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Providence Report

sunsetlocal | Jun 18, 200501:07 AM

The space very much uses the former Patina venue. The colors are now dark brown with different lighting, but the space is pretty familiar.
We went with the tasting menu for $100 per and the wine parings for $40. The amuse was sort of disappointing, a bit of caramelized Salmon on some sort of savory jello. Not sure the current fixation by chefs on jells, jello and foam is necessarily a good idea. As the courses proceeded in general I thought they improved. The whelk appetizer with a mini crisp didn't do much for me, but the blue crab with black sesame was at least interesting. The grilled scallop with bone marrow, a bit of asparagus, truffle and a mushroom emulsion was fabulous--but as with all the early courses on the amuse side of size. A grilled shrimp came with a sweetbread and some hazelnuts and was tasty but not memorable. The confit of Salmon with Foie Gras sounded great on the menu, but to my taste the fish was on the dry side (how that is possible with a confit preparation I do not know.) The cheese plate was good sized and well chosen, and the granita palate cleanser ginger ale sorbet and salty plum with an herb garnish was stellar. Dessert was tarragon ice cream with a chocolate mouse and chocolate mille feuille--also delicious.
Won't pretend to remember all the wine parings, but include sake, granier( Riesling from Austria), graves, montrachet, red burgundy, 98' Bordeaux, a sherry style Rhone with the cheese,a Beringer Nightingale late harvest, and a Sauvingon Blanc. In general, more impressed with the wine parings than the food, but the pour was very server dependent with one being much more generous. The less generous servers' pours were borderline miniscule.
Wait staff in genera were really professional. Although all the plates are bone white in various configurations, which gets a little boring.
Tonight was the soft opening, so the place obviously deserves some time. There were certain dishes that were excellent, but at this price point there is a lot of competition, so it will be interesting to see how they do. Later.

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