Wednesday, October 12, 2011

677 Prime - Albany, NY

Last Friday we finally decided to change things up a bit, and the whole family (sans Kayla :( ) went to dinner at 677 Prime, located at 677 Broadway St in Albany, NY. Prime is one of the many restaurants owned by Angelo (the owner of Aperitivo), and I would describe it as an upscale steakhouse.

Cute butter display!
Although Albany is a little bit of a drive from our house in Niskayuna, I was admittedly excited to get dressed up and go out. We arrived around 7:45 for our 7:20 reservation... aka right on time for Rutherford standards, and were promptly seated. I'm sure at this point everyone knows what I ordered... and for the record the pinot noir was very tasty. I'll also take this moment to mention that the wait service at Angelo's restaurants, especially Prime, is extremely professional. Our waiter was on point, attentive, and extremely friendly/professional. I've heard from an inside source that there is an extensive training process to work your way up to waiter, and it pays off.

After we ordered drinks, we started off our meal with some appetizers. Jordan ordered the Clams 3 Way Platter, which included garlic chardonnay steams, clams casino with bacon and lemon, and crispy strips with aioli.

Clams 3 Way Platter... lovely photo Jordan, Bravo.
This appetizer was awesome. One thing I'll say is that just because my family is a bunch of chubs doesn't mean you have to be - most of the apps on the menu can be split between multiple people. We just don't share well. That being said, this dish was so delicious. I think my favorite was the fried clams with aioli. The steamed clams had good flavor, but the clams were a little small/tough for my taste. I didn't get to even try the clams casino because my brother had eaten them all in a matter of minutes.... so that should speak for itself. On a side note, I really love this whimsically plating... very clever and inviting.

My dad ordered the Lobster Spring Roll Platter - 3 rolls - chili roasted lobster thin roll, ginger lobster egg roll, and mushroom lobster egg roll, served with hoisin, sweet chili & ginger scallion dipping sauces.

I apologize for the blurriness - thanks Dad. 
This spring roll platter was also amazing. My favorite of the three was the thin roll, dipped into the sweet chili sauce. I also really enjoyed the other two, they all had good flavor and great crunch... a little bit dry, but overall they made a great appetizer. The only component on the plate that I did like was the hoisin sauce ... it's just not my thing, so try at your own risk.

My mom ordered the 677 Chop - comprised of chopped iceberg, romaine, avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion, fried buttermilk union, blue cheese crumbles, and white balsamic vinaigrette.

677 Chop
I love this presentation. The salad was really good and fresh, and the crunch on top was a great addition. I think it may have been slightly overdressed, but overall it was very good... and deceivingly large.

As we waited for our entrees we ordered another round of drinks, and played on of our favorite games. How it's played is my mom tells a story, almost in a whisper, in a very loud restaurant, and the rest of us try and read her lips. Okay so it's not actually a game, but it does consistently happen when we go out to eat, and the frustration that erupts on both sides is rather amusing. But on a serious note, the restaurant is rather noisy, as the patrons are competing with the live singer/piano player to be heard, so if you prefer a quite spot this place isn't for you.

For entrees me, my mom, and Jordan all ordered the ten ounce filet. I had mine Au Poivre (black peppercorns and brandy cream), and my mom had hers with the Diane topper (mushrooms and brandy cream sauce).

The meat was extremely tender, however the au poivre sauce was way way way too spicy, and almost ruined this dish for me. Even spicy food lovers would have found this dish almost inedible - which was a bummer because I was really looking forward to it. Everyone else's steaks were completely finished so they're really good steaks, I just don't recommend this sauce.

For side dishes the three of us got - sauteed spinach, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, and lobster mashed potatoes. 

All three sides were really good. Apparently so good that I didn't even remember to get pictures of the potatoes. All of the sides are a large enough portion that you can absolutely share a few for the table - we chose to order our own and bring them home... except Jordan who somehow managed to finish his. I honestly don't know where Jordan puts all this food... oh how I miss my metabolism. The potatoes had great texture, and were so creamy and delicious. I also really enjoyed the spinach - it wasn't grainy, was cooked nicely, and had great light flavor.

My dad decided to order the Veal Maria as his entree.

As you can see, it is a hefty veal chop, pounded thin and breaded, served with tomatoes, arugula, red onion, and balsamic vinaigrette.

I can say with absolute certainty that my dad enjoyed his meal. How do I know this you ask? My dad always offers us some of his food... and by offer I obviously mean force feeds... This time he didn't ask a single person at the table if we wanted some... and he finished the chop. The only conclusion I can draw is that he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Something else quite miraculous happened at dinner as well... I. ordered. dessert. And wow I'm so glad I did. Jordan and I both ordered dessert actually... although no shocker that he did.

Jordan ordered the Banana Cream Pie, which was a giant slice of banana custard on sweet pastry crust, served with caramel tossed bananas and banana chips.

It was a very solid, and might I add hefty, dessert. I really love the huge slices of banana, and the crust had great crunch. I'm not even a huge fan of banana cream pie, but I really enjoyed this one.

I went a slightly different route, and ordered the Cupcake Pedestal. This had four different cupcakes on it - tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, s'mores, and chocolate hazelnut banana.

So wow... what a dessert. I really loved the presentation, although don't try and cut up the cupcakes on the pedestal.... little wobbly. My favorite of the four was the cheesecake. The inside was actual cheesecake and it was just super super delicious. I also really enjoyed the s'mores and chocolate hazelnut banana because they were very moist and had great flavor. My least favorite was the tiramisu, which worked out nicely because it was my mom's favorite. I'm not even sure what prompted me to order this dessert because I'm not a huge cake fan, but I'm really glad I did. I think it's a really unique thing to see on the menu, and it was just another example of Prime's wonderful plating abilities.

All and all this was a nice dinner. Although I was slightly disappointed with my steak, everything else was very delicious. My favorite will always be Aperitivo, mainly for the less formal atmosphere and more modest prices, but Prime is a nice treat from time to time (if you're willing to pay the NYC prices).

Angelo's 677 Prime on Urbanspoon

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