Even when you’re already inside and eating at Primo, you’re reminded you’re in Primo. That’s thanks to the huge, pointed finger spinning pizza dough in yellow neon over the street-side window.
Primo isn’t a subtle, hole-in-the-wall trattoria that’s had the same menu for 30 years. The lights are bright and the music is a party playlist. A few people sit at the bar, watching chefs roll out the bases.
This is the new pizza restaurant from Loren McBride (who founded nearby cafe Barry) and her husband Jamie (behind cafes Mammoth and Touchwood, and the upcoming Gilson). Jemma Richards and Iza Dawkins are also partners in the business.
Primo has a pizza menu you actually have to read.
There’s the Roberta (named after the Roberta’s in Brooklyn), served with pepperoni, cream, chilli and honey. There’s also a “salad pizza”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and comes out looking like an actual garden, flowers included.
“I was trying to avoid having a Hawaiian on the menu,” Jamie says. But one got in there anyway. It’s called the Jon & Vinny’s (its named after a diner in LA). It comes with sweet-ish Christmas ham, pickled chillis and shavings of pineapple (not chunks) that have been soaked in vodka. It works.
It’s not all pizza – there are plenty of snacks; a hoagie sandwich, a cheeseburger and a couple of kids dishes too. There’s free delivery on orders over $25, and Primo can send over booze, too (including a bottled white Negroni).
The soft-serve flavours change weekly. Right now it’s a trifle flavour, but it might switch to tiramisu this weekend.
Olaver Architecture has put a few fun Italian touches around the place – marble terrazzo on the floors, green leather booths and banquettes. There’s also a pink-tiled loveseat outside by the door – a good spot for sharing a soft-serve in the warmer weather.
104 High Street, Northcote
(03) 9482 2000