My best New York friend, Beth, loved Carroll Gardens when she first moved to the neighborhood but now may be regretting it since I found that they don’t make a bad restaurant down there. The most recent meal I forced her into was dinner at Prime Meats, which is getting glowing reviews from everyone, and deservedly so.
Prohibition-era decor is everywhere these days, but Prime Meats takes it a step further with a homemade alcoholic punch of the day and waiters dressed in suspenders and handlebar mustaches. Eater NY has some lovely photos of the place in the daylight, but when Beth and I visited, it was all dim chandeliers and tabletop candles. The staff was extremely cool but also extremely friendly, and the food was down home highbrow to match.
There wasn’t a single thing on the menu that I won’t be trying at some point, but I’d heard too many good things about the burger to pass it up. Mine came with melted gruyere and enough juice to perfectly soak the homemade toasted sesame seed bun.
Even better than that, though, were the Brussels sprouts with pancetta and croutons. The hunks of pork in it were almost as big as the Brussels sprouts themselves.
Beth went for the Weisswurst, which was a white sausage too ugly for me to take a photo of but which was served in a dish of hot water that kept it nice and mouth-scalding. Her fingerling potatoes with parsley and butter and salted dinner roll were much better to look at.
Admittedly, the entire reason we were at Prime Meats was for the olive oil cake I’d read about on Clinton Hill Foodie’s review. After having it and LOVING it at craftbar, I was excited to try another take on it.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t accounted for the fact that it’s apparently only served during brunch. When our waiter rattled off the three available desserts, I was like, “. . . but . . . ?!?!” He said he’d go back to the kitchen to see if any were left over from lunch and brought the single remaining cake to me on the house with an apology for its staleness.
Maybe I’m just overly zealous for olive oil cake at this point, but I thought it was fairly awesome. The staleness made for a nice little hardness to the outside, and the inside was still moist with lemony oiliness. The craftbar dessert was better on the whole because of the added pine nuts and rosemary ice cream (!), but the cake itself left me just as pleased.
I’m now accepting reservations for my next (imminent) trip to Prime Meats, so book your date with me now.
465 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231