Prime & Beyond overall score: 74
NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW CLOSED!
People who plan to go here should realize and appreciate the fact that this is primarily a meat house, so the menu is limited on purpose. It is NOT meant to be a massive, traditional steakhouse with a never-ending menu and a gigantic, full-staffed kitchen. What they are doing here is focused and directed, purposeful and deliberate. Think ramen menu (limited, small) as opposed to diner menu (everything but the kitchen sink). So as a caveat, low scores in some of these categories really mean nothing when you think about it. Flavor is the big essential here, and they did a great job in that category. My wife and I came here for a secret $50 deal and to cash in some OpenTable rewards. The deal, running through the end of the month, is for a glass of wine, a soup or salad, a choice of app, and a wet or dry aged strip steak. Essentially you get the wine, soup/salad and app for free, since $50 is the regular cost for just the steak.
My bone-in rib eye was under-seasoned and unevenly seasoned (some parts had the needed salt, others were flat on taste). However it was very evenly cooked; quite impressive, actually. The scallion and anchovy sauce added that necessary salt back into the bite. Use it. I expected the fat to be broken down more from the 9 week aging on mine. It definitely had some waste. By itself the rib eye was a 7 out of 10, but the rating here jumps up because of the strip.
The strip was nicely seasoned. And similar with the perfectly even cook job. The strip was a juicy wet-aged boneless cut that had been aging at least 20 days. You can definitely can tell the difference. It was better than the rib eye (9/10). The strip portion was a little thin, but since it was part of the $50 price fix it was to be expected.
Both steaks a little under (these were somewhere between rare and medium rare, closer to rare) but I was expecting that from the minions at yelp.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
You have a lot to choose from here, both in the single cut steak section and the steak for two section. Kevin took me to the aging room downstairs and showed me all the goodies through the glass. Before they cook your meat, they will bring out a plate with your cuts to show you the superb marbling. The dry aged selections are a 50 day minimum in the aging process. The steak I had was at 9 weeks. For wet-aged, the minimum is 20 days. They have all the essential cuts and then some. Bravo.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions are good here, considering how much is lost during the lengthy aging process. My rib eye was 20oz, bone-in.
As I mentioned above, we had some OpenTable cash AND took advantage of a special deal, so the price was right for us on this trip. The steak prices are average and on par with other competitors, and the appetizers are fairly large portions, but you are in a very different kind of atmosphere here, so you have to take that into consideration for your own pricing judgment. When you see the ambiance section you’ll understand.
This is not a proper bar, but it really doesn’t matter for what this place is about. They only offer wine, beer (bottles and taps) and soju. Good enough. I couldn’t have a martini, but this is the kind of environment where it’s not needed. The bar is small, with room for only 4 people, but it is close to windows and the steps up to street level.
Specials and Other Meats: 6
The menu is pretty much beef-centric with the exception of the apps, which offer some great pork selections. They have kalbi and bulgolgi, and a really delicious looking “burger rice” item that I may have to come back for some day soon.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9
The apps here are strong. We had a bunch of shit.
The bacon was perfectly roasted, then cut up and served with a spice salt.
The yuzu dressing salad was very refreshing and properly dressed.
The butternut squash soup was flavorful and not too thick and filling, though I was sort of taken back that it was being served in the summer.
The Wagyu salami was incredibly soft and spicy. There was a LOT of it too, for only $8. I would almost prefer this to be available per slice as opposed to a large app size order of 8 slices. It was too much, almost. Maybe they should make it $1/slice?
The pork soo yook is essentially braised pork belly in a sweet, tangy, and spicy BBQ sauce. So soft and delicious. The sauce was a little too sweet and too salty, but still really yummy. It came with braised carrots and peppers, as well as some crispy chip things to add texture. The mixed greens on the side went perfect with the excess sauce used as a dressing.
Dessert was called “the planetarium.” It was milk choc mousse with a pear filling. Pretty good. Not overly sweet but I definitely had to chug water to calm down the taste buds.
Seafood Selection: 2
Unfortunately there’s only scallops and crab cake on the app menu. But please recall what I said above in the introductory paragraph. That said, perhaps some shellfish or octopus could make their way onto the menu in some prominent form. Korean cuisine is known for excellence in preparing those great items.
Our experience here was great. Nathan was a great waiter, very attentive, and with great suggestions. And Kevin was very helpful and informative when he took me down to see the aging room.
This has the feel of a small neighborhood restaurant. It’s clean, white interior and painted bricks make the dark brown tables and chairs pop. The old timey 1930s and 1940s music was great too.
PRIME & BEYOND
90 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10003