Al Primo Canto--Primo | Bleader

Al Primo Canto--Primo

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Two weeks ago, on the night of The Storm, I was in an SUV hurtling out to Edgebrook, water cresting up past the roof of the vehicle. But once we got to Al Primo Canto--a new galeteria, or chicken grill, purveying an untacky version of the all-you-can-eat feasts familiar from downtown chains like Brazzaz, all was cozy and dry.

For a fixed price of $29.95 diners get a multicourse meal that reflects Brazil's ethnic and culinary diversity: baba ghanoush served with pita, three varieties of pasta, unlimited servings of chicken, beef, and lamb cooked on a grill imported from Brazil, and a number of sides, among them a green salad and fresh vegetables. I was pretty impressed by the quality of all (and thankful that they didn't pile on the portions), but oddly, in a place so meat-centric, what I flipped for were the starches. The cheese puffs served with the baba were absolutely scrumptious--I know who I'll approach for catering if I ever have a cocktail party. I loved the incredibly light polenta sticks topped with matchsticks of Parmigiano Reggiano. And the batata crocante, crunchy twice-cooked potatoes with Gorgonzola, were a knockout. I'd go back for those alone--and now I can, literally.

Starting tomorrow, the owners are offering an a la carte menu, giving diners the option of snacking on some galeto al primo canto (marinated, grilled young chicken) or satisfying their newfound batata addiction without shelling out for the whole shebang. The new menu also introduces fish into the mix: appetizers include sauteed shrimp with "tropical spices," and there's a fish of the day for $18.95, which tops out the entrees pricewise (the galeto is $13.95). Sunday brunch is slated to start September 16.

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