With its intimate, reserved, and romantic ambiance and soft floral palette décor, Primavera strives to provide each guest with a sense of being on vacation while dining. Situated between shops and cafes on Coronado’s Orange Avenue, Primavera brings a little bit of Italian culinary heaven to us right here in San Diego. The restaurant’s menu is loaded with color and flavor from appetizers to desserts. They also have nightly seafood specials along with an extensive menu of entrées and a great selection of pastas, salads, chicken, and meat. Primavera’s extensive wine list contains an assortment of choices suited to pair well with any dish a guest orders. In addition, their Tuscany room seats up to 14 and offers some of the most private dining in all of San Diego.Read More ...
Who would have known that you could visit one of the world’s culinary epicenters simply by hopping onto the 5 Freeway to the 75 West, into Coronado Island? Located along one of Coronado’s main drives, Orange Avenue, Primavera Ristorante is nestled in between local cafes and shops. The restaurant is easy to spot with its turquoise awning and white address in calligraphic form across the front, a helpful hint for someone driving there for the first time like myself. Parking proved relatively simple as I snagged a metered spot on the street just around the corner from the restaurant.
As I entered Primavera it was as if I had stepped into another world. The outside street noise dissolved into soft instrumental music and the setting sun turned to dim lighting and candle light as the restaurant’s host, Joey, greeted me and promptly escorted me to my table. Shortly after settling into a booth tucked in a quiet corner of the dining room, I met Jaime, our server for the evening, who introduced himself and recommended wines and appetizers with which to begin our culinary tour through Italy.
Our culinary adventure began in an Italian mother’s kitchen with a basket of freshly baked bread. The individual sized loaves smelled and tasted exquisite; especially when dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh ground black pepper. Once my party and I had a chance to relax and sink into the restaurant’s calm and elegant atmosphere, Jaime returned with a sampling of appetizers.
First, we tried the Calamari Luciana, a dish that is sautéed in garlic, butter, tomatoes, and herbs. Served in an iron pot with handles and half a lemon to squeeze on top for added zing, the appetizer appeared hearty and homemade. The acidity of the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs nicely balanced the smoothness of the calamari and butter. In addition, so as not to shower our food with seeds, Chef De La Vega strategically placed a mesh “shower cap” of sorts on the lemon. The dish was simple in presentation, yet more complex in flavor, a theme that resonated throughout our meal that night.
Second, we dug into the Scampi Alla Griglia, an appetizer in which Scampi are wrapped in pancetta and dressed with a white wine paprika reduction sauce. This dish showcases the balanced interplay between sweet, salty, and savory flavors.. The scampi were delicately wrapped and perfect for sharing. The white wine paprika reduction added a beautiful sunset orange color and a smokey richness in flavor to the dish too.
Next, we enjoyed a dish named Bagna Caoda Primavera. This antipasti dish is prepared with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, Montrachet and Granna Padana cheeses, in a special Bagna Caoda sauce and known as a Piemonte specialty. The Bagna Caoda is one of Primavera’s vegetarian dishes that arrives in a layered presentation. Grilled eggplant rounds are topped with peppers, then cheese and sundried tomatoes and surrounded by lemon slices with shavings of basil. Extra-virgin olive oil is then drizzled over the top for a fresh yet rustic finish. This dish once again featured the restaurant’s signature style; simple presentation with complex flavor.
Lastly, we tasted authenticity as we bit into the crunchy crostini topped with chunks of ripe tomato and slivers of basil that had been drizzled with olive oil and garlic, topped with mozzarella cheese and a touch of pepper; also known as Bruschetta. This traditional Italian fare featured an exquisite balance between creamy, crunchy and soft, sweet and tart, and bitter and flavorful. This showcase of seasons screamed with spring’s freshness, winter’s coolness, summer’s sweetness, and fall’s heartiness.
