Restaurant Review: Prime Seafood Palace – An exceptional steakhouse that’s a sight to behold
|Restaurant||Prime Seafood Palace|
|Address||944 Queen Street West|
|Dinner for two with wine||$300|
From Queen Street West, Prime Seafood Palace is slick—the brick façade is painted white with plenty of tinted windows, adding to its overall allure. It’s not until you turn the corner that you see the massive door, flanked with ornate planters and a small golden bull emblem. From the exterior, it’s fancy, and it’s the kind of restaurant where you’d expect a doorman. Based on chef/owner Matty Matheson’s other restaurant ventures that fall on the more casual side of the spectrum, Prime Seafood Palace appears to be a bit of a deviation.
The architecture is truly a sight to behold, with a sleek and contemporary design that blends with the historic character of the building. The interior boasts an open floor plan, with ample room for seating, and the abundance of natural light makes the space feel airy and inviting. I’m struck by its grandeur. The candlelight casts a warm glow on the maple slats, which draw my gaze to the cathedral ceiling. It apparently includes 9,000 pounds of maple. Cozy tan-leather booths, light wood tables and wishbone chairs lined with fur give the space a Scandinavian feel. With its soaring ceiling, tiny skylight, and dark colour palette, the washroom evokes the serenity of Japanese bathhouse and is well worth a visit in between courses.
This is the type of restaurant where you can pull yourself up to the bar and feel as comfortable as you would at a dining table. For a steakhouse, it strikes the perfect balance between cozy and chic, and this is exactly what architect, Omar Ghandi, envisioned.
The scent of the grill is hypnotizing. Matheson’s menu is well-curated, focusing on (surprise, surprise) fresh seafood dishes and proteins cooked on the grill, with an emphasis on quality ingredients and expert preparation, which justifies the above average price point. The selection of appetizers includes a variety of options, from classic shrimp cocktail to Sicilian crudo to Kristal caviar by Kaviari that’s sprinkled with chives and scooped up with crispy potato chips. The quality of seafood is some of the most exquisite I’ve tasted in recent memory, making it no surprise that this restaurant landed a “recommended” spot in Toronto’s inaugural Michelin Guide. The black tiger shrimp is perfect for sharing, and sets the tone for the rest of the meal.
Protein-rich entrees are the heart of the menu, and this comes as no surprise at any steakhouse. Offerings such as a black pepper-crusted filet mignon ($95), A5 Wagyu ($220) and 40-ounce côte de beouf ($275), will surely make you salivate. But it’s the seafood dishes, such as the fluke fillet with a glistening blanket of trout roe and beurre blanc ($65) and rotating daily specials that make a strong impression. On the evening I’m there, the turbot special practically sells itself after seeing it at a neighboring table. The whole turbot is presented table-side in a fish grill, fresh off the fire. Doused in brown butter and topped with capers and lactofermented green strawberries, the flavours are ethereal. I still dream about this one. While mains are a highlight, sides are definitely not an afterthought, which isn’t always the case for steakhouses. Palace Potatoes ($23), bite-sized wedges of pave-style potatoes swirled in aioli, are a highlight if you long for something crispy and comforting. For a more vegetable-forward dish, opt for the Joi Choi. It’s reminiscent of bok choi bathing in a delicious chicken consommé.
The beverage menu is vast, with plenty of cocktails, wines, sake and non-alcoholic options. I thoroughly enjoy my glass of Italian Roero Arneis—it complements the turbot exquisitely with its harmonious, slightly bitter finish.
One of the most impressive aspects of Prime Seafood Palace is the level of service. Servers are professional, knowledgeable and attentive, with a genuine passion for the food and a desire to create an exceptional dining experience. Our server makes us feel welcome, and paces our meal perfectly to allow for leisurely enjoyment without feeling rushed.
Overall, Prime Seafood Palace is a must-visit for steak and seafood lovers in Toronto. With a focus on quality ingredients, expert preparation, and attentive service, Matty Matheson’s newest restaurant offers a luxurious and unforgettable dining experience that is sure to impress even the most discerning palates.
Mme M. xoxo
La rubrique de Madame Marie
1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
2 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
3 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
4 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
5 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.