Primo Plates and Pours Offers Up Italian Fare in Downtown Long Lake

A World War II love story inspires a new restaurant.
Tony Ostlund serves up a bowl of Primo’s signature spaghetti and meatballs.

Primo Plates and Pours opened for business in Long Lake in August, in the space formerly occupied by Birch’s.

Owner Tony Ostlund says Primo’s history starts with the marriage of his grandparents, Woody and Phyllis Ostlund. Before Woody was deployed to fight in World War II, he and Phyllis were married in New Orleans, where Woody was stationed. Their nuptial celebrations brought them to an Italian restaurant, where they were given the restaurant’s recipe for spaghetti and meatballs as a wedding gift. Woody and Phyllis cherished the recipe, preparing the dish every Christmas for their four sons.

The rest is history.

Ostlund says that after realizing the Long Lake area needed something on the “Italian side of things,” he hoped his family’s recipe would fill a spaghetti-and-meatball-sized void.

Featuring fettuccini, ravioli and lasagna made from scratch, alongside pizza and upscale entrées, Primo settles in nicely between casual brewpub and formal supper club price points. Ostlund hopes to bring in more Italian wines, and for now recommends the Jordan cabernet ($25) and Sonoma-Cutrer chardonnay ($17) which are available by the glass.

When it comes to his favorite dish, the answer is a little more obvious: “Spaghetti and meatballs will always be on the menu.”