I enjoy few things more than a great meal in pleasant environs with friends on a Saturday night. Ideally, we arrive around 8 and don't get up from the dinner table until several hours later.
A couple of Saturdays ago Paul and I had just one of these (surprisingly rare, given the myriad of restaurant options in New York) evenings.
Two dear friends wanted to take us out to celebrate our (somewhat) recent engagement and we of course happily accepted. As the male half of our little foursome was going to be out watching a band in Brooklyn during the early evening, Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens was suggested. As it is run by the team behind the fabulous Frankies spots, I was more than happy to give it a go.
Paul, employing his exceptional powers of persuasion and adorable English accent, was able to reduce our wait for a table from sixty minutes to thirty, which left us just enough time for one (or two) of the expertly mixed cocktails.
Dave was enthralled by the homemade bitters and other potions that the bartenders relied on to make their intoxicating brews.
I personally was deeply enthralled with my drink, as well as the deliciously retro glass it was served in. I know people frown upon those flat champagne goblets (they supposedly allow champagne bubbles to dissipate too quickly) but I don't care, I will love them now and forever. But perhaps that is because I quaff champagne at an above average rate?
Presently we were seated at a prime outdoor table, relishing the warm mid-August evening. Dave and Melinda are master orderers so we left them to it. Our server, who was one of the most pleasant and knowledgeable waitresses I've come across in quite some time, was perhaps slightly horrified by the quantity of food we had coming, but no matter, we were up to it.
We started with big, freshly baked pretzels and, ripping them apart, dunked them in a variety of sweet and spicy mustards. Living in New York, the land of horrible street pretzels, one can easily forget how good they can be when done right. Prime Meats will remind you.
An "alpine tasting board", otherwise known as a germanic choucroute platter followed, then a few salads, and then the food started to come out fast and furious. Roasted marrow bones, sauerbraten with red cabbage, a surkrut garnie (german version of choucroute garnie) and a very serious cote de boeuf (better than the twice as costly one at Minetta Tavern I might add). All accompanied by a lovely pinot noir.
I was initially stumped by all of the appetizing options...
...but once I started tucking in to the grub I could not have been happier.
We were, sadly, far too full for dessert, so after a couple of espressos (me and Paul) and some light tisanes (Dave and Melinda), it was back into the car for the trip back to Manhattan and then, after a bit of a breather on the sofa, straight to bed, more sated, physically and emotionally, than I had been in quite some time.