoring. A hallway at the entrance connects the two areas, and behind the hallway is the kitchen, which can be observed from the end of the bar. Drinks were pricey ($80 for four gin martinis and two beers, including tip). The martinis could have been filled higher in the glass, but they were made properly to our liking (Beefeater, up, very dry, with olives). Behind the bar was an interesting shaped set of shelves that looked like the hull of an old wooden ship displaying the high end liquors, of which they had a good selection. Tables adorned areas near the large, TriBeCa streetside windows, and the full restaurant menu (steaks and all) seems to be made available to bar patrons regardless of where they sit. There is also a small bar in the dining room, but we did not sit there or look it over very closely. It is likely meant to service the dining room only, allowing the main bar to act seperately as a traditional street bar/pub rather than a restaurant bar.
Specials and Other Meats: 10
As mentioned above, Dylan Prime offered a good selection of other items; both in terms of red meat and other dead animals gloriously killed in sacrificial service to the divine sustenence of men. The Colorado Rack of Lamb was enticing, as were the Bacon Chop and hangar steak options. Our waitress, although not very knowledgeable about meats other than ribeyes being more fatty than filets, did offer us some other specials that were not on the menu. We roundly rejected them in favor of the main four meatstays of classic carnivore cuisine.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6
We ordered the pork belly tater tots, the miniature beef wellingtons, mushrooms, and the creamed spinach to go with our meal. The tater tots were more pork belly than tater tot, which was good, but I would have liked a little more of that tater tot texture that I expected upon reading the description. They were good, don’t get me wrong; served with a nice (what I think was) corriander flavored BBQ sauce (which, on some bites, had a bitter taste since the corriander/cilantro [if that was the flavor] was likely cooked in the sauce rather than added at the end as a garnish or aromatic). The creamed spinach was small and not very creamy or flavorful, especially when you ate it alongside the steak, which packed so much incredible flavor. This is one pace where you can skip the creamed spinach and go with something less traditional. Speaking of traditional: I was in the mood for oysters. To my disappointment, the only ones I could find were stuffed inside a filet and called a “Carpetbagger Steak.” In fact I didn’t see any shellfish for appetizers aside from shrimp and a crabcake. The mushrooms were good but nothing memorable. The mini beef wellingtons may have been good, but I wouldn’t know. The moment I popped one into my mouth, the skin on the roof of my mouth was scorched off and left bare and bloodied. They were served to us WAY TOO HOT; points off for that. At a restaurant of this caliber, nothing should damage the eater except for maybe a hot plate holding the pre-sliced porterhouse (which is reasonable since it comes from under the broiler many times). I was lucky to taste my steak afterwards. For dessert we all shared a creme brulee, which was very thick and creamy, cool and refreshing, and large in comparison to the portions of other items on the menu.
Seafood Selection: 7
Salmon, tuna, and a surf & turf meal (no lobster by itself) seemed to be the main seafood selections here at Dylan Prime. As mentioned in the appetizer section, they were slim on the shellfish appetizers. If I recall, there was also a seafood item read to us in the specials.
Our waitress didn’t seem to know her meat the way you sometimes experience in other steak joints. She was good and attentive though, of course, but seemed to recommend the strip simply because it was the most expensive. As mentioned earlier, the mini beef wellingtons were extremely hot and burned my mouth to shit. I am still tonguing the smooth, bare skin on the roof of my mouth. I score that as a service issue as well, since the cook on the line should not have let it leave the kitchen at that temperature. On the table, we received an interesting dinner roll that tasted and looked like a soft pretzel, however it, along with the butter, was cold. Table breads should always be warm, and the butter should always be spreadable.
The lighting is dim, more like that of a romantic restaurant than a traditonal steakhouse. The dark wood floor was beat up like the character of a pub floor, but everything upward was nicely decorated and elegant. The music was a mix of hits from yesterday and today. We were there on a Friday evening, so the dining room was full, loud and packed with a crowd that ranged from families to groups of friends and after work folks. The bathroom smelled clean and was adequately ventilated; it even had those nice, thick paper towels that you can probably use to clean up an oil spill. The neighborhood is really amazing, though the specific location is quite isolated.