Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

Brandywine Prime
From inexperienced servers to heavy handed sauces there was lots that was off for Craig LaBan at Chadds Ford’s Brandywine Prime.

There was a handful of dishes among them I’d want to keep. The classic shrimp cocktail was huge and luscious. The house-cured duck confit gets a nice ride in a rustic tomatoey saute with linguine and kalamata olives. The tartares of beef and tuna – also classically prepared – highlighted the pure quality of the kitchen’s best ingredients.

So many other ingredients, though, seemed to be wasted on the pretense of fussy fixings. If a chophouse goes to the trouble to serve an excellent cut of beef – and Brandywine’s dry-aged cuts were good, but shy of exquisite – why drown its flavors with heavy-handed sauces and garnish? Brandywine Prime lays all of its steaks over a pool of fruited demiglace as thick as motor oil, then tops them off with a slice of oozing herbed butter the size of a credit card. And they’re all so strong, you could hardly taste the meat. It didn’t help that the rich gravy had already acquired a skin and gone tepid, as had the cookie-cutter vegetable garnishes.

One Bell – Hit Or Miss

Brandywine Prime [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Brandywine Prime [Official Site]