It’s easy to confuse the two slabs of juicy meat, but steak and prime rib are not one and the same. The latter is a beautifully pink and fatty piece cut from a whole-cooked roast of primal rib meat. Often carved to-order by bow tie–donning waiters at old-school restaurants, this carnivorous symbol of retro grandeur is making a comeback on modern-day menus. Here are eight prime rib dishes around the U.S. to savor during your summer travels.
Inspired by the lavish dim sum carts found at Chinese restaurants of yore, the newest incarnation of Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese outpost on New York's Lower East Side has a decidedly old-school vibe. This means that in addition to Mongolian long beans and spicy turnip vinaigrette–laced Tiger Salad, there is smoked prime rib served via roving cart and accompanied by a fancy king crab leg ($150).
Meanwhile, at The Ribbon, the latest outpost of the Bromberg brothers' Blue Ribbon empire, offers the juicy spit-roasted cut of beef in either nine-($39) or 16-oz. portions ($56, pictured at top).
Mission Chinese Food: 171 E. Broadway, New York
The Ribbon: 20 W. 72nd St., New York; 212-787-5656
Jason Bond has two Massachusetts locations of Bondir, his rustic restaurant devoted to New England–sourced ingredients. At idyllic Bondir Concord, a short drive from Boston, the $58 tasting menu includes this slow-roasted prime rib draped in sauce béarnaise that takes cues from the classic French bistro.
24 Walden St., Concord, 978-610-6554
Photo: Bill Wisser
Among the lobster deviled eggs and crispy-skin snapper at Miami’s Mignonette is the bone-in prime rib, the menu’s sole beef option. Simplicity is the goal of chef-owner Danny Serfer’s rendition, liberally seasoned with salt and pepper, then slow cooked and seared before joining scalloped potatoes and green peas on the plate ($37, pictured above).
Minneapolis: FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar
Offering respite from the chaos of Minneapolis’ massive Mall of America is FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, inside the Radisson Blu hotel. Cooked over wood-fired flames, the hand-carved, farm-fresh prime rib is dressed in horseradish sauce and jus. White cheddar–herb mashed potatoes make it all the more indulgent ( $29 for 10 oz., $34 for 14 oz.).
Austin: Liberty Kitchen
Dining at this Houston-based seafooder on a Thursday evening means the possibility of devouring prime rib two ways: a rotisserie rib-eye center and a smoked rib-eye cap. The juicy beef is accompanied by a decadent Irish butter–sour cream mash, bone jus and whipped cream horseradish ($48.50, pictured above).
San Francisco: Presidio Social Club
One night a pig roast might be the star of San Francisco’s Presidio Social Club, another BBQ beef ribs. But on Mondays, chef Wes Shaw’s “Weeknight Supper” special is his thinly sliced prime rib with roasted potatoes, large enough for two ($45, pictured above).
San Diego: Juniper & Ivy
One of the first items to sell out at Juniper & Ivy in San Diego is the prime rib roast. Richard Blais typically serves the nostalgic dish — it's a favorite of his — with a baked potato and from-scratch bacon along with green garlic and umami-packed onion butter. A savory finish comes in the form of beef drippings and horseradish on the side.