Monday, November 22, 2010



Dec 26…6-8…Trio Nouveau
Dec 30…5:30-8:30…Levi and James
Dec 31st…to ring in the New Year…Levi and James!
Jan 1st...Deja Blooze...9:00-11:00
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
OPEN and partying…

Thursday, October 28, 2010


For the entire month of November, bring in 3 cans of food for the Good Cheer Food Bank and receive a complimentary dessert with your dinner (limit one per table)!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CLOSED OCTOBER 18-20 for staff retreat

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we're gettting the you know what out of dodge.  Our crew worked so hard over the summer and they really deserve a break.  We're going to an undisclosed location for 2 nights of eating and playing.  We'll be open again as per usual on Thursday the 21st.  Thank you for understanding!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Our latest featured artist, Lawrence Stapleton hung his acrylic paintings in our back room yesterday.  I LOVE IT!  Please come visit, check it out and buy one of his originals or prints. 

Thank you so much to David Price, who will keep some of his pieces in the front of the restaurant, AND to all of you who purchased one of his amazing works. 

Local artists...I love getting in new local talents...please contact me if you are interested in an upcoming show!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September News

Wow, summer has come and gone in literally a blink of an eye. Thank you for helping us achieve such a successful was over the top! 

We are thrilled to again be in the running for King 5's Best of Western Washington - in the outdoor dining category this time!  We'd so appreciate it if you took the time to vote for us by clicking on the following link:

We continue with live music Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons...maybe we'll get a few more performances out on the deck!

Also, we regularly post our specials or up to the minute happenings either on facebook on the "I Love Prima Bistro" fan page or follow our tweets at

MARK YOUR CALENDERS!  DJANGOFEST 2010 is coming the last weekend of September...visit the WICA website for all the details.  This years festival marks the 100th anniversary of Django Reinhardts birth and WICA says they are pulling out all the stops! 

This Year's Langley OKTOBERFEST is being held at Olde World Ales and Lagers...the brewery in the back of the old firehouse on October 2nd. The Langley Chamber of Commerce and Olde World Ales & Lagers are coming together bringing polka music, treasure hunt, local delicious beer and much more!
My job this year is to come up with some sort of obstacle course for beer laden local restaurant workers to compete in...hopefully we can figure out a way to open the competition up to other festival goers as well!
We again will be taking our crew on a staff retreat so will be closing up shop October Monday, Oct 18th - Wed, the 20th.  We will be traveling to an undisclosed location to eat and drink and enjoy each others company - our crew really deserves a few days away after the incredible amount of work they do each summer.
Another great reason to come to Whidbey is now being offered by Sieb's mom, Cary Jurriaans at the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio...visit her website to see the upcoming opportunities that she is offering...truly world class art workshops and classes.

Monday, August 9, 2010


We continue with our Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon music:
August 12th... Yours Truly, European duo
August 15th (3-5)... Whidbey Strings Trio, new to our line up includes James Hinkley, Cat Fritz, and Elizabeth Lovelace!
August 19th... Danny Ward, jazz saxaphone
August 22nd...Trio Nouveau (pictured to the left)
August 26th....James and Levi, jazz swing duo

And just a few of the great things happening in Langley over the next few weeks, if you ever really needed an excuse to hop on that ferry, include:
Next Saturday, the 14th, the Highland Games will be happening in Langley at the middle school rather than the traditional location in Greenbank.
The Island County Fair runs august 19-22.
Museo this month features the 3 terrific artists, Danielle Bodine(sculptor), Kathryn Trigg (painter) and Deloss Webber (sculptor).
Looking forward into the fall a few things should already be on your calendar: Djangofest runs September 22-26 and Oktoberfest on October 2nd. 

