Prime Meats is the kind of place a couple of tourists from upstate might find themselves as the first diners at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday night for dinner. About 20 minutes later, a family from the neighborhood — celebrating one of their teenager’s brithdays — would be seated three tables down on the banquette. Ten minutes after that, an older couple would take the table across the room. Next, four college grads are ordering cocktails at the table next to the family, and a group of 30-somethings are standing at the (very excellent) bar. By the time the tourists leave at 8, the entire restaurant is packed with a crowd as diverse as the neighborhood itself. And all to sample German food and cocktails that were popular at the turn of the last century.
When you walk in, there’s a big bar right in front of you — the kind you can only stand at. We were whisked to the dining room next door:
Each night at Prime Meats, there’s a special punch available for $5 a glass. Tonight it was the Old Maid, a gin-mint concoction that was cool and refreshing:
The hunna had an aviation:
And then he had a Manhattan!
Both lovely. We started with oysters:
Mermaid Cove from Prince Edward Island.
Lovely. And then we shared the housemade pork rillettes, a special.
Delicious. And the relish, made with apples, onions and pickles, was to die for.
Now prime meats has a diverse menu. You can get a big honkin’ cote du boeuf for two. Or a small celery salad. Or a burger. But the house specialties are German. And it’s been so long since we’ve had good German food (actually, have we ever had good German food?) that we decided to go with that.
Here’s Greg’s Sürkrüt Garnie: Slow cooked pork belly, Thuringian bratwurst, calf tongue and knackwurst served with housemade sauerkraut:
And a couple of boiled potatoes for good measure.
And I went for the Beef Sauerbraten & Braised Red Cabbage. Slow braised beef brisket in red wine, vinegar and juniper berries with braised cabbage and pretzel dumplings.
Both plates of food were enormous. My cabbage and dumplings were amazing, and the flavor of the meat was great, but it was a little dry. Greg’s sauerkraut was terrific, the sausages were flavorful and the tongue was the best thing we ate at the restaurant all night.
We couldn’t finish our dinners, and were too full for dessert. And by the time these tourists from upstate took off, the joint was jumping. And we know we’ll be back to try more great stuff. Like the trout. Or the chicken. Or the Weisswurst.
The 411 on Prime Meats: 465 Court St., Brooklyn. 718-254-0327. frankspm.com