Living It Up At The Primadonna

Achievement: #23. Have dinner at the Primadonna

The Primadonna is a formerly-well-known Italian restaurant in McKees Rocks that I know about for a funny reason. Back when we were little (maybe 10 or 11?), my friend Jessica’s parents took us to the Neville Chemical Plant open house.

I know that sounds weird and creepy, but apparently, this was the thing to do with your kids back in the day. Times were hard in the early 1990s, and if Neville Chemical Plant was giving tours, we were going to be there to see it! They gave us some free Neville Chemical Plant swag (environmentally-safe water bottle and some stickers and things), and we got to tour all these terrifying smoking vats of… stuff. I know it sounds horrifying, but I think we enjoyed it enough. And we learned about newspaper! We learned something about why some newspapers come off on your fingers, and some don’t. It has something to do with resin.

See, what an educational and informational trip, if I remember it almost twenty years later!

What I really remember though, is that Jess’s parents took us to the Primadonna for dinner afterward. And we had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, but the food was the best food I’d ever had in my life. And it was the first time I’d ever eaten a cucumber!

So, fast forward to 2010, and of course, my husband has barely ever heard of McKees Rocks, let alone this restaurant that I visited in 1993. But if I put it on the list, then we have to do it, so Achievement #23 was born. We were going to return to this place and see if it was any good after all these years.

I should add that the hipsters-that-be over at have been flaming this place a bit, saying it’s crap and has gone downhill since new ownership took over a decade ago. I want to go on record and validate the deliciousness of this place, as well as the excellent service. Everyone, it’s worth the trip through the projects of the McKees Rocks Bottoms to get here. I promise you.

Unfortunately, they were out of calamari, so we got their most-famous fried zucchini. And let me just say, there’s a reason this is famous. It’s lightly breaded and crispy, and the portion is quite sizeable. We loved it!

We also got some wine with our meal, and here we are toasting… something imaginary šŸ™‚

Each meal comes with a soup or salad, and their salad has a house vinaigrette that is just to die for. And I found out this evening that it’s available in bottles to-go, so I will be back for that. But mostly, I just wanted to relive my original cucumber experience of 1993. So here it is. Me and my cucumber slice. Just like the old days. That’s a 1 for ‘first cucumber slice,’ not ‘cucumbers are #1.’ Even though they are.

Michael got the flounder romano, which is like chicken romano, but with fish. Again, the breading was quite light and crispy and delicious (I may have sampled a little bite…), and it came with a small side of pasta that was not too heavy.

That huge piece of meat is my chicken parmesan, which was totally the best ever. Half of it came home with me for lunch the following day, and the other half went happily into my tummy. Super generous with the cheese, which I appreciated!

And since I wanted to be complete with my review, we got this dessert, which is called ‘chocolate cheesecake,’ but is really so light that it’s more like a chocolate mousse. A chocolate mousse sent down from heaven, hand delivered by angels, with whipped cream made of cumulus clouds.

I think it goes without saying that we will not wait another seventeen years before we go back to the Primadonna! And you should go too. There were only two other couples there tonight while we were there, and I would hate to see an awesome place like this go under because not enough people are visiting. They are in the Entertainment Book, so check them out!

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