I love me a good steak, but the decor of traditional steak house makes me feel like I’m sitting in a 70 year old’s living room. Mahogany trimmed furniture, plush carpeting, paintings on walls, and incandescent lighting. The banker and lawyer-centric crowd also serves as a constant reminder, that if I devour all the massive sides, red wine and desserts, I will one day too swap belts for suspenders.
Luckily, New York is full of young professionals who appreciate a nice piece of aged beef, and restaurateurs are more than happy to provide us with some choices. These steak houses feature more menu choices, a more relaxed setting, slightly modernized decor, and friendly waiters. Some people have been describing these places as female friendly, a steak house where you can take your wife or girlfriend on a date without being surrounded by loud mouth bankers.
Dylan Prime is one such stylish steakhouse. Located in the heart of the Tribeca restaurant zone, it’s within earshot of Nobu, The Harrison, Wolfgang’s, and Sushi Azabu. Competition is fierce, but on weekdays there are so many office towers in the neighborhood that foot traffic is always sufficient. On the weekends, when neighboring Wolfgang’s see business slow down to a crawl, Dylan Prime draws in a crowd with its style and charm.
The decor undoubtedly looks aged today, but you can tell this was an avant-guarde steakhouse when it opened in early 2000. Born as Dylan, a restaurant and bar concept, the restaurant eventually evolved into Dylan Prime by merging the adjacent space. The entrance still looks slightly quirky, an intersection of two dissimilar spaces, but it works nicely to separate the dining crowd from the bar scene.
Seeing that young professionals are not overly obsessed with bottles of red, there are quite a few wonderful cocktails to choose from, as well as a daily special. The Front Porch was a perfect drink for the early summer heat.
Appetizers featured mostly steakhouse staples, with slightly more decorative plating and pairings. We noticed the lack of oysters on the menu, a rarity in the oyster obsessed city we live in. Jumbo shrimp cocktail was quite nice, but then again it’s hard to do this wrong provided you have large, juicy shrimp. The beef tartare had excellent chopped beef, but fell a bit short on the seasoning.
Our intentions for the entrée was to go with proper red meat and a beef wellington (which I had on a previous visit, and is excellent). However a sign on the window plus enthusiastic recommendation from our waiter changed my mind. During the summer months, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, Dylan Prime offers a clam bake which includes 2(!!!!!) one and half pound lobsters, clams, mussels, steamers, corn, and potatoes. All of this food is apparently for one person, and for just under $40.
So the decision was to get a steak and a clam bake. The ribeye (your choice of bone-in or bone-less) steak came just as expected, nicely flavored and cooked just to my liking. It’s not Luger’s quality, but it’s a trade-off that sometimes you just have to make.
The real star of the show is definitely the clam bake. For under $40, you ought to see it to believe it. The portion is massive, the seafood tremendously fresh, and there’s a nice bit of corn to convince yourself that you’ve taken today’s dose of veggies. I’ll be returning this summer, possibly more than a few times.
A steak place where you can take a date, and if it happens to be summer, grab a clam bake. Plenty of parking, serene neighborhood, what’s not to like?
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Dylan Prime (Make a Reservation)
62 Laight St
New York, NY 10013