Primavera in Coronado (San Diego Restaurant Week)
It’s that time again folks… San Diego Restaurant Week is here! For those of you unfamiliar, SD Restaurant Week is a full week of pure foodie bliss. Participating restaurants around San Diego offer a prix fixe (set menu) meal typically composed of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Menus range from $20-$40 and you can find some fabulous deals during this time.
Primavera can be found in the heart of downtown Coronado just over the bridge and a couple miles south on Orange Avenue. We came about10 minutes early just in case we had to find street parking. Luckily we ended up snagging a prime parking spot right in front!
We were eagerly greeted by Joey upon our arrival and quickly shown to our seats. The inside decor was charming, and offered up a quaint, but elegant atmosphere. Upon our seating, we were asked if we’d like a cocktail and were presented with their special San Diego Restaurant Week menu.
Immediately there was a nice surprise. We had already taken a peek at their menu online at www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com and noticed there were two menu options (one for $30 or $40). Online, it only showed the $40 version, but this actual menu offered up a much better variety. The only difference I could tell was a filet of beef on this new menu, vs. a lamb chop on the online one. I was perfectly fine with that.
So I ordered the calarmari, the filet of beef, and the tiramisu from the $40 menu. Jorgina ordered from the $30 menu and selected the caesar salad, tortelloni, and creme brulee. While we were waiting, they served us 2 kinds of bread (one was infused with rosemary) and a little butter. The table also offered some olive oil and vinegar to use with the bread which was very warm.
The calamari was generous in portion and cooked perfectly. Jorgina described these delectable delights as super light and airy, with a crispy outer layer. I would agree. We did add some salt and lemon and it was perfect. The marinara dipping sauce was a great compliment as well.
The caesar salad was a little smaller in portion relative to the calamari. I wonder if they had served it in a bowl, it would have seemed more substantial. Because this was labeled as a Primavera “specialty”, we had to try it. All in all, the salad was good, but I don’t know that I would say it’s the best caesar salad I’ve ever had. The romaine lettuce was definitely fresh and crisp and the dressing was tasty, but a little on the tangier side. (Oh yeah, they did offer us fresh ground pepper which is always a plus!)
Service moved pretty quickly, which was fine by me. Water service was fantastic and they kept refilling our glasses throughout the evening. The tortelloni was rich in flavor and a delight! It was stuffed with spinach, ricotta cheese and herbs, served with a porcini mushroom and tomato cream sauce. I love eating meat, but this dish was so complete, I really didn’t miss the meat at all. Fresh grated parmesan added a great final touch. The marina sauce interlaced throughout the mushroom cream sauce provided a nice contrast.
As you can see, I opt’d for the filet of beef. It was also topped with a wild mushroom cognac sauce and was cooked perfectly medium rare. I was actually very pleased by the quality and flavor of the meat. It was incredibly tender, but also maintained a rich beef flavor that sometimes a tenderloin can lack. This prime “Brandt” beef was simply delicious! My only comment, is that for the quality of the meat, perhaps the plating could be more refined to match. Nevertheless, if I had to choose one or the other, I’d always go with taste over plating. =)
The tiramisu was a special treat. In fact, the portions were so generous that I didn’t even finish mine! Anyone that knows me knows that this is extremely rare. But as you can tell from the pictures, the layers of lady fingers were beautiful and the taste was spot on. The best tiramisu I’ve had was in Venice, Italy, but this one certainly made my top 5 list. Nice job Primavera!
Jorgina finished off her meal with the creme brulee. Again, the flavors were wonderful in this classic dessert. Although we didn’t find any vanilla bean specs in the custard, there was a nice vanilla flavor that still permeated the custard quite nicely. The top layer of sugar was caramelized perfectly and not too thick.
In conclusion, Primavera offered a solid meal that was a fun start to San Diego Restaurant Week. If you’re looking for a nice Italian dinner that won’t disappoint, look no further.Primavera Ristorante 932 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 435-0454 http://www.primavera1st.com