I went to Starr’s Barclay Prime, a “luxury boutique steakhouse” yesterday located in Rittenhouse Square. Even though it’s a steakhouse, Barclay Prime is definitely one of the classiest places I’ve been to in Philly. It is located in located in the historic Barclay building and has an old world feel about it. When you enter, it’s dimly lit with candles placed on every table.Strategically placed bookshelves add a homely feeling and the marble surfaces add to the grandeur of this place.
It has an extensive and expensive wine list – in fact one of the bottles we found had a price larger than the year! But a red wine is a must have with steak and we ordered a 2009 Castelmaure, Grande Cuveé, Corbières red wine from South France. As seniors, we loved the fact that it had been bottled the year we entered Penn, and drinking it seemed an ode all our memories here. We decided to forego appetizers and order sides along with steaks. We ordered the 12 oz. filet, 28 dry aged 16 oz. new york filet and the gachot & gachot prime dry aged ribeye (with bernaise and au poivre sauce).
The ribeye was perfectly cooked (I like medium done), with the meat getting tenderer towards the centre. It was perfect paired with the red-wine based au poivre sauce with a subtle bit of veal broth. The meat was succulent, with juices flowing out on the slightest touch. One of the best things I liked was that Barclays takes their steaks seriously, going so far as to offer four different kinds of imported knives to choose from. I chose a Porche manufactured knife with a rather aerodynamic handle.
We also ordered three sides – the truffle potatoes, truffle mac and cheese and cream spinach. You simply cannot eat an 18 oz. ribeye without sides as a sort of palate cleanser and the sides played their role perfectly. The truffle mac and cheese especially was outstanding.
You must have the dessert at Barclay’s Prime for two reasons. First, you need something to get the meaty aftertaste out of your mouth at the end of the meal and second, the desserts are simply delicious. They make their ice creams on-site and taste fresh. The server recommended the warm banana cake with banana caramel ice cream, the toasted chocolate s’mores with graham cracker ice cream and the barclay with peanut butter ice cream. Wisely, we followed his recommendations and needless to say, we were very happy.
I’ve always maintained that Fogo de Chao is Philly’s Mecca for meat eaters but I am forced to revisit this statement- move over Fogo, you will have to share your top spot with Barclay Prime.