Red Prime Steak: Oklahoma City goes ultra-hip
Revisit Note: This review was originally published in October of 2007, but has been revisited and updated.
Photos courtesy of
Has it really been four years since we published our review of Red Prime Steak? Why yes, it looks like it has. Must be time to take another look at this now-well-established steakhouse in downtown Oklahoma City.
Since I wrote the original review (still listed in full below), I thought providing a second perspective would be good. So, my wife and I joined up with EatAroundOKC writer Sarah Sutton and her husband for a delightful evening out at Red Prime Steak. This was their first trip to Red Prime and here’s a bit of what Sarah had to say:
“This would be our first visit, so I wanted to peruse the menu beforehand to see what was going on. If I have one complaint, it’s that the online menu is practically hidden. I had to poke around and never did find it. Finally, Tim had to send me a link.
“But, once you find the menu, it’s pure delight just to read it. I knew my over-40 brain was going to have trouble narrowing down a selection, as it all sounded fabulous.
“Of course, carnivore husband knew immediately what he was going for — the 7 oz prime filet ($31) with a brown sugar and sea salt crust. He said it was cooked absolutely perfectly. I had almost settled on the same cut of meat with the bleu cheese crust until I heard about the seafood special of the evening — grilled sea bass over an onion risotto, grilled asparagus, bacon-wrapped scallops and a bacon relish drizzled on the plate ($36 – see a pic). They had me right there and it was perfectly delicious.
“We all split a few side dishes and I got to try the green chile mac, the sweet potato-bacon hash and the fresh seared green beans (see a pic). All had a unique flavor and was something to savor with each bite.
“As an onion lover, one of the things I appreciated about the evening was the variety of ways Red Prime used onions. First, in our appetizer of fried green tomatoes (see a pic), they adorned the tops with sweet, caramelized onion. Then, on top of my salad (see a pic), they sprinkled a type of french-fried onion with a bit of a kick. And finally, the onion risotto was mild and very tasty.
“The atmosphere at this restaurant is about as cool as it gets. It’s in an old building on Automobile Alley which has, of course, been refurbished and updated. But I love how the character of the original structure still shines through.
“Every employee we interacted with was extremely knowledgeable and professional, knowing right when to be at our table without being overly helpful. It was a delightful experience all around. We can’t wait to take the steak-lovers in the family back to visit.”
As you can see, Sarah had a very positive experience at Red Prime. I, too, must admit that the experience for me was even better than my original trip so many years ago. My filet, encrusted with guajillo chile ($31 - see a pic), was just about as good as it gets and I enjoyed trying some of the very creative side dishes and appetizers I hadn’t had before.
Something Red Prime has added since our original review is their Prix Fixe menu. For just under $40, one gets to choose an appetizer, entree, side and dessert from a pretty decent set of options. Given that steaks by themselves range from $30-$45 on the regular menu, the Prix Fixe option is certainly attractive. Of course, even at $40 per person, Red Prime is still, for me, very much a special occasion restaurant. But it’s a good one, and one to which I hope to return soon.
Have you been to Red Prime Steak? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.
Original review from October of 2007:
I recently got to check out one of Oklahoma City’s newest restaurants. Red Prime Steak is a new upscale steakhouse brought to you by the folks behind Cheever’s and Iron Starr. I love their first two restaurants so expectations for this new place were high.
One thing I love about Red Prime Steak is the location. It’s downtown, but not in Bricktown. It’s in the old Buick building at 4th street and Broadway. I love to see new places opening up in this area. Let’s hope they can sustain and continue to encourage more growth and revitalization downtown.
The restaurant brings a couple of things that are extremely unique.
First, the interior renovations really stand out. They are the reason for my inclusion of the word “ultra-hip” in the title of my post. It’s not that I’m 100% sure you would really categorize it has ultra-hip if your job were classifying interiors, but when you compare it to the landscape of restaurant interiors we currently have in Oklahoma City, Red Prime’s look definitely sets itself apart in the ultra-hip direction.
Concrete flooring, exposed 18 foot ceilings, and a smattering of very thin, brilliant, red lighting instruments set the stage. An enormous floor to ceiling wire mesh serves as a wine rack and requires the wait staff to utilize a home-depot-like aisle ladder to retrieve certain vintages. Also intriguing is the use of enclosed, circular leather booths which provide a few “private” dining areas amidst the rest of the “open” seating. So, if you are looking for a lively atmosphere, stick with the open tables, but if you want something a little more private (and quiet) ask for one of the booths.
The second unique treatment Red Prime brings is their use of crusts and sauces. With each steak, you can choose up to two crusts or sauces (more are available for an extra charge). Now, I’m not much for putting sauces on really good steaks. I mean, what’s the point in paying for a quality steak and then drowning out the flavor with a pungent sauce? The crusts, however, are very intriguing and tasty.
You can choose from a list of crust options — everything from black pepper to unique chile peppers — to be encrusted onto your meat as it is cooked. I chose the guajillo chile crust and I highly recommend it for a little kick that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meat.
Now for my complaint — I have just one. There’s no brewed iced tea. If you ask for iced tea, they bring you a bottle of something. Now look, I’m all for trying to be fancy, but I’ve been to some really nice restaurants in a lot of really large cities and most everywhere I’ve been, even the highest of the highest end, has served fresh brewed iced tea. Not only that, but even my favorite restaurant of all time, the Gotham Bar and Grill in Manhattan, provides iced tea with free refills, and it doesn’t get really any more upscale than the Gotham.
So, I would recommend that Red Prime make fresh brewed iced tea with refills an option. I mean really, it’s just about as common as water. Sure, you won’t make as much money on it as the bottled stuff, but really, is that a reason to withhold something so basic?
Speaking of money, you will spend a good bit visiting the Red Prime. I was fortunate enough to be treated by my parents on my visit (thanks mom and dad), and I would have to reserve any future trip for a pretty special occasion as the price is a bit prohibitive for me to make it a regular stop. But if you are looking for a high-end experience in OKC, I definitely think Red Prime offers a unique and modern flair that you won’t find at any other “steakhouse” in this city.