provreviewsandrecipes

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

Local 121 Restaurant Review December 29, 2013

local121

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
 

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.

 

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.

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