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Mar 29, 2014 10:52 AM

Prime Rib Restaurant on the South Shore

I'm sure this has been discussed at length, but the most recent threads that I've found were back in 2010 or for the North Shore or the city.

We have friends visiting that want authentic New England Prime Rib. Any suggestions?

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  1. I never heard anyone ever associate New England with Prime Rib? The Midwest maybe, or Texas perhaps, but we're not exactly known for our beef production. Can you elaborate?

    15 Replies
    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      Durgin Park's schtick is "classic Yankee cooking" and they feature Prime Rib quite prominently, so it's not coming out of nowhere. "Sunday Roast Dinner" is also fairly commonly found in New England restaurants.

      Sorry katie, the Boston South Shore dining scene isn't an area of expertise for me, so I don't have any firsthand suggestions for you. Here are a few places, some of which have been recommended here in the past, that offer the menu you are looking for. Hopefully someone more familiar with these restaurants can chime in with input.

      Barker Tavern, Scituate
      Sunday Roast Dinner is only offered from 12-4

      Aroma Tavern, PLymouth
      Prime Rib offered on Tuesday and Wednesdays only

      42 Degrees North, PLymouth

      Stockholders, South Weymouth

      Grumpy White's, Quincy
      Fri & Sat only, 4pm until they run out.

      Joe's American Bar & Grill, Braintree
      every day after 4pm

      1. re: Chris VR

        Never been to Joe's American Braintree location, but as a whole the chain is not very good and the prime rib uninspiring

        1. re: bagelman01

          Oh don't get me wrong, I hate Joe's and personally have never had a good meal there. But there were a few recommendations in the past on Chowhound for the prime rib meal at this particular location, which is why I mentioned it.

            1. re: Bellachefa

              Been to other locations of this dismal chain. My comment is based on those experiences. It is highly unusual for one location in a casual chain to have exceptional CH worthy food.

              1. re: bagelman01

                The thing about prime rib though, is it's a really simple meal, hard to screw up. As you mention below, there's not much seasoning to the meat itself, and popovers and mashed potatoes don't require much skill in the kitchen either. That's why it seemed likely to me that previous Chowhound report of the prime rib actually being good didn't seem that farfetched. The poster seemed really sure about this opinion, and although it's from quite a while ago, I don't think Joe's has changed much.

          1. re: Chris VR

            Although your list is clearly an admirable result of trying to help the OP and answer their question, that list is a whole lot of "meh" and none are places I'd advise taking an out of towner for New England centric dining. I guess if you go far enough back in the day, we had places like The Hilltop, or Valles, or even Ken's where one could get featured Prime Rib, but I still wouldn't put any of those up against even average places in Chicago, KC, or Dallas for instance.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              I've thought about your question: What does Op mean by a New England Style Prime Rib?

              and I've thought back to my youth between 45 and 55 years ago...............
              Here in CT the prevalent style of prime rib served at "Yankee" (read non ethnic, places who often had the word tavern in the name) or steakhouses was a large, 2" thick served on the bone (resembling a badminton racket with a truncated handle) slab of prime rib that had only been seasoned with salt and black pepper on the outside and slow roasted til perfection. The juices had no added spices, no hint of onion or garlic, etc. The meat was preceeded by an iceberg lettuce salad and accompanied by popovers or Yorkshire Pudding and a baked potato.

              In addition to the stand alone restaurants, I clearly remember this at the Three Manero's Steakhouse locations: Greenwich, Westport and on the Berlin Turnpike and at Valle's chain locations from Maine going south through West Haven, CT.

              As I grew up and had prime rib in other oarts of the country, I often found other herbs and spices added to the seasoning and the bone was a welcome surprise but not the standard way to serve, cuts were much thinner as well.

              Don't know if this is a proper explanation, jst my recollection of Prime Rib served at such places as the Sachem House, The Yankee Peddlar The Three Bears, Kaysey's, our country club outside New Haven and city clubs in New Haven and Waterbury.

              1. re: bagelman01

                Agree wholeheartedly with your definition bagelman. I mentioned Valle's and Hilltop as places which I surmised the OP may have been referring to when he/she mentioned New England Style prime rib. And I could not agree more with your description of the typically bland preparation of the beef at those locations, which makes it even more perplexing of why anyone would seek out such food. But to each his own and that's what make CH a valuable resource, right?

                As to Chris VR's assumption that I'm stating opinions of places I've never been, I can only say that's not my practice, although it apparently is his. The "meh" of my statement is of personal experience of having fair to middling fare at 42 Degrees North, Aroma Tavern, and Stockholders. And as far as recommending anyone go to Joe's American, why you may as well rec Olive Garden to those seeking authentic 'New England style' veal parmigiana. I eat out a lot on the south shore, and I can't think of a place where I could send someone looking for a good prime rib dinner, so I too, would be interested in an answer from someone with personal experience. Unfortunately, we still don't have one.

