Out last night with Manfred and Margit Michlmayr. First stop, the Sunset Soiree at the Bancroft Garden, a Friday evening with music and wine, food and art. We just enjoyed walking around in the evening light, taking in a beautiful garden at the height of its wonder. Margit fell in love with the above piece, and now it’s coming to live at their house.
After the garden, we headed into downtown Walnut Creek for dinner at Prima Ristorante, a well-known spot right on North Main.
A lifetime ago, when I was going to Miramonte High School, Friday nights consisted of cruising up and down Main Street with thousands of other teenagers. Those days are gone, outlawed by anti-cruising laws and the advent of video games. North Main is now where people congregate for supper at fine restaurants, the street is full of valet parking attendants and well dressed folk out for a big night.
We were seated in the loggia, the front part of the establishment with the big windows which open onto the street. Manfred, with no body fat and short pants, wanted to be in the warmest part of the building and we loved the view. Gail and Margit kept noticing the fancy shoes on the women out on dates, I noticed the flashy cars pulling up to the valet–only 1 limo last night.
On to the food:
Manfred loves mussels–he orders them pretty much any time they are on the menu.
Presentation again–making the food beautiful is almost as important as making it delicious. Prima excels at both skills.
Gnocchi, little potato dumplings served like pasta, are notoriously difficult to master. Margit liked hers so much we ended up debating whether they were house-made or purchased from a supplier–I’m voting for house made.
Gail likes risotto, doesn’t like mussels. That’s OK, it leaves more for Manfred.
I had the lamb. A nameless, formless cut of very tender, tasty roast lamb sliced on the plate. Two triangles of fried polenta. Some roasted peppers and onions. I may not sound very enthusiastic, but there was nothing left when I was finished, and it was all good.
Prima is attached to a wine store, so their wine list is extensive and well chosen. Manfred and the waiter had a deep discussion, and then he ended up with a red he really liked. I just drink the house iced tea; it was fine.
There was so much good food, we would well have skipped dessert, but the Michlmayr sweet tooth came into play, and we had to have something.
Although dessert was Manfred’s idea, there were four spoons competing for the goodies and we made short work of it.
Prices are reasonable, service is good (might have been better if there wasn’t a huge party in the main room). Valet parking right in front. Prima is a keeper.