My girlfriends and I settled in to a cozy and dimly lit booth to indulge in Primehouse’s special restaurant week menu. Several participating restaurants have offered only the cheapest or most mundane offerings from their regular selections, but Primehouse’s choices for the week were exciting and definitely in the spirit of Restaurant Week. For my first course, I pounced on the shellfish appetizer which featured two very large chilled shrimp and two tasty raw oysters with a variety of sauces. My pals tried the rich lobster bisque and a fun arugula salad with truffle smoked tomatoes. While there was a shrimp entrée offered, why would anyone even consider chowing on anything but steak at this beef emporium? On our server’s suggestion, we all settled on the petite bone in filet with tempura green beans and basil whipped potatoes.
The steaks were not the ginormous slabs of cow that Chicago is known for, but actually the perfect portion size for my friends and certainly worth the price. Mine was quite tender and more flavorful than I expected – probably from the marbling surrounding the bone.
Diners were not offered a choice of desserts, but the festive trio of cheesecake lollipop, mini milkshake, and dark chocolate cake did not disappoint. However, two of my buddies thought their cake was a touch on the dry side.
I have eaten at Primehouse before and I was quite familiar with the wine list before we arrived. As Restaurant Week is supposed to inspire folks to try nicer spots in the city for a reduced price, I warned my fellow diners that our booze bill could easily be the undoing of a “value” meal. As the resident Winediva, I selected one of the most inexpensive whites on the list to start – a Bastianich Tocai Friuliano 2006 for $36. Since there were four of us, a second bottle was certainly in order so I chose, again, one of the least expensive Cabernet Sauvignons- Laurel Glen Counterpoint Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 at $70. Now the Laurel Glen is a personal favorite and well worth $70, but had there been more interesting options at $45- $55, I probably would have chosen something cheaper. So, add a wine bill of over $100 to our tab, along with tax and a generous, well-deserved gratuity; each of us ponied up about $80. Not exactly a bargain night out for a Monday, but then again, gals in my posse aren’t cheap dates. Overall, the food was terrific and the service spectacular while we laughed and toasted our inability to take proper advantage of a great deal.