A couple weekends ago my dear friend Jon had a joint-celebratory birthday dinner at Al Primo Canto, a Brazilian steakhouse. In his invite, he specifically requested that I come not only to join in the festivities, but state my thoughts on the experience on Foodie Finch. So here they are. Happy birthday Daddio! (Note: Jon is my pledge Dad from college, hence the “Daddio.” It’s a U of I Greek thing).
Jon and his birthday buddy were able to snag the private dining room on the top floor of the restaurant, and of course we had to opt for the all-you-can-eat menu. With two tables filled with 40 rowdy twenty-somethings, the service wasn’t bad, however it did take a good 30-45 minutes for my friend Jamie and I to get our one and only drink of the night. Many individuals took it upon themselves to go down to the bar to get their own drinks. I think our poor waiters were short staffed as it appeared there were only about three of them for our large group. But like I said, timing aside, the service was pretty good, and they very kindly dealt with our party group.
They first brought a kind of hummus-garlic dip for the bread, which honestly turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the meal. It turns out this restaurant was overly fond of garlic, as seen in the succeeding pasta dishes. Whether it was the marinara pasta, or the creamy mushroom pasta, Al Primo Canto definitely overloaded on the garlic. Now, as a garlic fan, this didn’t bother me too much but it did to other less forgiving palates. Next came the meats, which were definitely, and thankful, the highlight. The lamb was a perfect pink in the middle, and their pork was decent as well. After all this, I was pretty full, and I’ve even failed to mention their sides of polenta, salad, and green beans. Though I was full, several ambitious members of the group I believe ordered three more plates of meat. And believe me, these plates were not skimpy. How those people managed to go out and drink after is beyond me, but the feat was quite impressive.
Of course, Jon was given his birthday flan, which tasted okay, but I’ve had a lot better. After a bite of that, I was ready to party for his birthday. Overall, the restaurant served its purpose of feeding over 40 people, while tasting pretty decent, and for an extremely reasonable price. If you’re looking for all three of the above, Al Primo Canto isn’t a bad choice. I probably won’t go back, but I had a great time eating (duh) and celebrating for my good friend’s birthday 🙂