Now Open- Benjamin Prime, a Modern Steakhouse
By Jennifer Shanteau
When it comes to eating steak in New York City, there is no question you’ll be able to find an amazing place in which to do so. The question is which one of the plethora of legendary steakhouses, do you choose? There are several well known classic steakhouses that call New York their home. Benjamin Steakhouse which opened ten years ago, or one hundred in restaurant years, is one of them, and they are now debuting their sister restaurant Benjamin Prime. Why two steakhouses you ask? Well, why not? With an insatiable demand for carnivorous offerings, and a proven recipe for success, it only makes sense. Benjamin Prime has all the classic steakhouse staples, but with a more modern take, like these Grilled Oysters.
So, while some diners opt for a more traditional, classic approach, many, myself included, crave the same high quality steakhouse meat, but with a more modern, creative twist. That place is Benjamin Prime.
One of the great things about Benjamin Prime is that it also offers seafood options for your non-carnivorous friends, and this is not just any second thought seafood! The restaurant group also owns and operates The Seafire Grill, which specializes in it. So you could say, if a top seafood restaurant and a top steakhouse had a baby, it would be named Benjamin Prime. It’s the best of both worlds. Just look at this Tartare Duo of Salmon and Tuna. I could have eaten five of these just as an appetizer!
If tartare is your thing, (its mine), this is tartare heaven! When are you ever offered more than one tartare option, let alone four?! Never! I challenge you to find someplace else that does this! I almost couldn’t breathe when I found out. Imagine one of your favorite things on the planet, then imagine finding out there are four delectable variations of your favorite thing, and you are going to be able to indulge in all of them right now. Yes, I almost peed in my new lace jumpsuit.
After the Tartare Duo, those wonderful, polite waiters brought out this fabulous number….the Wagyu Beef Tartare topped with…..wait a minute…caviar! Are you kidding me already?! As if the most amazing steak (Wagyu) in tartare form wasn’t great enough, they went and topped it with delicious caviar. It’s like they are in my head, and today is my birthday.
If that wasn’t decadence incarnate, next came the Filet Mignon Tartare topped with shaved Truffle and cream. I was feeling like royalty by this point, trying to hold on to this experience by savoring each and every bite.
Last, what I believe to be the most decadent of them all, the Strip Loin Tartare topped with Foie Gras. Now, typically I don’t eat Foie Gras for political reasons, but when this was placed before my watering maw, I felt my inner lion come to life, became a complete hypocrite, and devoured it. (I said a silent “thank you” to the duck afterwards to alleviate my guilt.) This combination had my head spinning.
You didn’t think that was it did you? Oh no! That was merely the beginning, for moments later the most mouth watering steak, cooked to perfection and accompanied by a Hollandaise and a Peppercorn Sauce, (that I’m dying to try to copy), was next in the rotation. Being the hugest fan of French cooking, and of sauces, I loved having the option of being able to incorporate one of these two sauces into each bite, even though, quite frankly, the steak, with a great char on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside, was perfect on its own.
Forgive me for completely ignoring the vegetarian options up until now. It’s definitely a case of “last, but not least”, because the Creamy Corn was the best corn dish I have ever had, outside of eating corn straight off the cob from a farm, mere hours after it was picked. We were warned about this corn, that’s how good it is. I, of course being a bit of a skeptic, did not believe it could possibly be as delicious as claimed, but was proven wrong. I’m sure there are many delicious side items on their menu, but the next time I go back, I will be reordering this. In fact, I will probably never go the Benjamin Prime and not order the Creamy Corn.
Now what pasta dish do you associate with decadence? Lobster Mac and Cheese, of course! Yes, they have it! It was creamy, cheesy goodness. Their twist? They use Swiss and American Cheese and…..what really stood out, Gouda. It was so cheesy, I almost forgot there was lobster in there!
I was so obsessed with the food at Benjamin Prime, I almost forgot to tell you about the cocktails! No, this is not a ghost writer. This is me, I swear. It was all just that good. Not that the cocktails weren’t, I mean they had one of my favorite drinks of all time after all…..my “go to” summer drink, The Midtown Mule, basically a classic Moscow Mule, (vodka, lime, and ginger beer), with their own added twist, fresh basil. The Paper Airplane (Jameson’s Whisky, Aperol, Amaro Montenegro and Lemon) was delicious and well balanced, the perfect cocktail option for those who don’t like the liquor taste to be too prominent, but still want something not too foofy.
However, since I’ve had many Midtown Mules before, and prefer my festive beverages strong and liquor forward, like an ad executive from the 60’s, my favorite cocktail of the evening was The Benjamin Cure, (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Rooibos Tea Infusion, and Carpano). I even love the glass they serve it in.
If you aren’t convinced by now that you mustn’t die before experiencing all that is Benjamin Prime, let me share a few other secrets. First, they have beautiful spaces set aside just for private parties, something not always easy to find in New York. Look at that wine wall!
As if all of this wasn’t enough on its own, they also offer a Pre-fix Power Lunch for $35. Talk about a steal! A typical sandwich at a not so great place, some chips and a beverage isn’t a hell of a lot cheaper than that, and definitely not anywhere remotely near as wonderful. I cannot say enough good things about Benjamin Prime. What I most want to say to them is “thank you for coming” and “please don’t ever leave”.