Primavera Ristorante

932 Orange Avenue, Coronado CA 92118
$$ Italian Editor's Pick Special Offer

With its intimate, reserved, and romantic ambiance and soft floral palette décor, Primavera strives to provide each guest with a sense of being on vacation while dining. Situated between shops and cafes on Coronado’s Orange Avenue, Primavera brings a little bit of Italian culinary heaven to us right here in San Diego. The restaurant’s menu is loaded with color and flavor from appetizers to desserts. They also have nightly seafood specials along with an extensive menu of entrées and a great selection of pastas, salads, chicken, and meat. Primavera’s extensive wine list contains an assortment of choices suited to pair well with any dish a guest orders. In addition, their Tuscany room seats up to 14 and offers some of the most private dining in all of San Diego.

Adventures in Coronado:Spending the Night in Italy

Review by

Who would have known that you could visit one of the world’s culinary epicenters simply by hopping onto the 5 Freeway to the 75 West, into Coronado Island?  Located along one of Coronado’s main drives, Orange Avenue, Primavera Ristorante is nestled in between local cafes and shops.  The restaurant is easy to spot with its turquoise awning and white address in calligraphic form across the front, a helpful hint for someone driving there for the first time like myself.  Parking proved relatively simple as I snagged a metered spot on the street just around the corner from the restaurant.

As I entered Primavera it was as if I had stepped into another world.  The outside street noise dissolved into soft instrumental music and the setting sun turned to dim lighting and candle light as the restaurant’s host, Joey, greeted me and promptly escorted me to my table.  Shortly after settling into a booth tucked in a quiet corner of the dining room, I met Jaime, our server for the evening, who introduced himself and recommended wines and appetizers with which to begin our culinary tour through Italy.

Our culinary adventure began in an Italian mother’s kitchen with a basket of freshly baked bread.  The individual sized loaves smelled and tasted exquisite; especially when dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh ground black pepper. Once my party and I had a chance to relax and sink into the restaurant’s calm and elegant atmosphere, Jaime returned with a sampling of appetizers.

First, we tried the Calamari Luciana, a dish that is sautéed in garlic, butter, tomatoes, and herbs.  Served in an iron pot with handles and half a lemon to squeeze on top for added zing, the appetizer appeared hearty and homemade.  The acidity of the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs nicely balanced the smoothness of the calamari and butter.  In addition, so as not to shower our food with seeds, Chef De La Vega strategically placed a mesh “shower cap” of sorts on the lemon. The dish was simple in presentation, yet more complex in flavor, a theme that resonated throughout our meal that night.

Second, we dug into the Scampi Alla Griglia, an appetizer in which Scampi are wrapped in pancetta and dressed with a white wine paprika reduction sauce.  This dish showcases the balanced interplay between sweet, salty, and savory flavors..  The scampi were delicately wrapped and perfect for sharing.  The white wine paprika reduction added a beautiful sunset orange color and a smokey richness in flavor to the dish too.

Next, we enjoyed a dish named Bagna Caoda Primavera.  This antipasti dish is prepared with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, Montrachet and Granna Padana cheeses, in a special Bagna Caoda sauce and known as a Piemonte specialty.  The Bagna Caoda is one of Primavera’s vegetarian dishes that arrives in a layered presentation.   Grilled eggplant rounds are topped with peppers, then cheese and sundried tomatoes and surrounded by lemon slices with shavings of basil. Extra-virgin olive oil is then drizzled over the top for a fresh yet rustic finish.  This dish once again featured the restaurant’s signature style; simple presentation with complex flavor.

Lastly, we tasted authenticity as we bit into the crunchy crostini topped with chunks of ripe tomato and slivers of basil that had been drizzled with olive oil and garlic, topped with mozzarella cheese and a touch of pepper; also known as Bruschetta.  This traditional Italian fare featured an exquisite balance between creamy, crunchy and soft, sweet and tart, and bitter and flavorful.  This showcase of seasons screamed with spring’s freshness, winter’s coolness, summer’s sweetness, and fall’s heartiness.

