A ‘Prime’ OverRye Experience
It’s official! We launched the OverRye website, set up social media accounts (follow here, here and here, if you’re so inclined) and began connecting with a network of steak and whiskey lovers across the country. And so it was time to visit another Las Vegas steakhouse and share our story about the experience.
This time was different, though.
Just as we prepared to visit Prime in Bellagio, Las Vegas faced a significant tragedy the night before. On October 1, 2017, an evil person who will intentionally remain unnamed initiated the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. This attack shook everyone to the core, and for us at OverRye, it was no different. Jarrad had family members at the concert, and Hayim was up through the night waiting to hear back from friends who were directly impacted. As one of many emergency responders that night, Dori was also affected, especially after learning that his academy mate, Charleston Hartfield, lost his life during the shooting. Officer Hartfield was a great man, who served our country as a military veteran and our community as a ‘cop’s cop’. His bravery throughout his career continued on that night as he took law enforcement action despite being off duty. We thank him for his service and sacrifice. He will certainly be missed.
Acts of terrorism and mass shootings are often designed to instill fear and change our way of life. Resisting this change is what makes us strong … Vegas Strong. And that is why it quickly became important that we return to our readers and do so in a way that contributes to the strength of our city.
We decided intentionally to pick up exactly where we left off with the same location and same plan. Being that this was our third review, Hayim and Jarrad knew that this fun would not continue unless they include their wives—smart men.
We all had high expectations. How could you not when the restaurant sits lakeside at Bellagio, just steps away from the famous dancing fountains? For most of the group, these expectations were met.
Story & Atmosphere | Rating: 9
Let’s begin with the atmosphere, which certainly became the focal point of our positive experience. Yes, this restaurant is at Bellagio. And yes, it offers a front-row seat to the water show. Beyond that, Prime also delivers a good mix of opulence, elegance and first-class service. There is a reason this restaurant caters so many engagements and anniversaries. Chef Jean-George Vongerichten is an award-winning, four-star chef. Everything else in this restaurant, from the décor to the art, is carefully curated.
Service | Rating: 8
As usual, we started at the bar, where the exceptional service matched the graceful ambiance. Our bartender made some excellent recommendations before we proceeded to our table, which had a great view of the water show. The staff was highly attentive throughout our meal, and the attention to detail made all of the difference. Whether it was the chairs being pushed in as you sat down, the napkins placed on your lap or the discrete clearing of the table as we progressed through our meal, the service was outstanding.
Spirit & Wine | Rating: 9
The ladies mostly began with a nice glass of wine or a dirty martini. We gentlemen started with Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn Bourbon, which was great. Granted, at $68 per ounce it was bound to leave a good impression regardless of personal taste. We stayed with Woodford for the rest of the night, but with the more economical option of the Double Oaked Single Barrel, also a good choice.
2014 Shafer Vineyards, One Point Five, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District: This wine is one to remember. Jarrad actually had this wine recommended to him just a week prior, at RPM Steak in Chicago. He had asked the sommelier to recommend a big wine that he could chew on, and which would pair well with his meal. The somm recommended the 2014 Shafer and it did not disappoint. In fact, he felt so strongly about it that he ordered it again so that his OverRye family could share in the experience. This wine is big and required decanting, but the group agreed it was the right choice for the meal.
Overall, the bar selection was exceptional and a great start to our night.
Food | Rating: 8
From there, we moved into appetizers and salads. Jarrad ordered the Prime onion soup, which he says is one of the best he ever had. Hayim and Danielle shared the Ribbons of Tuna, which also received good remarks for its strong flavors that just worked. Rachel and Dori split the Caesar salad, which was good but not amazing. Our main course followed. We took a family-style approach to ordering and tried the highly recommend dry-aged bone-in rib eye; the peppercorn-crusted New York strip; the filet mignon; the crackling, tangy glazed short ribs; and the Parmesan-crusted organic chicken.
The New York strip was good and the filet great, but, surprisingly, the rib eye failed us all. As a dry-aged steak, the taste of the rib eye was similar to that of blue cheese. The waiter did explain that the dry-aging process breaks down the meat’s enzymes giving it that particular flavor, but we decided that our tastes favor traditional preparation. As for the non-steak dishes, the short rib was out of this world! And the chicken, well, it was chicken with a fancy breading appropriate for this fancy venue. We also had several side dishes. The truffled mashed potatoes and ginger sweet potatoes were the most memorable. There was just something perfect about the texture of the mashed potatoes and the hint of ginger for the sweet potatoes. We were excited about the jalapeño cheddar broccoli, but it did not stand out like the other two sides. Even though the babysitter clock was working against us, we had to conclude with some dessert: cinnamon bread pudding and cheesecake. As a table, the reviews were mixed as to which dessert was best (Hayim was still lapping up the bread pudding as everyone stood up to leave), or if either were even that good. We all agreed, however, that the presentation was amazing!
Value | Rating: 7
At the end, most of us enjoyed the experience, but it certainly came at a relatively high price. To be fair, Prime isn’t exactly the place you go to find value. It’s not that Prime is terribly expensive, but the cost vs. benefit is limited if you focus exclusively on the food. In other words, the appetizers, entrees and desserts are certainly priced commensurate with the venue’s “prime” location and atmosphere. For some, that added ambiance of watching water dance to the music of Andrea Bocelli is well worth the price.
Overall | Rating: 8
The location and atmosphere are one of a kind. The food was great, but we wouldn’t go so far as to say they have the best steaks or even the top steaks in town. However, the atmosphere and overall experience make this steakhouse worth trying at least once or maybe even two or three times.
What’s the OverRye.com over/under on going back?
Dori: “Under. When I go to a steakhouse, I’m focused more on the quality of the steak than the atmosphere or show. At Prime, the view of the water show is unmatched but, unfortunately, the steaks fall short, especially for the price.”
Jarrad: “Over. The service and atmosphere were what we expected, but what really blew me away was the French onion soup. Prime is the raining onion soup champion thus far in our OverRye journey.”
Hayim: “Over. Top notch atmosphere, service and some standout dishes. One thing they did that I liked is provided sauces with the steaks – they were not add-ons.”
Amy: “Under. The service and food were good, but nothing wowed me or has me itching to come back, especially for the price. Since I couldn’t even see the fountains from my spot, I didn’t think the atmosphere was anything special. It seemed loud, to top it off. Overall, I expected a little more out of a steakhouse of that nature.”
Danielle: “Over. The atmosphere and service were amazing. The truffled mashed potatoes and ginger sweet potatoes were incredible.”
Rachel: “Over. I loved the atmosphere, especially the amazing view of the fountains. My steak was cooked perfectly and tasted good but, surprisingly, the chicken was my favorite.”