is a fine, European-class Mehadrin dairy Italian restaurant under the supervision
of the world-famous Chef Shalom Kadosh of the Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza Hotel.
The restaurant features home made pastas, fine fish dishes and excellent service.
Primavera is spaciously laid-out, with the tables positioned at a distance that preserves the diners' privacy. The tables are arranged diagonally with supporting columns strategically placed between tables to create niches where possible. There is a full bar in the center of the room, and a separate section for smokers. I particularly liked the chairs, which are wooden dining-room chairs with arms, but there are also several loveseats, which suited the young people in our party, perfectly. Primavera is open for lunchtime, then closes briefly and reopens for the dinner hour. The a la carte menu is available for both lunch and dinner. The restaurant offers a prix-fixe business lunch for NIS 45 or NIS 75 (fish main course and dessert), which is a great deal. With the fixed lunch you can enjoy the great food in the great ambiance, for about half the price of the a la carte menu.
The Primavera menu is in three languages: Italian, English and Hebrew. Going with a group of friends or family is the best way to enjoy this restaurant because you will have an opportunity to taste all the different dishes that everyone chooses. Also there is plenty of food to go around and everyone need not order every course.
We went to Primavera recently to celebrate my son's twenty-fifth birthday, with his wife, my younger son, and my constant companion. Our group of five was ideal for this culinary adventure.
The restaurant is on the main floor of the hotel, near the lobby. A friendly receptionist greeted us at the door and took our coats. We were shown to our table, served fresh-baked bread and butter, and offered drinks while we examined the menus.
For starters we shared three appetizers: the Salmone affumicato (Norwegian smoked salmon), the Bruschetta con pomodoro (a platter of toasted breads with cherry tomatoes marinated in an olive oil dressing with garlic and basil), and the Selezione di antipasti (a selection of salads). All of these dishes were presented beautifully and the platters were plentiful. The salmon was fresh and delicious, and was perfectly set off by a mound of cream cheese, capers, onion rings and lemon. The salads, served in individual sections of a large round serving platter were unusual and delicious. But it was the Bruschetta that was the favorite appetizer.
The Cream of Pumpkin soup with toasted almonds was thick and delicious. I like my soup served hot, and this soup was. My companion had the soup of the day, a mushroom soup made with slices of large fresh mushrooms.
As you would expect in an Italian restaurant, Primavera offers a large selection of Pasta dishes. All of the pastas are made fresh at the hotel, and cooked to perfection. I like spicy foods, so I chose the Rigatoni al pomodoro e olive nere (rigatoni noodles with black olives, garlic and parsley). I did not find the dish to be very spicy; it was nice and flavorful when sprinkled with the parmesan cheese that was served with the pasta dishes.
My companion had the Crespelle con spinaci alla caprese, which is a specialty of the house, and, to my taste, the best pasta dish at the table. It consists of thin pancakes filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, with "mama rosa" sauce. My younger son had the Lasagna con spinaci, fetto e pesto (spinach lasagna with feta cheese and pesto sauce), which was also delicious. This is a good choice for those who like to know what to expect.
The birthday boy and his wife selected two of Primavera's elegant fish dishes. The Pesce castagna servito con pasta (fillet of sea bream, also known in Israel as Denise) is served on pureed potatoes with a red butter sauce. The Denise was outstanding, with or without the red butter sauce (how do they do that?) The Trata in Salsa di erbe (fillet of trout) is served with fresh herbs and courgette flowers with a delicate pepper sauce. It was the pepper sauce that made this dish; the sauce was made of tiny black and white peppercorns. The flavor and texture of the sauce made the trout unique and very pleasant. After tasting all around, each of us decided that he had lucked out and had the best meal. This is what we call a successful dinner.
What's a birthday party without a "L'chayim?" And for that we chose a bottle of the lovely Yarden Merlot. Anything less would have been inconsistent with the cuisine.
One of the nice things about eating a dairy meal is being able to have a real dairy dessert and Primavera is up to the challenge. We shared the tiramasu, the creamy carmel, the pecan pie, the baked pear and a pretty plate of vanilla ice cream with meringue, decorated with tropical fruits. The desserts were served in the Primavera tradition - very elegantly - with tea and coffee.
I plan to go back to Primavera to try the many other pasta and fish dishes. Primavera is an ideal place to meet visitors to Jerusalem, or just to pamper yourself.