Our hostess managed to do the almost impossible on a Friday night: find a table for two in the restaurant’s main dining room. As its name suggests, Primi, draws its influence from Italian cooking and those bite-sized entrees so fundamental to the Mediterranean meal: the “primi piatti.”

Steeping through the doors of the venue you realize that Primi takes on many roles, from restaurant to bar, to patio lounge and gourmet food dispensary. An L-shaped pantry is stacked with imported items, such as olive oil, fruit con- serves, and tins of premium tea. Should you run out of your St.Petersburg Kusmi, there’s no need to fly to Paris, because Primi stocks it. As a restaurant of the DLK group, there is also a comprehensive wine selection to buy in house or as a necessary companion with your meal.

After the wait staff prepared our table in a quiet corner, I chose a bottle of Argentine Merlot priced reasonably at $70,000 to accompany our first “primi” at Primi. One of the house favorites – clear from the very start as every table had one – were the pizzettes. There many options such as the Quattro Fromaggi (Four Cheese) and a traditional Margherita coated with a thin layer of tomato spread. Primi’s pies are are ultra thin crust, and arrive quickly from the stone oven to the table. We then proceed to order another entree, the fried squid, which were crispy and utterly enjoyable. I found this starter to be a little too calculated with its size to price ratio. As sharing is a must at this res- taurant, my appetite seemed to be getting the better of me. The squid were snapped up quickly and the night was still young. The wine was an excellent choice for yet another “primi” of meatballs smothered in spicy pomodoro. Nice, comforting, but not a repeat.

The appetizers were moving briskly at the bar, which in this well-heeled city, has earned a reputation as one of the best after work places to meet up with friends. With their impressive selection of gins, vodkas and single malts, the restaurant also presents drink combinations on a blackboard overlooking the patio. The flow of cocktails on this Friday night, was nothing short of impressive. The service at Primi is impeccable and shows how seriously the owners of La Brasserie, Casa and Agadon takes the business of fine dining. Now back to our mains. I decided to risk it all on the osso bucco. Knowing how unforgiving this dish can be, I suspected that I would be sorry for the decision and drowning my tears with a Cabernet. I could not have been more misguided. The osso bucco was all super- latives: tender, succulent, and with a hint of thyme and white wine. I will return for this classic Milanese dish and which was shared generously at the table.

‘Primi’ is a place of many pluses. So best plan ahead and make a reservations. A welcome addition to Bogotá’s food-sav- vy scene, it’s also a departure from the formulaic ‘Italian.’ This is fun. Fresh. And a ‘first’ as it name suggests.

Primi. Cra 13 No.85-85