Primo’s d’Italia: quality and value for a variety of tastes.
Primo’s d’Italia operates several locations throughout the Oklahoma City metro area. Hours are 10:30am to 10pm Monday through Sunday. Get full information on their website.
Even if not everyone in your family is into Italian, I would be willing to bet all tastes can be satisfied at Primo’s. They have all sorts of seafood, steaks, pastas and pizzas; they also serve a great brunch on Sundays; and they even have a good selection of vegetarian items. They have also recently started a lunch-time buffet for $7.95/person, which is a delicous value. It includes two varieties of soup, several different kinds of salads, and about five entrees.
I made sure I tried this place several different times so I could sample lots of different things and share my thoughts with you.
On my first visit, we had a couple of problems, but nothing terrible. Mom had the 8″ Margherita Pizza ($9.99). She requested a different sauce, which didn’t happen, but she still enjoyed it. I ordered the special of the night, which was Pavarotti Shrimp: tortellini, Gulf shrimp, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, fresh tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil and cilantro ($12.99). Now, the last time I checked, tortellini was a circular-shaped, cheese-stuffed pasta. And instead of the tortellini, mine was served with linguini, which I usually don’t care for. To use the words of QE2 (Queen Elizabeth II), “I don’t care for the long, stringy noodles.” The dish could have used a little something more as far as flavor and spices go. I found it lacking in taste, though the presentation was nice. My husband’s parmesan-crusted halibut was very nice ($14.25). He had no complaints.
The next time we went was for brunch, which is served 10am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. My husband’s parents tried the Strawberry Crespelle ($4.99), which are thin, Italian pancakes layered with vanilla custard then folded and covered with fresh strawberries. They are still raving about it, and, as a matter of fact, we have been back three times with them for this dish. My husband always gets the stromboli benedict ($5.99) for brunch, which is stromboli stuffed with portobello mushrooms, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, asiago cheese, and a dollop of Hollandaise. He loves it. I tried the southwest breakfast pizza ($5.59), which I found to be a little dry.
On our next visit, Mom and I split a New York style veggie pizza, which was pretty darn good. Not as good as Papa Angelo’s, but a close second. If you go with the 8″ specialty pizza ($9.99), I would definitely recommend each person get their own house or Caesar salad. These side salads are small, and I find the Caesar to be a little better. Now, if you’re a salad-only type person, the chopped salad ($9.49) is very tasty and more than you can eat in one sitting. It contains chopped Romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, crumbled gorgonzola, green onion, sundried tomatoes, all tossed in a house dressing. It can be found under the vegetarian section of the menu, along with a lot of other entree-sized salads and dishes.
Our next visit was with friends and I tried the Baked Roman Pasta ($12.79) which is a blend of Italian sausage, grilled chicken, bell peppers and onions tossed with penne pasta in meat sauce, then topped with mozzarella cheese. This was as good as it sounds, and it was served in a bowl the size of a basketball, leaving me lots to take-home. My friend tried the Signature Peach Bellini, which pretty much tasted like a peach icee, but was made with Peach Schnapps, champagne, peach royale, vodka, and fresh peaches served frozen ($4.99). My other friend always gets the ribeye steak ($15.99), which looks delicious from across the table. Like I said, there’s something for everyone.
So, the last time I went was with eight other friends, and I split the Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken Breast ($11.79) which was covered with honey balsamic glaze and served with asparagus and broccoli. Kudos to Primo’s for serving an entree with less than six fat grams and 500 calories! It was very tasty and the portion is perfect. It’s rare these days to find something like that, especially in an Italian restaurant.
I think Primo’s offers a great value at lunch with two specials offered every day. First, there’s the “Endless Pastabilities” which gives you any pasta, with any homemade sauce, as much as you want, served with their fresh-baked bread for $6.99. They also offer bottomless soup, salad and bread for $4.99.
Also adding value is the fact that as you exit the restaurant, there is a basket of their homemade, day-old bread, free for the taking as long as it lasts.
The service has almost been too good when I’ve been with a small party. I believe there is such a thing, although rare, as too much attention from your server, and this has happened to me at Primo’s more than once. On the other hand, with large parties, the service starts out great, but by the end of the meal it is severely lagging. Surely there is a place to find a happy medium here. That said, these minor inefficiencies will definitely not keep me from returning.
At each visit, I seem to find something new on the extensive menu that I had not found before, and only one time have I been even slightly disappointed. Another good thing is that they take reservations, which is especially nice for your larger parties and out-of-town guests, as they get quite busy at dinner time on the weekends.
I think Primo’s is a great, local find in the metro, and I urge you to explore their menu as I have to see what surprises you discover. Let me know if you find something I haven’t found. Leave your thoughts in the comments.