Primo Bar Primi…

Bar Primi
Bar Primi

Sunday was cloudy and cool in New York City…perfect walking weather for a menopausal Manhattanite.

We hit the pavement at 8:30 am and headed downtown to Bar Primi, a restaurant that has been on my bucket list for a few months.

The walk was invigorating…approximately 4 1/2 miles and I was able to build up an appetite and walk off pre-game jitters.

Bar Primi
Bar Primi

Bar Primi resides in the old Peels location at the corner of Bowery and East 2nd Street. It has a charming neighborhood feel, adorned with wood, Italian motifs and happy, welcoming people.

 Taavo Somer, who designed Peels, is also responsible for the gentle redo.

We were seated immediately by the window. Matthew, our affable server and nightlife expert, served us well and his guidance was pure perfection.

Ricotta Bruschetta
Ricotta Bruschetta

We settled in and ordered coffee and ricotta bruschetta with Italian honey, hazelnuts and crispy rosemary ($8)…fabulous and a delicious way to kick off Sunday brunch.

Breakfast Spaghetti
Breakfast Spaghetti

I could not resist the breakfast spaghetti with kale, pancetta and poached egg ($16). I had not indulged in pasta in months and it was al dente, creamy and delectable.

Portobello Melt Sandwich
Portobello Melt Sandwich

Mr. Devil selected the portabello melt sandwich with jersey tomato, basil, mozzarella with a knife  dramatically inserted right down the middle…a bit of Barton G theatrics ($13).

Portobello Melt Sandwich
Portobello Melt Sandwich

Seriously, everything was fresh, filling, expertly prepared and tantalizing.

Monkey Bread
Monkey Bread

Matthew tempted us with a special dessert, straight from Andrew Carmellini’s, Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery, a few blocks away. Carmellini, along with partners Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, the team behind Locanda Verde, Lafayette, Joe’s Pub, The Library at the Public and The Dutch, give New York what it wants in good food at reasonable prices.

The Monkey Bread was amazing. Flaky, a dash of sweetness and addictive. It went well entirely to well with  coffee.

Brunch offers five different pastas ($14-1$19), cheese plates ($7 per piece, 4/$20), yogurt, Italian Benedict, french toast, fritatta and salads.

Also featured is Italian sausage which is served at Carmellini’s Sausage Boss kiosks in Madison Square Garden.

Sal Lamboglia, a longtime Carmellini cook, leads the kitchen at Bar Primi. He is actually a fourth partner. Lamboglia, a Bensonhurst native, has helped open every restaurant in the Noho Group Hospitality portfolio. He has pined for a little Italian restaurant that would reflect his passion for the Italian-American food he grew up with.

Bar Primi Downstairs
Bar Primi Downstairs

We sat downstairs…there is also a lovely upstairs seating area with a bar. In warmer weather, outside dining looks very inviting.

Bar Primi Upstairs
Bar Primi Upstairs

Replete, we hiked halfway home and then took the subway from 14th Street to make the NY Giants kickoff. It was a good thing that brunch was gratifying because the Giants lost their 5th game in a row, Eli Manning threw 5 interceptions and the afternoon was a bad dream, but the tasty food memories took the edge off some of the pain.

Bar Primi 325 Bowery (East Second Street), East Village, 212-220-9100, barprimi.com. Reservations only for 6 or more. Open Lunch Mon~Fri, 11:30am to 5:30pm, Dinner Sun~Weds, 5:30pm to 11pm, Thurs~Sat, 5:30pm to 12am, Brunch Sat & Sun, 10am to 3:00pm and Midday Service Sat & Sun, 3:00pm to 5:30pm.

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