Check out the Langley website for details and more activities at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


On January 13, 2006 we were more or less coerced into a meeting with Gene and Tamar Felton to look at the empty restaurant space that was the Star Bistro for 16 (or so?) years, but which had been vacant for nearly a year.  You see, Sieb was the executive chef at Saltoro and he was buying wine for the resto from the same guys that were selling to Gene at the Star Store and they kept telling us we needed to see the space and meet the Feltons.  We had a 2 year old, I had a great job teaching in the Seattle School District.  We weren't moving to Whidbey Island - NO WAY.   These guys, Todd Alkema and Sam Carvey just wouldn't drop it and at the annual Goat Roast after of course too many drinks Sam got us to agree and immediately texted Gene that he was going to bring us up.  Sieb and I looked at it as a day on Whidbey drinking great wine and finally getting Todd and Sam to shut up about it already.  But NO WAY were we even really considering opening a restaurant on Whidbey Island and uprooting our family from a life we really loved.  Which completely explains why 5 minutes after entering into the empty space, no electricity, Gene walking us around with a Coleman lantern, a years worth of dust buildup in a space needing a lot of updating we said to ourselves, "let's go for it!"

We emailed Gene within the next few days and said we were very interested, but there were a few things that needed to happen before we could commit, primarily writing an extensive business plan and securing funding.  This with our vast knowledge of writing business plans and securing funds.  Within a month we had our business plan done and were ready to look for investors, but our first choice was to get an SBA loan from Whidbey Island Bank and with a lot of help from Lauren Pool and Anne Bobinac we secured our loan.  In the meantime we had to finish some major renovations to our home in Seattle, sell it, and find a home on Whidbey Island.  Many friends came together to help us finish the remodel, we put our house on the market and it sold within the first week thanks to the best realtors in the world (my mom and dad), and thanks to Anne Muniz we found this great house right away.   Things kept falling into place very nicely.  But still I kept thinking, WHAT ARE WE DOING???  Luckily it was so crazy and the ball was rolling so quickly and there was no way of stopping to think about it.  Luckily.

SO, we took possession of the space on April 1st, 2006 and we knew that we just had to be open for that summer season to get the revenue stream rolling.  There was a lot to do.  Renovations, licenses and permits, hiring, menu development, new furniture and fixtures, painting, etc.  Thankfully we had incredible support from the Feltons, Gary Riedling handyman extraordinaire (all pictured there sitting at the bar later that first summer, along with great customers Lisa and John Butters), and we were able to pick the brain of Carol Hurless who had run the Star Bistro all those years (Gene's fabulous sister).  We roped Sieb's front of house manager and great friend, Cole Ratliff, from Saltoro into helping us open.  Sieb and Cole moved into the back storage area of the restaurant and spent all of April and May chipping away at the huge list of to do's.  Once our Seattle house closed Netty and I moved in with my parents so I could finish out the school year (teaching).  My sister Rachel and her then boyfriend, now husband, Lucas Clarke were leaving San Francisco and they commited to helping us as well.  Numerous restaurant friends signed on for serving shifts, primarily Kate Cowles, Steph Neesvig and Mike Wilson.  Without them we would have been more lost than we already were.  Which was pretty darn lost.

Fast forward to June 28th, 2006.  Our first day of business.  Our training had more or less consisted of having our new employees spend a week helping us put the restaurant together...assembling the tables and chairs, stocking the wine, setting up the bar and oh yeah... "that's the computer system and this is our menu and that's your first table."  Things were VERY bumpy that first summer to say the least, well that whole first year, actually pretty bumpy for the first 2 years.  But we built up a regular and awesome local clientelle...customers who supported us, believed in us and kept us going.  At the very tip top of that list is Bob French and Bernita Sanstad...the most supportive and positive people I've ever met.  They, along with many others, kept our heads above the water and kept us going with continual positive encouragement.  I started to list our regulars to express our deepest gratitude.  The list is never ending, but I became fearful I'd forget someone and decided that it wasn't a smart thing to do.

Somehow we also decided that summer that it was a great time for me to get pregnant again, so by summer number 2 we also had baby number 2.  Clara became a regular fixture at Prima for the first 6 months of her life.  She had a little crib in the office and our regulars got trained at knowing what the red lights on the baby monitor set up in the bar meant.  Dave Gignac would yell, "Jenn, it's a level 4!"  Dave also has drawn hundreds of his amazing sketches on the back of our comment cards and they are displayed proudly in our back room and on our menu, and the Prima White label that he designed for our special Whidbey Island Winery blend.  Dave also designed and built that cool sign on our back stairs.

