Five Things: Chez Pascal, Providence
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
How many shorefront dinners can a man have? Plenty, in the Ocean State, but sometimes a body just craves a fantastic, French-inspired, gourmet meal. Was the fare at Providence's Chez Pascal holding up in the heat of summer? Culinarian Sean DeBobes stopped by chef Matt Gennuso's well-known and respected restaurant to check in. Here are the five things he wants you to know.
One. Charming Cocktails.
I had two wonderful cocktails at Chez Pascal. The first dubbed the Faux Pas blended Grey Goose la Poire with a house made pear and ginger sorbet. Add a dash of pineapple juice and I had a drink halfway between a smoothie and a martini, refreshing and delicious. The second libation, Mon Cher, was superb and innovative to boot. Crafted with Bombay Saphire, grapefruit juice, sparkling wine and a subtle rosemary infused simple syrup. This bubbly-herbaceous beverage is sure to please many palates.
Two. House Made Ham-Wrapped Roasted Bluefish.
I should say I am a lover of bluefish, oily and rich in flavor. I have spent many an afternoon on the Long Island sound seeking this wonderful specimen. The house-made ham, however, stole the show. Super crispy, delicately salty, and superbly savory; this may just prove once again that any amazing food can still be improved… by wrapping some pig around it.
Three. Fried Cheese!
It’s important to get your greens, so I ordered a beautifully plated summer green salad with pine nuts and Cabernet vinaigrette. Sitting on top was a triumphant patty of fried goat cheese. The smooth creamy inside contrasted by the crunchy-brittle outside was excellent. Such a noble way to crown a mélange of garden greens.
Thoughtful and elegant, the pear upside-down cake with Great Hill blue cheese, caramel and crème fraiche was inspired. Immaculately sweetened and balanced so well with the ripeness of the blue cheese, this dessert delighted me.
Five. Squid Salad.
A classic with some twists. Sautéed Cape Cod squid was served with local cucumbers, feta cheese and a house mustard vinaigrette. The squid had a memorable texture. Fresh and chewy (not rubbery), this salad had me craving a relaxing lakeside picnic… can I get some to go?
Would I go back? Yes, sign me up. This Providence tradition only gets better with age.
Hit “Save:" Chez Pascal, 960 Hope St, Providence, 421-4422. Dinner Mon-Thurs 5:30-9:30, Fri & Sat 5:30-10:00. Reservations encouraged.
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