Primi Piatti has been in business and serving the area of Washington DC since 1987. One of the most interesting aspects of the restaurant is that it was the first restaurant to import its wood-burning grill from Italy to make authentic Italian pizza. Primi Piatti is known for a world-class atmosphere and the place to be for late night dinning. It�s classy and comfortable with beautiful sconce lighting.
Primi Piatti offers a bar lunch meal that is affordable and tasty. You can indulge in pan roasted filet of salmon with butter, lemon and capers sauce or try the roasted lamb with mint, anchovies and rosemary. A Caesar salad comes with each entr�e, as well. If you are in the mood for pizza, the positano with mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, basil and shaved parmigiana is a great bet.
This restaurant is closing at the end of July 2016, but I wanted to note a couple of things in this review. Overall the food and service at Primi Piatti are satisfactory, but nothing that will leave a lasting impression. We found the service to be accommodating to our party of 6, including one newborn and one toddler. The server was a professional, if a bit cheeky at times, but overall fine. What left a bad taste in our mouth was the lack of value for your dollar. There is not a single dish under $20 in the pasta section. Save for fresh seafood, everyone knows that pasta is one of the cheapest dishes to prepare - this points to an over 100% overhead charge on each pasta dish. We also ordered a penne with butter for my 3 year-old. It cost $16.00 and he got a half a bowl of rigattoni drowned in a cup of butter. Poor guy was covered in butter, but still hungry after downing the whole thing, and asked for "more pasta??" Our sentiments exactly, for this alleged primo Italian spot that just doesn't deliver.
This restaurant is closed effective July 21st, 2016. It's a great loss.
Had Kennedy Center tix for 7 pm and the server was so helpful in ensuring we got out on time. Thank you!
Primi Piati was the perfect place for our gathering of former colleagues. ThStaff was welcoming especially to late-comers and did everything to make our event special. I recommend Primi Piati to you as a special, welcoming and fun place with excellent food and wine.
Sadly, this restaurant business has been sold by longtime owner, Savino Recine. The new owners, I understand, will be bringing on-board a new staff, but I hope that they'll keep some of the excellent wait staff from the existing team. To Savino and those who will be leaving, thank you . . . you will be missed.
It was a nice place with good service but only average food especially given price.
It is too sad for Washington institution to close. Hope it will have good management for next restuarant.
If you feel like paying twice as much as you should, eat here. It is not worth it. The prices are ridiculous and you can get much better Italian food at other restaurants. Plus the waiters are always dismissive which makes this a poor place for a business lunch.
We decided to use this restaurant to celebrate our daughter graduation. We were there 30 min early and they sat us right away. The food was average, but considering how expensive it was - it should have been better. The waiter was not able to answer our questions about wines, nor about side dishes. Most dishes were very lemony, even the steak. The pizza for appetizer was good. Pasta entries had less food that you would expect for the price. We thought we would be able to split $10 desert, but the portions were very small. All in all, I would not go there back and would not recommend this restaurant.
Good traditional Italian in convenient location. Servers slow to warm but competent/business like. Excellent pasta.
Not the optimal place to eat. Uneven service and delivered the wrong order.
Primi Piatti has delicious, fresh and vibrant food menu. The attention to detail by the staff is incredible. I will certainly be back!
Great food; great service; good food selection cannot wait to come back for more.
Far too expensive for below average quality of food.
I had given up on Primi Piatti as restaurant with a predictable menu of conventional dishes that were unexceptional. It seemed to survive mostly by catering to expense account types at lunchtime. So a recent meal there was a welcome surprise. The service was excellent -- an elegant, worldly Moroccan waiter, who would be as comfortable in a Paris bistro as in a Rabat eatery -- the wine list was sufficiently varied and the single glass options were reasonably priced (and delicious). My salmon and vegetables, although a little buttery, were cooked to perfection; my lunch mate's selection, a seafood special, left him happy as a clam. I will definitely be going back soon!
Booked for convenience as we were staying in the hotel next door. There was a thunderstorm around the time we made dinner reservations so the short walk for our 93-yr old relative's birthday seemed a better choice than getting soaked getting in & out of a cab.
We were greeted & shown to our table for 8 however on closer inspection of the wine menu, the anticipation soon wore off. $11 for a small glass of wine I felt was disgusting, the rest of our party apart from 2 stuck to water. The waiter seemed very curt & offered no help at all when a member of the party tried to decide between the lobster rigatoni & the tuna... "well they're different" wasn't exactly helpful! My mother & I shared a beetroot, goats' cheese & walnut salad to start which was tasty & they did at least split it in half for us although could've been half the $13.50 asking price.My father had a well cooked but pretty average ribeye steak at $37.50, grossly overpriced with a few diced potatoes & limp vegetables, for that price you'd expect a decent baked potato with trimmings & a pile of fresh vegetables or a beautifully presented side salad. My parmesan, prosciutto & rocket pizza was OK but again average for $20. The remainder of our party chose to share their entrées & said it was tasty, the salmon did look appetising but again wasn't worth the price. When we mentioned there were 2 birthdays in the party, they sent one complimentary tiramisu slice to be shared between the whole table which seemed pretty mean, after spending the amount we had, a few slices between the table would've been a nicer touch as I've seen in other restaurants, one even brought out a whole, homemade cake! They weren't overrun with clientele this particular evening because of the atrocious weather so it would've been a lovely touch to throw in some desserts to finish the meal off on a positive note. On the whole, OK but much better value available elsewhere with friendlier staff. Many improvements to be made here.
We visited Primi Piatti anticipating a delicious meal and were not disappointed. The calamari was light as air . The salad had a simple, but tasty dressing. The pasta dishes were perfectly seasoned. The desserts were sinful! Our wine was of good quality. Our waiter was knowledgeable and fun. We enjoyed our trip to Primi Piatti.
Another very good lunch at Primi Piatti. I have had the fish daily special a number of times and it has been uniformly tasty. This time was trout - ample portion, seemed quite fresh and neither over nor under cooked. The steamed vegetables were decent, but slightly undercooked for my taste. In nice spring weather (all two days of it this year) the outside seating is nice as long as Pennsylvania Avenue (100 feet away) does not have a motorcade with accompanying sirens. The waiters are very polished, yet friendly, and not at all intrusive. Inside is reasonably quiet.
The ambiance of the restaurant is relaxing and comfortable. With the patio doors open the breeze offered comfortable outdoor feel that really enhanced the dinning experience. The food was well prepared with portions that were not overwhelming.
We were in DC for a family vacation and picked Primi Piatti for a nice dinner out. From the moment we arrived it was delightful! The ambiance is traditional Italian, the waitstaff are all pros with warm, friendly demeanors, the food is delicious and the wine list bountiful. The owner charmed us all night with his magical illusions and slight of hand :-) Our 13 old son felt welcome and accommodated.
I highly recommend Primi Piatti for a nice dining experience!
A very pleasant Italian restaurant with a welcoming interior and outside dining as well. The dinner we had was quite nice and the drinks were good. This is a nice place for Kennedy Center patrons before or after the symphony, theater, etc.
This fixture in Washington DC dining can be relied upon for better than average Italian dining.
The wait staff remains one of the best in DC and can always be counted on for excellent service and pleasant banter.
Excellent meal, great service, lovely evening.
Really liked the restaurant and the wait staff was very charming. Only complaint is that it is a little on the pricier side but the food is delicious so I'm willing to forgive them that.
Been coming here for years. Excellent service, great outdoor dining. The fish is always very fresh and the delicious pastas are authentic and homemade. The pizzas are not great , but everything else on the menu is. Love this restaurant and definitely recommend highly!
I would not rate this as one of the better restaurants in D.C. It will do for an upscale business lunch. The service could have been more professional (like not reaching over my companion's plate to grind pepper onto my dish). The food was good but nothing stellar.
The food was delicious as usual. The waiter did a nice job but the support staff need to be trained better - they kept reaching across the table to fill water and ice tea glasses, and when they brought the food out they did not know who got what - both of these were very interruptive to our conversation repeatedly. Also it was a beautiful day (all week) and did Not have the patio open.
This is good but quite expensive, for the price I would have love to see more side dishes with the main course (I had tuna and it came with a very small side of vegetable, could have come with something more festive, may be a combination of pasta and vegetable.
The food tasteless, I felt our waiter wanted to go so our dinner was rushed and the ambiance was boring
The experience was unforgettable. My wife is still talking about desert and I the bread. I enjoyed the ambience, cuisine, menu selections and overall atmosphere. Our waiter was very knowledgeable, polite, courteous and a pure professional. My only regret is forgetting his name for this review. Thank you Primi Piatti!!
My colleagues and I wanted to get together for a group dinner after a day at the Dept. of State, and the Open Table app made it very easy to pick this restaurant and make a reservation. The choice of specials was very good, and members of the group enjoyed options such as the black pasta, the squid ink salmon ravioli, and the gnocchi (this by someone who was admittedly quite picky about food, with a spouse who is a classically trained chef). Good value for DC menu prices, excellent place for us to eat and chat.
I have eaten at Primi Piatti several times over the last 20 years and it never disappoints! From having the owner, Savino Racine, interacting with you and doing magic tricks to the attentive wait staff who I recognize since the first time I dined there; Primi Piatti is always a pleasant experience. Food is freshly prepared and exudes quality! Not a vibrant, exciting night out, but definitely good for a special occasion.
Staff is friendly and experienced. No loud music which is such a plus ! Ambiance is nice, white table clothes etc. and food is good "solid" Italian. Valentine Menu was original and hazelnut chocolate cake was very tasty!
I took my wife to dinner on February 12, 2016 in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The Atmosphere and ambiance was wonderful, my wife loved the place. The staff was outstanding; the food was ok, but for the price no big deal. I would go back.
Primi Piatti was surprising in how very average it was. The food was average. The atmosphere was average, if outdated. That would be fine if it wasn't so expensive for how average it is. $26+ for a pasta dish that pales next to any home cook following a recipe, or a chicken dish that's dated and, again, average. Primi Piatti likely was a fantastic restaurant in the 80's or early 90's, and the impeccable staff and service remind diners of classic waitstaff of that time. But the food is also clearly of that era. Looking at the food alone, it's average, and when factoring in the price, it's disappointing.
The food was delicious, the service was terrific, and the ambiance is lovely. My husband got the pasta bolegnese and i ordered the bronzino. Both were wonderful.
Great classic Italian, walking distance from GW was a plus
Service was great and restaurant is very pretty. But $40 for a salad and pasta!! Come on man! $26.50 for raviolis (they were good but portion was small to medium) and another $14 for a salad. I won't be going there again.
As usual, it was an excellent dinner. Food, service, staff, ambiance...
The service was outstanding; our server was excellent. This is an absolutely charming and elegant restaurant. However, the food was a bit uninspired. It lacked the rich high notes or deft flavoring that one might expect of Italian cuisine.