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Robb Report Vices

Dylan Prime 2.0

Gloria Dawson

From the outside, Dylan Prime could still be mistaken for a typical steakhouse. The Tribeca restaurant’s large bay windows give passersby a glimpse of expansive, leather banquette-furnished dining rooms—classic, if not clichéd, steak-joint decor. But inside, diners will find subtle and substantial alterations thanks to a recent renovation and a new chef who focuses on seasons and sustainability as much he does steak.

According to the executive chef Michael Berardino, Dylan Prime’s owner—John Mautone—recruited him for his charcuterie background, his focus on seasonal menus, and his respect for ingredients that aren’t typically featured at steak houses. Berardino’s background in Italian cuisine and his stint at Cannibal, a meat-centric spot in Murray Hill, prepared him well for this gig. Dylan Prime’s menu still serves the classics, like a 28-day-aged rib-eye (Berardino’s favorite cut), as well as more unusual offerings like a brisket burger with bacon jam, sweetbreads served with artichoke and Meyer lemons, and house-made blood sausages.

The restaurant first opened 14 years ago, which, for a New York establishment, is a lifetime. Back in 2013, Mautone turned off the lights for a short time, just prior to a planned renovation, which he says was done so that he could rethink the steak-house genre. “It had to be fresh and well thought out,” he says, “but old New York at the same time.”

The result is what Mautone calls “reclaimed Tribeca.” Exposed bricks and industrial accents now dominate the dining areas. Lanterns found throughout the restaurant are remnants of the Dietz Lantern factory that used to reside in this location, while the cocktail tables and bar feature 200-year-old lumber that was claimed from a restoration project down the street.

Dylan Prime’s cocktail menu continues the theme of updated classics. We recommend the barrel-aged Manhattan on tap. The bar staff has tinkered with the concoction, which is aged in sherry barrels, since the restaurant reopened at the end of last year. By the end of this month, they’ll finally be adding it to the menu.

But we can’t forget about the main course. Mautone’s favorite dish for the season is the rabbit, which he believes is a great example of how the restaurant has transitioned. He also recommends the pork chop—Berardino’s signature—served with caramelized fennel, or the lamb saddle, which he describes as a “lamb porterhouse.”

Yes, that’s right; Dylan Prime is a modern steak house that’s not pushing steak. Welcome to the future. Oh, and try the rabbit.

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