Chicago >Food & Dining > David Burke's Primehouse
616 N Rush St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.892854 -87.625436
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
They're revamping the bar, so in the meantime, grab a table and go hungry for the Caesar salad cart, pretzel-crusted crab cake, or, of course, steak.
This is a nice place to host parties and other events.
Steak is great, but their complimentary popovers are the bomb dot com. Don't leave DB's without 'em!
Hope yours works better than mine... – Dear Mr. Hatton,
I am normally quite fond of hotel restaurants because the professionalism and training on the hospitality side cannot help but percolate to the foodservice side. Hospitality is so investment-heavy and commoditized that making money requires professional management by people with resumes like yours. In the starkest contrast, many restaurants are case studies in inefficient, trial/error management that can leave one wondering how they open in the first place. Having dined at Primehouse for the last time this afternoon, I am left wondering why the professionalism of your hotel has failed to make even the slightest impact on the shameful attitude of Primehouse.
There are two main attitudes in the service business: those that start with YES and those that start with NO. For the latter, look to LA laziness, or, if in Chicago, any place practicing the arts of Billy Dec. Such places act like nightclubs where the burden of getting in or “getting a yes” is on the customer. The reflex answer to all requests is a hearty “no” and having even the smallest one fulfilled is a battle not worth fighting. For YES restaurants, look to Gibson’s group where staff will peel potatoes in front of you if you want the skin in your martini (don’t ask) and substitute anything for anything if they have it in the kitchen. (If they don’t, they’ll get it for next time – just come back!) And we do all the time.
May I offer an approximate transcript that began this afternoon’s Primehouse “experience?”
Hostess: Do you have reservations?
Me: Yes. Under Aloyts.
H: Very good. You are the first to arrive. [I know since the restaurant has 1 party sitting and it’s not my friend.] You can sit here [across from the host-stand] or grab a drink at the bar.
M: I’d rather just sit down.
H: The restaurant isn’t open. It opens in about 10 minutes. [it’s 10:55; I have an 11:00 reservation]
M: What is that table doing?
H: They are having breakfast. [at this point I’m trying not to laugh but no one else sees the absurdity of the ongoing exchange. There are 2 hostesses and 1 server buzzing around the stand.]
M: OK, I see. They’re having breakfast in a closed restaurant. Do you think it’s ok for me to sit down like they are?
H: The lunch service hasn’t started yet.
M: I promise not to order anything until the appointed time. Cross my heart and hope to die. Can I sit down?
H: We don’t know where to seat you.
M: I think I can find an open table.
I think you get the point. I actually asked if they were playing intrigue or politics or just plain playing around but I could not tell through the poker faces common to disdainful hosts if any of this ridiculousness was bubbling through to brain matter or if I was still dealing with the spinal reflex NO. Stimulus-response. Stimulus-NO.
I fully understand the principle of seating complete parties. But giving grief in an empty restaurant for an 11AM lunch? That’s the nightclub thinking. Not the restaurant. How is it possible for these people to interact with your hotel staff on a daily basis and not pick up at least some good service habits? Is the cult of celebrity-chef so strong and the wall between the factions so high that they can actually exist in the same spatial confines in Chicago and behave like they’re working the door at the Mondrian on Sunset? If so Mr. Hatton, then these people are a plague upon your image. A wart upon your nose. The hotel is the CPU but the restaurant is the Operating System. Most interactions are with it.
There must be a worse place -- but try to find it. – had read the reviews and decided it must be great -- WRONG!!! This place has a great appearance with a young affluent professional crowd, but apparently not a very discerning crowd. The medium rare NY steak I ordered at $49 was a medium quality (8 to 10 oz) piece of meat at $15. At 49 bucks, the owners, chef, and staff should be ashamed of themselves -- Not likely to happen since the only thing worse than the steak was the smirky waiter with anything but service on his mind (and I am taking a leap of faith that he had one -- if not, he needs to visit Oz). Decided not to voice my complaint to the fluffers at the front door -- they were too busy impressing themselves. I think the name should be changed to "Primehouse of Crap." After dropping a fast $150 for dinner I felt the need to donate to the Chicago's homeless because I certainly had wasted my money on my own unsatisfied hedonistic behavior. Do yourself a favor the next time you are hungry in Chicago -- visit any one of the very excellent steakhouses within walking distance of this one.
