Friday, February 7, 2014


 Even though it's FREEZING out there today and the Groundhog saw his shadow, there are little signs that spring is on it's way.  The first few sightings of the grey whales are definite indicators, as are the little buds arriving on the cherry blossom trees.  And with that come a lot of great things to tell you about in Langley.
First off, a few changes on our menu.  Last week we added a grilled octopus dish that we arecontinually selling out of, so come early if you're looking for that.  Back on the menu is our crispy pork belly with a dried fruit mostarda.  And a pickled black cod dish with house made white wine vinegar, oregon wasabi cream and sunchoke chips created by sous chef Red.  We've also brought back the farmer's plate which we now serve with house cured coppa and bresaola, morbier cheese, landjaeger, normandy butter and grapes. 

Next weekend is a big one in Langley...Valentines and President's Day Weekend.  We have just a few spots left for our cozy and romantic Valentines evening...please call ASAP so you can ensure your spot.  Trio Nouveau will be playing love songs and we'll be serving up some extra special specials!

a sleuth stopping in for a clue last year

 Langley's 30th annual Mystery Weekend is coming right up on February 22nd and 23rd.  This year's mystery has something to do with a bird sanctuary and an evil land developer...or something crazy like that.  This is an "interactive and improvisational" 2 day murder mystery and it is always a ton of fun. This is a great weekend getaway for groups of friends, families with kids of all ages, couples and solo mystery solvers.  We see all types of people walking through our doors to collect their clues.  We get the serious sleuths and groups just looking for a good time.  Make your plans now!  More details at

 Welcome the Whales!  Langley is truly becoming a whale watching epicenter.  The Puget Sound area is on the path of the grey whale migration from the Baja peninsula to the Bering Sea.  It is not an exaggeration to say that often the whales are too close into the shore for us to see them from our windows at Prima, as the buildings across the street block our view.  They come right up to our seawall to feed on the ghost shrimp (read about it at
 I'm very excited to announce that the Orca Network is bringing a Whale Center to our little town, opening March 1.  Additionally, the Mystic Sea whale watching vessel will be back in town from March 8-May 18 for whale watching trips leaving right out of our marina.  Visit their website to
And our world famous "Welcome the Whales" parade is April 19th! 
Make sure you visit Langley in the next few months to see the whales...if you hear the whale bell ringing, head straight to the waterfront for front row seats (or if you see a whale, run up to the park next to the Doghouse and ring the bell to alert the town).
right from the Langley credit Jill Hein, Mystic Sea Charters

watercolor image from
Our little town is undergoing an amazing transformation right now.  2nd Street has a major facelift occurring but the main thing you need to know is that all businesses are open and accessible.  There is plenty of parking, you just need to know where to go...the Star Store lot is always going to be accessible, going through the alley is a good trick to get you in.  Also there is plenty of parking along 1st as well as on Anthes.  Please visit the design Langley website for more details at

To hear up to the minute updates from us please like us on facebook:
or follow us on twitter:!/primabistro

Don't forget: Mondays are restaurant industry day (20% off bill), every day is teacher discount day (10% off), and Thursdays are live music night!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


We realize that no one would be entering Prima during the Superbowl as we have only the one tiny tv in the bar, so we will be closing at 3:00 on Sunday.  Please visit Mo's, the Pizzeria, or China City where all the other 12's will be.  Maybe we'll see you out and about!  GO HAWKS!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


We will be closing Monday, January 13th at 3:00 for our staff holiday party.  We will reopen for dinner on Tuesday the 14th at 5:00.  Hoping for a few special outfits like the one's below from a past staff retreat...

Thanks for understanding! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What's in a name?

Yesterday, a woman came up our stairs to more or less tell us that our name is wrong, and that a proper Italian restaurant would call it's self Primo Bistro and that Prima Bistro doesn't roll off the tongue.  And on and on.  She was actually quite worked up, maybe even a little bit frenzied.  So, well, first, we aren't an Italian restaurant.  Second, umm, Merry Christmas to you too?  Thanks to Latda and her amazing smile and laugh it just kind of went away without much more than a blink of an eye and in typical Latda style she got the standard, "wow, you handled that horrible person so well" from a nearby customer.