Following these appetizers, our culinary adventure continued with the salad course.  All three salads presented were done so in a simplistic manner on patterned glass plates off of which the vibrant greens and other fresh colors bounced. The first of our insalate courses was the Finocchi E Tarocchi, a dish comprised of shaved fennel, orange segments, dried cranberries, and shaved Locatelli Romano cheese with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing garnished with anise/dill, which added a layer of depth in flavor and presentation.  The fennel’s bitterness juxtaposed against the sweetness of the oranges and cranberries proved entirely complementary.  The lemon vinaigrette also added a hint of tanginess that enhanced the piece’s already present citrus notes and a smoothness that completed the dish.

Next came the Insalata di Spinaci made with baby spinach leaves, grilled mushrooms, and crisp pancetta dressed with a light gorgonzola balsamic vinaigrette.  A classic pairing, spinach and bacon with a cheese, this plate brought new dimension to an old classic.  Instead of regular bacon, the Insalata di Spinaci uses pancetta; a dry, salt cured, and spiced Italian meat that is cooked until crisp around the edges.  Then, the chef adds grilled mushrooms for a meaty texture, along with gorgonzola crumbles and a topping of balsamic vinaigrette to bring a certain richness to the diner’s palate and the salad itself.

The Insalata Rustica was our final salad for the evening and consisted of fresh mixed spring greens, vine ripe tomatoes, pine nuts, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and goat cheese, served with a Dijon vinaigrette.  Sweet, salty, creamy, and colorful, this dish bursted with freshness.  The lightness of the Dijon vinaigrette also provided tart, smooth, and clean aspects that simultaneously enhanced the plate’s flavor and presentation. Each ingredient contributed another layer of flavor to the simplistic elegance of the dish.

Primavera offers seafood specialties nightly at market price and we chose to begin our parade of entrees with their fresh Sea Bass and some wine followed by the Scampi Primavera and Tortelloni Verdi con Panna E Funghi Porcini.  The Sea Bass arrived at our table in a beautifully hand-painted and hot ceramic dish.  Vibrant hues bounced off the plate bursting with a rustic freshness found on the Italian coast.  Cooked until moist with a ‘melts in your mouth’ texture, the bass sat surrounded by a heap of string beans and an assortment of grilled vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots.  The fish itself was topped with kalamata olives, tomatoes, capers, and a wedge of lemon.  Refreshing and clean, the sea bass offered a hearty summer meal that played to all senses.

Our Tortelloni Verdi con Panna E Funghi Porcini was one of the most creative and flavorful menu items we tasted that night.  Each time I took a bite, I discovered another layer of flavor from creamy to nutty to sweet and to even spicy.  This pasta dish, seemingly ordinary in its use of noodles, marinara, and cream sauce, was certainly anything but; it used tortelloni stuffed with spinach, ricotta cheese, and herbs served with a porcini mushroom and tomato cream sauce.   The porcini mushroom is this dish’s secret and is responsible for loads of spice and new flavors.  With each bite taken, a diner experiences notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cream.  True to form, this plate engaged the entire palate and produced yet another dish that was simple in presentation, but hugely complex in flavor.

The Scampi Primavera was our final entrée for the evening. It was made with large scampi sautéed with wild mushrooms in a champagne sauce, placed over a bed of delicate angel hair pasta with a lemon pepper seasoning. The heat of the dish allowed all of the flavors to mix together and create a delicious scent that lingered in the air nearby just before you took a bite. The lemon juice and champagne infused into the dish provided new spark and zest that tied the meal together.  Scampi Primavera had a certain grace and elegance paired with a tantalizing robustness captured by the fish.

During our meal, I had the pleasure of trying three different wines.  The first was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which augmented all of the ripe citrus in our meal, especially the lemon.  Second, was a Chardonnay that included notes of melon, pear, and mango with a smooth vanilla finish. The third and final wine I tried that night was a Ménage a Trois Rosé.  Pink in color and not too bold in flavor, this glass picked up subtle tones in all dishes when sipped after eating some of each dish.  The Rose’ especially brought out the flavor of the portabella mushrooms in the Scampi, the cinnamon and nutmeg in the tortelloni, and the sweetness of the tomatoes in the Sea Bass. In addition, the Rose’ developed flavors hidden in dishes and cleansed one’s palate.

