A couple of Fridays ago, I informed my better half that I wanted to go to Huntington Prime for dinner. It was a date. I read some reviews online and looked at HP’s website and learned that the dining room is really small. For that reason, and the fact that it was homecoming weekend at Marshall, we decided to go early. Oh, and Happy Hour is from 4:00-6:00 every day with $1.50 draft beers making for reason number three.
Huntington Prime is located on 4th Avenue in downtown Huntington, right in the middle of it all. We easily found the restaurant and just as easily found a metered parking space right out in front. It was 5:15 when we walked in. What I read was true about the size of the dining room, but I actually didn’t expect it to be this small. Its decor and furnishings are modern and eclectic, but it’s cozy and warm at the same time. My first impression was a good one. There’s a nice long bar at the back of the room with a brick pizza oven on one end. From our seats, the fire for the pizza oven looked fake like it was a gas fire. One thing I didn’t like about the bar area was the TV. The restaurant is a little on the upscale side, and is cozy and quiet. I don’t believe a TV is necessary or fits in here.
We were greeted by a friendly server who told us about the happy hour specials of $1.50 draft beers, $2.50 bottled beers, $3.00 house wines, the prime rib dinner special priced at $16. 95 and the appetizer and pizza special of $8.00 each. We ordered a Yuengling draft and a Bud Light draft. They came in fancy tall skinny glasses that we guessed probably didn’t hold a full 12 oz. of beer. But still, $1.50 for almost a can of beer isn’t too bad. And they were pretty in those glasses!
The waitress confirmed what we’d suspected-that the prime rib dinner special probably was a smaller version of the one listed on the menu for $25.50. The special is a 12 oz. cut with a baked potato only. The $25.50 version includes a 14 oz. cut of meat, a baked potato and vegetables. My husband had prime rib on his mind and he wanted the big piece, so that’s what he ordered.
Speaking of the menu…Huntington Prime uses local ingredients as much as possible. On their menu they actually state the name of the farms that provide some of those items. I think it’s pretty cool that they do this and it’s interesting to me to see in black and white where it came from. The menu is pretty diverse. Their biggest selling entree is, of course, The Huntington PrimeRib. There were a few other entrees that I found interesting and wanted to try like the 14 Hour Beef Brisket, the Gardener Farms Lamb Shank and the Cast Iron Mac and Cheese.
However, the one entree that really caught my eye was the Pork Belly & Smoke Gouda Grits.
I’ve only in the last year or so started liking grits, and only with cheese, and not instant ones. I make several trips to South Carolina each year, and grits are a staple in the south, so it’s no wonder I started eating them. And I’m a sucker for smoked gouda cheese. I absolutely LOVE it so I couldn’t pass up this dish.
I also added the soup, salad and homemade bread bar to my meal for $4.50. Like the rest of the restaurant, the salad bar is tiny. It’s made up of two fresh salads (one caesar and one regular garden salad), two homemade soups (ale/cheese and butternut squash), three homemade dressings (caesar, ranch and strawberry vinaigrette) and warm french bread with butter. I got a little of the garden salad with the yummy strawberry dressing and a little of the caesar salad with the fresh shaved parmesan, a cup of ale/cheese soup and a slice of bread. The soup was delish! I wanted to go back for more soup, but our food arrived before I was finished with my salad.
My pork belly and grits were a huge serving. The grits were cheesy and flavored really well and the pork belly was fork tender and had great flavor. The pork was a little on the fatty side. DUH! Again, it’s pork belly, from the underside (belly) of the pig, where, like humans, the pig carries its fat. I subbed the kale with bacon and onions for asparagus. Love kale, can take or leave asparagus. And rarely do you see kale on menus, so I had to take advantage.
The kale was excellent and contained lots of bacon. (Did I mention I love bacon?) I liked it so much, I recreated it at home a week later.
HP also makes their own desserts and the choices vary each night. Choices the night of our visit were tres leche cake, banana split pie, carrot cake, cheesecake and German chocolate cake. A relative had recommended the tres leche cake, so we got a piece of it and a piece of banana split pie to go. Both were really good.
Huntington Prime is a nice upscalish restaurant in a cozy but casual atmosphere. They also serve lunch. Dress ranged from t-shirts and jeans to suits. Entree prices are reasonable and the selection is diverse enough for even a picky eater. FOUR FORKS.
910 4th Ave.
Huntington, WV 25701