We’ve always been fans of The Summit Bar, but we never reviewed it because the food menu is tiny and the door/bouncer/crowd scenario most nights is unbearable. Thankfully, the cocktail gurus behind Summit decided it was time to add something a little more gastronomic to their resume. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Prima, our new favorite East Village hangout.

We know the Summit guys don’t take their cocktailing lightly. After all, they were awarded cocktail bar of the year for 2010 by New York Magazine. We’re happy to report that they haven’t skipped a beat at Prima and, believe it or not, they’ve actually stepped up their game. The Mancini with Michter’s rye, meletti amaro, and smoked cinnamon bitters is possibly the single greatest Old Fashioned we’ve ever had, and we take our Old Fashioned’s very seriously. But the drinks aren’t the best thing at Prima. Not by a long shot. The food at this fish-centric, French-influenced restaurant is some of the best you’ll find this neighborhood. As a matter of fact, we think this is one of the most underrated restaurants in the whole city. Just try it sometime. You’ll see.

Food Rundown

Marinated Beets
These are large triangular sliced beats mixed with a winning combo of honey crisp apple, horseradish and dijon. It’s a lay up, but it’s excellent.

Crab Cakes
We loved this lightly fried, pleasantly plump crab cake that was moist and highly tasty.

Sardines Rillettes
Another winning appetizer. Honestly, I’m not crazy about sardines, but this was really good. It tastes similar to a fresh tuna salad. Well done.

Now this is how you cook a piece of skate. This is a simply prepared piece of fish without any bells and whistles – just lemon and olive oil with a side of parsley butter. This is definitely the number one fish on the menu. Get it with the tomato and basil vierge sauce.

Black Sea Bass
Another winner. Again, simply prepared and perfectly cooked. We went with the green chimichurri-style sauce on this one, but this fish tasted excellent on its own too.

Tempura Hake
Order the Old Bay fries as your side, and you’ve got the best fish ‘n chips we’ve had in a really long time.

Very solid. The outside has a nice pan sear to it and the grass fed beef was pink and juicy on the inside. We love this burger.

Mille Feuille
Whatever you do, do not come to Prima and not eat this French puff pastry dessert. It’s one of our favorite sweets in town.

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