While weird and annoying, this interaction did however make me think about our name and thought others might be interested in why we chose this name.  We are housed in the historic Primavera building in Langley.  "Prima" first is a nod to the roots of this building and the Primavera family.  Second, Sieb is Dutch, and in Dutch the word means excellent/great/very well/first rate.  And in all languages that I can think of, Prima or a derivitive of it, has a positive meaning.  The beginnings of this restaurant were a wild time and we had to pull a business plan out of the blue in mere days so that we could secure funding.  Coming up with a name was one of the most bumpy spots during that time.  Some of our first ideas were First Street Bistro, Bistro 201, Brisa, and Brisa Marina.  Our daughter was 2 at the time and the thought of naming the restaurant "Netty's" did cross our minds, but that wasn't the type of restaurant we were going for...I see that as a cute little breakfast spot, something like Sweet Laurette's in Port Townsend.   Our company name is Lekker, the Dutch word for yummy, and if we could've, that would've been the restaurant name because to hear the Dutch say that word is a wonderful thing.  However, it sounds like leper to Americans, and that just isn't really very appetizing.

Prima came to me and at the time it just seemed perfect.  I vividly remember us saying, "yup, that's it" and hitting print on the business plan.  I really liked the idea of shortening the Primavera name but interestingly, no one gets it.  I didn't consider at the time that it really does sound like an Italian restaurant by name alone, and we still do get the, "why don't you have more pasta on your menu...this is an Italian restaurant right?" question.  In the beginning, customers and even a number of our employees insisted on calling it Primo (so yeah lady, I guess it does roll of the tongue easier), but it seems that trend has faded.  Most locals called the previous restaurant, The Star Bistro, simply The Bistro, and that has pretty much stuck with many of our regulars.  I like that.  However I cringe when it's called The Prima...that sounds very pretentious to me and it doesn't really make any sense.

So anyhow, there you go.  That's how we came to be named Prima Bistro.  Honestly, I do think that I'd like a different name better and I think about it often, but 8 years later, I have yet to come up with what that would be.  And in case that lady from yesterday is reading this, I say to you, simmer down.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter newsletter

 Unbelievable that Thanksgiving is next week!  Where has this year gone?  So much to be thankful for and so much to tell you about...

We were recently mentioned in a Seattle Weekly story.  This mushroom season has been the best we've ever seen...Sieb picks upwards of 30 pounds on a regular's pretty amazing out there.  Our brother in law, Shane Ryan, chef at the amazing Matt's in the Market brought food writer Nicole Sprinkle to the island to go foraging, they ate at Prima and she wrote a great story:

 Thanks to all of you who voted in the King 5 Best of Western Washington competition.  We came in 3rd in the category of best outdoor dining and are thrilled with the results...thank you!!!  Whidbey Island represented very well...Whidbey Island Winery, Sweet Mona's, Stadler Studios, Whidbey Life Magazine and others placed in the top 5 of their categories and awesome Pickles Deli got best sandwich shop...awesome job everyone!!!

Jessica VanWetter, scholarship recipient
beautiful Natanya
Little Taste of Heaven.  Just over 2 years ago our friend and pastry chef Natanya Johnson passed away from complications of Type 1 diabetes.  We created a scholarship in her name, the Red Spatula Award, to send a South Whidbey girl to culinary school.  We recently awarded the first recipient, Jessica VanWetter with this honor and are so excited to help her further her culinary studies.  On December 6th, we will have the 2nd annual Little Taste of Heaven fundraiser for this scholarship fund.  Many local restaurants will be participating, each in their own way.  Here at Prima all of our dessert sales will go directly to the scholarship fund.  Our awesome new pastry chef, Heather Immoor will be baking up some amazing creations and Jessica will also be on deck with a version of Natanya's amazing meyer lemon tart. 

Donations to the scholarship fund are tax deductible.  If you are interested in contributing, checks can be made out to the South Whidbey School's Foundation and mailed to Prima Bistro PO Box 976, Langley, Wa 98260.  We are so proud that we are able to keep Natanya's dream alive in this way.

Holiday hours:
Closed Thanksgiving
Open Xmas eve Lunch
Closed Xmas eve dinner
Closed Xmas
Open and partying New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Make your New Year's Eve reservations soon...we are filling up fast.  We've got the Tuzzie Muzzie hats on order and Danny Ward will be ringing in 2014 with us.

There's so much to do in Langley over the holidays...go to to see all we've go in store for you!  And be sure to explore the amazing opportunities offered at the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio...amazing workshops and classes offered, operated by Cary Jurriaans, Sieb's mom!

Here's what's happening at Museo:
MUSEO¹s Holiday Gift Show continues with the gallery offering small,
favorably priced works, prints by Melissa Koch, and a group exhibition of
gallery artists.
New works will be added throughout the month.
There will be an artists' reception Saturday, December 7, from 5 to 7 pm.

To hear up to the minute updates from us please like us on facebook:
or follow us on twitter:!/primabistro

Don't forget: Mondays are restaurant industry day (20% off bill), every day is teacher discount day (10% off), and Thursdays are live music night!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and as always thank you for your patronage.  Hope to see you real soon!

Jenn and Sieb