Things to do : Primo

Primo Restaurant
Published January 1st, 2012

In case you haven’t heard, Maine has lately become a foodie paradise. Around French’s Point, there are several top-notch restaurants that certainly help uphold that yummy reputation. A stand-out among them is Primo, a nationally renown eatery located just a 40-minute drive away in Rockland. Primo features ultra-local Mediterranean and Italian cuisine that has been recognized by Bon Appetit, O Magazine, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, among others.

Primo is all about showcasing local food in what Chef Melissa Kelly calls a “full circle kitchen.” Kelly and her staff cook with vegetables, honey, fruits, eggs, and meats harvested from the restaurant’s two greenhouses and outside acres. What doesn’t come from the restaurant’s land is sourced from local, sustainable farms. The result is a painstakingly seasonal farm-to-table experience that has garnered Kelly awards from the James Beard Foundation and the Culinary Institute of America.

Kelly’s ultra-local restaurant is inspired by Italian cuisine. “I absolutely love the way they think about food in Italy,” she told Down East Magazine in August. “It’s gutsy, robust, fun, seasonal, and so totally fresh – and they bring an unbelievable level of commitment to the food they produce, such as their cheeses and salami. We try to apply the same standards here.”

Primo is so popular it can be difficult to get a reservation and so last year Kelly added a casual bar area to the second floor that serves smaller plates and can accommodate a drop-in crowd. Primo is open Thursday through Sunday. The dining room is open 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. and the counter and bar are open 5 p.m. until close. We urge you to check out this ambitious eatery that has foodies from here and away buzzing.