1/2 It's not really fair to judge things based on outdated notions. My first and last visit to Prime Meats was when the menu and space was a fraction of its current size. It's one of the closest (probably the closest after Frankies) restaurants to my apartment but I avoid venues that tend to have people waiting/loitering outside the door.
Maybe I give off this impression wordlessly too? I always thought I did a good job of masking my internal old and cranky self. At 7:30pm on a Wednesday (playing hooky from Spanish class–I hope no one there reads this) the dining room was less than a quarter full, and we were given a free-standing table for two instead of being fitted into the row of tables along the wall.
An applejack sazarac, sweetened lightly with maple syrup is a nice way to start. The cocktail, along with the stewy, braised, Germanic-leaning menu, also reinforced the disconnect between the season and the weather. Fortifying food makes sense in late January; less so as temperatures soar above 60 degrees.
A half-dozen savory oysters from New Brunswick (I zoned out on the name) seemed better suited for a bare-legged winter evening.
Ok, and a meat board, the so-called Vesper Brett. The selection included ham, calves' tongue, bacon, landjager (like a softer, fatter pepperoni), and chicken liver pate with assorted pickles and a milder "health bread" than the darker, denser stuff packaged into tight rectangles at certain grocery stores. Speaking of German-style bread, I'm kind of excited for Landbrot to open.
Somehow the sürkrüt garnie (no Frenchie choucroute here) managed to be light despite containing three meats: a small amount of pork belly, a bratruwurst, and a substantial slices of calves' tongue (yes, again) that I mistook for brisket in its pleasantly fatty, chewy texture. When I say light, I only mean that in comparison to the version experienced recently at Renger Patzsch in Berlin. Unlike in Germany, though, I felt no strangeness in taking my leftovers home for dinner the following night.
Why not a shared side of gruyere-infused spätzle too?
You don't have to order German food (weird that I also ordered the exact same dish in 2009–I really like pork and fermented cabbage). That's just what I happen to like about Prime Meats and I wasn't up for paying nearly double for the goat special ($32 vs $18 sürkrüt garnie) even if it is my favorite underrated meat. I could see myself going back on a weeknight, though I'll probably continue to stay clear of the patrons spilling out onto the sidewalk brunch.
Prime Meats * 465 Court St., Brooklyn, NY