provreviewsandrecipes

Food Blog with delicious recipes and also reviews of Providence, RI restuarants

Trinity Brewhouse Review April 7, 2013

trinity brewhouseNow I have gone to Trinity Brewhouse quite a few times before. The food is always good quality and even when the its busy the service is always friendly and prompt. On my recent trip I ordered a couple of my favorite standbys. They were all delicious and I will keep me coming back again and again.

Now first off let me start off my saying that I always order a beer or two when I go here. I mean how could you not since they make their own beer. Not to mention you can take a growler home if you so desire. I tend to stray towards lighter beers and I ordered a pint of the ‘Kolsch’ beer. It was delicious and light. I would highly recommend trying this beer if you are not sure of which one to order or if you are like me and tend to prefer lighter beers. Now I did order the ‘Hefeweizen’ which is a German style wheat beer. This was delicious and make my taste buds happy. This is a perfect beer to enjoy now that the weather is warming up.

calamariOn we go to the food. Now let me start off by saying that there are two things I always order as appetizers from Trinity Brewhouse. They are the calamari and the nachos. Starting off with the calamari, it is always good and has never come out tough/rubbery like some establishments do. Now the calamari has a nice golden crust when it comes out. The crust has a nice crunch to it. The calamari comes out with tossed with banana peppers. These banana peppers complement the calamari very well. There is a jalapeno sauce that is served on the plate for dipping the calamari in. The sauce taste delicious and is spicy by itself, dip a crunchy piece of calamari in it and you will be enjoying an amazing flavor combination.

The nachos at Trinity Brewhouse are a completely different story in and of itself. Let me just say that if there are just two of you and nachosyou order the nachos plus lunch or dinner, you will not have room left to enjoy your main dish after you devour the nachos. The serving that is brought out of the nachos is huge. They come out on smothered in blend of Monterey, Colby Jack and cheddar cheese. The toppings that come standard on the nachos are black beans, sour cream, salsa, fresh diced tomatoes and lettuce. All of these toppings and cheese are served on crunch deep-fried corn tortilla chips. Now I am somewhat of a nacho snob. I like to have all of the chips get cheese or toppings on them. I mean there is nothing worse than eating the chips that are at the top of the pile only to discover that the chips underneath didn’t get any of the delicious toppings. But this has never happened at Trinity Brewhouse. The nachos are delicious and I always devour half them myself, no matter how many people are there with me. The menu does indicate that you could add chicken, pulled pork, chili, guacamole, jalapenos or olives for two bucks extra each. I didn’t add any of the additional toppings on this recent visit because the nachos are good without the need to add anything else to them.

Finally, the main course. I ordered the ‘Cowboy Burger’. Let me just say this has to be one of the best burgers that I have had in a long time, if not in my top 10. The burger is black Angus beef, with a roasted garlic spread, caramelized onions, swiss cheese and Portobello mushrooms. I ordered my burger medium and it came out perfectly cooked. Now the burger is served on this great roll that is smeared with that delicious roasted garlic spread. The first thing you taste is the roasted garlic spread then you get a taste of the caramelized onions, Portobello mushrooms, swiss cheese and finally the delicious black Angus beef. The combination of all the flavors come together in such a way as to make you pause and chew it a few extra times to keep the flavors in your mouth for a few moments longer. I would recommend anyone going to Trinity Brewhouse to order this burger. The ‘Cowboy Burger’ is served with a side of french fries. The french fries are thing and come out warm and crispy. I guess you would probably refer to them as shoe-string fries. They are seasoned well and provide a great accompaniment to the burger.

All in all I would say that my most recent visit was a great one. Now there is upstairs seating to the left and right of the main bar and also seating downstairs. I recommend sitting at one of the tables to the left side of the bar and closest side to the hostess stand. The reason why is the great mural on the wall. It is a painting that includes famous musical artists have a ‘last supper’. You and anyone you are with will have a fun time discussing who each of the musical artists are in the mural. Now I’m not going to spoil it for you who they all are, but let me tell you that a couple of them are hard. If you get stuck make sure to ask your server as they will be able to tell you or settle any dispute amongst the table.

Here are the restaurant details. Locate at 186 Fountain Street, Providence, RI. Open Monday-Thursday from 11:30am-1:00am, Friday 11:30am-2:00am, Saturday 12:00pm-2:00am and Sunday 12:00pm-1:00am. They serve lunch and dinner daily. It is handicap accessible, but there is limited street parking in the area. You might have better luck parking at the Providence Place Mall and walking over or opting to park and pay in one of the lots around the area. Check out there website at http://www.trinitybrewhouse.com/ and plan your visit. You will not be disappointed.

