When childhood friends and Southern Maryland natives Nicholas White and
Tony Graham decided to open The Prime Street Grille two years ago, they
obviously were serious about the food. The former manager of Stoney's
Kingfishers in Solomons and federal employee-turned caterer,
respectively, are turning out a sophisticated menu featuring expertly
prepared steaks and seafood that could rival many of D.C.'s well-known
establishments. The experience of the chefs - Manuel Parvis, a graduate
of Baltimore International College School of Culinary Arts who has
worked at The Capital Grille, and Kyle Gragasin, who trained at the
Culinary Institute of America and worked under legendary chefs Fritz
Gitschner and Roberto Donna - is evident in the fare.
Stepping inside The Prime Street Grille on a recent Monday evening was a
welcome respite from the busy Crain Highway just outside its door.
Soothing dark tones, dim lighting, and a quiet atmosphere instantly set
the mood for a relaxing evening. The 50-seat bar is unobtrusive and
partitioned off from the three dining rooms, meaning you won't see the
flat-screen TVs if you don't want to. Of course, if you're there for the
game, you'll have your selection of 13 beers on draft and more by the
bottle. During happy hour, Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., pint
drafts are just $2. Several appetizers are specially priced, as well.
The impressive wine list includes dozens of whites, reds, and sparklers,
with several reasonably-priced options available by the glass. During
happy hours, some of the white wines are $4, some reds $5. (Martinis are
My dining companions and I started our meal with a sampling of the
mouthwatering appetizers. The generously-sized trio of crab balls,
smaller versions of the Grille's crab cake, were all lump meat and
served with cocktail sauce and a house-made remoulade. If you're serious
about your crab cakes, order them as an entrée or add one to your meal
for $12. The seared rare tuna we tried was spicy and flavorful, the
fresh calamari crispy and delightful. Other intriguing options include
Prince Edward Island mussels; Rockfish Bites, fried and coated with
buffalo sauce; Crab Bruschetta; and Prime Street Pork Wings, described
as bone-in pork lollipops served with mustard horseradish and chipotle
Although the appetizer offerings are heavily weighted towards the sea,
the real stars of this restaurant are the hand-cut Angus steaks. We
tried two of the restaurant's most popular: the filet mignon and ribeye.
Both were melt-in-your-mouth tender and cooked exactly as we ordered
them. More adventurous diners might opt for the Kona Sirloin, rubbed
with Kona coffee and topped with shallot butter, while those with a
hearty appetite could attempt the 22-ounce bone-in Cowboy Ribeye. Prime
rib that's smoked just outside the restaurant is available on Thursdays
and Fridays. For an additional cost, all of the Grille's steaks can be
customized with your choice of preparation: with sautéed mushrooms and
onions, blackened, au poivre (black pepper-crusted with Courvosier
cream), or Oscar (with jumbo lump crab, asparagus, and hollandaise). A
lobster tail can be included as part of the Surf & Turf entrée, or added
to any meal for $15.
A variety of pasta and local seafood dishes also are available. The
rockfish was served with a delicious tomato and shallot burre blanc.
Next time, I'll try the crab-stuffed ravioli or chicken topped with
deviled crab. More affordable options can be found on the sandwich menu,
including a half-pound burger, crab melt, or blackened tuna sandwich.
Check out the nightly specials for additional options. For those with
dietary restrictions, the chefs can prepare vegetarian and vegan dishes.
All of the entrées, save the pasta, are served with your choice of two
sides. It's tempting to stick with old standards like french fries or a
loaded baked potato, but the other offerings are worth considering. The
vegetable du jour was tender butternut squash, lightly sweetened and
perfect for a chilly autumn evening. The petite green beans and
asparagus were fresh and firm to the bite. The Gruyere macaroni and
cheese, a refined twist on a classic comfort food, captured my heart and
had me longing for leftovers the next day.
Except for the superb crème brûlée, the restaurant's desserts are
prepared elsewhere. Many of the cakes are homemade, however, and our
Chocolate Confusion Cake, with layers of chocolate cake, mousse, and
ganache (and encrusted with chocolate chips for good measure) was
sinful. You might need a tall glass of milk to wash it down.
Speaking of beverages, oenophiles and beer lovers should appreciate the
Grille's monthly wine or beer dinners, featuring several glasses
expertly paired with a distinctive menu. The restaurant even
occasionally holds spirit dinners to show off its extensive liquor
collection. If you can't make it to one of these events, you can still
try a "flight" of drinks with your next meal.
Two of the Grille's dining rooms can be reserved for private events. The
smaller room at the front of the restaurant would be perfect for an
office luncheon. The larger, more private room in the back can
accommodate 80 to 150 people and is ideal for wedding rehearsal dinners
and the like. The restaurant does not charge a room fee, and
audio/visual equipment is available.
Look for entertainment and possibly outdoor seating some time in the
The Prime Street Grille, 4680 Crain Hwy. White Plains; open Mon.-Sat. at
11 a.m., Sun. at 10:30 a.m. (serving Sunday brunch). Carry-out menu
available. Call 301-392-0510 or visit