There’s a clubby atmosphere at downtown’s Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse.
AT HYDE PARK PRIME STEAKHOUSE, the décor—rich woods, plush red fabrics, low lighting, furniture that recalls gentlemen’s clubs in 19th-century London or New York—conjures up movie scenes of lavish meals in an exclusive restaurant in the Gilded Age. And that’s certainly intentional, given the prices, depth of the wine list and the presence of 25 pricey Scotches. Hyde Park, which is part of a small chain with headquarters in Cleveland, appeals to a very specific demographic—executives with hefty expense accounts, well-heeled tourists and diners wanting a celebratory out-of-the-ordinary experience. Fortunately for the restaurant, Sarasota can supply all that.
Cordials, cognac, Scotches and dessert wines are meant to pair with finishing flourishes such as Key lime pie, apple pie, New York-style cheesecake, creme brûlée, chocolate torte or the ever popular lava cake stuffed with ganache liquid fudge. The desserts are pretty routine for steakhouses, except for the Hyde Park specialty, the colossal red velvet cake ($12.95). Seven-layers lovely, this chocolate-powered dessert is served with chocolate shavings and a house sauce. It easily satisfies a sweet tooth for four adults, but if there are just two, you can carry most of it home and celebrate again another day.
The Verdict: Classy and comfortably luxurious, this downtown beef palace has a welcoming vibe and contemporary menu elements while honoring the steakhouse classics. A first-rate bar makes it popular with the young-fun crowd as well as well-heeled older customers.
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
25 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota. (941) 366-7788
Hours: Dinner: Sunday, 5-9 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5-10:30 p.m. Start Early @ Happy Hour with cocktails and bar plates starting at $5