This was going to be EMW’s first post about Prime Meats, but when Funny Nurse and I arrived at 6pm we were told the wait was an hour to an hour and a half. Hell to the fucking no. That’s almost as bad as Trader Joe’s! We naively lingered in the entrance area for a hot second while some random visiting mom gave her phone number to the maître’d; apparently, she was going to wait. The point when they started to bond over her 317 Syracuse area code was the point when we realized it was just not in the cards. We scurried across the street over to Buttermilk Channel, which is actually not very high on my list, and they too were full. Nearly about to call it quits and eat in, FN and I gave The Grocery a call.
As I have never walked in there and gotten a table without a reservation, our hopes were not very high. Sure enough, they had a two person table open until at least 8:30, so you better believe we hauled our asses up there! When you walk in everything seems very small, warm and white. Which it is. At least it felt that way coming in from a particularly frigid Saturday night in Brooklyn.
While we argued back and forth about whether the fruit on our table was an orange or a nectarine (it was a blood orange, bitch), the waitress brought over the parsnip soup amuse bouche. It was good…fine I guess, but FN put it best when she described it as a little bit Gerber’s. I would agree.
She made what I very verbally proclaimed to be a fatal mistake by ordering roasted beets as her first course. Ugh, beets have no place in Eats Meats West’s kitchen. She seemed to enjoy them, though, and when I tasted a piece of the accompanying fried goat cheese ravioli I was slightly convinced. Slightly.
My fried artichoke and escarole salad with roasted garlic was really fucking fantastic, on the other hand. Sure, the aioli drizzle was a little excessive, but it was necessary. Artichoke is such a strange, bitter vegetable, but it was amazing in this form. It was at this point that one of two things happened: 1) the wine started to kick in, and/or 2) we ran out of hyperbolic compliments for our food.
Well, those two things are probably related. My slow rendered duck breasts was not surprisingly very succulent, and the demi-glace sauce was equal parts sweet and meaty. I definitely coated the vegetables in it. FN’s cast ironed pork chop was deceptively simple yet so expertly pulled off that I was almost jealous.
If there was one complaint it would be that it was kind of obvious that my duck had been in the warmer. The breast was still moist, but there was an edge to it, almost like there was a difference between the internal and external temperature expectations.
In any case, The Grocery gets our solid recommendation. As we paid the bill and enjoyed the complimentary blood orange sorbet, Prime Meats called and left a voicemail; our table was ready.