As you walk into Il Mulino Prime (331 W Broadway), you cannot miss the beautiful the decor and the pure essence of pretentiousness. But as the old saying goes you can’t judge a book by its cover; Il Mulino Prime is a perfect example of that quote. The pretentious atmosphere only exists because it’s in the heart of Soho, if it was anywhere else it would stylize in a more traditional non-
modern fashion. But in all honesty that’s the only fault I could find in Il Mulino Prime. The staff is beyond fantastic, Bruno, the head bartender or waiter whatever you want to call him is the nicest guy you’ll ever encounter. He’s a superb example a good old-fashioned waiter should behave. He brings an old school Brooklyn feeling with a little bit of an Italian accent. He is the perfect example of what a waiter should be in my opinion. He offsets the modern decor with a feeling of home; He brings the essence of Italian food to the table without losing the elegance of the food. But what does that mean?
Italian food as a whole is designed for family-style eating. Yes, Italian restaurants can have single portions, but if you look at any famous Italian restaurant in New York City the menu is designed for family-style large portions, large plates, large groups loud of PEOPLE TALKING to each other, and eating together as a family. The problem comes down this style restaurant would not work in Soho. Modern fashion, luxury and elegance are a must for the survival of the business in Soho. The menu at Il Mulino Prime is no
exception to this demand for style. All the dishes are carefully thought out. Every single item on the plate is one the plate for a reason. Even the lemon on the side of the seafood dishes is carefully wrapped in fabric so that your food is protected from the possibility of any lemon seeds touches it. The attention to detail is matched by very few restaurants that I’ve ever been to in my life. But the food is only half the battle. The staff at the location is the other half. Just because you have great food and decor doesn’t mean that a restaurant will survive New York City. There are hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants in New York City that fail every year
because they’re missing that one piece. In Il Mulino Prime’s case the staffing was carefully selected to allow patrons opportunity to interact with someone who’s both sweet and professional at the same time. Bruno is able to have a quick joke with the patron but still knows the menu inside and out. He still knows the wine list. He still knows all the information you need to become a more educated patron of the restaurant. Bruno does this all without being overly cocky and offsetting. Is this not a perfect combination for a waiter?
Now, what you have all been waiting for the food and a review of the $25 lunch special. I’ve honestly had about 85% of the menu and have the pictures to prove it. Instead of going item by item I will be going over my favorites and then just posting the remaining pictures. All of the dishes taste great. For those of you who do not know about the $25 lunch prix fix at Il Mulino Prime is a special menu during the hours of 12 pm – 4 pm . It allows you to order one appetizer, one dessert and one entrée for the low low price of $25. Yes, a full meal to in the heart of Soho for only $25.
My favorite combination for lunch is the beefsteak salad, the wild salmon over asparagus and (finally the best of everything) cheesecake with a little bit of whipped cream on the side. Why is this favorite combination you’re asking? I like the large portions of bacon and tomatoes and it have a little vinaigrette -boom your mouth is set full of flavor and it’s semi-healthy. Seriously look at the portions of bacon on top of that salad, how can you say no? The wild salmon on the other hand is perfectly cooked. It’s both healthy, clean, and will get me ready for the summer. You know, I’m going to have a six pack… Of beer. Why I am selecting the cheesecake for my dessert? If you don’t know you shouldn’t be reading this blog. Cheesecake is the best shit on earth. In all honesty there is no bad combination of the menu it is all about what you like and want to eat at the moment.
Next time you’re in Soho or Chinatown or anywhere in the downtown area, you should really check out Il Mulino Prime. It’s one of the best spots that you can have lunch and not feel raped by the price of the meal. See below for all the desserts!