J Prime is Prime
By: Angela Clack
For something to be “everything” that something must do everything right. For a restaurant, that means they have to be close to perfect. It’s unusual for a restaurant to do everything well. J Prime is a rare exception. Excellence comes through in J Prime’s perfectly prepared and beautifully presented cuisine. The service quality comes through right from the start. Coming through the door you immediately understand that you’ve entered an atmosphere created by someone committed to elevating the dining experience.
At J Prime, they want you to know that they’re special and that they believe you’re special too. I love the look of the restaurant. Its elegant, modern décor hints at the experience to come. But for the tasteful music, it’s quiet. You don’t hear the commotion that we sometimes accept as proof that the team in the kitchen or at the bar is working really hard. It’s as if they’ve gone to lengths to keep what’s happening backstage from infringing on what the patrons have in mind for their evening. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear myself talk. I want to hear what my dining companions are saying. Is that so much to ask?
The great service begins when you approach the hostess stand. It is there that I pull a stunt for which I am somewhat ashamed but not so embarrassed that I’m willing to change. When the host asks, “How many in your party?” I always answer for the group and I add one to the number of people with me. Here’s why. I have this thing about my handbag in restaurants. I cannot dangle my bag on the arm of my chair. I will not use one of those $10 bedazzled purse hooks from Charming Charlie. I will not pay $110 for a sterling silver purse hook from Brighton so that my handbag ends up hanging oddly from the corner of the table during the entire meal. I’m just not able to do it. So, I put my handbag in the “extra” chair. My stunt is not necessary at J Prime. At J Prime, they’ve thought of just about everything. They have a handbag valet stand. Problem solved. That thoughtfulness comes through in the attentiveness of the wait staff. They are in a class by themselves, excellent in their knowledge, their recommendations, and their focus. It is a pleasure to be cared for by the J Prime team.
Restaurants are about food so I’ll get to the point. Selection matters. I would characterize J Prime as a steakhouse but that’s almost not fair to them because they are so much more. They’ve added Brazilian elements that raise the bar for flavor. The menu includes just what you’d expect from a great steakhouse, while also including tidbits and sauces you’d not expect that bring the Brazilian influence to life, such as chimichurri and pickled onions to color your meal as you see fit. For steak lovers, the traditional cuts are available including my favorite, the rib eye. They also have a Tomahawk rib eye that’s been aged for 40 days and an Akaushi filet. If you and your partner are both carnivores, they offer a Prime Porterhouse dinner for two with soup or salad and a side per person. What you can expect when you get a steak at J Prime is that it will be perfectly cooked and served sizzling on a 500 degree plate. There’s a very nice selection of add ons, including blue cheese, béarnaise, seared foie gras and fresh seasonal truffle. Entrees include sea bass, lobster tail, ahi tuna and stuffed chicken breast, king crab legs and salmon. Their signature charcuterie and cheese board is a delight. They’ve both cold appetizers and hot appetizers including some really fantastic choices such as octopus ceviche, russian caviar and a hot appetizer that I really enjoyed, a fondue with apple, hazelnut and shrimp served with great grilled bread.
If you start your meal with a salad, try their Caesar. They include a little red leaf and baby heirloom tomatoes along with herbed croutons and shaved parmesan. You’ll also discover capers and fried anchovies. The list of sides is extensive. You won’t find these two on the online menu, but we loved their seafood mac and cheese and the apricot glazed carrots. They seem to be perfecting and introducing new items to the menu. J Prime boast about an extensive wine selection. I’ve not indulged beyond their house cabernet, my “go to” and a cocktail or two. They have a gorgeous liquor trolley and wine enthusiasts can rent one of their lockers which are on full display.
With J Prime, it’s the little things like the bread basket that’s more than just basic fresh baked bread. They’ve done something with their dinner rolls that’s made them addictive. They are better than good. There’s a nostalgia to them. Seriously, if you can imagine the “from scratch” roll that mom or grandma made for you as a child, you’ll come close to the wonder that is J Prime bread. To taste a dinner roll there is to be transported back to a enchanting time when mom or grandma cared enough to make bread. Who does that now? No one. Commingled with the rolls are these small balls of cheese bread. For kicks, they include just three of these exquisite balls so that a party of two (not counting the handbag) are sure to squabble over the extra. But wait, just as the anxiety begins to build here comes a member of the with staff the server with another basket.
Dessert is on par with the rest of the J Prime experience. They are pretty and tasty. They offer bananas Foster, tableside, along with crepes suzette. Or, you can choose a classic cheesecake or apple pie or crème brulee. I tried and loved a tiramisu ice cream sundae. Or choose to end your dining experience with an espresso, cappuccino or affogatto. J Prime is everything. You deserve to go, to be treated well and to enjoy an exquisite meal.
Visit J Prime for dinner, happy hour or enjoy their beautiful Sunday brunch.
J Prime is located near Stone Oak in the Vineyard area at 1401 N Loop 1604. For more information visit www.jprimesteakhouse.com.
Photos courtesy of J Prime