By Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer
Prime Chophouse & Lounge is the latest new restaurant to push Amarillo’s urban aesthetic to new heights.
Sit down in the modern, comfortable steak and seafood house and you’ll catch yourself feeling as if you’ve traveled to a metroplex — a sensation you might also get with other Prime’s Town Square Village neighbor, Metropolitan Speakeasy and downtown’s Crush and Six Car Pub and Brewery.
Chef/Owner Brian Mason shows there’s definitely life after the long-running BL Bistro that he operated with ex-wife, Lizzie Mason — and a divinely tasty one at that.
Kevin and I chose to save room for dessert, so we skipped the appetizer. But there are some intriguing small plates on the menu like Parmesan Truffle Fries, Mint Pesto Lamb Chops, Royal Red Shrimp Tempura and Prince Edward Mussels.
For a restaurant focused on high-end cuts of meat and fresh seafood, Prime keeps options available at many price levels. Prices ranged from $9 each for four different selections to $38 for a pound of grilled King Crab legs with drawn butter and lemon. The appetizer lightest on the pocketbook is grilled Shishito peppers sprinkled with sea salt.
A half-dozen salads on the menu ranged from $5 for a house salad to $14 for a steak house salad featuring mixed greens, onion, tomato, egg and seared beef tips.
Our eyes went straight to the entree section of the menu and even then, we had a difficult time foregoing seafood. I’ll get to the seafood in a moment. But steak had to be the star of our first visit.
Prime Chophouse serves aged USDA 1855 prime beef, as the menu explains, hand-selected and aged a minimum of 35 days.
Before we ordered, we watched from afar as Mason sliced, table-side, a 32-ounce, $78 tomahawk rib-eye — HUGE.
My 6-ounce filet mignon ($16) was grilled over an open flame with herb butter. I could have pulled it the medium-rare cut apart with two forks, it was so tender.
Kevin’s T-bone was equally superbly grilled and tender, and he selected a flavorful chimichurri sauce. The bright, herby sauce was a great complement to the beef.
The menu’s seafood section rounds up many favorites, from baked oysters to Ahi tuna and sea bass to spiny lobster. You’ll pay the market rate for the lobster, and $9 to $19 for the rest.
Other entree options include Texas quail with three bacon-wrapped prawns and a half or whole herb-roasted chicken, plus a variety of burgers and a lobster roll.
Vegetables and potatoes are ordered separately, and most come in individual servings (priced at $3 to $6) or family style servings ($6 to $12).
The individual servings of potato au gratin and bourbon-glazed mushroom onion confit delivered to our table easily fed both of us, with some to spare. The deliciously salty parmesan and cheddar enveloped potatoes pretty much ensured I’ll have a hard time ordering anything else — unless it’s the silky grilled onions and mushrooms.
Prime offers a good selection of wines, beer and cocktails. And we were very happy with the tawny port we ordered to accompany our dessert — an exquisite creme brûlée.
Prime operates from 3:30 to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 9181 Time Square Blvd. Suite 1311 in Town Square Village.
Support for Biz Here at Panhandle PBS is provided by Amarillo National Bank.
Karen Welch is a senior content producer for Panhandle PBS. She can be contacted at Karen.Welch@actx.edu, at @KWelch806 on Twitter and on Facebook. Subscribe to the Panhandle PBS BizHere podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud to hear more business news and interviews.