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Nov 7, 2008 10:42 AM

Primo Atto(ex-Cocotte): Open? Any early opinions?

New Italian joint in former Cocotte space.
Saw construction going on a few weeks ago.
Wonder whether it's open and whether it distinguishes itself in any way from all the other Fifth Ave. Italian restaurants.

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  1. It is definitely open and it is definitely worth trying. I live on the block, so I've been twice and I have liked everything I've tried both times. Everything is house-made, with the exception of some imported cheeses like buffala mozzarella (which has been great both times I have had it). The pastas, sauces and desserts have all tasted very fresh and last night I had a braciola, which I enjoyed a lot. Food is generally pretty rustic, but well presented. They are still working out some of the kinks in the service, but the general manager, who is in the dining room all the time, seems very dedicated to making everything better and has asked several times if we had any suggestions on ways to improve. The owners clearly want to stand out with fresh ingredients and solid cooking than anything really new or innovative, but I have been impressed with what they're doing and I thought it was good value. Check it out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jdmetz

      Wine list?
      In what ways does this place differ from other Italian restaurants on Fifth Ave.?

      1. re: famdoc

        Prices are fair: about $8-15 for appetizers (with the most expensive being the imported mozzerella); $12-15 or so for pastas; and $15-25 for entrees. Very generous portions on everything (the fritto misto which had big pieces of calamari, shrimp and zucchini all well fried and tasty with a good marinara sauce was very large). There is no wine list yet, as they just received their liquor license, but the owner/manager said they were putting it together and he seemed pretty excited about it. You'll have to decide for yourself if it is different enough to be worth going to, but I thought they had some different dishes that stood out from most of the generic and red sauce oriented places up and down the street: artichoke alla Giudia, a really fresh, well made, zesty pesto on fresh cavatelli, an ostrich entree, a tiramisu that doesn't taste defrosted. And, as in my earlier post, the ingredients all seem very fresh and everything is carefully prepared.

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