Prime rib is the regal roast of beef. Choosing the perfect, aged, marbled cut is a science, and timing the cooking so that the outside gets crusty while the inside stays pink is an art. Fortunately, there are quite a few restaurants in Connecticut where this science and art marry up each week, or more accurately, each weekend, to produce an excellent and even memorable classic dining experience for their patrons. Here are five of the best places to find prime rib in the Nutmeg State.
The White Horse Country Pub
258 New Milford Turnpike
New Preston, CT 06777
One bite of its prime rib and any diner will understand why The White Horse Country Pub won the award for best prime rib in Connecticut for four years running, from 2012 through 2015. Although usually only (but always) available on Friday and Saturday, the prime rib comes with Yorkshire Pudding, mashed potatoes and a sauteed vegetable, as well (of course) as a generous helping of the au jus. The atmosphere at The White Horse is upscale and historic, but also warm and inviting, and is the perfect dining destination for those taking the drive through the scenic Litchfield Hills to the Township of Washington and into New Preston, which is also if somewhat confusingly called Marbledale.
J. Timothy’s Taverne
143 New Britain Ave.
Plainville, CT 06062
There is a reason why many of the regular patrons of J. Timothy’s Taverne put off their dining there until later in the week: because their signature prime rib is only available Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (but also all day Sunday). The prime rib at J.Timothy’s is worth scheduling time for, as it is cooked to perfection, and comes with their wonderful fresh-baked seven-grain bread, as well as a choice of fries, mashed potato or rice. It is also somehow fitting that J.Timothy’s is situated in a building that has been a tavern for over 225 years, for the prime rib is of historic proportions. Although there is a more manageable, yet still massive, 14 ounce serving, most of the plates that go out of the kitchen on prime rib nights are covered in a 24 ounce hunk of beautifully aged and perfectly cooked beef. While there are some who can and will finish off this pound and a half of meat in one sitting, most people take home a third to a half of it in a doggy bag, for it somehow even gets better the next day.
Elmo’s Dockside Restaurant And Pub
48 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066
Elmo’s Dockside may sound like a seafood restaurant, and while it is, it also serves one of the best cuts of prime rib in the state. Not that the seafood isn’t superb – it is — but on Friday and Saturday nights the chef at Elmo’s prepares certified black Angus Beef prime rib. The chef coats it with fresh herbs, places in it a 500-degree oven to caramelize the outside, and once the crust forms turns it way down to slow cook. Not only is it scrumptious, it is amazingly affordable, especially because for $25 a diner gets not only the meat but also soup or salad, two homemade breads and a side dish of their choice (although the management highly recommends the twice-baked potato to accompany the prime rib).
Related: Top Steakhouses In Connecticut
The Polish National Home
60 Charter Oak Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
Although The Polish National Home does not sound like it would be a restaurant, it is – and a fine one, especially when it comes to satisfying those who love prime rib, Chateubriand or one of their many authentic Polish dishes. The annual social membership is only $25, and members are allowed to brings guests. The benefits of membership are spelled out on their website, but the best benefit of all is the food they serve in their dining room (members also get a five percent discount). The prime rib is excellent, and even though it has to compete with a tempting menu dominated by pork dishes and salmon, it still manages to stand out on the table.
185 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
A capital prime ribeye for a capitol city — that is what Max Downtown on Asylum Street offers beef lovers of Hartford. Although its prime ribeye is the same cut as a prime rib, explains the maitre d’, it is prepared differently than the traditional prime rib. He notes, however, that many prime rib lovers prefer the seared ribeye, which although cut from the rib, is technically a steak. Still, no prime rib lover, no matter what they order, goes away unhappy. Situated almost in the shadow of the golden capitol dome, Max Downtown serves about 300 of the city’s government, business and social elite daily. Noted as a dining spot for deal-makers, Max Downtown is one of the few restaurants that still maintains a dress code in their main dining room. Although patrons are not required to wear jackets, the restaurant directs those who arrive in what they call “sporting clothes” to their tavern, which offers the same menu (including the luscious prime rib), but in a casual atmosphere.