Any dish kissed by fire at the hands of a skilled chef is good in my book. At Primo Grill, the wood-fired oven is on display for every diner to see. Charlie McManus, pictured here, is the chef manning that fire.
The Sixth Avenue eatery is one of dozens that will participate today, April 29, in Dining Out For Life, the dine-out event where participating restaurants in Pierce County will donate 25 percent of meal sales to the Pierce County AIDS Foundation. To contribute all you have to do is dine at Primo Grill or another participating restaurant listed here. But if you want to do more, you can donate $25 and get a dining discount card good at 12 participating restaurants for future Tuesday dining. Read details in this blog post from Monday.
I visited Primo Grill in February to sift through the elevated menu of the fine dining restaurant. Delicious deals can be found at Primo. Click more to read about happy hour, which will be offered from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m. today. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, too.
Where: 601 S. Pine St., Tacoma
Info: 253-383-7000 or primogrilltacoma.com
Happy hours: 3-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8-10 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays; 9-11 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. The menu of nine pizzas is discounted to $8.95 during happy hours. For bargain seekers, stick with the more expensive pizzas in the $13-$15 range to get even more bang for your happy hour buck. Appetizers are normally in the $10-$14 range but are discounted to $7.95 each during happy hours.
Pizzas ($8.95 each): Pizzas at Primo showcase the wood-fired oven. It’s thanks to that oven that the crust at Primo is ethereal – thin and crispy, with just the right amount of chewy resistance. The pizzas come heat-licked with slightly charred edges. The house-cured pancetta and seared radicchio pizza yielded a sweet-bitter flavor combination with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. I liked that the toppings didn’t burden the crust. The prosciutto and fig pizza was another pizza with a sweet edge from a light smear of fig jam. Pockets of creamy goat cheese added sharp bite while paper-thin sheets of prosciutto gave chewy goodness.
Wood roasted calamari ($7.95): This dish was a copious serving of calamari rings, perfectly cooked with a light chew. Wood smoke deepened the flavor. A zap of saffron brightened the heady tomato garlic sauce. We could smell it wafting from the oven before it hit our table.
Steamed local mussels ($7.95): A healthy portion of mussels was treated to a tasty bath of cream, shallots, chives, lime, cilantro and a boozy shot of wine. An undertone of curry notched up the flavor.
Fire roasted garlic shrimp ($7.95): Another dish fragrant with garlic, we could smell it long before it arrived at our table. A healthy portion of plump shrimp was soaked in a vibrant, lemony tomato sauce.