Where do you go for a group dining experience? Where do eat with out of town guests? Where do you go when you are looking to celebrate?
Thank goodness I didn’t have to answer any of those questions on my own. My family invited me out to Prima to see my visiting relatives and celebrate multiple birthdays and anniversaries in one fell swoop.
Prima is a small, neighborhood Italian restaurant in South Minneapolis that prides itself on scratch cooking and house made desserts.
We started off with an order of fried green beans, the Italian-ness of which might be questionable. I appreciated the house breading and chipotle-bacon aioli, though I thought both could up the seasoning a bit.
And now, a look into what happens when you pass your camera around the table:
One of my companions ordered the Bucatini Amatricana (and did a nice job photographing it). This was lovely, salty and tomato-y. The pasta was cooked just right.
Another member of our dining party (and the only vegetarian in the group) ordered the Butternut Squash Tortellacci. Frankly I think she won the evening and picked the best dish. Lots of excellent, savory and sweet fall flavors. If this is on the menu when you visit, get it.
I did not try the Pappardelle Gamberi, but the diner who did loved the saffron noodles.
Meanwhile, the person who ordered the steak special was too busy raving about it to share any of it (or to bother focusing the photo).
In my opinion, the Veal Pamigiana was the least interesting thing on the table. The veal was under-seasoned, but cooked properly. Thankfully the diner who ordered this dish enjoyed it more than I did.
I opted for the Penne Con Pollo Alla Gorgonzola, because I am a sucker for gorgonzola cream sauce. The pasta and the vegetables were very successful and satisfying, but the grilled chicken was dry and chewy. The gorgonzola cream sauce was just right–not too rich, not too thick.
Since we were celebrating, we also needed desserts. Prima makes all of their desserts in house, and rotates the dessert menu frequently.
On the left is the Chocolate Decadence: “flourless chocolate cake, brandy creme anglaise, raspberry sauce.” This is excellent chocolate cake. It scratches the itch. No complains.
On the right are the Rhubarb-Raspberry Tiramisu, and the star of the evening, the Pistachio & Goat Milk Cheesecake. The former was sweet, fruity, and fluffy, but lacked the grounding coffee note that makes a tiramisu a tiramisu. The latter was definitely my favorite dessert on the table. The cheesecake was creamy and nutty, sweet but not too sweet. I actually could have done without the cherry-wine compote on top, which distracted from the goat milk/goat cheese flavor in the cake.
Overall Prima was a great place for a family dinner. Everyone walked away happy with their meals, happier still with the desserts. Sure, there were some misses. That won’t stop me from taking advantage of their take out program or having another group meal here in the future.
Special thanks to my family and loved ones: Drew, Dave, Linnea, Miriam, and Quincy. Happy Birthday/Anniversary/Day of Eating Pasta to you all!