Sometimes, a clever name, a brand mark and an intriguing flavor profile join together in perfect harmony. Such is the case when Lawry’s The Prime Rib, one of Chicago’s most venerable steakhouses, introduced the Meat & Potato Martini. The cocktail stars Chopin potato vodka and colossal olives stuffed with horseradish and prime rib.
“At the beginning of every dinner shift, the bartender goes to the master carvers and has them slice a thin cut from the loin,” says Shannon Tauschman, Sales & Marketing Manager. “This provides a lean, yet extremely flavorful piece of prime rib, since it has lovely caramelization on the meat from being slowly roasted and taken off the end. The beef is dusted with Lawry’s seasoning salt and sliced into thin, short ribbons—just small enough to fit inside the olive.”
On the menu for seven years, it’s only recently been offered as a signature tableside presentation. “The name gets everyone’s attention,” she says. “Then the description gets the guest intrigued to the point where they have to try it. It gets shaken tableside, which adds a bit of theatrics, and the flavor just wins them over. We have legions of fans for this cocktail, and I’ve never seen anyone not love it.”
Apart from the catchiness of the name, flavor moves the needle here. “The creaminess comes from the high starch content that the potato vodka brings,” she says. “It has a full flavored, velvety profile without the burn that sometimes a rye or wheat vodka possesses. The savory is from the natural salinity of the green Spanish olive stuffed with the spicy pungency of straight horseradish, and our slow-roasted prime rib that seals the olive up. The result is a trifecta of strong flavors coddled by the surprisingly nurturing vodka.”