So now for the thing that has really allowed us to continue on: our staff.  We are so thankful to them for their tireless and sometimes thankless work.

We feel so fortunate for the quality people who have decided to make Prima their restaurant family.  We have been extremely lucky in retaining many of our crew for long periods of time...which really helps in creating the consistency we strive for.

All in all, the past 4 years have been completely and utterly amazing.  There is nothing more I want in life than to continue raising our family in this beautiful place and serving up tasty meals to our fabulous customers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First event of Whidbey Island's slow food chapter

Slow Food Whidbey Island Chapter first event.
Date/time: Sunday, June 27th 2 - 4 p.m..
Location: Greenbank Farm, large barn adjacent to wine shop (The Greenbank Sunday Farmers' Market overlaps a bit; open 11 a.m. until 3 p.m
Admission: $25 per person includes food and wine. Minors are not invited.

1. The Slow Food movement began in Italy in the late 1980s to provide an alternative influence to the encroachment fast food in European eating habits and life style. The mission is to show people that updated pre-industrial food production methods and manufacture are viable, healthful, preferable alternatives to current food manufacturing and agribusiness practices. The top  item on the current agenda of Slow Food USA is nutritious food in school cafeterias across the country. Google: for more information.
In August of last year Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard  hosted an informational potluck and meeting for Whidbey residents interested in starting a local Slow Food chapter. A small group of mostly growers, chefs and friends met for several months to discuss a vision for Slow Food on Whidbey. The group became the steering committee which fulfilled Slow Food USA requirements to become a bon fide chapter. The June 27 event at the Greenbank Farm is the group’s first event. Officers are Rio Rayne, Membership; Sheryl Abrams, Programs; Aracely Knox, Treasurer; Vincent Nattress, Vice-chair; Barbara Graham, Chair.

2. The concept for the Whidbey Island event is to teach about what Slow Food means by way of tasting, smelling, seeing beautiful, local product cooked by local chefs. We'd like people to learn to appreciate real food which has been handled more by hands than machines. The message will show why these Whidbey growers give their crops and animals such care, time, energy to produce high quality, nutritious product and why these Whidbey chefs bother to buy a local product from them instead of cheaper sources trucked in from  far and wide.

Each chef and grower will share a table with the chef's prepared food available for guests to eat and the grower's raw product ingredients available to see and learn about. The guests will  be able to talk with chefs and growers about the food and view the raw product.  It is a rare opportunity to catch these chefs out of their kitchens for a chat!

Vintner Greg Osenbach (Whidbey Island Winery) will pour wine and tell his story about growing grapes and making wine on Whidbey for the past 25 years. His wines and other locally-made wines may purchased by the bottle in the Greenbank Farm Wine Shop. Greenbank Wine Store will provide wine glasses.

Tickets will be sold at the door. Advance tickets will be sold at the Deception Pass Café & Grill.; Whidbey Pies and Greenbank Farm wine shop; in Coupeville  at the Oystercatcher, Christopher's, bayleaf; at Frazer’s and bayleaf in Oak Harbor; at Solutions Salon in Freeland; at Prima Bistro and Whidbey Island Winery in Langley. Willowood Farm and Rosehip Farm will well tickets at Coupeville Farmers’ Market,

Monday, May 10, 2010


Happy May!  The deck is now open for lunch only... weather permitting - we'll wait a few more weeks to open out there for dinner service...just too darn cold. Anyhow, lots to tell you about:

Our new menu items have now rolled out!  You will see a lamb burger with chevre aioli, pickled pepper-tomato relish, arugula and french fries; asparagus, ham and mascarpone risotto with fines herbs and parmigiano-reggiano; warm asparagus salad with french ham, cornichons, shallots, hard boiled egg and lemon vinaigrette; Washington manila clams with house made chorizo, white wine, basil and tomato coulis.  

