The Next Level In Taste


Primitivo Wine Bistro – Too Primitive for My Palate

Last night my culinary adventures took me to the Primitivo Wine Bistro in Venice.  As a self proclaimed tapas bar and wine haven, I had high expectations of the meal.  The evening started out a little rough, when the hostess could not find our reservation.  We were told to wait at the bar where it was impossible in the 10 minutes we were standing there to flag the bartender for a drink.  We finally sat on the lovely patio and began to relax as we sipped a glass of Gosset, Brut Grande Reserve under the summer sky. 

The best place to start here is definitely the impressive wine list.  Since we were tasting several dishes we decided to choose a light red and ended up at a Les Baux de Provence, Domaine des Terres Blanches 2004.  Boasting a rich dark fruit, coffee, and ripe tannins, we thought it would be the perfect match to our tapas choices which included both the lamb special and seafood paella.  We were disappointed on both counts.  At first sip we were left with an almost indescribably chemical finish on our palates.  The wine immediately was sent back much to the chagrin of our irritated waiter.

As we were pondering our second bottle the food came out fast and furious.  The special for the night concocted by the sous chef was the highlight of the evening.  Perfectly seasoned and cooked, the lamb was prepared over silky potatoes with lima beans with sides of carrots and pearl onions.  If only our waiter had the foresight to wait to bring the dish after our next bottle choice.

We decided to play it safe and went to the Italian reds settling on a Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi “Bricco Visette” Piedmonte 2003.  Everyone should have the chance to indulge in this easily drinkable bottle with its soft velvety tannins.

Next came the paella.  First of all, to list this as under “warm tapas” is very deceiving.  The dish was large enough to cradle a small child.  I had hoped to order more things but after those two dishes we were full and yet unsatisfied.  The paella had no depth, no Spanish soul which in my opinion is the whole reason one orders paella.  The base of the paella was a little on the chewy side and there was a lack of excitement to the whole dish.  In fact so much so that we left more than half of it on the plate and focused our attention on the Barolo which had just been poured as we ended the meal.

All in all, nothing too impressive about Primitivo.  The space is crowded beyond the level of comfortable and the food just mediocre.  I would only return if the sous chef was somehow put in charge of the entire menu, and the waiter figured out that you don’t open a bottle after the diners have finished the meal.

Brought to you by LaurelK

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