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My Top 5 Weekly Round Up of Articles I Enjoyed This Past Week

newspaperSo I try and read a lot of articles from many different sources and on a wide range of topics. Since this is a food blog I’ve decided to include my top 5 that I enjoyed or caught my attention from the past week. Check them out and let me know what you think. The articles that I’ve listed below are in no particular order.

Here’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed from the greatist.com. I have been trying to be conscious myself and to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into my weekly diet. Now that the weather is warming up I cannot wait to taste all the fresh fruit and veggies that will be available at my local farmer’s market. The reason why I like this article is that not only does it talk about different types of alternative proteins but it gives a description of each, storage tips and preparation methods. But one thing that really sold me on the article was all the recipes that were linked to the article for each of the proteins mentioned. Now I am familiar with almost all of the proteins but was unfamiliar to Natto until reading this article. Natto is derived from fermented soybeans and I am going to be looking for it on my next trip to the Asian market by my house. Make sure to check out this article as it will inspire you to try some meat alternative proteins.

http://greatist.com/health/7-alternative-proteins-meatless-mondays/

Now the next article that I enjoyed this week comes from saveur.com and  has to do with a martini. The ‘St. Dill Martini’ to be exact. Now I love extra dirty martinis on occasion. They are my favorite thing to treat myself to one when out for a drink with friends. Now when I stumbled across this article I was thoroughly delighted at the prospect of having a new martini to try. Not to mention I love pickles and dill. The recipe ingredients contain vodka, mustard seeds, a fresh sprig of dill, pickle juice and speared kosher dill pickle. That all together sounds interesting and delicious in my opinion. I am going to be making this drink this upcoming weekend. Make sure to check this one out.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Wine-and-Drink/Friday-Cocktails-St-Dill-Martini

This articles comes from bonappetit.com. It make me chuckle at the way it was written but also slightly jealous at the jobs that not only these people left but now the cool jobs that they have obtained at different publications relating to very specific food topics. Maybe I need to become the go to person on a very specific area of the food world. Hmmm…..Well anyways I also liked this article as it talks about New York Systems that is an institution here in Rhode Island. They have two locations one in Olneyville and the other location is around the corner from my apartment on Smith Street in Providence, RI. I have gone once or twice for a late night fix. Check out the article and maybe you didn’t realize that you may be able to parlay your life of a specific type/area of food into a job.

http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2013/03/barbecue-editor-texas-monthly.html

Dry age beef. Most of us have at it at some point and I have personally enjoyed it. Now when I see that dry aged beef at the meat counter at my local grocery store I am always tempted to buy it but cannot justify the cost. This particular article comes from www.seriouseats.com and talks about dry age beef in general, what the process is and how it affects the meat. Finally it talks about how to do this process at home and give very specific instructions and pictures. This article intrigued me and I don’t know if I have the proper setup, time or local butcher to provide me with the cuts of beef needed, but now I am tempted to try to dry age beef at home. Check out this article. Has anyone tried to dry age beef at home with success like this article indicates you will if you follow the instructions?

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-dry-aging-beef-at-home.html?ref=pop_serious_eats

The final article that I enjoyed this week comes from a fellow food blogger, http://cookingstoned.tv/.  I saw the title of the recipe in this article ‘Chocolate & Balsamic Roasted Beets’ and was immediately intrigued. The recipe sounds delicious and I cannot wait to personally try it this upcoming week. I had never thought of combining beets, balsamic vinegar and chocolate. Now I like the nice, clear and easy instructions in the article for making the recipe, but what makes it one of my favorites is that the author of the blog, Jerry James Stone, includes a video of himself making the recipe. I found the video great. I am now a fan of his blog and will be perusing the rest of it and wanted to make sure that I shared this gem with others. Make sure that you check out this recipe and the rest of this great blog.

http://cookingstoned.tv/recipe/chocolate-balsamic-roasted-beets/

 

Julian’s Restaurant Review April 6, 2013

juliansSo recently my friend Erin and I finally ventured to Julians for brunch. I have been wanting to check this place out for quite some time now, but every time we tried to go the wait was extremely long. I know, I know the sign of a really good restaurant, however I am not a patient person and if I can avoid having to wait I will.

On the recent visit though, we got there a about 10 minutes before they opened on a Saturday morning at 9am. There was a line waiting at the door but we only had to wait about 15 minutes in total and then we were seated at one of the two tops in the back. Which was great for people watching as well as enjoying our food. Our server promptly came over and brought us glasses of water and asked if we had a chance to look at the specials menu on the blackboard. We hadn’t yet, but I’ll get to that in a minute. We ordered a pitcher of mimosas since that was the only option the menu had for pitchers.

