5 Things You Didn't Know about The Koestlers

By NIKKI ROWELL,

1. Their restaurant was the first private establishment to win Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence.

2. Scott earned his pilot’s license and makes time to fly as a way to disconnect. He calls it his therapy.

3. Since much of their time is spent in the restaurant, Julie jokes that they don’t even have milk in their fridge at home.

4. Julie is a vegetarian, but she enjoys the occasional ribeye.

5. When they have time to slip away from the restaurant, you can typically find them at a concert with their children.

Koestler Prime is still fairly new to the area restaurant scene, having opened in the summer of 2018. However, the Koestlers have been serving steaks to the Jackson area for more than 25 years, and they have the accolades and loyal customer base to prove it.

Since the couple have moved from their previous restaurant, they have undergone some rebranding and the restaurant got a new name. But Scott and Julie Koestler assure patrons that their restaurant experience and culinary expertise have translated well in their new location at Renaissance.

“I don’t even know the words for it, just off-the-hook, phenomenal,” Julie said about the move into their new location. “The inside of the restaurant mixed with the solid food that it has always had, and then the location. So, it’s three things that just hit this perfect niche.”

Koestler Prime’s menu has a lot of the prime beef that they’re known for, but also just as much fresh seafood, which they have flown in from Boston.

“I think we used to be thought of as primarily a steak restaurant, but through the years we have brought in more seafood,” Julie said. “Now I think the menu is a good balance of both.”

Scott’s culinary skills have been built through long hours in the kitchen and a bit of trial and error, as he is self-taught.

“Once I got into the business, I’d stay up late hours playing around with things,” Scott said. “Any kind of spare time I had was spent cooking.”

Over the years, the couple has worked to make adjustments to their menu to focus more on high-quality proteins.

“The menu that we designed when we opened this place up, our focus was to keep offering the quality of food that people have expected from us for more than 20 years,” Scott said.

For those planning to dine at Koestler Prime, Julie suggests trying the escargot or one of the specials. Scott recommends the dry-age, bone-in strip with an order of scallops.

Julie and Scott met when she began working as a hostess and bookkeeper at the previous restaurant. Before that, she had no intention of going into the restaurant business.

Now, they have a staff of approximately 60 people, some of which they have worked with for over 20 years.

“It’s like a big family,” Julie said.

They describe Koestler Prime as an upscale restaurant that is at the same time vibrant and unstuffy.

“It’s fun,” Julie said. “It’s just a fun place to be.”

 

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.