Following these appetizers, our culinary adventure continued with the salad course. All three salads presented were done so in a simplistic manner on patterned glass plates off of which the vibrant greens and other fresh colors bounced. The first of our insalate courses was the Finocchi E Tarocchi, a dish comprised of shaved fennel, orange segments, dried cranberries, and shaved Locatelli Romano cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing garnished with anise/dill, which added a layer of depth in flavor and presentation. The fennel’s bitterness juxtaposed against the sweetness of the oranges and cranberries proved entirely complementary. The lemon vinaigrette also added a hint of tanginess that enhanced the piece’s already present citrus notes and a smoothness that completed the dish.
Next came the Insalata di Spinaci made with baby spinach leaves, grilled mushrooms, and crisp pancetta dressed with a light gorgonzola balsamic vinaigrette. A classic pairing, spinach and bacon with a cheese, this plate brought new dimension to an old classic. Instead of regular bacon, the Insalata di Spinaci uses pancetta; a dry, salt cured, and spiced Italian meat that is cooked until crisp around the edges. Then, the chef adds grilled mushrooms for a meaty texture, along with gorgonzola crumbles and a topping of balsamic vinaigrette to bring a certain richness to the diner’s palate and the salad itself.
The Insalata Rustica was our final salad for the evening and consisted of fresh mixed spring greens, vine ripe tomatoes, pine nuts, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and goat cheese, served with a Dijon vinaigrette. Sweet, salty, creamy, and colorful, this dish bursted with freshness. The lightness of the Dijon vinaigrette also provided tart, smooth, and clean aspects that simultaneously enhanced the plate’s flavor and presentation. Each ingredient contributed another layer of flavor to the simplistic elegance of the dish.
Primavera offers seafood specialties nightly at market price and we chose to begin our parade of entrees with their fresh Sea Bass and some wine followed by the Scampi Primavera and Tortelloni Verdi con Panna E Funghi Porcini. The Sea Bass arrived at our table in a beautifully hand-painted and hot ceramic dish. Vibrant hues bounced off the plate bursting with a rustic freshness found on the Italian coast. Cooked until moist with a ‘melts in your mouth’ texture, the bass sat surrounded by a heap of string beans and an assortment of grilled vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots. The fish itself was topped with kalamata olives, tomatoes, capers, and a wedge of lemon. Refreshing and clean, the sea bass offered a hearty summer meal that played to all senses.
Our Tortelloni Verdi con Panna E Funghi Porcini was one of the most creative and flavorful menu items we tasted that night. Each time I took a bite, I discovered another layer of flavor from creamy to nutty to sweet and to even spicy. This pasta dish, seemingly ordinary in its use of noodles, marinara, and cream sauce, was certainly anything but; it used tortelloni stuffed with spinach, ricotta cheese, and herbs served with a porcini mushroom and tomato cream sauce. The porcini mushroom is this dish’s secret and is responsible for loads of spice and new flavors. With each bite taken, a diner experiences notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cream. True to form, this plate engaged the entire palate and produced yet another dish that was simple in presentation, but hugely complex in flavor.
The Scampi Primavera was our final entrée for the evening. It was made with large scampi sautéed with wild mushrooms in a champagne sauce, placed over a bed of delicate angel hair pasta with a lemon pepper seasoning. The heat of the dish allowed all of the flavors to mix together and create a delicious scent that lingered in the air nearby just before you took a bite. The lemon juice and champagne infused into the dish provided new spark and zest that tied the meal together. Scampi Primavera had a certain grace and elegance paired with a tantalizing robustness captured by the fish.
During our meal, I had the pleasure of trying three different wines. The first was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which augmented all of the ripe citrus in our meal, especially the lemon. Second, was a Chardonnay that included notes of melon, pear, and mango with a smooth vanilla finish. The third and final wine I tried that night was a Ménage a Trois Rosé. Pink in color and not too bold in flavor, this glass picked up subtle tones in all dishes when sipped after eating some of each dish. The Rose’ especially brought out the flavor of the portabella mushrooms in the Scampi, the cinnamon and nutmeg in the tortelloni, and the sweetness of the tomatoes in the Sea Bass. In addition, the Rose’ developed flavors hidden in dishes and cleansed one’s palate.
