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“A little bit of Russia in NYC”
Review of Primorski - CLOSED

Primorski
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed September 17, 2012

Primorski' is a Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach NY known as "Little Odessa" The food is heavy East European, Russian. The Lamb and rice soup is very good and the luncheon special is very inexpensive at $6.00. The restaurant has had problems with the Health Dept. and was closed for a while last year. The food is good but not great and the service is also very spotty. If you are looking for authentic Russian food there are other places in Brighton Beach that are much better

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1  Thank Jgoldchain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (19)
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8 - 12 of 19 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2012

As a native of Brighton Beach (and a Russian,) I love Primorski! It's a fun place to have a good dinner, dance a little, and get some well-deserved vodka in your system. It's a little disheartening to see some of the negative reviews based on service, because honestly, these are mostly cultural differences that dragged the rating down.

Anyway, let's start with the food. If you eat here, you must, MUST order the beef pelmeni [dumplings]. (As a kid, my mother would make me pelmeni. One time she asked me "who makes the best dumplings?" and she was very upset when I answered "Primorski" instead of "Mama." That's how good it is. Russian mothers have nothing on the cooks here.) Primorski also offers some great Georgian entrees. The Georgian beef is good to have on cold nights. It magically keeps you warm. You might also like the blini [Russian crepes]. Sometimes they come out a little crispy, but the filling is always good and never skimpy. Another MUST is the Georgian fried cheese. You know how they each cigarette takes about seven minutes off your life? Well, each forkful of the fried cheese probably has a similar effect, but it is so much more satisfying than filling your lungs with tar! I don't like borscht, but my parents rave about it here. If that's your thing, it's definitely worth a shot. For dessert, the bomba [ice cream in a chocolate shell] is a nice ending. The New York cheesecake is by far the best dessert on the menu, but if you've eaten the fried cheese, you might get very sick. If you're coming in from out of town though, you should splurge. Wash it down with some vodka and get as sick as you like! We won't judge you.

How about that atmosphere? Primorski is well-maintained (though a little dated) and fun. Late at night, they'll have singers come up and sing our beloved post-Soviet pop songs while the diners (mostly the women) get up and dance. The clientele in Primorski, however, hasn't changed since the '80s. Literally. I actually recognize some of the families who come here. They just keep getting older. The old babushkas who dominated the dance floor when I was little are now really, REALLY old. They're fun to dance with if they've had enough to drink. Just don't bring up politics. Some of them have lived through two revolutions and a cold war. Guys, make sure you know the lyrics to "Snova Stoyu Odna" by Elena Vaenga. That will make you very popular with the ladies.

Alright, you really have to know what you're getting yourself into with the service here. The staff is all Russian, and we're not warm people. It's just a cultural thing. Some of the waiters don't speak English well, and if your Russian isn't up to snuff, you could run into a problem. Although the boys who work there make up for not speaking English by being very handsome, hahaha. Just ask up front if your waiter speaks English. If you want a nice response, ask him in Russian. ["Vy govorite pa-angliiski?"] I guarantee you'll get a quick answer. I've seen waiters been asked this question, respond with a "nyet," and pass their party onto another server. Also, make sure you tip your waiter well. Russians don't like it when we think we're being ripped-off, and we WILL tell you about it, and we WILL come off as rude, even when that isn't our intention.

That brings us to the price issue. Primorski is somewhat expensive. Much more than it used to be. They charge Manhattan dinner prices. We'll leave it at that. It's still well worth it. Like I said, it's best to splurge a little.

This place provides great experiences and fun memories. Come with a large group of people, get some alcohol, and have a good time. Whether you're satisfied at the end of the night or not, you'll always remember it.

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2  Thank Elena B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2012

I was hoping for an enjoyable dining experience at the Primorski Restaurant in Brighton Beach, New York, but alas, it was not to be. There was a limited selection on the early dining (late lunch) menu and though it was inexpensive, it just was not tasty. I had two Russian ladies with me also and they both thought it was just so-so. I ordered the beef stroganoff and one of the ladies had chicken stroganoff. The service was ok and they acted the same as they do in Russia - not friendly, just kind of matter of fact. Also, they charge for each small side you order.

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Thank Rojayva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2011

Primorski has a very interesting menu as it serves both Russian and Georgian food. Parking in the area is a problem. Place is a bit crowded and the decor is, well, shall we say very different. I found the service to be average. I would go here again for the food. They had live entertainment when I was there (a Saturday night).

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1  Thank jmolsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

When we arrived with reservations for 18 at 6pm the table was set & waiting for us. The server immediately went into a high pressure pitch about ordering the buffet. We declined. Then it was the $45pp which we also declined. They were ignorant & rude when we wouldn't order either of those choices. We wanted the Russian/American menu which they finally gave us. We were served 1 or 2 at a time. Our last meal didn't arrive until 8 pm. They were told that we had to catch our motorcoach but they still wouldn't speed it up. Our tour guide got his supper within a few minutes of sitting down but everything else came out of the kitchen one plate at a time with 15 or more minutes between them. This was the rudest service ever. We had wonderful meals everywhere else in New York City and we should have known that when we arrived at 6pm & the place was empty that there was a problem. They also charge a "service fee" on top of the tip. Probably because no one ever leaves a tip.

Thank JoanneThamesville_on
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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