VENICE — Owners of the new Prime Serious Steakhouse under construction at 133 Tamiami Trail S. are planning opening in November.

They provided details of the restaurant amenities and quality of food.

Proprietors Mark Costanzo, David Valentino and Dennis Valentino operate five restaurants, Venice will be the sixth in this area.

“With not too many steak choices in Venice, a specialty of Prime Serious Steak is cutting steaks to be on your plate same day,” Costanzo said. “The freshness and beauty of handling meat just as fish, chicken and more are delicate ensuring they are prepared and cooked meaningfully.”

Costanzo said they have “very high specifications” for its meats and gives guests a “tasteful way” to watch a butcher work.

“It is Iowa corn-fed beef bred to our specifications, the size of the cow, what the marbling is and the aging all before it arrives at our door,” he said. “It is then aged for 28 days before cutting.”

Prime’s main entrance will be on Miami Avenue in the parking area. Guests will see a large bar, a wine grotto, butcher room and kitchen where all the action takes place. The restaurant will have a contemporary look, black and red tile and a port theme because of wines. Table tops are stainless steel with a cutting board placemat to warm it up and cloth napkins.

At around 6,000 square feet, Prime in Venice will seat 180 diners, mostly in one large room with around 26 booths plus banquettes and table seating. In a loft area on the second floor is a room for groups of 25. Under the loft will be another semi-private room.


Facing Tamiami Trail in a covered outside partially walled area will be seating for dining at a few tables.

Although the focus is on the whole range of steaks and prime rib, the restaurant will serve lobster tail, shrimp, grouper, snapper, halibut, two chicken dishes, pork and lamb chops. As the steaks are prepared a cart table is wheeled to the guests where a salad is built for them and there is a choice of 90 wines.

They will serve a specialist range of deserts. Costanzo indicated there would be some type of entertainment, possibly a piano bar.

It will be employ 50 to 60 local people and bring in some of the regular restaurant teams. Venice will have fully experienced trained Prime employees from Port Charlotte.

Costanzo came to Venice in 1989 to work with Steve Harner at the Crow’s Nest, and then became a partner at Bogey’s until it was sold. Joining the Valentino partners in 2010 he became a manager and then a partner opening three Bocca Lupo Coal Fired Pizza locations.

He said downtown Venice could become a restaurant destination.

“My role as director of operations visiting all restaurants, but when Prime opens in Venice it will get 100% of my attention. We are very much considering a lunch aspect because it lends itself to this location,” he said.

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