Prime accurately describes its décor and ambience as that of a “1930’s speak-easy”. The rich glossy wood of the furnishings, chocolate colored walls, and powder blue draperies evoke a more elegant and stylish time. Despite the overall elegant/retro feel of Prime, oversized art pieces and gigantic vases filled to overflowing with dried flowers inject a contemporary perspective. Of course, one cannot omit noting the spectacular view offered of Lake Bellagio and its famous fountains through the large windows along Prime’s outside wall. Be aware that the dining room is large with partitions throughout and that you cannot view the water show from all tables. For those wanting this view, we recommend booking as early as possible with your request for a table near the windows. Even still, be prepared to be told that your wish cannot be accommodated at this extremely popular restaurant…but go anyway for the beef!
As promised by the restaurant’s very name, the prime beef served was among the best we have ever tasted. The Aged Peppercorn New York Striploin was grilled to perfection, arriving at our table piping hot
and impossibly juicy and tender. The beef sliced like butter and literally melted on the tongue. The meal was accompanied by sweet and flavorful spaghetti squash as well as an array of sauces for the beef,
including a traditional au jus, bearnaise, and a soy-citrus vinaigrette. The sauces were quite good, but the superb beef really had no need of additional dressing. We each ordered Truffle Mashed Potatoes, a rich, creamy side dish to accompany our steak. Though delicious, we found the portion to be overly generous, and one that could easily be shared by two people.
The experience of Prime’s striploin tends to overshadow other aspects of our meal. However, reaching back into the recesses of our pre-beef life, we recall beginning with a Chilled Shrimp Cocktail. Our decision
to share a single order was wise as the paradox of jumbo shrimp has never been made clearer than by this dish. Four incredibly enormous shrimp were served on a bed of shredded ice and accompanied by both a
traditional cocktail sauce and a more unusual soy citrus vinaigrette. The latter was pleasant, but we preferred the cocktail sauce that delivered just the right amount of zest from fresh grated horseradish.
The chef also offered a tasting of a warm butternut squash soup which was creamy, comforting and mildly sweet.
In an unusual twist, we went with a Pinot to accompany our meal. The Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir 1999 (Oregon) was our server’s suggestion. Since we tend toward bolder cabs and shiraz with beef, we were
pleasantly surprised and intrigued by this unique Pinot Noir whose flavor improved significantly throughout our meal. (Hey – if you can’t gamble in Vegas, you’re out of luck from the start.)
For dessert, chocolate reigned in the form of a rich Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake with homemade vanilla ice cream accompanied by truly excellent coffee.
Our only slight disappointment was in the service experience. It was generally quite attentive, but initially a little confusing. The dining room was quite full, which probably accounts for the longer than usual wait for our main server’s attention and the oversight in not being immediately presented with a wine list. However, the rare Pinot Noir he recommended was worthwhile and performed as he promised.
The food at Prime is exceptional and the ambience/decor alone may even be worth the visit. Our only regret is that, since no other seatings were available during our stay, we could not sample Prime’s versions
of other cuts of beef. Book early (and book often) if you are a beef aficionado!
We give Prime 4 Stars- Excellent
Prime is located in the Bellagio Hotel at 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. For more information or to make reservations, call 702.693.7223, or visit www.bellagio.com.