26 Aug 2008 @ 3:34 AM 

Ok, so it’s not the most spiffy catch phrase/title I have come up with.  Along with the name of the restaurant, it may be a little misleading.  It is what it is. 

On this evening out, it was the eldest son and I.  It was the night of what will, I’m sure, be the first of many “man talks”.  The kid is 10 and well, I must say that he is like his old man and “bloom early”.  We’ve already seen some of the signs…  The “faux stash” has started to appear and his little legs are starting to hair up.  It is a little disconcerting.  That being said, my wife and I decided that a night out with Pappa would be a good way to break some ice.  So after a few rounds of “Where do you want to go?”, I decided that it may just be best to go where I want to go and leave the rest to fate. 

It was a little later in the evening on a Friday night, (around 8:00PM) and we pulled into Prima 140.  There were just a few cars in the parking lot.  Looking into the place the tables were sparsely occupied.  I was a little worried that things may have gone downhill since I was there last, but went in anyway.   We were immediately greeted by a friendly, well put together waitress and then quickly seated.    Very soon after, someone came by and filled our water glass and placed bread on the table.  My son looked at me and asked me if I was going to review the place and I shrugged and told him the evening was about us, not a review.  He cocked his head and looked at me confused.  I then offered to let him “help me”.  He seemed to like the idea and proceeded to look at his menu blankly, not knowing really what he was looking at.

A few moments later, Matt, our waiter came over and started the “dance” of introductions, specials, and drink orders.  (Now in some previous string of comments, I was asked why I would put the server’s name.  Matt’s performance is exactly WHY I think it is a good thing.)  After Matt finished listing the specials, I had a few questions about what was on the menu, some things about the specials, and an appetizer.  He didn’t just answer, he elaborated on how it was prepared, what was in it, when the ingredients came in, and how proud the chef was about the fish.  Not to the point of being a pest, but Matt relished and understood what he was serving.  Soon after that brought our drinks, took our order and left us alone except to answer any question, check on us and fill our drinks. (until later when I cornered him about the place.)

My son and I ordered two different fish specials: My Mahi-mahi and then my son ordered (Oh man.. now I forgot. *gulp*) something else.  We also ordered the alligator pot stickers and another shrimp appetizer.  After that we began our “chat” about the who’s and the what’s and “where do babies come from” speech.  I must say, that was one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer.  I’m an open guy.  I like my children to talk to me, but the boy didn’t want to ask questions.  So I must have sounded like a dope.  This 10 year old kid had me blushing.  Fortunately, I don’t think Matt, our server noticed or he was nice enough not to let on.  So our appetizers came and the boy and I sampled them timidly.  That didn’t last long.  The pot stickers were fantastic.  The alligator, which is typically chewy and fishy when I’ve had it, was tender, savory and just melted in my mouth.  The accompanying sauce really complimented the pot stickers.  The shrimp were fresh and had that nice pop when you bit into them.  They were not overcooked and went well, offsetting the richness of the pot stickers. 

After knocking out our appetizers, Matt came with our fish.  He gave us a presentation of what was on our plate, giving center stage to the fresh Mahi-mahi that was before me.  I cut into it, just delighted.  It came with a rich sauce that clung to the fish and enhanced its flavor.   (You know how on Iron Chef when they talk about the theme ingredient?  How some chef’s really bring out the flavor or the theme ingredient and others don’t?  Yeah…)  This was Mahi-mahi and it tasted like Mahi-mahi is supposed to taste.  It tasted like a breeze off of the ocean, with a meaty undertone and grilled sunshine.  The sauce was a rich brown savory sauce that spread across the pallet and didn’t overpower.  I took in each bit as it was meant to be taken: a slow orchestral romp of culinary happiness.  There was a lot going on in each bite.  It didn’t taste at all fishy.  It was… perfect.  Can you tell I liked it?  *laugh*

So now it comes time for dessert.  I picked the chocolate pecan tort.  The pecans were crunchy, and the crust of the torte was flaky.  The filling under the pecans was moist, but firm.  It was again… Perfect.
I am always amazed at the Prima 140 chef’s presentation on each plate.  It is one of the few places in Omaha that actually take the time to produce a beautiful plate.  It is a great counterbalance to all of the generic, pre-produced, fried plates that are cranked out of the generic tasteless kitchens that we people in Omaha seem to flock to.  Thank you Prima for helping to keep beauty, flavor, and art in food.  Thank you Matt for being one of the top 5 servers I have ever had in Omaha.   You joined a very exclusive group.

Plusses: Service. The food was amazing. The kitchen was visible and clean. The bar was well stocked and beautiful.  The place was flawless.

Minuses:  Two words – Bigger portions.  (HA!)  Actually they aren’t open on Sundays.  I think I would have gone there more if it had been open on Sundays.

Overall Impression:  Num-Num!  I had a great time.  My server was professional, courteous, knowledgeable, prompt, attentive, and funny.  He was PART of the experience, not just some goober that just slung plates at us.  This is another place I URGE the good people of Omaha to FLOCK to.  This place is fabulous!

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 26 Aug 2008 @ 03:58 PM

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