On Friday night Sam and I went to Providence for her birthday. She’d picked out the restaurant from yelp a few weeks earlier. We parked down the street and noted that for such a nice restaurant it was in a bit of an iffy part of town. Inside the place appeared like a modern caricature of a hipster high class restaurant. A man at another table wore a pinstriped suit and a mullet mohawk. As the sun set and the atmosphere changed, our waiter appeared and helped us choose our dinner. When the menu came it started with “happy birthday sam.”
The photos that follow are cell-phone camera photos taken in a very dark room, except for the few that Sam turned on her bright flash for (and was too embarrassed to do it many more times).
We chose the prefixed menu (appetizer+main course+dessert). Before our appetizers came the waiter brought a surprise from the chef: two strips of baked salmon skin (yes!) and a lobster cream paste to dip them in. In addition to this we were given a tiny piece of bread with some kind of Parmesan sauce on top. They also mixed some kind of milky fruity hibiscus drink in a shot glass in front of us to wash the very salty salmon skin down with.
Next up was the bread. We were offered regular bread, bacon bread and seaweed bread. They were all good, but the best part was the cylinder of butter, just warm enough to spread perfectly on the bread, but just cold enough to not melt on the plate.
For my appetizer I’d picked the “chowda.” Out came a bowl with leeks and other things sitting in it. After a few seconds of confusion the waiter brought out a flask and began pouring in the soup. The resulting chowder was probably the best either of us has ever tasted. It had too many different little vegetables and spices to count.
Sam had ordered the crab appetizer, which was very good too, but a little too sweet and not nearly as good as the chowder.
For my main course I’d picked the ginger salmon. The best thing about this dish for Sam was the flower arrangement of the vegetables on the plate. The best thing for me was the delicious sweet ginger sauce and the sweet salmon, baked on the outside and still sashimi-like on the inside.
Sam’s main course was a very sweet lobster tail. The presentation was great and it tasted good, albeit a bit too sweet for either of our tastes. I suspect if it was paired with rice or pasta the sweetness would have been diluted just a tad and it would have been more palatable.
The last bit was dessert. And you already know, Sam picked the chocolate.
The chocolate was light on the ice cream and heavy on the salted caramel. I like caramel more than Sam, but neither of us likes salted caramel that much. The dessert would have been perfect if they downplayed the caramel and just put more of the chocolate cookies and ice cream in there.
Although we dredged up a few complaints, all the food was delicious, the wait staff was more than pleasant, and the presentation of the food was immaculate. I’m used to complaining about not getting what you pay for with places like this (three digits per person), but this one I would recommend for special occasions for anyone that wants something unique, filling and tasty.
On Sunday one of Sam’s friends from Thailand took us (and three other friends) out to dinner at Mozza. The polenta: not so good. The Inky squid thing, short ribs and linguine (at least I think it was linguine) were all very good. Sam ordered the chocolate cake for dessert (you saw that coming), but I actually enjoyed the mini doughnuts with berry sauce and ice cream more (you probably saw that coming as well). It was a weekend full of good eating.