Restaurants & Bars


Primo in Tucson -- REPORT


Restaurants & Bars

Primo in Tucson -- REPORT

wyf4lyf | Jun 7, 2006 12:22 PM

My husband and I went to the JW Marriott Resort at Starr Pass for an overnight anniversary getaway and enjoyed a wonderful meal at Primo.
We sat outside on the patio, overlooking the herb garden and it was a lovely setting. Since it was a bit warm outside, most diners ate inside and we had the patio to ourselves the entire time.

We were served a lovely little amuse bouche of smoked salmon and whipped cream on toasted brioche, drizzled with chive oil. Yummy and a nice way to start. The bread basket had slices of whole grain baguette as well as a soft and yummy onion bread. Olive oil for dipping; no butter was offered and that was fine with us. The olive oil could have been a bit more robust, but the onion bread was so good, it didn't really matter.

Husband had the duck confit to start and I ordered the salad of roasted beets and goat cheese. Both were great. The duck confit was rich and tender, served with sauteed spinach, figs, walnuts and a gorgonzola dressing. All of the flavors blended perfectly. I will order that next time as it was truly superb. However, I loved my salad, too. The roasted beets were sliced, most were of the yellow variety which I'd not had before. There was a disk of soft goat cheese in the center, along with some greens, and it was all drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette, along with a few orange segments. Very light and flavorful.

For our main courses, I ordered the duck breast, medium rare. It was a generous serving, sliced, and beautifully cooked. It came with a mixture of English peas and pea shoots, small spring onions, potato gnocchi (which had been fried to be crisp...yum!) and some duck confit. So many good flavors and textures. I ordered a side of garlic mashed potatoes and they were by far the best I'ver ever had. These were very reminiscent of Joel Robuchon's potato puree I had in Paris, but with a strong garlicky hit. I was thrilled to finally have garlic mashed that actually tasted of garlic, (so often it's just a whisper, and I want a stronger garlic flavor) but were also super silky and rich. I'd go back to Primo just for the spuds! I know there was a lovely sauce on the plate, too, but I can't remember what it was. All I can say is that the dish worked beautifully, esp. with the spuds. I was in heaven. Husband ordered the lingcod that came with a corn chowder, and other things I can't remember. He was loving it, and had to force himself to stop in order to save room for dessert.

As soon has husband discovered creme brulee on the menu, he didn't have to look any further. That is his default dessert choice wherever he goes and this one was exemplary. He is a purist and doesn't like his creme brulee to have anything but creme and brulee. :) A few fresh berries might be OK, but that's it. He was delighted to be served a tray with an ample portion of creme brulee, along with a separate small dish of fresh berries and whipped cream. It was like 2 desserts for him, and he didn't share. Of course, I was so thrilled with mine, that I didn't even ask him for a bite. I ordered the lemon-basil pana cotta and it was the perfect ending to my meal. The pana cotta was incredibly silky, perfectly lemony with a hint of basil that rounded out the flavors. The plate was drizzled with a lemon marmalade-type sauce, and decorated with a citrus tuile cookie. The only negative for me was the while chocolate curls. Yuck. So many people think white chocolate and lemon are perfect partners. I hate white chocolate and think dark chocolate and lemon make much better friends. No matter...I pushed those aside and savored the dessert.

Our server had asked us what had brought us to the resort, so we mentioned our anniversary. While we were enjoying our desserts and coffee (really good coffee, too), they brought out a tray of their specialty donuts called zeppole...orbs of fried goodness, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar that were amazingly light and airy. The tray said "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate, which was such a nice touch. The donuts were large, and they brought us about 8 of them. We each had 2 and then were so full we could hardly breathe. We had the donuts boxed up for later (but as expected, they turned soggy overnight and weren't worth eating then.). I'd recommend the zeppole for a fun dessert with coffee. But definitely eat them hot.

With our bill came 2 little house-made chocolate truffles, still cold from the fridge. I felt like I was back in Paris! I can never resist truffles, so I ate both of them since husband said he would die if he put anything else in his stomach. :) The truffles were dark and rich and a bit boozier than I like, but still a nice finale.

I do not know what our bill came to, (I didn't ask and husband didn't tell) but I can't recommend this place enough for a very special meal. The chef is a James Beard award-winner and it shows. For a less expensive option, go on Sunday night and they have a 3-course prix fixe meal for $30 per person.

The resort is wonderful, too. Fabulous patio with lots of comfy chairs and couches to sit and read or just enjoy the view. The beds have the most comfortable pillows ever, so much so that I found the name of the company and are ordering some for my home.

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