Tag Archives: Primrose

Primrose, Brookland’s New French Restaurant: Chic And Satisfying

About a year ago, the neighborhood first began to hear rumors of a French wine bar coming to the space once occupied by the (much-missed) El Salvadoran chicken joint, Sylvestre Café. It felt like a longer than normal wait for rumor to become reality, but Primrose, the latest addition to the 12th Street restaurant scene, is finally open. The brainchild of Sebastian Zutant and his wife, Lauren Winter (the couple behind The Red Hen), Primrose is a marvel: a dining experience that’s classy (but not too classy), elegant (but not too elegant) and definitely, as you can see from the photos below, unabashedly French chic. (You need Flash to see these photos. If you can’t see them, click here.)

The experience starts with the restaurant itself, whose name is announced on cool mosaic tile by the front door. Your eyes are drawn, immediately, to the feathered chandeliers suspended over a row of generous high-top tables, then over to the gleaming bar space. Smaller tables for two and four line the perimeter of the space. The massive floor-to-ceiling glass doors were closed the evening our party went; one can only imagine what the springtime dining and drinking experience will be like when they’re open to the patio space just waiting for bistro tables and chairs.

Primrose offers 75 wines by the bottle and 15 wines by the glass, all vintages from small wine producers in France and the United States. The drink menu also features several innovative cocktails, as well as a classic French 75 that’s light and spritzy and, at always $9, something of Primrose’s go-to tipple. One standout we enjoyed wasn’t wine but a delicious cider from Normandy: not too tart, not too sweet, and served in its own corked 375ml bottle.

The modest food menu, which one imagines (and hopes) will shift with the seasons, covers all the French classics. Our party started the meal with a sample of Primrose’s three charcuterie offerings. Of these, a rillettes of whipped rabbit and a duck-liver mousse capped with sour cherries could just as well have been eaten with a spoon as with the complementary baguette slices (alas, more chewy than crispy).

A must-try: the delectable coq au vin, braised in a red wine sauce, and bouef bourguignon, enriched with pebbles of bacon and mushroom. Both dishes are stomach-filling treasures, and the only disappointment was that they came out of the kitchen somewhat lukewarm (one of Primrose’s few, but forgivable, kinks). Both plates can be sized to serve two people, and for an extra price can come accompanied with whipped potatoes, a simple green salad, and frites that are thicker than you’d expect and deliciously crispy.

Of course, you can’t call yourself a French-style bistro without an offering of steak frites. Primrose’s rendition of the dish was exceptional: a generous piece of sirloin (we recommend medium rare to medium) accompanied with a classic béarnaise sauce and a welcome helping of the aforementioned frites

One suspects news of Primrose will quickly get around to other quadrants of the city, but don’t let the anticipated visitors detract you from stopping by for an early evening glass of wine and a helping of whipped rabbit mousse or a bundle of frites. You’ll leave Primrose the same way our party did: satiated and satisfied.

Primrose is located at 3000 12th Street NE. Current hours: 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Website: primrosedc.com

Primrose, Brookland’s New French Wine Bar Is Now Open

We thought neighbors would be happy to know that long awaited French restaurant Primrose is now open for business -and it’s pretty great! The menu is concise, offering up French classics such as Coq au vin and Steak frites and of course, a great selection of wines. We stopped by on their opening night and really enjoyed our dinner. For now, Primrose will be open in the evenings, and closed on Tuesdays, and will do a weekend brunch when they get up and running. We will be doing a full write up after we have been a few times, and tried a number of dishes, so look out for that. Primrose is located at 3000 12th Street NE (northwest corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets).

Primrose, Brookland’s New French Wine Bar, Could Open As Early As Next Week

We have been keeping an eye on the progress at Primrose, a French wine bar coming to Brookland. We took these photos recently and were delighted to hear that they are likely opening very soon.  From the Washington Post’s food critic Tom Sietsema’s weekly chat session:

…Restaurant veteran Sebastian Zutant and his wife, architect Lauren Winter, are adding something special to the dining scene with a 50-seat, wine-themed bistro called Primrose, expected to open the week before Thanksgiving (knock on wood) at 3000 12th St. NE.

Zutant, a partner in the popular All-Purpose Pizzeria in Shaw and Red Hen in Bloomingdale, plans to highlight natural wines from France, part of the new restaurant’s Gallic focus. “The French do everything better than anyone else: pinot blanc, cheese, fashion,” says Zutant. Primrose will focus on classic French comfort food — steak frites, coq au vin — prepared by chef Eric Schlemmer, previously with Sovereign in Georgetown…

Brookland’s New French Wine Bar, Primrose, To Open In Late Summer

Primrose – coming late summer 2017

In November we wrote about Primrose, a French wine bar coming to Brookland. We recently learned more details from this Citi Paper story. From the article:

The wine bar with an anticipated opening date of late summer will have a feminine, French feel. [co-owners] Zutant and Winter went on a research trip to Paris, where Winter says she fell in love with the easy-going bistros. She’ll carry out the design of the wine bar.

“We want to be just a French neighborhood wine bar slash bistro,” Winter says. “We don’t want it to look like it was plucked out of France and put here, want to have our own touches, but there are a few nods to France.”

Primrose will seat 94, including an outdoor patio and will be located at 3000 12th Street NE (northwest corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets).

French Restaurant And Wine Bar, Primrose, Planned At Former Silvestre’s Location

3000 12th Street NE (future site of Primrose)
3000 12th Street NE (future site of Primrose)

From 2010 – 2014 Silvestre’s restaurant was located at 3000 12th Street NE (northwest corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets). Since it closed the building has undergone renovations and we recently learned that the plan for the space includes a French restaurant called Primrose. From the liquor license application:

A neighborhood bar serving French cuisine with a strong wine focus. Seating capacity of 66 inside. Total Occupancy Load of 97. Summer Garden with 26 seats.

Sitting on a patio eating French food and sipping wine, uhhh, YES PLEASE! We stopped by recently and the brick wall that divided the former restaurant has been removed creating an open dining room space, the window spaces that were boarded up or had metal bars on them are now large floor to ceiling windows and a tasteful storefront marquee now wraps around the building. Currently there is scaffolding surrounding the exterior, so we are assuming they are sprucing up the brick facade. We will let you know when we learn anything new.