Indy’s Great Steakhouses: Prime 47

The Comeback

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For a time, it was a steakhouse with an identity crisis. Housed downtown in the Majestic Building’s gorgeous Romanesque Revival limestone, the space originally hosted Mo’s … A Place for Steaks. It became J. Hamman Prime under the ownership of Jeremiah Hamman in late-summer 2013, but Hamman left that fall, and after two branding changes in three months, this name has stuck: Prime 47, a nod to its street number. Despite the hubbub, we’re pleased to say the establishment’s steaks have not suffered; if anything, the juicy cuts have improved.

Delectable meat-and-sauce pairings include an 8-ounce filet topped with a horseradish–bleu cheese crust (melted crumbles and herbs) and the perfectly spicy Cajun-seasoned New York sirloin. Some steakhouses may seek to mask the shortcomings of their meats by liberally piling on toppings, but those at Prime 47 augment the flavor of each wet-aged Prime cut in a thoughtful, utterly delicious way.

Knowledgeable waitstaff serve the table in tandem, outfitted in what look like white lab coats. That uniform simply reminds patrons that these are experts in their field; indeed, they repeatedly made solid recommendations for both food and drink—particularly the Old Fashioned cocktail, one of the best we’ve had in town. What’s more, the servers’ level of attentiveness is just right, neither overbearing nor missing in action—and one of them had grand stories to tell when coaxed into sharing them. Set to the soundtrack of classic rock and pop songs wafting over from a piano player tucked just inside the front door, his tales—of Indianapolis history and Super Bowl shenanigans—truly came to life. 47 S. Pennsylvania St., 317-624-0720, prime47.com

Price per ounce of the small filet: $5

Largest steak on the menu: 30-ounce Wagyu tomahawk

Grade of meat: USDA Prime

Aging process: Steaks come in wet-aged; the chef ages them “just a little bit longer in-house, up to two weeks”

Wines by the bottle/glass: 250/33

Dessert of choice: Handsome Eric’s Cookie

Valet: $10

Most-famous customer: Adam Sandler

 

We love steak, any way you slice it. In Indianapolis, there’s a steakhouse to cater to every occasion and level of sophistication, and after months of dining like wealthy cavemen, we present them to you here, in juicy detail. A la cartes include a primer on the king cuts (for those who don’t know a porterhouse from a portobello), tips on the best cheap chops in town, a cattle call of beefy terms, and a stab at defining that common condition among steak-lovers—the meat sweats. You want a piece of this? Dig in.

 

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