Excellent all around – We visited David Burke's for the restaurant week that ended Feb 27th and it was an excpetional experience, we were given champagne on the house twice as we waited and when we were seated, our server was super nice and the food was awesome, after the dinner they offered to take us on a tour to see thier famouse salt room where they kept thier dry aged steaks and also the kitchen where we met the executive chef, i highly recommend this place.
1 star is too high a rating – We went to Primehouse for my birthday last night. I had high expectations from the reviews and the menu. Unfortunately, not only were my expectations not met but Primehouse was not even one of the best steakhouses I've been to in the last 3 months. We ordered the sticks and stones appetizer - skewered beef and shrimp brought to the table raw to be cooked on a hot stone. Interesting and fun but lacked much flavor in spite of the infused soy sauce brought along to pour over the shrimp and beef as they cooked. Next we had the Caesar salad with white anchovies. Nice table side preparation and overall typical quality salad. Nothing extraordinary but it tasted fine. For our meals, we ordered the Porterhouse and the 55 day aged bone in ribeye, supposedly the best dry aged steak in Chicago in 2008. If that is the case, I would hate to taste even the second best let alone those that didn't make the list. The steak was not even tender, a reasonable expectation for a restaurant that happily claims to be the only one in the country that owns it own sire. My companion ate the Porterhouse but only after having to insist on steak sauce to make it flavorful. The Chorizo whipped potatoes were nice, but again, nothing extraordinary. Same for the creamed spinach, except the nutmeg was a little overpowering.
Service: We never had our water refilled. Our table was never cleaned off after the appetizers and salad before the entrees arrived. We ended up piling plates and glasses at the edge of the table which were finally removed but the table itself was not cleaned. I was hugely disappointed in most aspects of the night. We ended up leaving before the complimentary birthday dessert and with a third-eaten 55 day dry aged ribeye still on the table. Additionally, we were seated at a booth where the narrow aisle between us, a column and other tables left little room for servers and others to pass by without literally being in our booth. Not recommended.
Best 85 day aged steak, Excellent service – My husband & I went here for dinner on my bday. They have a great wine list. The scene is trendy & busy. The service was excellent, the GM even came by to make sure everything was perfect for us. Everything was great especially the 85 day aged ribeye, it was out of this world! They my made my bday perfect! The chocolate cake & ice cream added a very nice touch. We'll be back.
Awesome Aged Steaks – I had the pleasure to dine at Prime last night, and would recommend it to anyone. I had the Reserve Cut, 40-day Dry Aged, Bone-In Ribeye, MR, and it was fantastic. Additionally, we had the Shellfish Castle, the Kobe Beef Sashimi on a huge block of Himalayan salt, and some other things that were just as good. The wine was a Claret by Foley, '05, which went great with the pre-steak food. Service was great with minimal interruptions allowing for business conversation.
Good, with some wrinkles – Celebrated my birthday dinner here this past weekend in Chicago. Made an early pre-theater dinner reservation for 6pm. When we walked in, the place was completely empty yet they seated us by the waiters' station. Very odd. The food was good, and David Burke serves these popovers (instead of dinner rolls) that he also serves in the NYC location - delicious. We ordered a Pellegrino and the busboy brought it over, opened it, and just left it on the table. He didn't pour it! We were confused. Several staffers walked by and didn't pour it. Finally someone did. The food was good. They brought out their signature chocolate cake for no charge in honor of my bday for dessert. I thought that was a very nice touch. The restaurant gets loud as the night goes on, so be aware of that. All in all, a good experience.
Do not waste your money – Terrible....Do not waste your money. I reserved a private room for my Mother's 70th Birthday Party and we had an awful experience. The room was 38 degrees when we arrived and we froze for 2 hours before WE found ourselves other accommodations within the hotel. Their food was terrible, all the talk about dry aged and the steak was fair at best The portion of the side dishes are so small. We waited at least 15 minutes before someone asked for a drink order.......I could go on and on. In summary, given my dissatisfaction, I was offered a free dinner. The offer was turned down, I am just not that hard up for a free meal.
Mediocre at Best – I don't recommend this experience. Service was adequate, food was cold and mediocre. Over priced for quality of service and cuisine. The best part were the popovers!
Possibly the worst fine dining in Chicago – Thank God for good company because this may have been the worst meal I've had in Chicago. There is not a good thing I can say about this restaurant!
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