Primebar

 

It's racing season again, feast on eclectic eats at Primebar

prime bar chef

Rochelle Koff

It’s racing time again at Gulfstream Park, which is bound to bring a cheer from merchants at The Village, the nearly year-old dining, entertainment and retail complex by the track. Odds are, many of the businesses are counting on the equestrian crowd for a big boost now that the holiday season is over.

Primebar is one of two Florida links in a national chain that also operates Bluepoint at Seminole Paradise at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood. With its drink list, happy hour and late-night weekend entertainment, Primebar is a likely nightlife destination, but visitors might not realize the place also has an extensive menu, sometimes too extensive. The eclectic selection features dishes that are as varied as a $13.99 bento box and a $38.99 bone-in rib-eye, plus there’s a long list of small dishes, sliders, sides and sandwiches. We found lots of hits but also a few misses.

Ambience: Just steps from the Gulfstream clubhouse, the 185-seat Primebar is in a prime location to attract bettors celebrating their wins — or trying to forget their losses. The restaurant has a sprawling patio with a sleek bar and fun people-watching view. The interior, with another bar, looks like an upscale urban ale house with dim lights, wood paneling and plasma TVs.

What Worked

  • Flavorful shrimp bruschetta with fresh chopped tomatoes, red onions and basil, house-made mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil
  • Light, crisp calamari
  • A nicely done Caesar salad with an excellent dressing blending egg, garlic, anchovies, Parmesan and red wine vinegar, with a garnish of fried white anchovies
  • Buttery, tender horseradish-crusted salmon 
Wonderful French-style rissole potatoes – balls of potatoes (think of scooped melon balls) roasted with oil, garlic, salt and pepper till they’re browned and crisp
  • Pan-seared scallops in a perky cilantro-lime pesto sauce
  • A well-marbled, judiciously seasoned & skillfully seared 18-ounce, bone-in prime rib-eye
  • Rich mac and cheese baked with a bread crumb topping and a garnish of tomato confit
  • Creamy polenta made with peppadew (a sweet-spicy South African pepper) and Parmesan
  • A rich Brussels sprouts gratin.
  • A simple but scrumptious vanilla crème brulee
  • A delightful dish of fresh blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in a crème anglaise

What Didn’t Work

  • So-so lobster bisque lacking a lush lobster taste
  • Dry & overcooked prime rib and pork belly sliders

 

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