Now the specials menu is written on a two blackboards on a wall right next to the bar. They had some very interesting specials on it and it ranged from appetizers, breakfast items and lunch ones. Since it was our first time there we decided to make our choices off of their regular menu. While perusing the menu the pitcher of mimosas arrived. It was the perfect balance of orange juice and champagne, not too acidic and just the right amount of sweetness.

I decided on the ‘Yo Yo Yo Ma’ omelet. Yes, I know the name made me chuckle when I saw it. Now this item was described as pan omelet containing curry braised ham, roasted beets, miso daikon, chives and plum ginger glaze. The item sold me on the roasted beets and the plum ginger glaze as I had never thought or imagined those things combined in an omelet. The omelet came with home fries and a choice of toast. I chose wheat toast. My friend Erin chose ‘Da Buccanneer’ omelet. This omelet was described on the menu as containing smoked salmon, boursin, red onions and capers. That omelet sounded interesting to me as well as smoked salmon and boursin cheese sounded like a great combination.

Even though the restaurant was now full and people were standing waiting for tables to open up, our food came over promptly. Now let me just say that the omelet that came over was medium-sized and the smell from the plum ginger glaze that was on the top of the omelet was strong, but smelled delicious. I cut my omelet into bite sized pieces and dove right in. The first taste that hit your mouth was the taste ginger plum glaze since that was on top of the omelet, it was sweet but not too sweet. Next was the taste of the fluffy eggs, then the slight spice of the curried ham pieces. Finally the slight sweetness of the roasted beets came in to round out the dish. The combination of all of this together was delicious. It seemed to take very different ingredients from the description but they all came together perfectly. I would definitely get this omelet again and would recommend it to anyone else. The home fries were good, but nothing outstanding. I think they were overshadowed by how amazing the omelet was.

Now I did try a bite of my friend Erin’s omelet as well. It was delicious as well. I was right in my thinking that the smoked salmon and the boursin cheese were a great combination. I had been slight apprehensive before thinking that the addition of capers and smoked salmon to an omelet would make it overtly salty, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. All the flavors came together in this omelet as well to make it a rich and satisfying dish.

Would I go back to Julian’s? Yes, yes I would. I would also recommend it anyone else wanting to go to a great place for brunch. I am looking forward to not only going back for brunch again but also going one night for dinner as well. Julian’s is one of the few restaurants in Providence, RI that not only has specials each but they make it a point to offer multiple vegan choices as well. So if you are a vegan or looking to go out to eat with a vegan and not sure where to go, I would recommend Julians.

Have you been to Julians? If so, what was your experience like? Do you have a favorite item off of their menu like I now do?

Here’s the restaurant info. Julians is located at 318 Broadway, Providence, RI. There is plenty of street parking. Julian’s does brunch Monday through Friday from 9am-4:30pm and dinner every night from 5pm-11pm. Brunch is served on Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 9am-2pm. The bar is open until 1am. I would recommend that if you are going to brunch on a weekend or holiday to make sure you get there right at 9am as it gets crowded fast or expect to wait. There is also additional outside seating in front of the restaurant when the weather gets warmer.

Here’s their website address, juliansprovidence.com. Go on over and check them out and plan your visit to this great restaurant soon.

 
Julian's on Urbanspoon

 

Halibut with Pea and Ricotta Sauce

fish and ricotta pureeSo I made this delicious recipe a few months ago and kept forgetting to post it. My fiancee can be kind of picky when it comes to fish but this recipe was a big hit with both of us. It is a quick and simple dish to put together on a busy week night. Its also very healthy. Now that the weather in New England is starting to warm up, all I want to enjoy is the warm weather with some delicious seafood. Now I bought organic carrots for this recipe because I did not feel like having to peel them. If you do not buy organic, which by no means you have to, then I would peel the carrots. I also served mine with some roasted chickpeas that I had made, but this would be fine served all by itself or served with rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Carrots, cut in half lengthwise

1 Large Red Onion, sliced very thinly

1 Lemon, juiced

1 Pound of Halibut Fillets, cut into 4 pieces

4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced

2 Tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper

1 Package of Frozen Peas, 10 ounces

2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

5 Ounces of Ricotta Cheese, about half of a small container

 

Directions:

Preheat broiler to high.

Take a baking sheet and line it with tin foil. Place the baking sheet in the oven and heat the pan for 5 minutes.

While the pan is heating in the oven, take 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1/2 the lemon juice, diced garlic and mix together in a bowl. Take the carrots and red onion and place in the bowl with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat all the pieces completely.

Next take the Halibut and brush the top and bottom of each piece with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Take the remaining tablespoon of salt and black pepper, the paprika and red pepper flakes and mix together in a small bowl. Take the seasoning mixture and sprinkle it over each side of the Halibut pieces.

Remove the baking sheet from pre-heating in the oven. Take the Halibut pieces and arrange in the center and spread the red onion and carrot pieces all around the fish. Place the pan back in the oven and broil for 8-10 minutes. The fish should be evenly cooked through and have a golden brown color to it. Set aside.

Next, combine the frozen peas and 1/4 cup of water in a bowl and microwave 4 minutes. Next take the peas and put in a food processor along with the ricotta cheese, the butter and small pinch of salt. Pulse the mixture until it is evenly blended but still retains a slightly chunky texture.

Finally spread the pea and ricotta sauce evenly on four plates. Place the one of the Halibut pieces on top of the pea and ricotta sauce. Place the carrot and red onion slices next to the fish and enjoy.

Let me know what you think of this recipe. Any suggestions for substitutions, comments or questions I would greatly appreciate and will reply to any and all of them.

 

Tazza – Delicious Drinks, Small Plates and Brunch March 2, 2013

tazzaSo I was excited when tazza reopened in downtown Providence. I had been to lunch a couple times before the whole place was redesigned and revamped. Personally I could not be happier with the new offerings that tazza now has. tazza is located at 250 Wesminister Street in the heart of downtown Providence, RI. Now tazza staying true to its roots still has the coffee/tea counter setup next to the bar as soon as you enter. tazza is open seven days a week. During the week lunch and dinner are served along with the coffee/tea counter being open from early in the morning. On the weekends brunch is served. The bar is open late night Wednesday through Saturday.

My first time going into tazza when it was reopened was after I had had an awful dinner at a different establishment with my fiancee. We were just going to go in a have a drink or two. We sat down at the bar and were promptly greeted by an extremely friendly bartender. She showed us the drink menu and let it be known that she would answer any questions we had. Well let me just say that the specialty drink menu was large and very diverse. Now I was not sure what to order at the first as a few different choices caught my eye. I finally decided on a ‘Pineapple Basiltini’ and boy was I not disappointed. The drink was described as having tazza’s own basil infused vodka, pineapple juice, muddled basil and freshly cracked pepper. Now when this drink arrived in a stemless martini glass I did not waste anytime in diving right in for the first sip. It tasted delicious and extremely fresh. The basil vodka and pineapple were light and seamlessly blended together. The thing that hit this drink out of the park for me was the fresh cracked pepper on the top. It added this slight spiciness right at the end of each sip. This is now one of my favorite drinks that I have had anywhere. Even though I have a preference for the ‘Pineapple Basilitin’ I have either ordered or tasted a sip or two from a few other drinks on the menu and I have not been disappointed with any of them.

Now on this particular visit I also decided to order something off of the small plates menu since I was still hungry. Now tazza does change their menu and uses local and fresh ingredients. At the time their were rabbit ravioli’s on the menu and I ordered them. When the plate arrived there was four over-stuffed raviolis filled with delicious shredded rabbit meat. The raviolis were covered in a delicious creamy sauce. The raviolis themselves I could taste right away were freshly made and they were cooked perfectly al dente. The shredded rabbit meat filling melted in my mouth and put a huge grin on my face because it was so delicious.

Since I have gone I have brought different friends back for drinks but haven’t had a chance to try anything else off of the small plates menu but after reading the description for each item it always sounds so appealing. But I have gone back for brunch twice. Once with my family and once with one of my good friends. Now the time I went with my family I decided to try the Chicken and Waffles. The chicken that came out with the dish had a buttermilk coating on it and was all pieces of breast meat fried to perfection.  The waffle was not only light and fluffy, but filled with bacon pieces. I mean how can you go wrong with a bacon waffle. Now the chicken and waffle was covered with a rich and decadent creamy sausage gravy. It was heavenly and I ate every last bite of this dish. Now on this trip we got an order of the house-made buttermilk beignets to try as for the table as well. The beignets were light and each of three different dipping options that came with the beignets complimented each other so well. The three choices to dip/spread over the beignets were regular butter, orange honey butter and a lemon curd. My personal favorite was the lemon curd as it provided a slightly tart taste that I like with the sweeter taste of the beignet.

Each time I go to tazza I leave satisfied and already thinking about when I can make a plan to go back again. That is the sign of a good establishment in my opinion. So make sure that you go and enjoy this place be it for a drink, a sampling of some small plates, dinner or bunch. Let me know if you have gone to tazza and what your experience was.

Make sure to check out the website for tazza, http://www.tazzacaffe.com for the exact hours hours they are open, their current menu offering and how to contact them for a reservation.

Tazza on Urbanspoon

 

Chicken and Oyster Mushroom in a Garlic White Wine Sauce February 27, 2013

chicken and oyster mushrooms in white wine sauceNow let me first start off by saying that I am in love with Asian market around the corner from apartment. I always am finding interesting items there as well as items that I use regularly at such reasonable prices. Case in point was on my most recent trip. I was going down the produce aisle and could not believe what I saw. There were giant oyster mushrooms that looked so fresh and had been cleaned of any dirt that can sometimes plague store bought mushrooms. Well I was going to buy these amazing looking mushrooms but then I happened to look at the price and my jaw almost dropped open. The price for 0.75 lbs of oyster mushrooms was only $4.19 (I confirmed at my local Stop & Shop the price for 8 ounces of oyster mushrooms was $4.99). So with my superb mushroom deal in hand along with my other small purchases I headed on home to try and figure out what to cook for dinner.

Since I know that an oyster mushroom’s taste is delicate and could get lost in a heavy or powerfully flavored sauce, I came up with the recipe below. Now in this recipe I use Chardonnay for the white wine but any wine that you like could be substituted. If you don’t like white wine I would just substitute either chicken or vegetable stock for the white wine. I served this dish over rice and it tasted delicious but you could serve it over pasta as well. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the finished dish as my fiancee and I devoured the entire dish as soon as it cooled to an acceptable temperature to consume since it smelled so heavenly while cooking.

Makes 4-5 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 23 Minutes

Total Time: 33 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Pound of Chicken Breast Tenders, halved

0.75-1 Pound of Oyster Mushrooms, roughly chopped (make sure to leave the mushrooms in a little bit bigger pieces as they will shrink when cooking)

4 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

1 Lemon

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 Cups of White Wine

1 Cup of Chicken Broth

Directions:

Take the halved pieces of the chicken breast tenders and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper. Set aside. Take the lemon and zest the whole lemon rind and put in a small bowl. Juice all the whole lemon into the bowl with the lemon zest. Set aside.

Take a large saucepan and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Take the seasoned chicken breast tenders and put them in the heated saucepan. Cook until the chicken breast tenders are browned on all sides and cooked almost all the way through, about 12 minutes. Next add the lemon juice/zest mixture, garlic and mushrooms to pan. Cook until the garlic is golden and the mushrooms are barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, white wine, dried basil and parsley to pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Finally, remove from heat and serve immediately over rice or your favorite pasta. I prefer it over white rice as it really complements the subtle flavor of the dish. Enjoy.

 

Creamy Mushroom Crostini Appetizer February 26, 2013

Now I whipped up this recipe the other day as I had extra mushrooms on hand and cream. It came out decadent and delicious. Now I probably ate more than one person should eat of this dish but once I started, I could not stop. I used french bread, but you could use any other type of crusty bread that you prefer. Same thing goes for the mushrooms. I used white mushrooms because of what I had on hand but you could use any kind that you like. I would pair this with a nice lighter main course if serving as an appetizer, like my recipe for .

Prep: 8 MinutesCreamy Mushroom Crostini

Cooking: 21 Minutes

Total Time: 29 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 Pound of Mushrooms, sliced

2 Cloves of Garlic, diced

2 Cups of Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

8 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Cooking Sherry

1/4 Cup of White Wine

1 Whole Lemon

1/2 Tablespoon of Salt

1/2 Tablespoon of Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes

2 Tablespoon of Dried Italian Seasoning

1 Loaf of French Bread, sliced

Directions:

Preheat broiler to high. Put the slices of French bread on a baking sheet covered with tin foil. Take 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and brush both sides of the French bread pieces. Place under broiler and toast until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Then pull out the baking sheet and flip over all the bread pieces. Place back under broiler until golden brown on the other side. This should only take about 2 minutes. Take out of oven and set aside. Make sure to keep an eye on the bread pieces as they can easily burn.

Now to make the creamy mushroom mixture to go over the now crispy bread. First take the lemon and place it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Take it out and zest half of the lemon. In a small bowl squeeze the juice from the lemon and combine it with the lemon zest. Set the zest and the lemon juice aside. Take 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until it melts, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until nicely browned, about 6-7 minutes. Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add in the cooking sherry and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Finally add the lemon juice and zest mixture to the pan along with the cream to the pan. Cook just until heated through, about 4 minutes. Make sure to not bring to a boil.

Serve immediately. Place 4 pieces of the crispy bread on a each of the four plates and spoon a generous portion of the creamy mushroom mixture. Trust me this will over any guests that you have over for dinner. Enjoy.