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Providence review - solid but not stellar (long)


Restaurants & Bars 5

Providence review - solid but not stellar (long)

williams | May 22, 2006 01:50 AM

My husband and I went to Providence on Thursday night for our anniversary. We had a good time. We sat in the room to the left of the host. I liked the decor. Definitely better than the old Patina. The food was solid, though I have to say nothing really stood out.

The service was fine, though one of our waiters was not as professional as I would expect. He kind of stumbled over his words, and it took him a while a couple of times to remember what was in the dishes, etc. But all in all, the service was good. More on this later.

We had the full tasting course. My husband had the wine pairing. At a lot of restaurants, you don't get a different wine with every course, but he did here. Very nice. When we ordered, I asked about the foie gras ravioli and whether we could try some of it since I had heard that it was excellent. The waiter said that he would ask the chef to incorporate it into one of our dishes. Later, he came back to tell us we were all set.

We started with an amuse bouche - cold heart of palm soup and cheese filled profiteroles. I didn't particularly care for the soup, but the profiteroles were amazing. Somehow they had made the cheese liquid so it just melted in your mouth. Definitely decadent. Our first course was the oysters in sake. I'm not a huge fan of oysters, but they were very fresh and went well with the sake. Next was the prawn (one) which was also very good. Next were the scallops with burdock root. Once again, I'm not a huge fan of scallops, but I thought the flavors melded well together. Next was the foie gras ravioli which we had asked for. They were good but very rich. I'm not sure how anybody can eat a whole plate of those. Next was the Tasmanian sea trout. It's a bit similar in taste to salmon. It was served with half a turnip, some other vegetables and kumquats. I really liked the addition of the kumquats, but my husband thought they were too strong. Next was the cheese plate. Two of them were very good, one was a bit boring. Last was a dessert called the floating island. It was meringue. I didn't like it, so I only ate a couple of bites.

The waiter noticed that I hadn't eaten my dessert and asked if I would like something else instead. He let me pick from the menu. I had the strawberries and exotic ice cream with pistachios. It was an interesting mix of flavors, but it worked. And they didn't charge us for this dessert. Good service, in my opinion.

However, the thing that detracted from the night was when we came home and looked at their menu online. It looks like they omitted the bass and the bison ribeye from our tasting course in lieu of the foie gras ravioli. I would have liked to have known that beforehand. The waiter had said that the chef would incorporate the ravioli into our meal by putting a piece with another dish. In fact, the online menu says you get a piece with the scallops, which we didn't. Instead, they chose to cut out two courses. I kind of felt cheated. Maybe the price of the foie gras ravioli is in line with the bass and ribeye, so they had to cut those out, but I would have liked to have made that decision, rather than have it made for me.

All in all, it was a great meal. I can't complain. We may be back, but with all the other places we want to try, it may be a while.

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