Local 121 has become my fiancée and I’s favorite restaurant for a few different but mainly because the food is absolutely delicious. But more on that in a moment. We have been here multiple times and our most recent trip was by far the best. How often can a person say the food keeps getting better and better each time the go to a restaurant. In my opinion it is very few and far between.
The restaurant itself is located in downtown Providence, RI. When you first walk in you are immediately greeted with a warm smile by one of the hostesses. I have almost always made a reservation but the one time I didn’t they were more than accommodating to get us seated even though it was a busy night. Let me just say that my favorite part of their decor is the chairs they have at their tables. These most comfortable chairs that I have ever sat upon in a restaurant. They are white leather and wide and extremely soft. This is one of those chairs that I would not mind sitting in for hours it is so comfortable.
The wait staff at Local 121 is always excellent. The waiters and waitress are always polite and know how to come over and check on you but not seem intruding on your conversation or taking away from you enjoying your mail. This most recent visit was no exception. Our waitress promptly came over with lemon flavored water for the table and asked us if we had any questions about the menu. We of course did not. The rest of the service was great. Even the back waiter when bringing out our food and clearing some plates took the time out to chat with us for a moment which goes to show that everyone on their staff is great and personable.
Now on to the food. We ordered the ‘Crispy Point Judith Calamari’ as an appetizer to share. The calamari came with bagna cauda, almonds, white anchovies and Picholine olives. The calamari was crispy and cooked to perfection. So many times I am disappointed with pieces of calamari on the plate that are chewy which means they were over cooked. That did not happen here. Let me say by taking a bite of the calamari, olives and a piece of anchovy together tasted delicious. I would never have thought the taste of anchovy would go with calamari but it does. I would highly recommend if they have this on their menu to get it. Now they do change their menu by what it is in season, so do not wait too long to go if this sounds like it would be right up your alley.
For our main dishes my fiancée ordered the ‘Grilled Hangar Steak’ and I ordered the ‘Pineland Farms Red Wine Braised Beef’. The steak dish came with fingerling potatoes, pearl onions, bacon lardons, chanterelles and sauce chasseur. He ordered it medium rare and it came out cooked perfectly, nice and red in the middle. The sauce that went along with the steak complemented it so well and the steak was melt in your mouth tender. The bacon lardons were crispy and added a richness to the steak. The fingerling potatoes (which our a personal favorite of mine) were cooked to perfection and seasoned perfectly. This dish was a strong dish and all the components worked together perfectly.
Now on to my dish. The description of ingredients was what intrigued me on the menu and made me want to order the dish. The braised beef was served with creamed sauerkraut, chioggia beets and pickled caraway. Let me start off by saying the beef was cooked until it was fall apart tender and I only had to use my fork to break apart bite sized pieces. The seasoning was perfect and the red wine that was used was a perfect complement to the beef without being overpowering. When I took a bite of the beef by itself at first it reminded me of a brisket. But however when I took a piece of beef and combined it with the creamed sauerkraut and the beets the dish took on a completely different taste. It was rich with a slight tang. The creamed sauerkraut added the tang and did have a slight creamy taste that I had never had before with sauerkraut and the beet added a slight sweetness to it. Those two components combined with the delicious beef made it the ultimate bite. This is one of the best dishes I have had this past year. I could not complement this dish enough as I was devouring it and when I say devour I mean I ate every last bite on that plate.
In summary I would recommend Local 121 as a must to try if you are in downtown Providence, RI. The service and atmosphere are great but the food is always exceptional. Not to mention they always have a past of the day dish and a vegetarian selection as well on their menu. The restaurant details are below.Local 121 121 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903 Phone: 401-274-2121 Website: www.local121.com