Prime Steakhouse unveils its new chef’s new menu
Prime, that famed steakhouse at the Windsor Arms Hotel, has become a revolving door for chefs, of late. After executive Stephen Ricci left earlier this year, alumnus J.P. Challet (he helmed the kitchen during Prime’s 1999 relaunch) returned to liven up the joint. Just five months into his tenure, Challet abruptly announced his resignation. “I don’t believe in the steak house. I don’t believe in fine dining anymore,” he told us in June. The restaurant has managed to pick up the pieces with a new head chef—Richard Andino of Flow—and brand new menus. There are also plans for an all-new restaurant at the hotel.
The new menu launches next week. Hotel developer George Friedman calls it “contemporary steakhouse:” not quite bistro and not quite Peter Luger’s. Steak standbys like Kobi beef are still here, but there are lighter options, too: pastas, seafood and a mini surf ’n’ turf comprised of 2 oz. servings of steak and lobster. The vegetarian options have been given a huge upgrade and now include tofu and a range of sides. Friedman says the idea is to provide more options, including items that are lighter and less expensive. “It allows people to custom-create their own meal,” he said.
To that end, the hotelier is introducing prix-fixe options that challenge the stereotype of high prices at steakhouses and hotels. The three-course lunch is $19, and dinner is $39. “People coming to the hotel will know they don’t need to spend more than $39 to get a three-course meal,” Friedman tells us, noting that the hotel’s recently-purchased and relaunched Egan Ridge Resort in the Kawarthas, has also inspired the kitchen to use seasonal and organically-grown vegetables. “What we’re trying to do is have sufficient alternatives so everything is made for comfort.”
Changes at the hotel don’t stop at Prime. Friedman tells us that in mid-August, the Windsor Arms Hotel will launch a newly built Russian tea room restaurant that will specialize in pierogies and caviar. Stay tuned.