Wednesday, May 9, 2012

David Burke's Prime Steakhouse, Foxwoods, CT

After our relaxing afternoon, my sister and I dressed for dinner Saturday night and found our way down to David Burke's Prime Steakhouse for dinner.  David Burke's Prime is where well renowned Chef Burke brings fun to the standard steakhouse, reinventing steakhouse classics with a flair of whimsy and creative adaptations.  The physical restaurant itself reflects this very idea with a beautiful dining room, bedecked in dark wood and then lightened with beautiful light fixtures, cow hide and white leather booths, and slightly eccentric artwork.  The overall affect with a blend of elegant and fun brought a beautiful element to the room, and one that was easy to relax in.  

After we had settled into our seats, we were greeted by our server and began to peruse the menu.  Now, walking into the evening, let it be known that my sister is not typically a steak fan.  An avid athlete her diet concentrates on foods that fuel her in the leanest way, and unfortunately steak isn't the most helpful for her purposes.  As we discussed the different cuts and temperatures and reviewed the massive offering that David Burke's has, our server stopped by to drop off warm, fresh from the oven Popovers, and to let us know that he had placed an order for their signature Caesar Salad for us. These popovers were so toasty warm, eggy on the inside and delicious.  They tasted rich and elegant, with a tangy background that led me to believe cheese was involved.  I have to say, as far as bread starters go, these reigned supreme.

Now, David Burke's takes great pride in their Caesar.  It is prepared table side and they allow the customer to tweak the dressing to their liking.  That means, for all you anchovy haters, you request none, or just a little of the paste that the restaurant offers.  We requested our dressing without any alterations, and there it was made, right in front of us and then tossed with crisp romaine lettuce, a few fresh croutons and a dose of parmesan cheese.  The result was a decadent yet refreshing Caesar Salad.  The dressing was delicious.  The base of Dijon mustard laid out a tangy start, and mixed with lemon, anchovies and a variety of other additions, the result was salty, bright and creamy all at one time. 

Steakhouses are very often known for their delectable seafood and, since we had both decided on steaks for our entrees, we decided to split the Cocktail Trio, a platter offering two enormous shrimp, 1/2  of a lobster and two oz of jumbo crab meat.  Sauces were served with this, but to be frank, they weren't needed.  The seafood was so natural, and sweet that it was hard to resist finishing off the appetizer.  

The team at David Burke's then sent over one of their signature pieces- Double Cut Maple Pepper Bacon Strips.  The title alone is impressive, the presentation even more so, and the taste, well the taste was incredible.  The bacon itself melted in the mouth despite its thick cut, and was rich with smoke and pure flavors.  The addition of the maple syrup painted on and then the sprinkle of pink pepper corns created a sweet and spicy combination that clung perfectly to the bacon.  Honestly though- it was bacon- it was amazing.  

I'll be frank with you, it was a difficult decision choosing which steak to order.  In addition to the typical offerings, David Burke's Prime Steakhouse also offers in house Himalayan Salt aged cuts.  I was able to get a peak inside their aging room and I'll explain the process later, but the general idea is that the salt reduces the moisture in the aging room and allows a greater breakdown of the proteins in the meat.  I asked the team and they all recommended the Himalayan Salt Aged steaks for our meals and so I ordered the 40 day aged Rib eye and my sister had the Bone In Sirloin prepared au poivre, crusted in peppercorns and served with a peppercorn sauce.  We were also treated to their sides of garlicky broccolini, whipped potatoes and their mushrooms and onions.  

The steaks were some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying.  My ribeye was cooked to a perfect medium rare, lightly seasoned and had some of the most intricate flavor I've had in a steak.  The flavors were deeper, richer and, in some respects, cleaner.  The closely monitored aging was obvious in the tender cut.  I also had the opportunity to snag a bite....or or three of my sisters Au Poivre steak.  The team had upgraded her steak to the Himalayan Salt Aged Bone In Sirloin and then had table side carved the good parts off the bone, and then poured the sauce over the top, allowing its succulence to flow down the the sides and pool to the plate below.  The result was a steak lighter in flavor than the 40 day aged, but impossibly tender and then there was the sauce.  A subtle hint of spice, a wonderful dose of brandy made the sauce absolutely incredible.  The highest praise possible- my sister loved it.  

The sides were made with just as much attention to detail as the steaks had been.  The broccolini was crisp yet tender and had been made with enough garlic to truly deserve the term "garlicky".  The whipped potatoes had been drizzled with a basil oil, and the combination of the buttery, creamy potatoes with the freshness of the herb was addicting.  Finally the mushrooms had been sauteed with onions and had taken on their subtle flavor.  The result was the earthy mushrooms combined with sweet onions- a match made in heaven.

Somehow, despite our stomachs saying that we were finished, our meal was not quite complete.  After a few moments of rest, a fluffy sphere of freshly spun cotton candy arrived table side as a "palette cleanser" with promises that dessert was on it's way.  Dessert certainly arrived.  We were treated to vanilla bean creme brulee, chocolate cake, the DB Cheese Cake Lollipop Tree, an off menu fried ice cream and finally their drunken donuts served with a trio sauces that could easily be inserted into the donuts to fill them with your choice of chocolate, strawberry or banana.  My sister declared the donuts the winner of the dessert round- their toasty warmth, their sugary exterior and the gentle flavor of nutmeg made them absolutely delectable.  The little tubes of fillings made them fun and interactive.  These were a perfect dessert after a truly decadent meal.  I was a bit more partial to the fried ice cream, the pastry chef had covered a ball of creamy vanilla ice cream with an oat granola mixture and had then fried that to crisp perfection.  It was incredible and should be added to their menu.  The cake was rich and satisfying, the creme brulee was wonderfully steeped in vanilla and the cheesecake lollipops were fun and delightful.  
There really aren't words to describe my experience at David Burke's Prime Steakhouse.  We were treated far beyond "well", but as I looked around the room, the respect and genuine hospitality that we received wasn't an anomaly.  James Olsen, the General Manager, stopped by every table throughout the evening, welcoming guests, making suggestions, and adding to the overall joviality of the evening.  Each server we spoke to was polite and fun, they seemed genuinely happy to be there, and were able to answer every inane question we asked.  

If David Burke was going for a whimsical steakhouse, he has achieved his goal, all while bringing to his patrons some of the finest steaks, seafood, sides and desserts that I've tasted in any steakhouse.  If you are travelling to Foxwoods, take a break from their games, their spa, their shopping and their other activities and dine at David Burke's Prime Steakhouse -you won't be sorry. 


Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

This sounds fantastic! I just realized that we have reserations to the other steak house at Foxwoods... and now I'm wondering if I should change that!

Unknown said...

omg that steak looks delicious!!


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