Dylan Prime or Dylan Fine?

Dylan Prime is touted as a sleek, sexy restaurant with new twists on classic steakhouse favorites.  I hit the upscale, dark, and more trendy than formal dining space to check out the fare.  While nothing was bad, not everything was great.  We are going to break this review down into what was just Dylan Fine, and what was really Dylan Prime.
First…the so-so news:
The Bread.
Unheated Hawaiian rolls.  Cottony, cold, ordinary King’s Hawaiian Bread that I buy in the grocery store all the time.  Now, I like King’s Hawaiian Bread as much as any other gal, but when I am paying beaucoup bucks in a nice restaurant, I want some house baked or at least locally sourced unique bread offering.  Even if it were warm, it would have been an improvement.  Later on, I noticed tables around us getting what looked like sourdough slices and pretzel rolls.  Why did we get the short end of the carb stick?  The butter, on the other hand was great-unsalted and soft.
Of course, that’s what she said.

French Onion Soup with Sherry & Gruyere .
Sherry & Gruyere Cheese
This was delicious, don’t get me wrong.  It just fell a little flat.  There were plenty of onions, but I don’t think that they had really cooked long enough.  The onions should be almost approaching jam status, literally melting into one another in a sweet, molten heap as you break through the bubbling cheese and moistened bread.  These onions were just a tad undercooked, which resulted in a soup that just lacked that certain umami POW of flavor.  The cheese used was excellent and so was the bread, with a tender crumb but a crust that stood up to the liquid.  This was not salty, which I LOVED, but if there had just been a bit more caramelization on the onions, it would have really brought this into “Prime” territory.
Baby Baked Potatoes with Roasted Garlic, Parmesan Cream Sauce, Bacon & Chives:
Like the onion soup, these were good but not GREAT.  The idea was fantastic-crisply baked Yukon Gold potatoes smothered in a roasted garlic and Parmesan cream sauce, garnished with pancetta and fresh chives.  But the execution just fell SLIGHTLY short.  The potatoes tasted boiled, not baked.  I really craved the contrast between the crunchy skin and the fluffy innards of the potato, and instead it was soft  throughout.  Also, the potatoes were left whole, so the Parmesan cream sauce couldn’t really sink into the potatoes while they were hot.  That’s a shame, since the sauce was perfect-thick, creamy, salty, and savory with that sweet roasted garlic.  It was so delicious with that perfectly fried pancetta and those fresh, slightly biting chives that I ended up eating the sauce and garnishes by the spoonful!  If they could just get the skin a little crisper and sink that sauce into the potatoes, this dish would be “Prime” for sure.  As it is, I am going to try to re-make this at home, since the concept is fab.
Now onto the excellent:
Mixed Baby Greens with Teardrop Tomatoes and Maytag Blue Cheese
Remember when you thought you had a great green salad?  Erase that thought.  Because THIS is what every standard salad should be.  Tender mixed greens including sweeter and more bitter lettuces, jewel like baby tomatoes that were sweet and acidic at the same time, a light vinaigrette dressing, and the world’s MOST fantastic blue cheese (for a salad, anyway).  The Maytag was truly wonderful-salty, funky, creamy; contrasting perfectly with the simplicity of the other ingredients. This was a standout in the meal and once again proves how stellar ingredients make for a stellar dish, no matter how simple.
Ancho Coriander Rubbed Hanger Steak.
I freakin LOVE Hanger Steak and do not eat it NEAR enough.  In France, it is referred to as the “onglet”, and is often what you will get in a bistro when you order “steak frites”.  It is not the most tender cut of meat, but it is one of the most flavorful.  It is inexpensive, and when cooked properly, has more of a meaty taste than even a New York Strip (in my opinion…which of course is right).  This was cooked PERFECTLY rare. It was lightly charred on the outside, warm and still red inside.  It cut quite easily, and had the most rich, iron-y MEATY taste…this is not for people who think a well done hamburger is awesome.  This is for meat lovers who want that true “beef” taste.  The ancho-coriander rub was just lightly smokey, spicy, and fragrant, and went perfectly with…
Herb Bearnaise Sauce
Be still my heart.  I mean, really…this sauce deserves it’s own part of this review.  Bearnaise is a variant of hollandaise sauce that includes shallots, pepper, tarragon, and other spices.  And, oh sweet mother of all that is holy…it is like mayo on CRACK!  It is warm, creamy, peppery, fragrant, herbacious, lemony, and thick enough to coat a spoon.  It is fantastic with everything from steamed broccoli to roasted cod to…yes…a flavorful and rare steak.  Something about that meat with the egg based sauce is just such an indulgence in carnivorism.  I ate the whole steak.
And drank the sauce
As in, I lifted the creamer to my mouth and tipped it in.
Don’t judge.
Creamed Spinach.
Perfection.  Served steaming hot, with ample spinach taste, a little bite left to the leaves, a rich sauce that was creamy but not cloying, and a perfect foil to the steak.  Because really..isn’t cream always a perfect foil to steak?

Comments

  1. Joanne says:

    I love your mega-detailed analysis. No need to sugar coat things when you're paying money for it. I think I might have to steal their potato idea, but better this time!

  2. JustinM says:

    French onion soups that aren't too salty are as rare as four-leaf clovers. I love French onion soup but it's almost to the point that I will never order it in a restaurant anymore.

    I just looked at the restaurant's website. I am intrigued.

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Joanne-omg lets cook those potatoes together!!!
    @Justin-I love French onion soup too and this one was soooooo close to being perfect. The meat was CRAZY good, though!

  4. Dee says:

    Maytag is absolutely the best! I've actually been to Newton, Iowa to their place. It makes a swell gift so I encourage you to mail order some! They offer lots of options and it freezes well (though I think it loses a little of the creaminess, but is fine for crumbles.) http://www.maytagdairyfarms.com

  5. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Dee-oooh, thanks Dee! Can't wait to check this out :)

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