Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Must Try in Downtown St. Pete~Primi Urban Cafe

We had an absolutely delicious meal at Primi Urban Cafe this evening. We were sorely in need of some comfort and sustenance after an afternoon of running errands in the rain. Both of us not being quite sure what we wanted to eat, we drove past the packed parking lot at Carraba's and Outback. I repeated my mantra to the Mister...."No chain" dining. We need the independent restaurant to support. Primi Urban Cafe on Urbanspoon Meandered further down 4th Street and did a loop around downtown..."AHA" I spied Primi Urban with an beckoning open sign. Found a place to park on Central and had a short walk back to the lovely cafe. There were a few tables outside and because of the dampness in the air, we chose to enter. There were a few tables in the cozy cafe but it certainly wasn't crowded. It has a welcoming air and a charming ambiance. We were warmly greeted and seated promptly. It took some time to peruse the menu and look over the long wine list. There were a number of lovely dishes offered as a primi and secundi. There were some standard appetizers that I would definitely like to try and give comparison to "chain" offerings but not this evening's visit.

Tonight, we were swayed by some items that aren't offered at the usual Italian eateries. I was intrigued by the Fennel, orange, and black olive salad.
It was sublime, it was lightly dressed with oil and the fennel was crispy, light and the combination is perfection. Hubby was enthralled with his freshly grilled bread topped with rubbed garlic and meltingly awesome mozzarella cheese.
It was served with a bright sprightly warm tomato sauce, that was not too sweet or acidic. The flavor perfectly complemented the warm cheese and toasty bread.

Mister chose a lamb shank with broccoli as his entree. It was tender, fragrant, and sauced with a lovely reduction of celery, onion, carrots and wine. The meat was flavorful and good.
He ordered a side of mashed potatoes and was rewarded with a huge portion of freshly mashed spuds that made his meal complete. I had to try a Sicilian pasta that I had not heard of before and it was wonderful. Spaghetti with a Sicilian sauce of white anchovies, raisins, tomatoes, garlic, bread crumbs. I loved the sauce, with the piquancy of the garlic and anchovies, playing off the little bursts of sweetness in the pale raisins and the earthy richness the breadcrumbs added to the sauce. The true revelation of the dish was the wonderful texture and toothsome quality of a fresh pasta.
It was wonderful. I loved it.

You would think after all this good food, we would have stopped there, but no! Not us, we will soldier on and try some dessert. Mister had a delectable ricotta cheesecake.
I had a shattering wonderful creme brulee. It was so good. The top had that delightful caramel layer that resisted the spoon just enough to tantalize and the silky vanilla creme goodness just a spoon away.
Primi Urban Cafe on Urbanspoon

Our server was delightful as well as charming. She was adorable and told the Mister to pick up his wonderful cheese bread and eat it with his fingers. He was trying to use a knife and fork and making quite a mess of it. I had told him to use his fingers, but he ignored me, yet when with her lovely Italian accent, she said the same thing, he complied. Yes, a charming accent goes a long way with the Mister. When we inquired about the foods we were told everything was made in house and fresh. You can certainly tell this is true. Desserts for the weekend will be a strawberry ricotta cheesecake with white chocolate. Who can resist?

I had a lovely espresso with my dessert and enjoyed it very much. (I'll let you know at 3:00 a.m. if I regret that choice).
We had some lovely glasses of a California Merlot with our meal. It was a generous glass and very affordable.

All in all, we had a most successful dinner and it was very good. Primi Urban Cafe offers complimentary valet parking on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as piano entertainment. The service was charming, competent and we were very pleased overall with our experience. Please plan on visiting this delightful hidden gem of wonderful food soon. It was well worth the extra trip around the block and walk up the street. Support your independent restaurant owners. Primi Urban Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Nice post..Looking very delicious and yummy.

    1. It was a wonderful dinner and I can't wait to visit again.
      I appreciate the warmth and care exhibited at Primi in the food and the service. It was a fine experience, highly recommended.