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“First class food, ambience and service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Primrose

The Primrose
300 Mountain Ave, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
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Ranked #48 of 127 Restaurants in Banff
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Description: The Primrose Dining Room is a casual yet elegant Italian Dining Room; the magnificent Rocky Mountains are easily viewed from every table. Our service team is very friendly and knowledgeable and will attend to your every need. The Primrose offers a wide range of flavorful Italian dishes. Our children's menu will suit the younger family members. Our menu has a wide array of fresh Italian fare. Enjoy a delicious a la carte breakfast or our extensive buffet to start your day off.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“First class food, ambience and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We have eaten at the Primose many times and without a doubt, this is the best place to eat in Banff (although we have not eaten at Eden, also in the Rimrock). It seems that every time we eat here, the experience impresses us even more. This one was amazing.

The view of the mountains is worth it. Plus the elegant service and the cozy atmosphere is first class and then there's the food. We chose a 3-course set meal which included The Prairies Porcini Portobello Mushroom Tart with spring salad, the Cowboy Pan and Berry Flan while I had the Lobster Pappardelle which won at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival in 2012. The pappardelle was full of flavour and rich with lobster, salmon and snow crab held together with a creamy mascarpone reduction. Seafood in the rockies? Oh yes its true.

The hit though was the Cowboy Pan served in an authentic looking cooking pan. In the centre was a mound of mashed potatoes with the best root vegetables we have had and flanked on either side are lamb popsicles and sliced tender beef. The lamb melted in your mouth but the beef was the true "amazing dish". I love beef but this stood out. WOW!

The dessert sounded humble but was far from that. Elegantly served around a lemon tart were berries, vanilla bean ice cream, creme fraiche, caramel and a chocolate covered strawberry. Amazing presentation and so good it tempted "plate licking" but we strained ourselves.

Primrose also has a very excellent wine list, and my Italian Pinot Grigio Chardonnay went well with the lobster pappardelle. What I like is that they have a good selection of wine by the glass all within $8-12. Some people may think that the food is pricey at the Rimrock but its not. It costs about the same like the other good steak houses and these portions are a good size too. But when you add in the atmosphere, presentation and variety of food, the Primrose has it all.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sherwood Park, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Would not eat here unless staying at Rimrock and no other choice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Primrose does the in-room dining for the Rimrock. When I called for room service, I was told there was only one person working and to call back in 10 minutes!! I was hoping that in 10 minutes they would be 35% done getting my meal ready!!! And how about YOU call ME back to take my order?
I grumpily went to Primrose myself then to give them my order in person and told them to call me when its ready and I'l come to pick up. Instead, the delivered it to my room so I was forced to pay the 18% non-optional gratuity + $3 extra room fee. You'd think they would remove that charge given that I had to walk in the order myself!
I travel quite a bit and invariably at higher end hotels, the in-room dining cart has some cups of ices water covered with plastic or a lid to accompany a meal along with perhaps a basket of bread (for a dinner order) and condiments for the dinner meal. The cart I received for my room solely had my plate of food and the plate for my son. Nothing else!
I ordered a kids menu pizza for my son, and a salad and turkey lasagna for myself. Lets start with the positives. The kids menu pizza was nice and a decent price. Now for the negatives. The salad and turkey lasagna were less than mediocre. The salad had no freshness to it. The tomatoes and cheese tasted decidedly stale. The salad was nothing special, what a shame because the description really had me so excited. The turkey lasagna lacked flavour and there was an odd, large layer of just mushed up non-seasoned turkey in the middle. I did not finish it because my taste buds could not stand to keep going even though my stomach was wanting more of something (something good). Luckily my son didn't eat much of his pizza so I finished that.
I concluded that the approach of this restaurant must be to just cater to ever-revolving hotel guests and try not to be terrible but not put in the effort to be anything special. So I would not recommend coming here to eat unless you are stuck at the hotel. Banff has some fine dining options, and they are not found inside the large hotels.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Just charming”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Must try the Emince of Elk in Smoked Paprika Jus “Stroganoff Style”, which comes in the 3 course meal. It is simply spectacular!! Decorated for the holidays it was just perfect for a romantic dinner .

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Exceptional Food and Service!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

The food at Primrose is absolutely amazing! We completely indulged and had lobster salad, a lamb soup, spinach and bocconcini salad, foie gras, lemon sorbet, trout, ribs, steak, prawns, cheese platter, and creme brule. Between the four of us we covered off all food groups and EVERYTHING was superb!

In additional to the exceptional food, was excellent service. Not only was our server incredibly nice and charming, he was also quick and attentive. Even as the restaurant got busier and busier, our service remained fantastic.

I would highly recommend this restaurant to others!!!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“One complaint...sadly it was the main course.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Made reservations for my Birthday treat at the Primrose. Our appetizers of Moroccan lamb chops and Greek Wellington were really tasty and did not disappoint but sadly the mains did.
We both had steaks - one was so over peppered making it hard to eat, the other, "surf's up" was so dry, not just the steak but the seafood also. ( I'm thinking it stayed under a heat lamp for too long?). Shame, as the restaurant has a wonderful atmosphere and our server was great.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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