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SoBe Hell Hole

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Within the restaurant industry I suspect nothing irks me more than bad or superior attitudes ( with the exception of bad food of course).

South Beach is an interesting area, in that you find a lot of the beautiful people and quite often the not so pretty people happily spotting beautiful people.

Prime 112 is a perfect example of scene over substance.

I had previously eaten there 3 years ago and I guess my memory was that of a good though expensive evening eating outside on a beautiful Florida night with a few mates, which invariably makes the evening. Good food and service will elevate one's enjoyment and experience always.

The two latter items are seemingly missing in action at this overpricey, loud, resto, with some serious attitude problems with its front desk greeters and the quality of its food.

We arrived for our 7:30 dinner appointment for 4 on time. It took a while to get the attention of the attractive bald headed young black woman at the desk, notwithstanding the fact that I was standing directly in front of her. There were at least 4 other people with and around her behind the front desk, and yet the greeting was perfunctory at best, and once it was established that we had a reservation, we were summarily shunted around the corner to the extremely crowded and narrow bar to wait.

I am immediately reminded of a time when I was a lot younger when this sort of thing was somewhat cool, the difference being that back then everyone was of similar age. Prime 112 attracts all sorts, with the large breasted under-dressed women taking up equal room as the toupeed septuagenarians and the groups of young men clearly out for big steaks and a touch of talent spotting.

We waited for 25 minutes before we were provided a table along the corridor with great access to the toilets, this would become an issue later as folks hovered nearby awaiting their tables making the already noisy place almost impossible to carry on a conversation without shouting at my fellow diners, and the occasional waiting punter becoming almost part of our group of four based on how close they hovered.

We managed to get our orders in eventually and our first course arrived an hour and ten minutes after we had arrived at the resto. Both my wife and I had the crab cakes as appetiser, my good friend had the tuna sliders and his wife the a half dozen oysters.

The crab cakes were mediocre, and despite having asked before I ordered if it was just crab meat and being told yes, it was evident that wasn't quite true. The largish hockey puck on a bed of corn and sweet peppers topped with what I assumed was some sour cream and a piece of spring onion as garnish that was placed in front of me, was tediously bland and luke warm to boot. We washed that down with a bottle of chardonnay and that was probably for me at least the best part of the first course.

For our main course it was an 8oz fillet for me and the 12oz for my buddy while our wives had the crab stuffed grouper on a bed of creamed spinach and the swordfish with greens and salsa.

We ordered sides of rapini, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, sweet potato fries, and a potato with sour cream and bacon. With that we ordered a La Crema pinot noir from anderson valley, again probably the star of the main course.

The side dishes were enormous as was everything else. I honestly didn't know that one could grow single potatoes as large as was presented (though charging $14 for a potato notwithstanding it was the size of the state of Idaho, is still a rude way to laugh at the idiocy of one's clientele)

The sweet potato fries were limp having clearly been cooked in oil that badly need changing. The slight aftertaste confirmed that.

The roasted brussel sprouts with bacon was the best with the rapini a close second.

My steak was mediocre at best and lukewarm too boot. I ordered medium rare, and got medium, something that I suspect is a function of an overworked kitchen with a management that is focused on cycling as many unsuspecting suckers through Prime 112 in a night as possible.

That was evident on the number of times that our server came by to try and get us to order and more likely to get us the hell out of the hell hole of a restaurant that is more scene than anything else.

The only substance the place has is reflected in the enormous portions and if that's your thing then go right ahead; but I have eaten in a variety of high end steak houses throughout the US and Canada and I don't believe either the standard or quality that they deliver is met by what Prime 112 chooses to offer. I say that only because I suspect they are capable of better.

Having eaten at the various Smith and Wollenskys around the US that might have been the safe bet as one location is only stones throw from Prime 112, if you are looking for good steak. At least you feel as though you are going to get kissed before they leave the teeth marks on your back.

In closing thank goodness for great company; but an overpriced, easily forgotten dining experience, punctuated by way too much attitude at the front desk, in a frenetic and noisy hell hole, that is undeserving of even being ranked near the top of good restaurants I have dined at in South Beach.

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Prime 112 Restaurant
112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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