Just when my guests and I thought the meal was over, Jaime returned to check on us, as he had throughout the night and told us he was going to treat us to some dessert -- and boy was he right! The indulgence that ensued just by looking at the decadent goodies set on the table before us was astounding. We were lucky enough to try three different desserts from the restaurant’s Dolci menu. The first dessert we were pampered by was Fresh Berries, a dish that included a simple scoop of vanilla bean gelato surrounded by fresh raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries all dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with a mint leaf. This dessert was simple, clean, and absolutely delicious. It, like the rest of the meal, was elegant and effortless.
Next, we indulged in the Chef’s specialty, Tiramisu. An authentic Italian dessert, Tiramisu is a layered treat infused with brandy, espresso, and cocoa held together by eggs and mascarpone cheese. It was the ideal balance between the light and fluffy of the mascarpone cheese and cocoa, with the slight heaviness of the espresso and brandy-soaked lady fingers. This classic Italian cake is rich and is a taste of heaven that is one of the best ways to end a meal.
Finally, we sat in astonishment as we looked at the opulent slice of Chocolate Decadence presented to our table. Truly a chocoholic’s dream, this dessert is stuffed with chocolate crème brulee and ganache between layers of chocolate cake all rolled in chocolate nuts and then topped with chocolate whipped cream and a chocolate covered espresso bean. The cake was almost too beautiful just sitting before us to eat, but after staring for a minute we stopped hesitating and dug into this splendid display of chocolate heaven.
Once dessert had ended, my guests and I relaxed for a while longer, enjoying the last moments of our Italian vacation when Jaime took us upstairs to see Primavera’s Tuscany Room. The room comfortably seats 14 and also serves as the restaurant’s wine cellar. It has a gorgeous marble table, an outdoor patio, and is among the most private dining rooms in San Diego.
Primavera’s simplistic elegance resonated throughout their décor, ambiance, and food. The cuisine was simultaneously delicate, rich, and complex. New flavors emerged with every bite taken and a genuinely wonderful evening was enjoyed by all in attendance.
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Superb restaurant! Having lived in Italy for two years, this restaurant hit the nail on the head.
Excellent mix of old world italian choices and newer chef creations. Great tradional atmosphere.
great, small, romantic place.
This restaurant was elegant and romantic. The food and serves was just wonderful. My wife and I will be visiting again when we return to the area.
You'd never expect such delicious Italian food and personable staff was hiding in this unassuming building on Orange Ave. Jaime, our waiter, was a delight - reportedly the "new guy," having only been there 11 years. We went the night of our engagement, and will certainly be back. My tortelloni with porcini mushroom cream sauce was delicate, yet rich. My fiance's pollo parmigiano was the best he had ever had. Overall, great food and service - a must try!
We took our "grown" children to Coronado Island to celebrate our son receiving this Master Degree in Education. What a great place to end the evening with a wonderful dinner, great wine, and the restaurant was absolutely fabulous, from the service to the decor. Will be back again next time we are in the area.. Highly recommend this restaurant.
You really can't go wrong with Primavera Ristorante. From the amazing menu to the tuxedoed waiters and the laughter of other diners in the background, this is a wonderful place for a special dinner. I wish the wine list had been a bit more extensive but it covers the basics and bar seemed adequate. The restaurant is much smaller than we expected but lovely, the mirrored walls make it appear so much larger. The noise level was high enough that we didn't feel like other diners could hear our conversations and I don't think there is a bad seat in the house. All the tables were nicely placed. The food was amazing! We were more than pleased with everything we ordered. I would recommend this great Coronado restaurant to anyone looking for a nice evening out, especially if you value great food, great service and a great atmosphere. And a lovely place for a romantic dinner.
Outstanding food and excellent service
Outstanding service, excellent food
The service was great and the food couldn't have been better. They give you a very generous portion. We left very full & happy. It was our first anniversary, so they provided us with a huge, complimentary piece of tiramisu that was also amazing. I would definitely reccomend this place to anybody.
My wife and I found this restaurant on this website. As it turns out, this is the best Italian restaurant i've every been to! Everything was perfect-it worked out really well because it was a special night for my wife and I. She is pregnant and we had a card that indicated whether we are going to have a boy or girl. We were saving it to open at dinner that night. We were treated like royalty and the food was awesome. Also, we're having a boy!
