2016-11-02 / Restaurant of the Week


Joe’s Prime Steak House opened just one week ago, on Broadway and 45th Street in Astoria, on the former site of the venerable Ponticello which held the fort for nearly 30 years. The Western Queens Gazette welcomes Joe’s Prime Steak House and thankfully, the quality of the food and service is as exemplary as ever, though the menu, obviously, has a ‘meaty’ focus. The ambience of the bar and dining rooms exudes understated, sophisticated elegance without the high price tag, so a meal at Joe’s Prime Steak House is within the reach of all. Soft music, delivered by Frank Sinatra and the like, fills the air, lending a wonderfully relaxed aura to your overall dining experience, which I can promise you, will be divine. There are several dining rooms available for your private event for up to 50 guests and what better way to ‘wow’ them than with a meal at Joe’s Prime Steak House.

As this is a steak house by name, the meat served at Joe’s Prime Steak House is among the finest available at market, dry-aged for 28 days and trimmed on site. Partner/owner Freddy Marku ought to know, after 17 years in the business of prime meats, from the meatpacking district to fine restaurants so he knows meat intimately. Together with partners Joe Berisha, Peter, and George, leading the staff, you are assured a memorable dining experience. What’s more, if you don’t eat red meat, there’s a selection of fish, chicken, and pasta dishes, as well as vegetarian options, so everyone eats what they want.

Start with one of their seasonal cocktails such as the ‘smashed pumpkin bourbon’ served in a glass rimmed with crushed amaretto biscuits. My Manhattan was perfectly mixed and served straight up, and the wine list that includes vintages from California, Italy and beyond offers a bottle in your price range. Our “dolcetto” was perfectly paired for our meal. We nibbled on the house bruschetta, topped with a shaving of Parmigiano cheese. George and Tony tended to us with professionalism and courtesy. The first course was the impressive clams casino, made with plump, juicy clams, topped with savory seasonings and a slice of bacon for extraordinary flavor ($11). Clams oreganata are prepared with butter, herbs and white wine and both dishes require bread to soak up the tantalizing juices. The menu offers fresh oysters Rockefeller with spinach, herbs and buttery sauce, fried calamari (crispy and golden), and eggplant rollatini with light, fluffy ricotta ($11). Cold appetizers include jumbo, Steak House style shrimp cocktail, Little Neck clams, and beef carpaccio. Our cold antipasto platter was an eye dazzling platter of sliced, buttery mozzarella, tomato, sorpresata, Grana Padana parmigiano, and paper-thin slices of prosciutto, all dressed with greens ($14). This platter could easily serve two to four people as a first course, and the same is true for the pretty, tricolor salad which we shared. Warm up with a bowl of homemade pasta e fagioli or straciatella firoentina.

Next came the star of the show…the 28-day, dry-aged Certified Angus Beef! My charming companion and I shared an 18-ounce Kansas City strip steak, bone in. We both like it rare and so it came, still a bit cool in the middle, seared on the outside. After the beautiful presentation of this juicy steak at our table, George brought it back into the kitchen for slicing, per my request. This steak had great texture and lots of flavor, thanks to the aging process. The boneless New York strip steak is 14 ounces of “buttah,” or try the 20-ounce bone-in rib eye ($48). The Porterhouse for two is a 32-ounce cut of bovine heaven, and I’m told the filet mignon melts in your mouth. All steaks come with two sides, and I highly recommend their creamy mashed potatoes, and some wonderful broccoli rabe, or creamed spinach.

Chicken dishes include fork-tender chicken Marsala, Francese style or Scarpariello, with lemony sauce ($21). If you crave fish, the whole, grilled Branzino is fantastic, basted in lemon and olive oil, or try the grilled salmon or swordfish with your choice of potato and vegetable. Pasta lovers can have their favorite linguine with red or white clam sauce, fettuccine Alfredo, spinach lasagna, or frutta di mare, a seafood feast served on a mound of al dente linguine.

Desserts at Joe’s Prime Steak House are made in house and I don’t often use the word “best”, but their New York style cheesecake is the best I’ve had, and my companion agreed. It was sublimely creamy, with the perfect texture and right amount of sweetness. Enjoy a glass of port with this little slice of heaven, or try the chocolate mousse cake, carrot cake, Italian cheesecake, or rum babau.

Joe’s Prime Steak House is open six days a week for lunch and dinner from 12am to 11pm weekdays, and until midnight on weekends. Closed Monday. They are already taking reservations for the upcoming holiday season and New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner. Have your office holiday party here or any family event like showers, engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, or gentlemen’s dinners in one of their private dining rooms.

A meal at Joe’s Prime Steak House is a treat to yourself and those you love. Come and welcome them to the neighborhood and continue the tradition of excellent dining in this hallowed locale.

46-11 Broadway, Astoria


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