January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
A steakhouse that feels like a 1940s supper club.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published January 24, 2007
100 Best Restaurants (2010)

The Prime Rib
Address: 2020 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-466-8811
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisines: Seafood, Steaks, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5 to 10:30, Friday and Saturday 5 to 11.
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut North, Farragut West
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Business Attire
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Crab imperial; steak au poivre with a side of Marchand de Vin sauce; prime rib; asparagus with hollandaise; Key-lime pie; strawberries Romanoff.

No. 43: The Prime Rib

This is a dining room for grownups, the sort of place where Nick and Nora of Thin Man fame might have cavorted with their pals. Tufted-leather wing chairs, gold-trimmed black paneling, and a leopard carpet set the scene for the K Street crowd that settles in for lunch during the week. Nights bring a cocktail pianist and a following that includes its share of bleached blondes and May-December couples, reinforcing the nightclub feel.

The reputation of the place rests on its prime rib, which is grand—the 24-ounce cut is more than enough for any human, though showoffs go for the 40-ouncer. Unlike other beef palaces, the Prime Rib doesn’t slack off when it comes to seafood. The crab imperial is luxuriant in its creaminess and devotion to jumbo lump; the oysters are always fresh, cold, and impeccably shucked. A lesser-known, off-the-menu pick is house-breaded fried shrimp with the restaurant’s marvelous crunchy-with-pickles tartar sauce.

Salads and sides are weak links: anemic plates of overdressed romaine and overcooked stalks of asparagus—a shame considering the lemony hollandaise is nicely tart. Not that anyone seems to care. Lots of downtown DC restaurants have trouble filling tables on weekends, but the Prime Rib is like a party that never ends.

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Posted at 10:29 AM/ET, 01/24/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews