Dine the Classic Way at North Salem’s Primavera
Primavera may not hit the trend markers of newer restaurants, but that’s just the way the Gjevukaj family — and their regular clientele — want it.
Grilled calamari in a balsamic reduction has lots of garlic.
photos by John Bruno Turiano
Many newer restaurants want a bustling, buzzy, (naysayers claim noisy and self-conscious) party atmosphere to convey this is the happening place to be, complete with a chef that’s been a guest on Food Network, thumping baseline soundtracks and naked tables that amplify the noise, Insta-worthy plating, and trendy dishes like avocado toast, yuzu-glazed salmon, and over-the-top milkshakes.
Gratis antipasti and bread shortly after you are seated.
An excellent salad option is with beets, Asian pears, walnuts, Gorgonzola, honey, and balsamic dressing.
Then there is that other species of restaurant, usually having debuted a decade or more ago, that eschews the modern restaurant credo of lively equals cool equals more business and instead offer a more serene dining experience. (I’ve found restaurants of both sorts to my liking).
One of these traditional restaurants is North Salem’s Primavera Restaurant and Bar, which opened in 2006, where you won’t likely see a fellow patron taking 12 photos of their appetizer to post on three different social media channels, but instead people simply dining on classic renditions of Northern Italian food (including house-made pastas such as duck ravioli, gnocchi, pappardelle), served proficiently in a setting of white tablecloths, large single-pane windows framed by dark wood shutters, soft yellow banquettes, and a handsome wall-length horse mural.
Situated in an 1864 Victorian residence complete with widow’s walk and wide front porch, there’s something classy and comforting about the experience at 140-seat Primavera, whether sitting inside or alfresco.
Three types of mushrooms go into the veal scaloppini and wild mushrooms.
Tuna tartare is dressed with chili-sesame oil and avocado.
The retiring vibe is perfect for those looking for a peaceful meal, including a long list of celebs (e.g., Vanessa Williams, Chevy Chase, Michael “Kramer from Seinfeld” Richards, Mary Wilson, Gene Simmons, Denzel Washington, Stanley Tucci, and Paul Shaffer). But of course, you don’t have to be a notable to get a table or to be welcomed by the pleasant staff. The only requirement is that you come hungry and ready for professional hospitality.
Tiramisù for dessert.
Primavera Restaurant and Bar
592 Rte 22
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