                I will say that I've had an enjoyable steak frittes and also a nice aged sirloin on the bone at the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham on occasion, but I don't remember seeing prime rib.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  Curious, how many times have you dined at Joe's American? And have you had their prime rib?

                  I've been to Olive Garden once in 15 years. Therefor I am in no position to comment on their veal parm or anything other then decor.

                  1. re: Bellachefa

                    Olive Garden's decor has certainly changed in 15 years, so what's your point?

              2. re: CapeCodGuy

                OK, let's try this again... the poster isn't looking for a meal in Chicago, KC or Dallas, and they aren't looking for "New England centric dining". Without getting hung up on the "authentic New England" part of the OP, they're looking specifically for a Prime Rib dinner in the South Shore area. I have family in that parts and a dad who loves that kind of meal, so the answer is definitely of interest to me.

                Have to been to any of the restaurants on that list? If not, what are you basing your "meh" on? I haven't been to Grumpy White's, but I sent my family there for a non prime rib meal and they raved about it. My family does have simple tastes, so maybe this is just a disconnect between the kind of food you like and the kind of meal this is.

                I was hoping some people would be able to offer info on the different options so we could steer the OP (and my dad!) to the best prime rib in the South Shore area, even if it's not the best in the country.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  I can attest that grumpy whites steak tips are quite good. My only complaint is that the prices have gone way up making them less of a value. While I have never had their prime rib they do a brisk business based on the amount I see coming out of the kitchen.

                  It's been a number of years since I have been to the Barket Tavern but when my dad was alive he loved it and loved their prime rib. To me it was wedding type prime rib, under seasoned but it was nicely rare. Plus my dad would call ahead and they would save the end cut for him.

                  Another place worth a call is Strawberry Fare in Norwell. IIRC they offer it on occasion.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    Thanks for the tip on Strawberry Fair. They don't list it on their menu at but what they do list is straight up my mom's alley (Yankee Pot Roast!). What do you think of that place in general? Norwell is a great meeting point for us.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      We love Strawberry Fair. Totally hokey decor, slightly uncomfortable chairs and tables (most are renovated sewing machines), small rooms and low ceilings but the food is dead on New England comfort food. We go mostly for breakfast (grilled buttered corn bread and baked bean sides!) which is excellent.

                      For dinner my husband wavers between the meatloaf and the shepards pie and is never disappointed. I love their quiche.

                      Keep in mind that none of the food is "gourmet" and most of it could be made easily at home but it serves a neighborhood niche. I wouldn't change a thing.

                      On a side note herb chambers has been doing everything to force them out of the location. He took over the old Saab dealership next door and has been making the owners life miserable. We make a point of going at least once or twice month in support.

          2. A friend of mine likes prime rib and enjoys the prime rib at Joes. That's the only reason he goes there. I've never ordered it but have tasted it a few times when he ordered it, and it tasted good to me.

            1. It may be late in coming, but here is my response. By saying "authentic New England prime rib" I was referring to the big old 2 inch slab of slow roasted tenderness-served in a plate of au jus, on a bone-with a big baked potato. Something you'd get from the old salt yankee tavern type of places.
              Some may think uninspired-but they represent our childhood and what we grew up with. This type of dinner was a special occasion kind of night-grandparents anniversary, dad's birthday, etc... We used to love The White Horse Inn in NH, and I know The Common Man locations used to(maybe still have) amazing Prime Rib, but those are all in New Hampshire and I was hoping to find something more local. Chris VR & Bagelman-you were both exactly right in what I was hoping to find!

              We tried to get into Stockholders that night-but there was a 2 hour wait and they weren't taking reservations. We ended up going out for Chinese food, because our visiting friends missed "duck sauce".

              1 Reply
              1. re: katiegreeniz

                Thanks for reporting back! I was expecting to spend some time last summer exploring these kinds of places when my parents were visiting but family circumstances kept us away from that area.

              2. this thread has me tickled. my mother grew up on the south shore with very meager means, so as an adult she savors her meat, especially beef, especially on the bone! one of my fondest childhood memories is of sharing prime rib with her at various NE style dining rooms in several states. even as a young hound i was never overly impressed with hilltop. my mom has actually mentioned how good Valle's was when she was young and i've honestly never heard of it otherwise till here! back in the day we enjoyed the lafeyette house in foxboro, hearth 'n kettle in plymouth, the common man in i believe enfield nh? the old grist mill in seekonk Ma (salad bar!)...and a half dozen other places that are since closed. my memories are not of popovers, but definitely include a baked potato, maybe some butternut squash mush (my mom's favorite), au jus, and horseradish sauce. thanks all for conjuring happy memories!