Prima is a restaurant with two personalities. By day (8am-5pm) it is a charming coffee and pastry spot. By night (5pm-11pm, with a late night menu after 11pm) it is a seafood restaurant. I made it to the coffee and pastry portion of our program. I can't wait to try the seafood and drinks in act two.
Prima is a relatively small rectangle of a room. The seating consists of two long communal tables, steel with white marble tops, running the length of the room, with high bar seats along each side. The tables end at the bar/coffee bar. Chalk board menus and wine cabinets decorate the exposed brick walls. The entire front wall of the restaurant is made of glass and in the morning sunlight floods the space, making the handsome, comfortable space even more welcoming.
The offerings are simple and excellent. The coffee and espresso are 9th Street Espresso, top shelf. The pastries are from Payard, top notch. The charming, helpful staff and free Wifi make it easy to linger. There were two people working on their laptops when I got there, and they were still there when I left. Bring your laptop, your Kindle or the Times and have yourself a lovely, civilized morning.
Even better, bring that special someone and start your day (or continue last night) in the warm glow of the morning sun. Nothing like taking your time with your cappuccino, and your friend.
Prima - 58 East 1st Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)