Awards and Press


and Press




The Contra Costa Times

“Contemporary and innovative Italian foods stand out at this cozy restaurant which sports a huge wine list and daily wine tastings. PRIMA is a fine place for an evening when you want to linger over dinner and a good wine. It’s also the place sit on the sidewalk patio and watch the hustle and bustle on Main Street.”

Contra Costa Times/Bay Area News Group Food and Wine Blog, “Prima Pinot Dinner a Hit,” by Jessica Yadegaran
May 21, 2009
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Prima Sommelier Frank Rothstein named Somm of the week in the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times.
May 28th 2014
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Diablo Magazine

“Crisp and Cool!” Prima Ristorante…offers some of the most innovative, exciting cocktails we’ve ever tried.
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Over the years, PRIMA has been recognized as a top restaurant and wine destination. Here are some of our more recent awards.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Critic’s Choice

“The best Pasta in the Bay Area” and “The best Place for Saturday Lunch”. “PRIMA demonstrates that wine tasting in a restaurant can be as appealing a prospect as ordering food… Prices are reasonable and the portions are nothing to complain about. PRIMA is a place that knows how to please its patrons.”

The San Francisco Chronicle: Michael Bauer

Bay Area Restaurants choose the best for their lists…
Michael Bauer, Chronicle Restaurant Critic June 17, 2002

Few restaurants have as extensive a wine program as Prima in Walnut Creek. With the advantage of also being a wine merchant, diners are treated to great pricing (most wines are a little more than doubled in mark up), and an inventory of more than 1,600 wines.

The list has great depth-there are more than 160 red wines from Piedmont alone-and what seems like just about every Gaja wine ever made. In addition, you’ll discover wines from up-and-coming regions, including five wines from Maremma in Tuscany.

The wines are stored at perfect cellar temperature, and the list is updated weekly. Prima also conducts educational seminars, tastings and produces a monthly newsletter.

Diablo Magazine: Best of the East Bay Awards


Best Italian Restaurant: 2003, 2004
Best Sommelier: J.D. Massler, 2002
Best Wine Tasting: 2001
Best Wine List: 1992-1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Best Wine Store: 1998, 2000
Best Fine Dining: 2005
Best Italian: 2005, 2007

Wine Spectator Magazine “Best Award of Excellence”
Winner 1998-2014

Only 380 restaurants throughout the world have received this award. “PRIMA of Walnut Creek offers an incredible 1,500 wines at great prices.”

Wine Enthusiast Magazine “Wine Friendliest Restaurants in America”

Only 60 restaurants nationwide were accorded this award, which singles out excellence in wine service, storage, wine list creativity, and cuisine.

Zagat Restaurant Guide

Prima Ristorante
Ranked among the top restaurants of the San Francisco Bay Area.
A ‘phenomenal’ 1,600-label cellar, 40-50 Wine By The Glass flights, ‘inventive’ vino dinners and a staff that knows the selection means ‘wine is the thing’ are the draws at this ‘lively’ Walnut Creek Italian; while the cooking might be an ‘afterthought’ for oenophiles, the high food rating means no one ‘needs an excuse to eat here’.”
Food: 24
Decor 21
Service 23