Pleasantly surprised at Prime
SO and I went last week for my birthday. I had briefly considered cancelling the reservation based on all the awful reviews of their service, but we were pleasantly surprised!
Service: A- A+. The server was friendly, joked around easily, knew when to butt out, went out of his way for my birthday, etc. Spectacular, actually.
Atmosphere: B. Incredibly loud, but that calmed down as the night went on. I got the impression that that might well be an NYC thing, not a specifically Prime thing.
Appetizers: B- B+. The Southern chicken app that my SO ordered was great, but for 25 bucks, I want more sashimi in my sashimi salad. Tasted good though.
Main course: A. Solid steak dinner. Prices are astronomical, but we expected that. Split a steak and enjoyed very yummy mashed potatoes (esp. enjoyed the creaminess considering there's no cream) and artichokes (my first time eating them and WOW they were good)
Dessert: A. I ordered the cheesecake, and was completely floored when I remembered it had to be pareve.
I'm glad it worked out for you. I haven't been there for a while, but I always found the food reliably wonderful. The problem was that so much else was reliably unpleasant -- the exorbitant prices, the extreme noise (no, it's not NY), and the erratic service. Worst of all, I never got a table, despite a reservation, without having to wait at least 25 minutes (sometimes 45). Ultimately, that was the last straw for me.
Glad you enjoyed it! I was just there this past week during my honeymoon and had a great time! Honestly, while they aren't cheap, I've never had any issues with their food or service; it's always been a great time!
We had the duck spring rolls and the "crab" cake appetizers this time. Both were very good...followed, of course, by steak! :)
At Prime, you will probably get better service if you arrive as part of a large party since large parties often result in larger tips. My wife and I are not big eaters, and may or may not even order a drink. This does endear us to waitstaff. We aren't tourists (in fact, we used to live about five blocks away), but we have always been treated really badly at Prime. I am talking about general rudeness, mixed up orders, a lukewarm steak, an obvious reluctance to bring bread or water, and a bill presented at the time the food was delivered. I was raised to be a mentsch, which means I don't get stressed out over small problems but speak up when I am getting bad value for my money. I keep a tally of the problems in attitude and service that I observed during my visit, and I make an attempt to speak to the management either that night or the next day. Management has at least gone through the motions of listening to me, but I have never gotten comped for the lousy service or seen any
improvement on subsequent visits. Whether I come or not, they will still have a full house most nights. I agree with others on this board who have said that the quality of the food is not so high that it outweighs being treated like a nothing.
I will preface this by saying that I glad you both had favorable experiences there and I sincerely hope it continues for you in the future.
However, I have had such horrid experiences at Prime Grill that I will never go back and refuse to recommend the place to anyone. I found the food preparation (the steaks came extremely rare regardless of how it was ordered and some sides came late or not at all) and the service (besides the missing food, the complete lack of attention by the staff as well as the haughty attitude once they finally did remember that you might possibly be worthy of their time) severely lacking in quality control. After the first disaster, I even insisted that we go back again as I was sure our experience must have been an anomaly. But no dice -- different day, same service.
As someone who is so fault-tolerant as a patron that my wife and friends have many times laid into me for being too forgiving of poor service, it speaks volumes to my family that I found every part of the experience totally unconscionable.
In summary, I'm glad things went well for you there, but I personally would sooner order steak at Kosher Delight than ever again subject myself to the indignities that made up my Prime Grill experiences.