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HELP!Mikes Bistro or Prime Grill?

I have a very special occasion this week and need to choose a place. My husband and I used to go out to eat a lot but are not able to any more. We are looking for a real Gourmet restaurant that knows what its doing when it comes to food. There was a place in Tel Aviv that we used to go to called Alahmbra that was French gourmet that really knew how to combine flavors to come as close to (kosher) perfection as we have ever seen.We want something that can compare with an excellent non-kosher restaurant. I have disqualified Solo as I saw so many bad reviews, though I saw just as many good ones-I cant take a chance. I read all the previous posts but since I know that these places have ups and downs, has anyone been to either recently? Also, Mikes website doesnt have any pictures, so is the ambiance better than PG?Its not as important as the food, but I do care a little. PG has aged meat so can mikes compare? On the other hand Mikes has that gnocci thats supposed to be amazing and I like the idea that its his place-that hes responsible for it being good and that he comes out to talk to you. What do you say?

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  1. Prime Grill has a gnocchi appetizer also. Mike's "ambience" is that of a small restaurant. Nothing about it is particularly fancy but all is pretty nice. Prime Grill is much more modern feeling, sleeker. I prefer Prime Grill's style.
    I also disagree with your take on Solo. The food is very good and the vibe is nice.

    1. Don't think Mike deserves the hype. We were the first customers of the evening a couple of months ago and didn't even get a look from him even though he was around. The food was just simple, nothing special. The gnocchi was great, but obviously the portions were small. Ambience-wise, it was quieter than Prime. We are still looking for what we used to have with Tevere. I wouldn't bother with Mike's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cappucino

        What do you mean by "used to have at Tevere"?It's still the place that I choose for special occasions.

        1. re: momrn

          Very disappointed last time. Horrible service. Food not particularly impressive. Deep fried sweetbreads? Didn't clean the crumbs off before dessert. I could go on and on. We have been going for over 15 years so I feel comfortable dissing them. Ambience-wise, though, it is the best in NY.

      2. As I've written before, Mike's is all hype and does not deliver. Though the food sounds inventive on paper, it's just not that great, not even that good. Prime Grill is consistently amazing- the sushi and steaks. Also, I know ppl have mixed reviews about Solo, but the ambience is amazing. The food is great but very expensive and portions are small. I really think PG is the best of the lot. Abigael's is up there too.

        3 Replies
        1. re: websterhall1994

          What about La Carne ? Does that rank up there? I've never been to these restaruants... we don't even go out for pizza, generally.

          1. re: midasgold

            La Carne happens to be my favorite place to dine. I think the ambiance is far superior to Prime Grill. You can have a private meal without feeling you are on top of the person at the next table. I think the food is terrific and we have only received top notch service.

            1. re: sl96

              Agree on La Carne. Have been to PG, Abigails, Le Marais, Solo. Used to be big on PG, but that was before La Carne. The Delmonico steak is outstanding.

        2. Prime Grill is good, but loud. Mike's is much more intimate and the food is great. The gnocchi is incredible. I also loved the veal. I find the dessert selection at Prime Grill to be much better.

          1. I love the food and ambience at Tevere. Because it is owned by the Latanzzi family, I think that they try to keep its quality consistent with their other non-kosher restaurants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: obsessedkosherfoodie

              I've only been to La Carne once but I found it to be underwhelming and the service to be pretty poor.

            2. i love both, what it really comes down to is whether u want a steakhouse, or a restaurant

              4 Replies
              1. re: kiddush hopper

                I have really liked Tevere the times I have been there, but have noticed that most of the posts on it in various threads seem to indicate that it has got more expensive (not cheap to begin with) with smaller portions. I wish Domani was still around as that was really good, and had a nice qiuet ambiance.

                1. re: kiddush hopper

                  Whoa... for the uninformed among us, what is the difference between a steakhouse and a restaurant?! I thought that they were one and the same! Please include a list of features that are at one but not the other type of eatery... Thanks.

                  By the way, what's the difference between Mike's and Tallia's? I believe they're both fleishig restaurants on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

                  -Midas

                  1. re: midasgold

                    Mike's is much better than Talia's. Not even close.

                    1. re: midasgold

                      a steakhouse (like prime grill) is known for, and focuses on steaks.

                      while a restaurant has a much broader focus

                  2. I vote for Mikes. Prime Grill ambiance isn't appropriate for a romantic dinner. Happen to also think that the food is better at Mikes (more subtle), but both are excellent and I happily eat at either of them when I can - but for a date, definitely hit Mikes. You might want to let them know it is a special occasion and try to get a window table.

                    1. I was at Mike's Grill for a private Shabbat dinner this past Friday night and it was amazing. I agree that the decor is not fancy per se but it's very nice and intimate and classy.

                      Mike was there and came out to greet our group and thank us for coming. He spent some time sitting at the bar and, even though liquor was not included, invited anyone who wanted to have a drink and a few of us had some really nice -- and expensive -- Scotch and bourbon.

                      The first course was a seared tuna appetizer that, according to Mike, had been swimming off Hawaii a few hours earlier. It was ethereally good, like eating gossamer. It was barely seared and very little had been done with it.

                      Second course was a cold gazpacho in a martini glass and it was also terrific.

                      The mains were excellent but frankly, not quite as good as the first courses. We had a sliced steak and while it was great, just seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, it was a bit dried out -- obviously from being cooked before Shabbat and kept warm. Mashed potatoes and kale were both fine as was the coffee and the wine. Dessert was fairly forgettable but I've almost never had a memorable pareve dessert.

                      Service was impeccable, especially considering it was Shabbat and therefore no tipping and no financial incentive on the part of the waiters to go overboard.

                      We'll have the same experience a year from now and I can't wait.

                      1. This week? During the nine days? Might I suggest a nice dairy restaurant. Something along the lines of Gusto Va Mare?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Shiguy

                          The date of the original post was July 29, so she had at least a few days to go before the 9 Days started. And who knows, maybe she was making a siyum.