Primavera - Croton Falls, NY

I love the location of this place. It started life as Maud’s Tavern and by the time we moved up here, it was pretty run down. Then it became Stanley Tucci’s Finch Tavern - beautiful but austere. As Primavera is is a very comfortable space. Gone are the big wooden booths of the Tucci days and it’s got well spaced tables. It’s been around awhile but we have not gone in years. We were always kind of underwhelmed with the food. But last night we went again with friends. We were seated at a nice corner table and our server came over immediately and took drink orders and water glasses were filled. We were handed menus, told specials and told not to rush. Well, we were talking and really weren’t consulting menus yet but our server was a bit over anxious. So, I’d have to say, service was attentive but a but in your face. We saw him a lot. The food was much better than it was in the past. When you sit down you are given a plate of wonderful reggiano, olives, pepperoncini and salami with bread and olive oil and balsamic. For appetizers, DH had the carpacio di manzo - excellent pieces of filet on a bed of arugula and topped with that great parm reggiano, one friend had the cold antipasto - clams, shrimp, eggplant, ricotta and mozz and said it was very good and another had a simple mixed salad. For mains I had the pollo piedmontese - chicken breast with roasted peppers and melted fontina - I am a sucker for fontina. It was really good - tender chicken and perfectly seasoned. DH had the veal tri funghi - the veal was tender and very good quality and the dish, again, balanced and very tasty. One friend was in a steak mood and that did not go so well. Her beautiful strip came well done - almost cremated so she had to send it back. Once she got it, it was good but she had already eaten half of her husband’s shrimp scampi. For dessert we shared tiramisu - it was very light but not enough coffee for me. In all, we’d go back for sure and - being the sceptic that I am - recommend it if its still good next time!

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Thanks for your report, Gwenn. Do they still have that lovely mural that used to highlight Tucci’s place?

Yes, the horses. The place is very pretty and they have a nice porch so you can eat outside - well, not last night!!! Way too hot.

ugh - Mona Trattoria, not Maud’s!

Thanks, Gwenn. It did not click with me either…

So, we went back last night since last week was so good. Told you, I give a place three tries before I recommend it! We were seated at a very nice table for two - I like how the tables are angled so both people can look out at the dining room. I hate looking at a wall. We had the same waiter as last week - boy was he annoying! This time I think he talked even more than last time and he just kept coming over. I told my husband not to glance in his direction because he took that as a sign to come over. The minute we got our food he was there to ask how everything was - I didn’t even have a bite yet! So, on to the food. Still have the nice little plate of olives, cheese, pepperoncini and salami which was great. The bread, though - I guess they warm it up and it sits because its kind of crunchy. It looks beautiful. DH had the escargot this time. It was baked and served in a cognac sauce. it was described by Mr. Talkative as almost en croute but then he changed it to panko and garlic on top. It was a plate of escargot out of the shell in a cognac sauce. No puff, no panko. DH liked it and I tasted the sauce. It was good but there was this hint of tarragon - I like tarragon but this annoyed me. My husband and I both opted for the same great dishes we had last time. He had the Veal Tre Funghi and I had the Chicken with the peppers and fontina. Guess what - we noticed both dishes were in the same sauce - the one from the escargot. Different from the last time - just not as good at all. Had this been last week there would not have been a this week! And that hint of tarragon was now kind of bothering me. We did not have dessert but a really nice cup of expresso. So, it will get its third shot - maybe, but I will try not to get that waiter again!

Thanks for your second report on this spot, Gwenn. You seem to have had issues on both occasions, so why bother with a third visit when there are so many other places to try?

Our meal last week was quite good, which is why we went back. The only issue was the waiter and my friend’s steak. But we still may not go back. I have a feeling last week may have been the fluke!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold