Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Eat: Prime Bar + Grill
There's just something about Prime Bar + Grill that I really like... I just haven't quite put my finger on it yet. It's different from both National & 677 . Even more so from Tavolo and Aperitivo. Yes I know it's the more casual. dining option from Mazzone Hospitality, but let me tell you something , the food rocks just the same as all of the other restaurants. I almost feel like I want to keep this one to myself actually, because it's so good, it's right in my neck of the woods and it's not overwhelmed with the people that are there just because it's that hot spot to go. So shhhsssshhh, let's just keep this between us ok.
So I popped in on Saturday to kick off my vacation week with a quick bite, before heading back to the mountain of packing. I wasn't really meaning to have a whole big dinner, but it just kind of happened. This was my 3rd or 4th time eating there, and for some reason I had totally missed that they had a patio. Maybe it was that it was spectacularly beautiful day; the sun was dropping low into the gloaming hour and the breeze had a hint of crispness that portended of autumn's arrival...maybe is was the fantastic glass of pinot ...I'm not sure what made it so, but it was a surreal little haven of peacefulness.
I started off with a gnocchi appetizer that was one the features list that night. I love gnocchi, but this was made with oxtail which I don't eat. So I asked if maybe that could change it up just a bit, whatever the Chef wanted just without meat. This is the thing, I love when Chefs just do their thing and Chef Brady totally did. He sent me this beautifully balanced dish of gnocchi, zucchini, fresh local corn, chives and trumpeter mushrooms in the most delicate white wine sauce and the whole thing was finished with grated parmesan reggiano. There were little hints of spice that were perfect, just sensational really.
Then out came a little amuse bouche from the Chef....a tempura fried sweet & sour oyster...this is the deal folks, an amuse should be one bite of perfection, a pièce de résistance that leaves you hungering for more...mission accomplished.
I know everyone debates about the lobster roll. I think it's because we all have some kind of special memory tied up with it and so we have this idea of what we think it should be. I have a special affinity to the hot lobster roll, but those are hard to come by around here. That's not to say that I don't love a cold lobster roll, because seriously I think I order it every time I have to opportunity. So having said all that, hands down in the Capital Region if you want a cold lobster roll, you have to go a Mazzone property. I'm sorry to all my other friends that make them, but for real, they make it exactly the way it should be done and then it gets even more delicious because of the insanely good brioche roll. I don't know how to describe it to do it justice, it's just amazingly over the top good.
So I had been considering having some dessert, which I rarely if ever do, but I really wasn't feeling it. I just kind of wanted a cheese plate, and they didn't have one on the list. So this is what I think is spot on awesome about the service here. I had a cup of coffee and instead of bringing me my check, she brought me a cheese plate from the Chef. That is going above and beyond, really all I said was " you know I just really wanted a cheese plate, so I'm good...I'll just have a cup of coffee and take my check." Amazingly good service... Angelo if you're happen to read this, give Holly one of those special cards...Brady too because he's went above & beyond as well.
So the sun was almost set, my dinner was complete...and I went home contentedly satiated and wrote for a while before finishing up the packing. Happiness is finding the joy in and appreciating the simple things in life... sitting alone in on the patio having a spectacular meal that evening I am so thankful for my dolce vita.