Where to begin...Prime missed the mark before we even stepped foot in the restaurant or sat at the table.
RESERVATIONS: I had called a week prior to book a reservation for 2 @ 8pm on a Tuesday. I made the reservation through the website. I received a call a couple of days later (Superbowl Sunday) telling me that the restaurant is not open on Tuesdays (even though it says they are on the website) and that I need to call back to reschedule for a different day. By time I received the call, it was 10pm on a Sunday so I would have to wait until Wednesday (the day that I was now planning on going) to physically call. In the meantime, I scheduled through the website. On Wednesday I started calling at 5pm to make sure our reservation was confirmed and I was not able to get anyone to answer the phone until 5:45pm. There is nothing more unsettling than not knowing whether you have an actual reservation or not. I was told it was confirmed. Great.
SERVICE: Arrived at 8pm for our 8pm reservation. We were greeted by the Bartender, who happened to also be the Manager, Busser, Hostess, Food Runner, and Server that evening. She was very nice in greeting us and mentioned that some tables had not gotten up yet so it would be just a little bit before we could be seated. I understood and was okay with that. However, I didn't realize that a little bit, meant 40 minutes. We patiently waited and were eventually seated by her. We were seated with an empty glass of water and my friend had no drink in hand. Instead of asking us if we would like something to drink, she dropped the menus and walked away. From that point forward, EVERYONE in the restaurant ignored us (her and the two other servers) and avoided eye contact with us for literally, the next 20 minutes. It does not take rocket science to see that we had not been served yet. One glass on the table and menus still on the table. The dining room is fairly small, so it's not like we could be "missed". It also was not busy...maybe 10 tables total. It seemed as though each server was only focused on their own table and inattentive to anything else. I used to work in the restaurant business and when I saw people sitting without being served I'd grab their drinks and let them know someone would be with them shortly.The only positive thing was that we knew what we'd want to order since we had ample time to review the menu. After 20 minutes..now 9pm, the Bartender/Server etc. came to our table, very briefly apologized, and greeted us with "we're out of filet". That's the one thing that I wanted on the menu so I had to settle for ordering the NY Strip. It was very irritating to see another couple get seated right after us and for their server to greet them right away.
FOOD: My friend ordered the corn soup, the rib eye, and the mac and cheese. I ordered the corn soup, NY Strip, and cheese grits. We also ordered the fries. Out came the fries and out came the soup, but only one bowl of soup. It was actually a blessing in disguise because the corn soup with Maryland Lump Crabmeat was ample for two. The corn soup had a nice sweet flavor and the crab cake had an interesting flavor of horseradish. The steaks came out while we were still working on the soup, which was fine because the earlier I can start digesting the red meat .... 9:30pm, the better. Both qualities of meat were fairly decent but like another reviewer, I felt they were seasoned the exact same way. Some ends of my NY strip were tough and I actually felt like it was a bit overseasoned/over salted. The cheese grits were alright but didn't do it for me and my friend's mac and cheese was bland. Our server was a bit more attentive towards the end of the meal for filling water and seeing if we wanted dessert. We skipped on dessert because frankly, we wanted to get out of there. We ended up grabbing dessert and a drink somewhere else in Fells.
I was really looking forward to trying PRIME (watched Timothy Dean on Top Chef like everyone else) and when Prime was on Groupon it gave me a reason to actually pay a visit as opposed to the hundreds of other restaurants in Baltimore. I had previously read the Yelp reviews so I was a bit nervous but I know everyone has different experiences. Unfortunately I had a poor one. The service was poor and the food may have tasted better if I didn't have such a poor taste in my mouth from the service. The pricing for their steaks is almost similar to Ruth's Chris and the service there is MUCH better; and that's coming from someone who likes to support small businesses. I am sorry to say I will not recommend this place and I will never spend my money here again. I'm not sure how a restaurant can last with these kinds of experiences going on.
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