Bar Primi: Andrew Carmellini and the Power of Pasta
Andrew Carmellini, Luke Ostrom, and Josh Pickard have a long string of mega-hit restaurants already in their pocket, restaurants that have successfully made the journey from 'hyped and trendy' to 'NYC institution.' Locanda Verde, The Dutch, and, most recently, Lafayette are not only packed with lively foodies every night, but there also packed with a lot of love and skill in the kitchen. The trio have recently opened their brand new restaurant – the pretty, pasta-centric spot Bar Primi, takes the place of their popular but abruptly shuttered Peels on Bowery. We recently went downtown, and wined and dined with great satisfaction. (Quick tip: go now, during the relatively quiet summer months, before it becomes impossible to get a table.)
Bold Flavors at Bar Primi
Bar Primi's menu features a dozen different pasta dishes, with enough variety that you'll want to order a bunch for the table and share. The portions are medium-sized; two serve as a satisfying supper, though you'll probably throw a few piccolini and antipasti into the mix as well. There's also a daily special, plus what they call The Sandwich, which sounds pretty solid: roast beef, provolone, Italian peppers, arugula, on a softish bun. Next time.
Incredible Italian Cuisine and the Power of Pasta
Every pasta at Bar Primi is good – most are great. The two that I ate, for example, were both among the best I've had this year: the eminently Instagrammable Fiore di Carciofi, which is one long artichoke-stuffed noodle spiraled onto your plate and topped with a creamy sauce, sweet caramelized onions, smoked bacon, and sharp, salty pecorino; and wonderfully toothsome Calamarata, the chunky, chewy pasta generously tossed with octopus, gaeta olives, and "wild" oregano, all in a hearty tomato-based sauce. I would order either or both again, except I want to try at least a few of the others before hitting repeat.
For more Information on Bar Primi
Bar Primi is located on the corner of Bowery and Joey Ramone Place, aka East 2nd Street, and is open for dinner from 5:30 until 11:00 on Monday through Wednesday, and until 12:00 on Thursday through Saturday. Closed Sunday "for now". There are two levels at Bar Primi: downstairs has a bar, window seats, and a communal table; upstairs is a more traditional dining room. Both are attractive and plenty festive. For more info check out the complete Bar Primi menu.