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A Feast For A (Lion) King at Primitivo

Dinner from Primitivo Wine Bistro in Venice, California

Dinner from Primitivo Wine Bistro in Venice, California

Pantages monkey

Sparkle, the Birthday Sockmonkey, climbing around inside the beautiful Pantages Theater in Los Angeles

I’ve just celebrated another birthday, and this one was truly one to remember. Before embarking on this glorious feast (above), my wonderful boyfriend Kenny surprised me with tickets to the Lion King stage show at the Pantages. Wow! Of course, one of the sockmonkeys had to come along. Hakuna Matata!

Afterward, we ventured off to none other than Primitivo Wine Bistro, which has quickly become a dining favorite.

Freshly picked winter carrots atop a mountain of (*insert greens)

Freshly picked winter carrots atop a mountain of greens.

We were greeted by the very talented Chef Thomas Stewart, who was so excited to share his new winter menu with us.  He explained the various new items he’d designed specifically for this time of year. We began our grazing with a bright and beautiful Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad. The orange and yellow veggies were a perfect addition to the petite lettuces, arugula, and candied walnuts.

These bacon-wrapped dates are an absolute MUST HAVE when you visit Primitivo. Trust me.

These bacon-wrapped dates are an absolute MUST HAVE when you visit Primitivo. Trust me.

The next plate to arrive was the Bacon-Wrapped Dates. Stop it. I can hear you right now saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve had those before…”. Again, stop it. You haven’t had these. This was my first time with Chef Thomas’ recipe…. and ohmygosh…. I do believe I could eat these every single day till Easter. Made with Spanish chorizo, they are the most moist and tender, sweet and salty little bites of heaven. And the bacon. OH MY the bacon. Crisp and flavorful…. I tried to grab all eight of them, but Kenny loved ‘em too. So, reluctantly I shared. (*Note to self: next time, eat quicker!)

You've never had it this good.

You’ve never had it this good.

Next to arrive was the Baked Brie and Crostini. We absolutely loved how Chef Thomas serves this little beauty! Every bite had a bit of the rich crispy crust in it. I loved the grapes that surround the brie .. I mean who (besides me) cuts grapes in half? BUT that’s the best way to enjoy the sweetness, which pairs so beautifully with the cheese… and of course the wine. Speaking of wine, our friend David says he really loves to enjoy these at the restaurant:
* Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc
*Triennes Viognier Ste. Fleur
*Turley Juvenile Zinfandel

When you visit Primitivo, make sure to speak with Manager Jimmy Bradley, who is the nicest and most unpretentious sommelier I’ve ever met. The man knows his wine, and he’s always ready to share his vast knowledge with guests at the restaurant. His passion for wine is so apparent, and his smile is contagious!

So tender, you can cut it with a fork. Seriously. Kenny tried. it worked.

So tender, you can cut it with a fork. Seriously. Kenny tried. It worked.

After thoroughly enjoying the appetizers, the entrées arrived. I do believe I audibly gasped. You would have too, had you been presented with these impressive plates.
First up, the Marinated Moorish Lamb Rack. This meat melts in your mouth, and when you add the perfectly paired black cherry chutney, the balance is remarkable. Beneath this lovely fare is a cloud of scalloped potatoes blended with three different cheeses. This was nothing less than magical.

(*check content)

Sautéed Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Gnocchi & Yucca Hay

The other entrée we shared was the Sonoma Farms Sauteed Duck breast. Cooked to perfection, this meal was quite decadent. The funny thing, is that the sweet potato gnocchi was in a manchego-cream sauce that was almost reminiscent of something you’d find in the south. I’m wondering if that is a salute to Chef Thomas’ years in Georgia. Perhaps!

After indulging on the beautiful winter feast, a surprise duo came our way…

Now *this* is how you celebrate a birthday!

Now *this* is how you celebrate a birthday!

First was the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, which in my opinion, is perfection on a plate. The macerated berries and raspberry purée were such a delicious addition to the deep rich flavor. I felt quite special when mine came out with a candle between the chocolate pipes. (Thank you, Chef!)

Light, and with the perfect amount of sweetness... this is not your mama's flan.

Light, and with the perfect amount of sweetness… this was such a lovely finish to the feast!

The other scrumptious sweet was the Traditional Spanish Creamy Flan. Normally I’m not really big on flan… but this one was truly unique. It was so light and super creamy – and that sauce you see is from golden raspberries (yes, those pretty yellow ones that are difficult to find in most markets!)

All in all, it was a meal to remember, and one I’m definitely going to want to return to enjoy. I cannot tell you how much you will adore this place. Primitivo is truly a gem amongst all of the restaurants on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Please go to the link above and search it out, and let me know what you think.

Now that you’ve seen our feast that was fit for a (Lion) King….Here’s a little music from the production we saw earlier that day…

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  1. Desiree Shuga

    Ahhhhh I have got to get there one day!!!

  2. What an amazing meal! I would probably even try the dates (and I hate dates)!

  3. Julie

    All of it sounds delicious…..we’ve had bacon wrapped dates before at Avanti’s in Santa Barbara….absolutely loved them & had a hard time sharing as well. One of those “food memories” that we look back at fondly…..hoping to make it back someday. So happy you had such a wonderful birthday….Happy Belated…..December is a good month to have a birthday….. ;)

    • oh wow – Avanti! I haven’t been there yet… GREAT to know – I’ll have to make a point of going there next time I’m in SB =0)

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