Prime Time

October 2012
Written By: 
Denise Mullen
Photographs by: 
Bobby Altman

Myrtle Beach chophouse features top grade meats served Pittsburgh style




One thing I’ve learned about steak and chophouses is that the dining public is very taste-specific when it comes to their high-end meat. Depending upon the grade, cut and cooking method, palates tend to favor one spot over another.

Across the board, great chop spots tend to have the same overall recipe for success: top-of-the-line meats and products cooked to their version of perfection, a la carte salads and sides and mostly male waiters expertly trained and dishing out the best possible service money can buy.

Discerning diners discover their favorite place to indulge in mega portions of protein based on personal preference. And they’re not shy about expressing their likes and dislikes when they pay a lot of money to eat at one of these places.
One of Myrtle Beach’s all-time favorite steakhouses is New York Prime.

Devotees flock here for the Pittsburgh-style cookery that employs extremely high heat, turning out meats coated with a black char yet beautifully tender inside.     

On a recent visit, my husband and I experienced the 22-ounce bone-in rib steak and a center cut filet of ribeye.  

What I found most interesting about Prime’s style is that once you cut past the outside crust, each and every bite inward becomes more tender and more flavorful. The meat is the star of the plate—no sauces or condiments offered or required.

But before we got to the ribeye headliners, we started with warm sourdough and raisin breads and the oysters Rockefeller appetizer.

Four gigantic oysters were served packed with spinach, bacon and a casing of melted Parmesan. The bread and oysters could well qualify as a meal in and of themselves.

Our stomachs already stretching, we decided to pass on one of New York Prime’s sides for two, like the creamed spinach or one-pound baked potato loaded with bacon, chives, sour cream and butter.

We decided instead to split the house Caesar with the option of anchovies on the side, which translated to three whole filets placed on top of the salad.

With a 1950s vibe, the galley dining room is rich with wood while Frank Sinatra croons in the background and waiters work their tables in skinny-lapel jackets.

Service here is exemplary, smart and caring. Drop a crumb and it’s scraped away within minutes. Leave your seat and return to a folded cloth napkin. Near empty glass or wine goblet? Fahgettaboudit!

In fact, a big part of my eyeball entertainment was watching two servers separate the meat from the shell of a still-steaming 5-pound lobster with the deftness of a surgical team and plate it for the couple at the next table.

On the other side of us, a party of six sipped their way through the wine list and glorious looking martinis. Like a choreographed dance, bottles of vino were uncorked at just the right time and parceled out in even measurement to each glass.

New York Prime’s menu is succinct and to the point: a half-dozen starters, nine USDA prime cuts of meat, all aged for 28 days, a fish, live lobster, four salad selections and nearly a dozen side dishes, including the steakhouse traditions of onion rings, sautéed mushrooms and thick-cut fries.

Appetizers range from $9.50 for a classic shellfish bisque to $18.50 for a plate of colossal shrimp baked in garlic butter, parmesan and bread crumbs. All salads are $9.50 and fit for two, including beefsteak tomatoes and onions with “Brooklyn French” dressing.

Side dishes can be ordered in individual portions, starting at $7 for steak cut French fries, or “table size” that will easily feed two or three for about $4 extra.

Seafood entrees come at market price and on our visit, lobsters rang up at $23 per pound. The beefy cut of the menu starts at $28.50 for chopped steak of prime to a mid-range of $52.50 for a 16-ounce New York strip, all the way up to $99.50 for the monstrous 40-ounce porterhouse for two.

If you’re in the mood for a special dining experience and you’re in a New York state of mind with a hunger for plenty of Pittsburgh-style steak, it’s the primo time to treat yourself to a night at New York Prime.

New York Prime
405 28th Avenue N.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 448-8081
5–10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday