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Dec 31, 2013 01:50 PM

Primo report

Several of us went to Primo the other night, which was highly anticipated because, as we know, they will be closed soon for their winter hiatus. My husband and I are not infrequent guests there, but we nonetheless always eagerly anticipate our meal. It is simply one of our favorite restaurants--anywhere. Our recent meal was no exception--we chose to graze on appetizers and bar items, most of which were stellar, rather than our usual perusal of the entire menu. On this visit, my gripe was not the food, but rather the attitude we encountered from our waiter, one who has worked there for a number of years and, unfortunately, one from whom we have encountered similar attitude in the past. At the start of our meal, I was about to order a half-bottle of sparkling, but when I learned everyone would be having some, I considered a full bottle. Noticing that the full-bottle price was quite a bit more than twice the price of the half, I asked the waiter about this. His response, not verbatim, was along the lines of "how the hell do I know--you should ask Price (the owner)." Hmmm, silly me for thinking the waiter could run interference on such a query. Even if a restaurant is extremely busy, I would expect a more helpful response, maybe "gee, that's a good question; I'll see if I can get an answer for you." After a number of appetizers and bar items were ordered, we decided to have the pizza del giorno, which was tomatoey with lots of sausage and pepperoni--one that would not really go well with the beet and other salads on the menu that evening. I asked if it would be possible to get a plain green salad. Nope, just like that, was the response. Can't do that. Not even, "let me check with the kitchen," or any other remotely helpful reply. Seriously, I think Conte's would have done better. This isn't the type of service we usually enjoy and expect at a restaurant like Primo. We will certainly be back, but not to sit in that waiter's section. We've learned our lesson.

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  1. Wow, I quick note to the front of the house is in order I would think.

    1. Interesting to say the least. You sat upstairs and as far as I know there is only one waiter (i.e. male waitstaff) up there and he has always been really good with us. Maybe he was having an off night, though that's not much of an excuse.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

        None whatsoever...and, when I mentioned this to another person who is a frequent customer, they reported having had similar issues with said waiter. Hmmm.

      2. I know who you mean having had the same issues with him. I think he's been there too long. Last time we were downstairs we had a waiter named William who was terrific.

        Love the food there, but there are sometimes issues with the upstairs staff - like the fellow behind the food bar who takes himself way too seriously.

        5 Replies
        1. re: paseo

          Agreed on the fellow behind the bar upstairs--not Mr. Personality. I think he's just introverted, which doesn't lend itself to his role at Primo.

            1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

              Exactly my point--perhaps his role at a bar serving folks directly might not be the way to put that particular chef's foot forward, nice fellow that he is. But this thread is a digression from my beef with the waiter mentioned above....

                1. re: Shooley

                  I understand the beef on Matt, but he doesn't serve the customers directly. Unless he's handing you something because he knows it's yours and the servers are otherwise occupied.