TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

Tag: Primo Grill Tacoma

Nov.
11th

Tacoma’s Primo Grill on the move – new home will be on Sixth Avenue

Charlie McManus, executive chef and co-owner of Primo Grill with wife Jacqueline Plattner, prepares seared Alaskan sea scallops, potato gratin, broccoli, citrus tarragon beurre blanc. In the foreground is steamed Kamilche Farms mussels (from near Shelton) with chive curry cream.Peter Haley / Staff photographer
Charlie McManus, executive chef and co-owner of Primo Grill with wife Jacqueline Plattner, prepares seared Alaskan sea scallops, potato gratin, broccoli, citrus tarragon beurre blanc. In the foreground is steamed Kamilche Farms mussels with chive curry cream. File photo, January 2013. Peter Haley / Staff photographer

Primo Grill, an anchor restaurant in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood, will move next year.

Husband-wife owners Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner will relocate Primo about three blocks away to a building they own, which currently houses their sibling business, Crown Bar. No changes are planned for the footprint of Crown Bar. Read more »

Jan.
18th

The smoke, the oven, the pasta – Primo Grill delivers polished fare from its bustling display kitchen

Charlie McManus, executive chef and co-owner of Primo Grill with wife Jacqueline Plattner, prepares seared Alaskan sea scallops, potato gratin, broccoli, citrus tarragon beurre blanc. In the foreground is steamed Kamilche Farms mussels (from near Shelton) with chive curry cream.Peter Haley / Staff photographer
Charlie McManus, executive chef and co-owner of Primo Grill with wife Jacqueline Plattner, prepares seared Alaskan sea scallops, potato gratin, broccoli, citrus tarragon beurre blanc. In the foreground is steamed Kamilche Farms mussels (from near Shelton) with chive curry cream.
Peter Haley / Staff photographer

When Primo Grill opened in 1999 off Sixth Avenue, it was just ahead of a period of openings that turned Sixth into Tacoma’s destination for dining and nightlife.  If you call Primo Grill anything, it should be the patriarch of Sixth Avenue. That makes husband-wife owners Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner the parental unit of that neighborhood. Their broadly interpreted Mediterranean restaurant – home to a display kitchen and fruitwood-fired oven and grill – is a mature eatery nestled in a newish eating district big on dining choices and frenetic nightlife, but light on restaurants that appeal to the wine-and-dine-me crowd the way Primo Grill does. Read more »

Jan.
18th

Q&A: Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner of Primo Grill

This 2008 photo shows  Charlie McManus shopping at the newly opened  Sixth Avenue Farmers Market. The market that operates in the summer is located steps away from his restaurant Primo Grill. Peter Haley/File photo 2008
This 2008 photo shows Charlie McManus shopping at the newly opened Sixth Avenue Farmers Market. The market that operates in the summer is located steps away from his restaurant Primo Grill. Peter Haley/File photo 2008

Ask chef Charlie McManus a simple cooking question and you’ll get a five-minute earful about technique and history, you might exit the conversation with a much broader knowledge of something fun or complicated – like how a biga works (it’s a sourdough starter that McManus uses to give his pizzas their distinctive tang). Wife Jacqueline Plattner is a daily fixture managing the operations at Primo Grill, the Sixth Avenue Tacoma restaurant the couple opened in 1999. They also opened Crown Bar, a few blocks away, in 2007. That eatery is a pub serving high-end bar food and cocktails. Read a review published today about Primo Grill here.

Of all the chefs I’ve written about in Tacoma, McManus is the one who consistently has served diners locally sourced ingredients. He’s had a longtime partnership with Cheryl Oullette, who locals may know as Cheryl The Pig Lady, who provides McManus with a whole pig one Friday every month that McManus roasts overnight in his wood-fired oven and serves as a special all weekend. Dan Hulse, who owns Tahoma Farms in Orting, said he valued working for Primo Grill – he worked in the front of house busing tables while a college student.  After Hulse started his own farm,  McManus became a customer. Hulse said in a message that McManus and Plattner have made a difference for farmers who want to reach diners with their produce – a philosophy he said needs more support from Tacoma chefs. Wrote Hulse in a message, “When I started working at Terry’s Berries, a couple of years after graduating, and then when we started our own farm, Charlie and Jacqueline both have always been supportive of the local food and farming community. In a town with very few chefs and restaurants willing to work directly with farmers, their support makes a big difference. I just wish we saw more of it in Tacoma.”

Read more »

April
29th

Dining Out For Life: Spotlight on Primo Grill


Charlie McManus of Primo Grill. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer

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. Read more »

Feb.
5th

Happy Hours: The siblings of Sixth Avenue


The happy hour menu at Asado includes prawns in serrano ham (foreground), a steak skewer, and Asado burger dip (rear). Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Forget drink discounts, happy hour is about the food. Or, rather, it’s about the food if you’re a deal seeker who also happens to enjoy well-crafted cuisine.

For this installment of happy hour food deals, we headed to Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue, an eating district rich with restaurants and bars that offer deep discounts during happy hour dining.

We couldn’t write about every restaurant in that neighborhood, so we focused on just a few blocks along Sixth – from Pine to Oakes.
Within those few blocks you’ll find four restaurants with sibling connections: The first pair is Asado and Masa, located across the street from one another and both operated by X Group Restaurants. The second is Primo Grill and Crown Bar, located within about a block of one another and owned and operated by Charlie McManus with wife Jacqueline Plattner. Read more »