S Prime overall score: 88
My wife found a Groupon deal for this joint: $50 gets you $100. They had a nice menu, and now that we’re in the city again, the trip to Queens to check the place out was no worse than heading downtown after work. Nice easy subway ride on the R train.
I had the 60-day dry aged signature rib eye, of course. It was fucking great. Some of the fat wasn’t as soft and jelly-ish as I like, so that’s why I took a point (I had some scraps left). Otherwise this place is spot on, perfectly cooked, perfect temperature, no bleed out, nicely rested, juicy as a pair of titties in an early 90’s rap video.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
All the beef is dry aged in house, and prime. I was impressed with the beef here, and there was a great selection to choose from.
Portion Size & Plating: 9
Portions here are pretty big. As you can see from the images, you get a good deal of shit for your buck here. Plating is elegant and refined but not over the top fancy. At 28oz, the rib eye is a nice manly size, though it did feel a bit smaller than 28oz when it came out. Typically that is the weight before cooking and sometimes even before aging, so there is expected weight loss during those processes.
The prices here are pretty high for Queens, but the quality offsets that damage. Also, with their long-running Groupon deal, there is really no excuse not to come try this place out. Don’t let the pricey steaks deter you. Our bill for two came to $228 (not including the oysters and 2 drinks at the bar), minus $100 for the Groupon. Not bad.
There’s an absolutely awesome happy hour deal here. Dollar oysters and half price drinks and bar bites. The bar is big too, and it was already pretty full at 6:00pm when I arrived. They even have extra seating at high tables nearby, and a narrow bar along the windows. By time we were finishing our meal, the place was packed. Seems like a good scene. Anyway, we ordered up a few drinks and a dozen oysters before sitting for dinner. Total steal! Also worth noting here: HUGE wine selection, and beautiful displays of wine, for those of you who are wine freaks.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
The other meats offered here are chicken, veal, and lamb. A very solid showing. They even have a cajun rub that they offer on their steaks, which is interesting. Our waiter also told us about some specials that were not on the menu, like a stuffed broiled lobster (my wife almost got it), and a berry cobbler dessert.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with the agave braised pork belly, which was huge and delicious. The outer skin was perfectly crispy too.
Then we dove into a trio of tartares: tuna, scallop, and beef. All were good, but we liked the tuna the best:
On the side we had parmesan herb fries, which were tasty but could have benefitted from a bit more crispiness.
The fries went really well with the steak sauce, which was finally a refreshing step away from heavy tomato based sauces that other steak joints push on you:
We also tried the creamed spinach. Our waiter talked us away from sautéed spinach and toward this dish because it had a nice bread crumb crumble on top. I wasn’t crazy about it. The texture of the spinach was a little too watery for my taste. Kinda wish we had stuck with the sautéed spinach order instead, but it’s all good.
For dessert we split a slice of key lime pie. This was the only item that I thought was over priced. It was a bit small for $10, and we’ve had better key lime pie elsewhere.
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s a great selection of seafood items. Aside from minimum 2-pound lobbies, they also rock a whole roasted branzino, salmon, tuna, and scallop entrees. And you can’t really beat dollar oysters at happy hour. We also tried the tuna and scallop tartare apps too, which were really good. My wife’s entree was a broiled lobster, which she loved. I only took a point here because one or two of the oysters were sub-par, but at a dollar a pop, who cares?
When we sat down, the restaurant was largely empty, but we were put at a small table right next to another couple. That kinda stinks. I guess we could have asked for a different spot, but I don’t like being an annoying customer. Other than that, service was excellent, our waiter was perfect, and the manager was really polite and even waited on us when we were sitting at the bar along the windows before dinner. Oh yeah – the bread. There was a nice selection to choose from: pumpernickel, pretzel, seven grain, and more. The only issue is they were not warm and toasty, but the soft, whipped butter was delicious.
They also brought out some nice, warm manchego cheese with honey drizzled over the top as a little snack. Very nice.
The space is very “Queens,” if that makes any sense. It was clearly a garage or some sort of wide open space that was converted into a restaurant. That’s great! I liked the lighting, the seating, the layout, etc. It had a nice upstairs and a beautiful stairway leading up. I think there was just a slight clash between modern and traditional that didn’t fit the space, and it also felt like it could be a club, despite the awesome 80’s music they had playing (nice!). Otherwise it is beautiful inside, and the bathrooms and kitchen are super clean. I know this next thing is a little nit-picky, but our table was massively wobbly. We had to shove a wad of doily underneath to balance it out a little better. We’ve had a string of bad wobbles lately at recent restaurants, so I figured I’d mention it here just because.
35-15 36th St.
Long Island City, NY 11106