What’s on the menu at Prime Seafood Palace, Matty Matheson’s new Queen West steakhouse
Last name: Premier Seafood Palace
Contact: 944 Queen Street West, primeseafoodpalace.ca, @primeseafoodpalace
Piece: Queen West West
Owner: Matty Matheson
Chief: Coulson Armstrong
Seats: 66 inside
Accessibility: Fully accessible
In keeping with Matty Matheson’s original vision for Prime Seafood Palace in 2016, it is first and foremost a steakhouse menu. But, for Chef Coulson Armstrong, the guideline is restraint. It avoids unnecessary complexity (but not luxury) while pushing the premium product to the peak of its potential.
The dark amber grains of Kristal sturgeon caviar are served with a full suite of thoughtful accompaniments: home-grown butter and fresh cream, molasses bread, and brunoise-cut chives, to name a few. Steak selections include melting and tender A5 Wagyu and bone-in strip loin aged 30 days. Upstairs, whole fish destined for a magnificent crudo are dry-aged to umami and textural perfection.
Despite lavish indulgences, you can just as easily have a full meal of simply prepared vegetables or minimally embellished seafood. Matheson wanted the space to be inclusive: come as you are, wear what you want, and enjoy the culmination of the six-year odyssey that brought the restaurant to life.
The wine list is centered around the friendly grape varieties of Old World producers: your Barolos, Burgundies, Bordeaux and Champagnes. (Read: no funky, murky natural wines here.) The cocktails also lean towards the classics. Expect soda-based highballs and spirits with thoughtful undertones, like a negroni with a split base of subtle Dolin red and spicier Cocchi vermouth.
“Everyone shines here,” says Matheson – and they shine, though you wouldn’t know it from the bare all-white facade. Designed by architect Omar Gandhi, who normally creates residential projects in the Maritimes, the almost monochromatic room is all warm Canadian maple, creamy leather and brass under a high ceiling of arched maple slats. Intentionally cathedral-like in its serene grandeur, the space contrasts the steakhouse’s traditionally hyper-masculine aura of red leather, dark tables and tuxedos. And take a look at the bathroom, where a custom sink representing Lake Erie is dotted with a pin marking Matheson’s home in Fort Erie.