In 2008, Chefetz leveraged that over-the-top image into Prime Italian, birthplace of the one-pound, $30 Kobe (but really American Wagyu) meatball. And this past January, he opened Prime Fish in the space that housed Nemo before it closed three years ago.
On a recent Friday night, a lone ivory-white Ferrari 458 sat at the curb of Prime Fish. Inside, waiters snaking among dark mahogany tables wore white button-up, waist-to-floor aprons and wide gray suspenders, nearly identical to those at the other Prime restaurants.
Despite displaying a handful of the Prime empire's trademarks, Prime Fish doesn't share all of its counterparts' trappings. The music in the dining room is far more muted than the cacophony inside Prime One Twelve. There's plenty of space between tables and not a celebrity in sight.
And it's efficient. Instead of standing around praying for a table to open up, my guest and I were promptly seated by a hostess.
As we stepped inside the dimly lit foyer, a trio of tall, busty blond women in short, suffocating-looking dresses teetered across the tiny white hexagonal tiles of the restaurant's main room. The walls are splashed a neutral beige that take on a yellow tone under the dining room's light. But it becomes bright white, accented by subway tiles and mahogany molding in another room, where an ice-filled raw bar with massive Alaskan crab legs and an open kitchen are the main attractions.
The tall, dark-eyed hostess seated us and laid down a stack of dinner, cocktail, and wine menus, found at all of Chefetz's restaurants. Then she breathed a sigh of relief, glad to be rid of the hefty load.