Thursday, July 9

PM Prime

While the focus of my blog posts tends to be mainly about Chicago restaurants, occasionally I venture outside the city and even to other parts of the country. This time I’m taking you on a trip to PM Prime, an upscale steakhouse in North suburban Highwood, giving River North steakhouses a run for their money. James Beard Award nominated Chef Dominic Zumpano is giving Chicagoans and suburbanites a reason to stop in.

My +1 (Papa Topps, AKA my Dad) and I stopped by for dinner on a Saturday night. I rode the Metra straight up from the city which drops you off literally across the street from the restaurant. It can’t get much easier! The restaurant is not huge and nearly every table was taken by the time we left. There’s also an outdoor patio (unfortunately it was a bit chilly the night we dined). The dining room is handsomely appointed in black and white, and aviation-themed photos adorn the walls.

After being seated in a comfy booth, General Manager and Sommelier, Robert Bansberg, offered a few wine selections. Ultimately we decided on a 2012 Syrah from Sonoma. The wine matched my request for something big and bold.

PM Prime
Jemrose 2012 Syrah
My dad and I each started with a cold appetizer and salad. I had the East and West Coast oysters and the buffalo mozzarella salad, while he tried the shrimp and the wedge salad. Both seafood appetizers were fresh and delicious. I loved the mignonette served with the oysters too.

PM Prime
Shrimp
PM Prime
Shrimp
PM Prime
Oysters on the Half Shell
Both salads included a modern approach on classic preparations. The wedge salad featured layers of bibb lettuce artfully plated with bacon, blue cheese, candied pecans, and tomato. There was even some pesto that added even more depth of flavor. My salad was also artfully plated with heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella, a balsamic glaze, and shaved black truffle. There was even a dollop of olive oil sorbet. Take that traditional caprese! It was one of the best, most refreshing salads I’ve had. I really enjoyed the different colors, textures, and flavors.

PM Prime
Wedge Salad
PM Prime
Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
Next, it was time for the main attraction, steak! PM Prime offers domestic Wagyu beef which sounds like an oxymoron but is a blend of Black Angus and Wagyu. The restaurant offers both a flat iron and sirloin cut. My dad opted for the 10 ounce flat iron while I chose the six ounce filet. Everything is served a la carte so we ordered a couple of sides to share including forest mushrooms with goat cheese and toasted pecans, and glazed potatoes with caramelized onions and bacon. Our steaks were well cooked, although mine was a little over seasoned with salt so I requested a new one. My steak was perfect after that—extremely juicy and tender with a nice, thin, charred crust. My dad also enjoyed his steak which took on a very different flavor and texture than my filet.

PM Prime
Domestic Wagyu Flatiron Steak
PM Prime
Filet Mignon
PM Prime
Filet Mignon
The sides were great as well. I enjoyed the combination of wild mushrooms with the goat cheese and pecans. Something about it just worked. The glazed potatoes though, now those were addicting. They’re cooked in a short rib jus and when combined with the caramelized onions and bacon, it’s pure delight. I also appreciated that both sides weren’t the typical executions you’d find in your standard Chicago steakhouse.

PM Prime
Forest Mushrooms
PM Prime
Glazed Potatoes
Last, but not least, we were tempted by the assortment of desserts including seasonal pie, bombolini, and a chocolate cake. We ultimately chose the chocolate cake which is described as “chocolate cake for 2” on the menu. This is a lie. This is a chocolate cake for eight people. Easily. And with a price point of $24 it should be! The cake was just OK. I was pleased to find that it was not dry, but felt it could have used richer chocolate. We did enjoy the chocolate chips on the outside which added a nice crunch. The side of buttermilk gelato also made for a nice pairing.

PM Prime
Chocolate Cake
PM Prime
Buttermilk Gelato
PM Prime
Chocolate Cake
So what are my thoughts overall? I thought the quality of the food was excellent and the service and staff on par as well. The atmosphere is lively, albeit crowded, but hey, isn’t that a sign things are pretty darn tasty? My only gripe would be the pricing. Some appetizers and drinks are overpriced; however, the price of the steaks and sides are comparable to what you’d find at other upscale Chicago steakhouses. PM Prime is a great suburban alternative to River North steakhouses, and, in my opinion, well worth the trip!

Note: my meal at PM Prime was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

PM Prime
310 Green Bay Road
Highwood, IL 60040
847.433.0600
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