Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dylan Prime

Regular reader of this blog are probably sick of me complaining about the lack of divergence from the generic NY steakhouse menu (porterhouse for two, creamed spinach and hashed brown potatoes) in new steakhouse ventures. There are so many traditional steakhouses that handle the task so well that I feel that new steakhouses need to reinvent the genre. Unfortunately the nouveau steakhouses that I have tried of late, BLT Prime, Craftsteak, and Quality Meats have all failed to win me over for their handling of domestic steer. I am happy to report that Dylan Prime comes a lot closer to the ideal of combing prime steak and a chef driven menu. Dylan Prime offers both traditional steakhouse cuts a la carte - porterhouse, rib eye, strip etc, along with separate sides but also a selection of "Chef's compositions" that are complete dishes.

A comfortable, dimly lit modern room can be intimate but it is generally so busy that it is usually quite noisy. This is not helped by the drone of music playing throughout the restaurant. The service here is definitely more reserved and refined than the usual gruffness of steakhouse waiters.

Despite a concise wine list there is a decent variety of bottles, unfortunately on a recent visit two bottles that I requested were out of stock.

The Lobster salad with asparagus, fingerling potatoes, tarragon vinaigrette and lobster oil was delectable. Perfectly poached lobster combined with the well chosen supporting ingredients provided an elevated experience vis a vis the traditional steakhouse seafood cocktail.

Despite being only 14oz and boneless I found the rib eye steak to be excellent. It had a hearty beefy flavor juxtaposed by an ethereal buttery tenderness that approached Japanese Kobe in exquisiteness. It is too bad that it is not offered with the bone in and in a larger portion.

The sides were excellent, the mini baked potatoes served with roasted garlic, Parmesan cream sauce, bacon and chives was irresistible and much less stogy than a traditional baked potato. The creamed spinach was also as good if not better than what you can expect at other restaurants.

Organic 24oz Brandt “Cowboy” Ribeye

The ribeye from the boutique steer of Brandt farms was wonderful. Tender and flavorful with the mineral rich flavor that only dry aging can impart. The sliced steak is served with a delicious smokey barbequed vegetable salad, warm brown butter and fresh herb vinaigrette. This is exactly the sort of inventive reinterpretation of steakhouse fare that I have been clamoring for.

Carpetbagger steak

Another wonderful dish from the chef's composition section of the menu is the carpet bagger steak, a filet mignon stuffed with blue point oysters accompanied by baby spinach, mashed potatoes and a Guinness and brown sugar sauce. I can see this dish potentially going horribly wrong but it was absolutely delectable. The earthy gritty flavor of the blue points infusing the tender and nicely seared beef with a rich flavor. The sauce, perhaps a tad rich for summer dining, was hearty and worked nicely with the creamy mashed.

The 32oz porterhouse comes sliced in the traditional steakhouse manner but sans the butter or "shine" that usually accompanies the dish. It is not missed, as luxurious as it may seem to eat steak with dripping butter I find that it tends to mask rather than enhance the flavor of the beef. And the flavor of this porterhouse was excellent, the outside nicely charred with a thick crust covering a cool interior.

The marbling on the porterhouse was impressive

While the porterhouse was indeed excellent it was ultimately not quite the equal of the porterhouse at Luger, Wolfgang's, Bobby Van's et al but it was very close. However with the rib eye and the sides being so excellent and with the superb chefs compositions available the over all dining experience at Dylan Prime is finer than what you will get at a traditional steakhouse. While the prices are higher pound for pound at Dylan Prime versus a traditional steakhouse the quality of the cooking and the inventiveness of the menu justify the difference.

The homemade baby ice cream cones were underwhelming. It is not that they did anything to offend they just did not provide anything special.

Dylan Prime Chocolate “Porterhouse” for Two
Red Velvet “N.Y. Strip,” Frozen Mousse “Filet,” and White Chocolate Bone

The chocolate porterhouse is a rather silly concept but it was admittedly delicious. It was hard to eat the white chocolate bone because it was just too cold and unyielding but the mousse and the red velvet cake complimented each other nicely. This is probably enough desert for up to four people. At $24 it is priced accordingly.

Dylan Prime definitely moves steakcraft forward. Prime steaks are expertly handled in the manner of a traditional steakhouse but are combined with an inventive menu using fresh ingredients. While traditionalists may scoff at the elevated prices here I find the quality of the ingredients and the originality of the menu more than justifies the difference. Highly recommended

Dylan Prime
62 Laight St.
(Greenwich St.)
212 334 4783

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hmm. I'm in the city over weekend (I live in CT) and we're looking for somewhere to eat; maybe we'll end up there!

What are your thoughts on the best places to buy steak to cook at home? I used to think that I needed to go to the butcher store, but my wife suggested I order prime steak from the internet, and I was really pleasantly surprised with the quality and general efficiency involved.