Archive for the 'Prime Ko' Category

04
Mar
12

Prime Butcher Baker


Butcher shops have never been the type of store one cares to linger in any longer than necessary to do one’s shopping, but that has suddenly changed!  Having heard so much about Joey Allaham‘s brand new venture, I felt compelled to visit his Prime Butcher Baker (1572 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 – Tel: 212.616.1502) this past Thursday afternoon. Clean, very upscale looking, competitively priced, it offers everything you need for a take out or do it yourself meal, except for fruits and vegetables.

A partial view of the store...

This 3000 square ft. establishment combines a meat aging room (facing the street), a full butcher shop with fresh and aged meats, salads, prepared Ashkenazi and Sephardic dishes (cooked to perfection!), a bakery and freezer shelves laden with soups, sushi, sauces, salads and more! Above all, the staff is courteous, knowledgeable and very helpful with hints and full explanations on what and how to cook.

One of the shelves laden with meat cuts in the aging room...

Meat is tastefully presented, in fact, just looking at it makes your mouth water as you envision the possibilities…

Crown of lamb...

As for the bakery… let me warn you! If you are a cake lover, or an unrepentant chocoholic like I am, you are for a incredible feast for both your eyes and your palate…

I had to really restrain SYR and myself, else this mini chocolate cakes would never have lasted long enough to be photographed...

Prime Hospitality Group‘s Corporate Chef David Kolotkin repeats his stellar performance at Prime Grill, by preparing Ashkenazic cuisine favorites. Chef Souad Nigri, a Lebanese caterer prepares the Sephardi delicacies (her Lahmadjine is incredible!); Chef Makoto – from Prime Ko – makes the sushi and the Japanese dishes; Solo’s Pastry Chef Felenciana, makes the most decadent, tempting looking, succulent confections adorning the bakery showcase. If you want a butcher shop like you’ve never seen before, Prime Butcher Baker is the place to go to; if you want a bakery like you’ve never seen or tasted before Prime Butcher Baker is the place to go to!

What are you waiting for?!?

CS

10
Mar
11

Kaizen! Perfection at Prime Ko


Have you ever had one of those microcosmic moments in time encapsulating a window onto something so much bigger in its depth and substance? Though most of mine have not been food moments, this one surely was this past week at the Japanese inspired restaurant Prime Ko (217 West 85th Street New York, NY 10024-3901 – (212) 496-1888) when I tasted Chef Makoto Kameyama’s signature sushi Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna appetizer. But more about that in a moment…

CS and I were escorted into the ground floor dining area; they’ve got a lower level with a wet bar, TV screen and more seating. Décor showed subtle Japanese influences. The waiting area had these lovely brown leather boxy ’kabuki’ shaped chairs and couch, fresh orchids on a dark rectangular table, with a wall of hand-painted coral peonies on soft aqua…

Wall dividers of slatted mahogany separated one area from another; windows were shaded with white bamboo semi-transparent treatments. Seating was brown textured suede on wood, a few striped suede backed benches, all tucked into square darkwood tables. Settings consisted of simple white geometric china, flatware laid out on deep red bamboo textured placemats, and chop-sticks resting on logo enhanced wood pieces. Lighting was recessed in one area and a framed oval shaped ruched red fabric with a back lit center aperture against the far wall, with a row of rice textured globe light fixtures in the other area.

A partial view...

Esteemed Chef Makoto Kameyama, the former prized Sushi Chef at Prime Grill for the past ten years, has served as Executive Chef at Prime Ko since it opened last year. His experience began in Tokyo where he assisted his father, a prominent Edo-sushi chef running a successful restaurant in Japan. In1981, Chef Kameyama came to the US and opened his own Japanese restaurant. Transitioning to Japanese kosher posed quite a challenge. Aside from the dietary restrictions on pork, shrimp, crustaceans, etc. sourcing fine quality kosher fish for sushi and sashimi, replacing basic Japanese cooking elements like bonita flakes and dashi (made of fish bone, until recently unavailable with a kosher certification), achieving consistent textures and creating exciting sauces were but a few of the obstacles he faced.

Chef Kameyama is very pleased with healthy low fat and low cal Japanese cuisine becoming staple of the American diet. Be it the DHA and heart healthy fresh fish, lung healthy miso, or vitamin mineral-rich seaweed, it is thanks to Japanese cuisine masters like Kameyama that this healthy streamlined fare is taking the nation by storm.

Now, back to our meal… The opening appetizer was an assortment of Rainbow Roll, yellowtail, tuna, and salmon sashimi and that fabulous Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna I mentioned earlier. That was the defining moment of kaizen (Japanese for perfection) . The mouthful of toasted rice cake topped with spicy tuna pureed with bell pepper, topped with jalapeño and aioli sauce was a bite of pure perfection. The creative combination of textures and genius flavors conjoining to taste so remarkably well, spoke volumes about the artistry of a chef whose collective experience and expertise arrive at the table each time this signature dish is served. Bravo! Omedetou!

