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
 

Figidini Wood Fire Eatery Review December 12, 2013

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figidiniWe went to Figidini Wood Fire Eatery the beginning of September and the weather was pleasant enough to be able to sit at one of the small tales outside on the sidewalk. This was great as it was not as tight and hot like inside the restaurant.

Let me start by saying that Figidini is great at pizza and at seafood dishes. Those are the ones that were delicious. Any of the other dishes we had were lacking. But more on both of that in a moment as I go into some detail.

The service was nice. Our waitress was prompt and sweet. Even though it was a busy Friday night she took the time to make sure we didn’t have any questions on any of the menu items and once our food arrived that it was to our liking and that we did not need anything. Which sometimes on a busy night in a restaurant is a hard thing to come by.

We ordered a few different small plates and a pizza for myself and my fiancee to share as we wanted to experience as many things off the menu that we could on this visit. First we ordered the ‘Speck’ which is smoked prosciutto and pickled vegetables. The proscuitto was good but of a lower end quality. The pickled vegetables for whatever reason did not taste well when eaten with the proscuitto but were delicious on their own. I just wish there had been more of them on that plate.

Next we had what they call the ‘Combo’ whcih is lamb and sausage with local herbs. Both the lamb and the sausage were cooked perfectly both were lacking in flavor.

My personal favorite dish that we had was the ‘RI Calamari’. This was a different take on the traditional calamari. First off they cooked the calamari in the wood fire item. Let me just say that the smoky woody scent and taste of being cooked in a wood fire item lends itself beautifully to calamari. It was cooked perfectly and was tender. It was served with chili pepper and chives. This dish worked on so many levels and I wish I had a wood fire oven at my apartment so I could make this dish to devour at least once a week. (Yes it was that good).

Finally we ordered the ‘Cremini’ pizza. This pizza has smoked mozzarella, truffle oil, cured olives local chives and delicious mushrooms. Thesse pizza are individual sized and if you were with someone else and were only ordering pizza you would each want to order one. This particular pizza had a crispy crust with just the right amount of sauce to toppings ratio. It was one of the better pizza I have had in a long time.

Here’s the restaurant’s info:

67 Washington Street

Providence, RI 02903

figidini.com

 

Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches Review June 18, 2013

geoffsI have been to Geoff’s twice and each time it is a great experience. The sandwiches have been amazing and the service is always outstanding. My two favorite sandwiches are ‘The Frigid Bitch’ and the reuben sandwich.

Now let me start on the reuben. I have had many of reubens over the course of my life some amazing and some awful. Let me just say that the both times I had this sandwich it was great. The corned beef is cooked and season to perfection. They put the exact right amount of sauerkraut on the sandwhich. Which in my opinion is one of the crucial points, because if there’s too much it dominates and is overwhelming. The final and most important is the russian dressing. Geoff’s taste delicious and they know not to over douse the top of the sandwich as the bread will then get soggy. All in all the best reuben sandwich I have found in Providence.

Finally the atmosphere is great at Geoff’s. There are so many different choices of sandwiches lining the walls on a chalkboard that even the most pickiest eater would be able to find something. Also they have a barrel full of house made pickles that are delicious and free to anyone who purchases food. Let me just say that the pickles were delicious.

All in all a great place and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a great sandwich in Providence.

 

geoff's menu pic

 

Los Andes Restaurant Review

los andesI have been to Los Andes Restaurant twice and have been impressed on both my visits. It is a The fist time I went it was on a Thursday night and little did I know that they would have live music in the restaurant area. It was a great addition to my experience.

Now on to the food and service. The service was spectacular from the host getting us a table even thought it was crowded rather quickly. To the waitstaff that is always welcoming and willing to give their honest opinion about a dish on the menu. Which an honest opinion when asked at a restaurant is hard to find. The food in general on both of my visits has blown me away. The taste and quality are very high in my book.

On my first trip I ordered ‘Pollo a Los Andes’ which was very tasty and a very large portion of food. The dish has pieces of chicken breast, round slices of sautéed with chorizo, cherry peppers, banana peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is then finished in a garlic-wine broth. Let me just say that the broth is delicious and packs a decent garlic punch. Finally it is served on a bed of steak fries topped with mozzarella cheese and scallions. Let me start off by saying that this dish is very filling and I wasn’t able to come close to finish the whole dish and I can eat a lot of food. If you are not a person who likes spicy I would avoid this dish as it is spicy due to the chorizo, banana peppers and cherry peppers. This has been one of my favorite dishes that I have had in quite some time. It seems like an odd combination of ingredients when you read it but when you take that first bite all the flavors come together.

On my second trip I ordered ‘Envuelto de Pollo’ this was a delicious dish and was a large portion as well. The ingredients that make up this dish are fresh chicken breast, layered with fire roasted peppers, queso blanco, spinach, and mushrooms, rolled and encrusted with seasoned Ritz crackers, finished in the broiler, topped with an aji Amarillo cream sauce. Let me just say that this dish was creamy, crunchy and delicious. The chicken stayed nice and moist while being cooked and the cheese and vegetables inside added to the delicious taste of the dish. This dish either comes with your choice of either mashed potatoes or white rice. I ordered the white rice and it was tasty and complimented the dish.

I would highly recommend ordering either of the dishes I mentioned above as they will not disappoint. The restaurant has a full bar and also does take-out. Their web address is http://www.losandesri.com. Go on over and check out their website and plan your trip to this great restaurant. I know I will keep going back for more.

Los Andes on Urbanspoon

 

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.

 

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

 

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