Drinks in Manhattan can be ridiculously complicated. You need to catch up with a vendor or take employees out to boost a little morale after a tough week, so you start to brainstorm. Near the office, of course, so Midtown is ideal. There are the classic dives that don’t quite fit the bill, the tourist-ed out bars that reek of free breadsticks, the overly chic and quiet spots that are way more appropriate for a romantic dinner date…you rack your brain and eventually end up at the same old tired overcrowded spot whose liquor doesn’t taste quite top shelf and there’s no mixologist in sight.
We’ve scoured Midtown and keep coming back, again and again, to Ocean Prime. It’s got a perfect combination of elegance, class, and an approachable ambiance—the buzz and energy oozing off the power suits is almost as intoxicating as the signature Cucumber Gimlet or Prime Margarita. Whether you’re doing a full board meeting style dinner in the soaring main dining room or getting cozy in the hightop bar booths with drinks and snacks, Ocean Prime is a warm and inviting spot to unwind after a crazy day. Oh, and there’s truffle popcorn as soon as you sit down.
It’s located just a hop, skip and jump away from the belly of the beast at 52nd and Avenue of the Americas. There’s definitely a Mad Men-esque feel in the air here, but modernized. The décor gives off a golden age touch, marrying raw materials with polished details. The jewel-box inspired bar lounge’s showpiece is the detailed marbled bar, a stunning stretch of architectural detail. Herringbone wood, glass and concrete all meld together throughout the space for a sultry, cozy atmosphere.
While the cocktails and wines by the glass certainly shine (50 pours of truly spectacular vino), don’t get us wrong—the food here is delightful as well. Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, Executive Chef Eugenio Reyes crafts dishes that are carefully prepared and executed with the utmost precision.
Start with the Lamb Lollipops (even better than the candy they’re named for) and the Oysters—some of the freshest we’ve found. Move on to the ‘Ocean’ part of the restaurant’s namesake and gorge yourself on a ‘smoking’ shellfish tower that would make Maine proud—then the ahi tuna steak, so well you’ll almost taste the ocean. The ‘Prime’ menu is full of delights like the filets, ribeyes and the wet-and-dry aged KC stip, all expertly seasoned and broiled at 1200 degrees, awaiting bespoke add ons like the decadent béarnaise or maytag blue cheese crust. Poached lobster tail with kiwi, pickled serrano, masago and spicy mango puree is hard to top…but the blackened Brussel sprouts add an extra hint of perfection family style.
After that feast it’s pretty hard to say yes to the dessert menu, but on those sweet tooth occasions you cannot walk out of Ocean Prime without trying their new warm butter cake. Warm, rich, moist vanilla heaven with a dollop of fresh ice cream topping it off…you’ll have an OMG moment, guaranteed. A nightcap from the truly impressive wine list ends a rather perfect evening, everytime.