Sushi and Sashimi

But we were just getting warmed up… CS and I shared lovely grilled miso Chilean Sea Bass skewers in a spicy teriyake sauce served aside sautéed bok choy & veggies which couldn’t help but be outshined by an outstanding Tuna Delmonico, edged in breading served with jalapeño sauce, wasabi, beet and ginger sauce, with a side of soba noodles and pickled radish/onion/carrot garnish.

Tuna Delmonico

Our waiter, Al, our server, Lebron, treated us like royalty; they were friendly, efficient, informed. I thought we were getting the ‘special treatment’, but service to the tables nearby was just as extraordinary. Al, had the menu and wine pairings memorized down to the last nori seaweed bit & dot of sauce. Service was the epitome of high Japanese hospitality; water goblets refilled with Prime Ko’s own filtered carbonated water, napkins refolded, tables cleaned between courses, and soy sauce, dishes and silverware replaced with the arrival of each new dish.

We enjoyed a cleansing, refreshing Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio 2007 as we waited for our next course, a medley of kobe chopped beef dishes. We sampled Kobe Meatballs with ground ginger and garlic in miso sesame sauce, spicy Kobe Pizza - crispy dough, house made marinara topped with chopped salad & chopped wagyu. Wagyu Beef Sliders – a mini kobe hamburger with spicy aioli and teriyake sauce – completed this tasty Americanized trio.

Cutlery was replaced again with a fresh set including steak knives. I starved myself till dinner in anticipation, but this was turning out to be a most extravagant meal… The best was next! Three ounces of the most amazing Kobe/Wagyu steak resting on a slab of Himalayan salt rock witha side of white mushroom cooked at our table with a spritz of fresh lime. When quality is this good, extra spicing could only detract from it natural flavors – it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Taken before being cooked at table-side. 3 ozs of marbled beauty!

The second steak dish was a 6 oz. Grain Fed Chateau-Briand with vegetable rice served with a jalapeño/uzu/teriyake sauce, with salad and rice. The steak was so good, I would have preferred the sauce on the side.

Steak Chateau-Briand

Chef then surprised us with Eggplant Dengaku. Baked eggplant topped with miso and sesame sauce. Unusual, and superbly tasty. The evening’s crown,  came with the creative and most beautiful desert dish pictured below.

Beautiful presentation, superlative tasting

Two crepes laid out like a Japanese fan, topped with blueberries and strawberries with hot chocolate sauce, sprinkled with green tea powder and confectioner’s sugar that looked like fairy dust. Need I say more?

A brilliant meal overall. Our thanks to Chef Kameyama and the staff of Prime Ko for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

SYR

Prime Ko on Urbanspoon

23
Feb
11

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 1


It was billed as bigger than its preceding shows… it was, it was billed as better than its preceding shows… it was! This was one of those rare occasions when hype and truth actually walked in locked step. The food, the wine, the liquors, all added up to a wonderful evening, an epicure’s dream come true.

SYR and I went in at 4:00pm, we saw and met many friends, magazine editors, fellow foodies and bloggers. We delighted in some products we’d already raved about on these pages, we discovered the new and revisited some great restaurants. As we spoke to favorite chefs, we  were happy to hear their craft was more than just a job, their passion for food, their creative juices continue unabated. Chef David Kolotkin of Solo and Prime Grill, Chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s and his wife Alison, Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, Jose Mireilles of Le Marais were among old friends showing off their creations.

Pomegranate had a large booth serving up some dishes that could have been made at any top restaurant.

Chef Emilio getting ready to hand out some delicacies.

Shana Wendel and staff presented Pardes‘ fares…

Lamb Meatballs with Turnip and Olive. Juicy, succulent, beautiful to look at... unmistakably Pardes!

Dr Alan Bronner and Chef Jack Silberstein of Jack’s Gourmet were serving  Chorizo Tacos, Pepper and Onion Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage and Bratwurst Sliders. We sampled all three and and loved them, here is an easy recipe they shared with us:

Bratwurst Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 package (4 links) Jack’s Gourmet Cured Bratwurst Sausage sliced 1/4″ thick on an angle
  • 12 slider buns (4 burger buns can be substituted instead)
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions

  1. Combine the sauerkraut and caraway seeds and reserve.
  2. Combine the mustard and tarragon leaves and reserve.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons oil. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, slice the buns in half. Spead a small amount of mustard on the bottom half of each bun. Top with sausage and sauerkraut and place other half of bun on top. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Some other friends with a great product are Valerie and Robert Groper from My Brother Bobby’s Salsa. SYR finally got to taste their salsas, she fully agrees with me they are superb. Can’t wait until they are available in Brooklyn!

Shalom Bombay was there as well, I had a selection of their Chicken Pakoras, Chicken Biryany and the Chicken Tikka Masala liberally sprinkled with the Mint and Tamarind Chutney and loved the whole combo. Noi Due still makes the best Espresso I’ve ever tasted in the US.

A new discovery was got cholent? Inc. I had their Moroccan Dafina and the Polish Cholent (just like my mamma used to make!!!). They have 16 different types of cholent, wish I could taste them all… The same people folks also own Gemstone Catering and we were very impressed with their Eve’s Apple and Hickory Wood Smoked BBQ Pulled Brisket Sliders. Tammy Polatsek from Aristocratic Design Co. told us these guys make superbly delicious food, well… they do!

There were so many restaurants to choose from, so much looked, smelled and tasted great I could write a very long post extolling the virtues of each, suffice it to say that the choice of eateries and caterers represented was tops. We also talked to cookbook authors Chef Lévana KirschenbaumChef Jeff Nathan, Chef Susie Fishbein, Chef Jamie Geller. All in all a delightful evening, amidst delightful people.

CS

28
Mar
10

Let’s not forget the Seder Plate…


Marissa Rosenberg – Marketing Director for Solo, Prime Grill and (soon to open) Prime Ko – has kindly sent us the following recipe by Solo‘s Guest Chef Eli Kirshtein:

The Passover Plate

Place the Charosset on the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Place the brisket cut into a 10 oz portion on top.  Garnish with the mixed herbs and the brined celery.

Zeroah

1 Brisket
1 cp Brown sugar
1 cp Horseradish
1 cp Dijon Mustard

Take the brisket and salt well. Smoke for 1 hour or cook slowly on a charcoal/wood grill. Combine the other ingredients and rub all over the brisket evenly. Wrap in foil and cook fat side up at 200 degrees for 11 hours

Charosset

1 btl Red Wine
¼ cp Dried Figs Small Dice
¼ cp Apples Small Dice
¼ cp Dates Small Dice
¼ cp Marcona Almonds
1 stick Cinnamon
1 Star Anise
1 Bay Leaf
¼ cp Sugar

Reduce wine by half with cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, and sugar. Strain out the spices. Add the figs, apples, dates, and almonds and reduce by half

Maror

15 Tarragon Leaves
15 Parsley Leaves
15 Cilantro Leaves
15 Mint Leaves
15 Basil Leaves

Combine all.

Karpas

4 Stalks Celery Cut into 1 inch pieces
600 ml Water
50 gr Salt
50 gr Sugar

Combine the water, salt, and sugar till all is dissolved. Add the celery.

Between the above, the hardboiled egg (Beitzah), and the Romaine Lettuce (Chazeret) you have all that you need for the Seder plate!

Enjoy the Seder!!

[As you can see Chef Eli doesn’t believe in heimische recipes either. He’s obviously not afraid of defying convention to create delectable dishes! CS]

21
Jan
10

The Making of a Corporate Chef


Chef David Kolotkin is no stranger to these pages, but every time he reveals more and more about the Chef’s art. This time I went with him to Manhattan’s Union Square Farmers’ Market.

Chef David Kolotkin looking at mushroom varieties

We looked at tomatoes, cucumbers and some interesting varieties of mushrooms as the Chef explained about their flavor nuances, how the various types differed from each other. Next we turned to stalls carrying mesclun, arugula, and a few other salad greens. I really got an education today! Before we left the Chef picked up about four pounds of fresh Jerusalem artichokes for The Prime Grill.

But who is David Kolotkin? What makes him tick? He was barely in his teens when his interest in cooking first manifested itself. His mother had taken him to a restaurant where the food was prepared table-side. David watched fascinated and decided right there and then that one day he too would join that profession.

After high school he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America from 1991 t0 1993, he then went on to apprentice at the legendary Club 21Club 21 was a favorite meeting place for many of the rich, the famous, powerful politicians and entertainers. After a while he resumed studies at the CIA and returned to Club 21 for another 3 years.

Leaving Club 21, he became sous chef for the Restaurant Associates operated, very exclusive, Trustees Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there he went on to to become sous chef at Windows on the World, which occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

After 9/11 he landed at The Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; 212.692.9292). He left in 2005 for his own venture in Miami, it didn’t work out and on his return to New York he worked for famed restaurateur Kenneth Uretsky, whom he knew from his RA days. Mr. Uretsky hired him for his Butterfield 81 restaurant. In 2007 he went back to The Prime Grill. Since then while still primarily at The Prime Grill he went on to became Corporate Chef for Joey Allaham’s restaurant ventures, including Solo and soon to open up Prime Ko, an upscale Japanese steakhouse.

Unlike others in his profession, Chef David is no prima donna, he puts on no airs, is well aware of his self worth without any need to toot it around. He’s totally dedicated to his profession and the people at his restaurants. Is it any wonder that he rose in the ranks?

CS




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