Dish 145: Prime Rib at the Prime Rib, 17th and Locust, http://www.theprimerib.com/
Mystery Man took me to Prime Rib last night for some old-school glamour. We both love that Prime Rib knows exactly what it is and lives it up, leopard print carpets, enormous faux-Ming vases, black floral couches, black walls, baby grand with clear acrylic lid, Sinatra tunes, large-type menu and all. It’s a moment in time, like my high school math tutor who slept in the day that the memo went out that stirrup leggings and big hair were over. Far from trying to be the next communal-dining wine bar that serves small bites, Prime Rib stands proudly, asserting that some things don’t need to change, that some things never go out of style, and once you’re around long enough, you’ll get it. God, my grandmother would have loved this place.
A tuxedoed man—actually, several tuxedoed men, lead us to a four-top and, with the option of chair or sharing the glorious floral sofa, Julie Andrew’s words in the Princess Diaries commanded me to take the chair: “I don’t scootch”. Pffft. I scootched cheekily to the far half of the sofa, in the shadow of a shrubbery-sized plastic floral arrangement.
Mystery Man comes from a faraway place dotted with glacial lakes, where meat occupies the largest bottom layer of the food pyramid; this in mind, he took one for the team and agreed to consume the majority of the Prime Rib’s famous prime rib. (All girls should be so lucky.) And great Odin’s beard, the prime rib at Prime Rib is a prime rib to end all prime ribs, an offering upon the altar of a meatatarian God. A two inch thick opus of beef, lean and buttery at the core, wrapped in a generous layer of gooey fat. I am led to believe that MM found it tasty; I certainly enjoyed the bite I had tremendously.
Maybe you are wondering, as I was, exactly who patronizes the Prime Rib on a Wednesday night. Those who have loved it for decades, naturally, took up several tables in all their bow-tied, white-haired pomp. The others were—just people. Nobody too young, we had some Mom-ish characters wearing their favorite black stretch tops and chunky costume jewelry, some Dad-looking guys in buttondowns sans ties—you don’t even need a jacket any more, on most nights! No hipsters or yupsters, but I would love to see the Prime Rib’s authentic old-fashioned swank and overt rejection of the trend towards small plates make a renaissance. Saturated fats are so hot right now, it’s really not much of a leap. And maybe I’m old-fashioned, or maybe I have been conditioned by many years spent in the Nordstrom shoe department, but there is something to be said for a piano man crooning while you linger over a lovely evening.