The prices are worth the flavor of the food and the quality of the service. We ate four courses and all were outstanding!
Went to Primavera with a group of colleagues. Everything from the time we entered the restaurant to the time we left was fantastic. The greeting, the ambiance, attention to detail---spot on. The menu is quite diverse and not just your typical spaghetti and meatballs. Try the Carpaccio for an appetizer. Unreal. Would go back again in an instant.
I was told of the restaurant thru a friend and then searched it on Restaurants.com and decidec to bring my family there for dinner and from being seated to the end of the dinner everyone in service was absolutely the best. I don't remember the waiters name but he was not only highly knowledgeable of the food and selections but great in every way. The food was also amazing. Only live piano entertainment could have made it better! Definately a 10/10.
Some of the best food I have ever had. Very good place to take someone for a romantic treat. Did I say the food was amazing?
me and my wife celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary at Primavera Restaurant. Overall the experience and service we received was outstanding. I can't remember the names of the two waiters who served us but whoever was working that night, from the receptionist to the cook, did an excellent job in making our wedding anniversary memorable. Definitely would recommend to family and friends.
I am fond of Calamari steak which was prepared perfectly. A glass of Prosseco to accompany the meal was perfect. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say "I'll BE BACK !"
We've travelled the world, and thought that Primavera's food, service, atmosphere and location were all superb! It was nice to be able to sit and talk to our friends over a nice meal, without loud music blaring overhead. Definitely worth the trip!
Excellent food and service... No flaws at all!
Great experience! My girlfriend and were very pleased with the service and the quality of the food. The service was more than outstanding, it was as if all the waiters at the restaurant only tended to us at our table. Nothing but high-class service. I would recommend it to our friends.
I have eaten at PR evrytime I visit San Diego.The food is excellent and matched only by the service. A great dining experience
This place is not your ordinary, run of the mill Italian restaurant. Serious food and equally impressive service. Me and my wife and another couple ordered two appetizers, salads, pastas and meat entrees. Every one of them was well prepared and outstanding. Must visit when in you're in San Diego!
Small, quite nice. Service good, but waiter didn't speak best english, and had a lot of tables, wasn't the best i've had by any means, but the food was awesome. The Veal Osso Bucco was as good as i've ever had, and my wife loved the filet mignon dish as well
We celebrated our 31st aniversary there and had reservations for 8:00 Pm, but because our boat trip was delayed we were almost a full hour late, yet they still accomodated us with a smile. The service even got better after that, and the food was terrific. We would not hestitate to go there again. Loved it.
I went there with a group of friends and was seated immediately for our reservation. The staff was friendly and prompt and the food delicious.
A near perfect experience for our wedding anniversary. While we started off with a subpar calamari appetizer, tough and chewy, the rest of the meal was excellent and quickly made up for the opener. The service was attentive but not overbearing, and everything was well timed.
The meal you received was good but we must hurry to finish our meal within 1 hr.
My Boyfriend and I went here on the Saturday night before Valentines day and really enjoyed the Romantic Atmosphere and amazing food. The employees were very nice but the service was extremely slow. They seemed to be on their own time and not worried about making us wait. I would eat here again despite the slow service. Just know going into making the reservation that the slow service shouldn't take you by surprise.
Variety of dishes available for our very diverse group.
Primavera has very good food; however the dessert was served super fast and apparent it was pre-sliced and pre-plated in a cooler which took away greatly from the end of our meal. Waiters should be schooled on Italian wine - we took a bottle of Sassicaia in and it was apparent our waiter had no idea what it was and did not offer to decant it.
I consider this restaurant to be average. The food was OK and the service was great. Not sure why it is rated so high on the website.
I did a search for restaurants in S.D. looking for the most expensive and best rated. I wanted my girlfriend to be wowed. this was really the wrong place; it felt stale and better suited for an established clientele of octagenarians. service was very prompt; food mediocre
Do not come to this restaurant, no matter what you do in preparation this place will ruin your night. Even if the service would have been good the food was forgettable. In short we left a penny under the glass for the waiter.