Prime Steakhouse overall score: 68
My wife and I, along with three other couples, came here for a blowout steak meal while we were on vacation in Key West. I didn’t have high expectations since NYC is the steak capital of the world, but everything looked pretty good online in terms of menu and reviews. Check out the breakdown:
I had the 24oz bone-in rib eye. The chop itself was prime quality, but not aged. It was slightly thicker on the bone side than the fat cap side, which made me worry about the evenness of cooking.
To my surprise it was cooked nicely to medium rare, despite the cut.
It lacked ample seasoning, however, and, the outer crust had a spotty or uneven sear on it. Some parts were lightly seared, and other parts were over seared, which created a bitter, burnt flavor in some bites.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 7
The menu here covers all the bases with a strip, porterhouse, filet and rib eye. They offer a surf and turf option as well, but overall our table was not quite impressed with the quality. Perhaps some aging is needed to take these chops up a few notches.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are good here, with everything being a good size, and plating is basic but elegant.
At $62 for a rib eye I should be getting something that rivals NYC’s best. That was not the case. Most of the other items on the menu were NYC prices as well, so we left feeling a little over-spent.
For this location, which is on the water and on the second floor of a pier, I was expecting a big bar that was either outside or facing the water. But instead it was a somewhat small bar that faces a wall. The drinks were pretty good, and the cocktail menu had some interesting selections, but drinks are a bit on the pricey side.
Specials and Other Meats: 7
There wasn’t anything of note on special aside from a pasta dish, but the place does offer a decent amount of alternative meats, like two cuts of pork, veal and chicken. No lamb, but that’s not a huge deal. My buddy’s wife ordered the veal:
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6
We over-ordered on sides, which is often a problem when dining with a big group at a steak joint. There were some hits and some misses. I’ll start with the biggest hit – the carpaccio:
Though a bit salty, the hit of truffle oil complimented the capers and shaved cheese nicely. The meat itself was super thin and soft.
The oysters were crisp, clean and fresh, and extremely well priced at $16 for a dozen.
Another starter was this mozzarella and tomato stack with balsamic vinaigrette and basil. Decent, but nothing special.
On the side, we enjoyed the hash brown potatoes. They were fried crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
The creamed spinach was way too heavy on the cream while also being very light on flavor.
The truffle mac and smoked gouda had utterly no flavor or scent of truffle whatsoever, and it also lacked seasoning. It had a decent crunch on top at least.
Dessert was a star though, which was key lime pie that is made in house from fresh, local ingredients. Great way to end the meal.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s a good amount to choose from here for seafood, as you might expect being in Key West. I mentioned the oysters above already, but my wife had the tuna tataki appetizer as her entree, which was pretty good.
She also had a she-crab soup, which had a nice flavor to it as well. Prime also has a few local fish and fresh catch items available for entrees in addition.
Chance was a great waiter, and we had no complaints on timing or anything like that. It was a big table, and he did a solid job tending to our needs. Bread was a bit lame, but the butter was a whipped sweet/honey style that I do enjoy from time to time.
Perhaps this place is a bit nicer to dine in during the daytime, when you can see out over the water or hang out on the deck outside the restaurant. I just felt like this place could be anywhere, and being in Key West Florida, on the fucking water, they could have made more of the surroundings.