Just when my guests and I thought the meal was over, Jaime returned to check on us, as he had throughout the night and told us he was going to treat us to some dessert -- and boy was he right!  The indulgence that ensued just by looking at the decadent goodies set on the table before us was astounding.  We were lucky enough to try three different desserts from the restaurant’s Dolci menu. The first dessert we were pampered by was Fresh Berries, a dish that included a simple scoop of vanilla bean gelato surrounded by fresh raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries all dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with a mint leaf.  This dessert was simple, clean, and absolutely delicious.  It, like the rest of the meal, was elegant and effortless.

Next, we indulged in the Chef’s specialty, Tiramisu. An authentic Italian dessert, Tiramisu is a layered treat infused with brandy, espresso, and cocoa held together by eggs and mascarpone cheese.  It was the ideal balance between the light and fluffy of the mascarpone cheese and cocoa, with the slight heaviness of the espresso and brandy-soaked lady fingers. This classic Italian cake is rich and is a taste of heaven that is one of the best ways to end a meal.

Finally, we sat in astonishment as we looked at the opulent slice of Chocolate Decadence presented to our table.  Truly a chocoholic’s dream, this dessert is stuffed with chocolate crème brulee  and ganache between layers of chocolate cake all rolled in chocolate nuts and then topped with chocolate whipped cream and a chocolate covered espresso bean. The cake was almost too beautiful just sitting before us to eat, but after staring for a minute we stopped hesitating and dug into this splendid display of chocolate heaven.

Once dessert had ended, my guests and I relaxed for a while longer, enjoying the last moments of our Italian vacation when Jaime took us upstairs to see Primavera’s Tuscany Room.  The room comfortably seats 14 and also serves as the restaurant’s wine cellar. It has a gorgeous marble table, an outdoor patio, and is among the most private dining rooms in San Diego.

Primavera’s simplistic elegance resonated throughout their décor, ambiance, and food.  The cuisine was simultaneously delicate, rich, and complex.   New flavors emerged with every bite taken and a genuinely wonderful evening was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Copyright ©


Business Info

  • Address: 932 Orange Avenue, Coronado CA 92118
  • Cross Street: 9th Street
  • Location: Coronado
  • Cuisine: Italian | Pasta |
  • Cost: | Inexpensive
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Casual Elegant
  • Meals Served: Dinner |
  • Parking: Street | Private Lot |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard |
  • Corkage Fee: 20.00 | Per 750ml bottle.
  • Phone: (619) 435-0454
  • Features: Full Bar, Late Dining, Organic Ingredients, Private Room, Takeout Available, Winning Wine List, Wheelchair Access, Happy Hours, Personal Wines Allowed, Lounge / Bar, Healthy Options,
  • Occasion: Romantic Dining, Dining Alone, Business Dining, Meet for a Drink, People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion,


Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Ristorante
Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Primavera Ristorante - Mixed seafood grill Primavera Ristorante - Antipasto Primavera Primavera Ristorante - Bar and Lounge Primavera Ristorante - Dining Room Floor Primavera Ristorante - Bar and Lounge Primavera Ristorante - Tuscany Room Primavera Ristorante - Tuscany Room Primavera Ristorante - Tuscany Room Primavera Ristorante - Tuscany Room Patio Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Ristorante Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Ristorante Primavera Ristorante - Primavera Ristorante

Business Hours

Reservations Available
Happy Hours - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Happy Hours - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Happy Hours - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Happy Hours - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Happy Hours - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions
We are located in downtown Coronado and only 15 minutes from the San Diego airport.
Yes, $20 per bottle
The Primavera Ristorante has been awarded "Best Italian Food" in San Diego by the world famous "ZagatSurvey" restaurant guide.
<QuerySet [{'id': 1409, 'name': 'Happy Hour', 'description': 'Monday-Friday: 5:00pm-7:00pm. $3.00 OFF ANY DRINK. This is a sample menu only. Prices and availability may be subject to change.', 'fixprice': False, 'menuprice': Decimal('0.00'), 'displayorder': 1}, {'id': 56, 'name': 'Dinner', 'description': 'Monday-Sunday: 5:00pm-10:00pm. This is a sample menu only. Prices and availability may be subject to change.', 'fixprice': False, 'menuprice': Decimal('0.00'), 'displayorder': 3}, {'id': 3566, 'name': 'Dessert', 'description': 'This is a sample menu only. Prices and availability may be subject to change.', 'fixprice': False, 'menuprice': Decimal('0.00'), 'displayorder': 3}]>


Customer Reviews & Ratings

4.5 out of 5 stars based on 1 votes