We have now also released the Whidbey Island Winery Prima White special blend, with label design by the one and only David Gignac.  Dave is the artist whose artwork is on the back cover of the menu and whose sketches cover the storage area of our restaurant, and whose amazing work can be seen all over Langley. 

ALSO, we are so excited to introduce pichets (pitchers) of wine.  We will be offering all of our glass pours by the 14 ounce pichet - for the same price as 2 glasses (12 ounces).  We are really hoping this will encourage tables to taste through more of our wines, and to do more pairing with our food. 

Bob's is a special beer brewed in honor of Georgetown brewing’s friend, Bob Hirsch, who fought cancer valiantly for many years.  I'm old college friends with Manny, owner of Georgetown brewing – so we wanted to serve up this beer for this great cause.  Bob's Brown Ale is released every May 14th (Bob's b-day). 100% of our proceeds from Bob's will be donated in honor of Charles "Bob" Hirsch to the Seattle Ronald McDonald House to provide a "home-away-from-home" for Children's Hospital patients and families.
Incidentally, we will also be teaming up with Georgetown Brewing on Monday, July 26th for a 5 course beer makers dinner.  Cost is $55/person and we foresee that these reservations will go in a flash.  The hope is to have the dinner out on the deck and we think it's gonna be a blast.  I'm hoping that Sieb will do a repeat of that chopper's red ale beer battered fried chicken he did last weekend and pair it with, well, Chopper's Red Ale of course.  Call us soon for reservations.

We continue with our live music line up...every Sunday afternoon from 4-6 and Thursday nights.
Follow us on Twitter for more up to the minute updates and specials at and join our I Love Prima Bistro facebook fan page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Closed Tuesday, May 4th for Cleaning Party!

We've got to get ready for the summer season...time to open the deck, and prepare new menus and spring clean!  Apologies for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


"Give it up" and come to May Day for Natty J!, a benefit for Natanya Johnson who is struggling with the long-term effects of Type 1 Brittle Diabetes.  The event is being held at the Deer Lagoon Grange...doors open at 5 on May 1st.   This is also an event to to raise awareness about diabetes and organ donation.  Natanya was our pastry chef at Prima...and I doubt we'll ever find another as good as her.

Natty J was diagnosed at age eleven and does dialysis three days a week. She is unable to work and only recently obtained health benefits through Medicare to help defray her exorbitant medical expenses. Natanya needs a pace-maker in her stomach to aid in digestion (one of the side effects of her condition is “Gastroperisis,” paralysis of the stomach) and is also waiting to get on the list for a kidney and pancreas transplant.

Doors open at 5:00 pm
Silent Auction from 6:00 to 8:30 pm
Live Auction from 9:00 to 10:00 pm
After that dance ‘til you drop!

Music provided by Eric Allen, James Hinkley and Levi Burkle, Krash Zen and DJ Kettle.
Food provided by Edgecliff, Gordon’s and Prima Bistro.

Donations are greatly appreciated. They can be dropped off at Edgecliff or Prima Bistro, or mailed to Joy Timoshuk - P.O. Box 743, Langley, WA 98260.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


First off, we'll be honoring Earth Hour this Saturday, March 27th from 8:30-9:30 by turning off all the lights in the dining room and dining by candlelight...seems like a very simple way to participate with a global effort towards sustainable living.  Here's what Sue Frause had to say about it in her Seattle P.I. blog:

Next...the much anticipated next Langley Chef dinner will be April 22nd, Earth Day, at Fireseed Catering.  We thought it would be fitting for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust to be the recipient of the funds from this event, given the day of the dinner AND the enormous goal they are currently trying to reach of raising 4.2 million dollars to acquire and protect the Trillium property.    This will be a 6 course, wine paired meal prepared by Dave and Dawn Noble from Fireseed catering, Des Rock from Useless Bay Coffee Company, Donna Leahy from The Chef's Pantry, Jess Dowdell from Mukilteo Coffee, Matt Costello from the Inn at Langley, and Sieb from Prima.  Tickets are $85/person and will be go on sale here at Prima on April 6th at 10 in the morning.  No one person can purchase more than 4 tickets.  These dinners have sold out immediately in the past.

We are thrilled to have again been mentioned in this months Seattle Metropolitan magazine cover story:


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Now, along with our Thursday night live music offerings, you can stop by Prima from 4-6 on Sunday afternoons for some late afternoon tunes.  We are rotating through 4 musicians:  1st Sundays with Rendezvous...2 people, 10 strings; 2nd Sundays with David Gregor (aka Deja Blooze, pictured there to the right); 3rd Sundays with Michael Sheehan...60's and 70's folky covers; and 4th Sundays with Danny Ward...jazz saxophone.  Join us for a late afternoon snack and drink or an early dinner and enjoy this great line up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We've expanded our kids the kiddos under 12 can get a half order of mussels or a small portion of plain risotto along with the fish and chips, grilled cheese, cheeseburger, or noodles with parm.  We also are offering a variety of sides for these kids meals: a mixed green salad, carrot and celery sticks, fruit or french fries.

Kids meals are $6.50 and come with a choice of drink and a choice of one of those sides.  We still sometimes hear from people that they didn't realize we were family friendly...WE ARE!  We are used to sweeping up the cheerios and mashed french fries...our girls are always at the restaurant...and I guarantee you they are not perfectly well behaved!

ALSO...every Sunday at lunch we will be offering Eggs Prima...the most delicious Eggs Benedict on the planet (actually although I'm obviously biased, that is the absolute truth).  We serve ours on gougeres and with fingerling potatoes.  

Thursday, January 28, 2010


We will be closed for a private party all day on Saturday, February 6th.  This is something we never do, but in this case we just had to do it.  My sister Rachel and Lucas (pictured there to the right) are getting married...and seeing how they helped us open the restaurant, took over a year out of their lives to help get us up and running, and got engaged on the deck of the restaurant, we couldn't say no when they asked to have the wedding at Prima.  We apologize for any inconvenience.
Sunday, February 7th, Rendezvous continues to enhance our musical line up on the first Sunday of the month...they'll be playing from 4:00-6:00.  Here's a clip of them playing at have to scroll down awhile:

We continue with our regular Thursday musical line up of Danny Ward (jazz saxophone) on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, Yours Truly (accordion and violin duo) on the 2nd Thursday, and James Hinkley and Levi Burkle (jazz swing duo) on the 4th and if there is a 5th Thursday.

VALENTINES DAY:  This is always a completely filled up night so make your reservations soon.  Danny Ward will be playing starting at 5:00.

 And I just had to throw those photos in from New Years...we had so much fun!  Thanks to all of you who joined us to ring in 2010!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We've joined forces with a variety of dining establishments in Langley to raise funds for the disaster relief effort in Haiti.  This upcoming Monday, January 25th many restaurants in Langley will be earmarking a percentage of their funds for various relief funds.  We at Prima will be donating 20% of proceeds from the entire day to Doctors Without Borders.  As of today I've been able to rally the following troops...of course the efforts being made by businesses and individuals in Langley are not limited to this list!
Prima and Cafe Langley...20% of proceeds to Doctors Without Borders; buffet from 4-7, accepting donations for World Concern;
Mikes Place...10% of proceeds to Doctors Without Borders (DIFFERENT DATE...FRIDAY THE 22ND);
Useless Bay Coffee Company will be roasting a special Help Haiti blend and donating 100% of proceeds to Doctors Without Borders;
Mukilteo Coffee will be selling $10 raffle tickets for a gourmet brunch basket...all proceeds to doctors without borders;
Village Pizzeria and Living Green are participating, contact them for details;
Maurlees will have a donation jar out for customers to donate to the cause;
Eddy's will be donating a percentage of their sales on Monday to Doctors Without Borders, and US Bank is collecting donations for Red Cross.   The Clyde, Island Athletic, and Lindsay Communications are matching what's being put into the Clyde's magic change jar.