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Primehouse New York

by Ross Bruniges on June 5th, 2011

At a glance

Primehouse New York

Chef: Brian O'Donohoe

Reservations: +1 212 824 2600

Rating: 8 out of 10

Cost : £50-£75


381 Park Ave S

New York



Location map

Don't just take my word for it

Primehouse New York on Urbanspoon

In photos

Primehouse New York

Inside the aging room

More pictures

Before setting foot into New York I didn’t quite realise how strong the locals thoughts would be on the matter of where the best steak can be found. Most people recommended Peter Luger – a steak house open for over 100 years and one that Zagat have rated the best for 27 years. On none of the top 10 lists I found could I find Primehouse Steak; we found one local who knew about it but instantly turned his nose up telling us “that’s not a New York steak, there are tons better”.

Thankfully for us I went to believe the recommendation of the person who had suggested it, our host at Daniel and I was extremely happy that I did as it provided one of the best steaks I have probably ever had beating those at Hawksmoor, Chakalaka (a UK South African place) and coming damn close to ones I had in Cape Town (though it was a while ago and more direct comparison might be helpful in the near future).

All meat here comes from just one farm, Creekstone Farms in Kansas. Taking steps a bit further Primehouse only buys meat sired by one particular bull. They have their own aging room on the premises where all meat is dry aged in a room perfumed by pink Himalayan salt. The in-house prep room also provides them the advantage of producing special cuts not found in many other places and meats cured for longer than most dare.

The salt and the steaks

They serve appetizers, and desserts and non-steak dishes but really I don’t think there is much need and I don’t really want to talk about all that stuff – I want to talk steak; if you don’t want steak you don’t go a steak house. Looking for uniqueness the two that stood out from the menu was a bone in fillet and a 65 day matured ribeye steak. It’s also worth noting that this was the place which introduced me to ‘family style’ side-dishes; just as a word of warning to anyone traveling to the states anytime soon this essentially means huge, do NOT order more than 1 portion unless you really like wastage.

I’m not normally a big fillet steak fan. By design they do very little work so are therefore lovely and tender but I’ve always felt that they lack a bit of meaty intensity that I can easily find in cheaper steaks. I think the addition of the extra piece of rib bone added to this cut was a work of genius as the cooking of this in the pan provides that intensity while still being tender enough to cut with a fork.

Bone in fillet steak – a special for the aging room

Intensity was what I was hoping for from the 65 days matured meat and it delivered with both barrels. The fat broke down perfectly and provided succulence with that still remaining tasting and feeling like bone marrow. The meat was yielding perfectly with each cut and being 20oz (about 550g) there were thankfully plenty of those to be done.

As expected the steaks were cooked to rare (Ella)/medium rare (me) perfectly with just the addition of a little pepper being the only thing used in the process. House-made steak sauce was actually rather bland but thankfully it wasn’t even needed.

65 days matured ribeye steak

To top off the meat-fest we were also lucky enough to be ‘treated’ (though I think they are happy to show around anyone who asks) to a little tour around the meat room. Containing all their cuts in the temperature controlled room the smell was described before we entered as ‘funky’ and it was certainly a slap-bass funky meaty smell. It was a great experience but the only annoyance was it made me want to eat another steak. The problem being that after eating one I think another might have been classed in my ‘good idea at the time’ column so I just went back to the hotel.

Inside the aging room – sirloin steaks

Whether this is a ‘New York’ steak or not the quality of them cannot be denied. Steaks are not difficult to come by but actually the cuts at Primehouse I think are – I’ve not seen 65 days matured anywhere else; though I do hope that I can do.

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