Five Things: Cook & Brown Public House

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

 

When hot young restaurateurs Nemo and Jenny Bolin took over the corner vacated by Oak this spring, GoLocalProv's culinarian had to get in and see what the fuss was about.  Here are the five things he wants you to know. 

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Super Seasonal: C&B takes seasonal to a whole new level.  They produce their menu daily to ensure the freshest ingredients.  Perhaps this is why owners, Nemo and Jenny Bolin (Chef & General Manager) picked a location next to the Hope Street Farmers Market.  The trip from planter to plate is so short that you could hit it with a fresh fiddlehead.

Commendable Crustacean:  The evening's pinnacle: a brilliantly designed salad of local lobster with a medley of pickled red, golden and Chiogga beets bound together by a horseradish cream.  I could not stop eating this salad and though dinner was on the way I was tempted to cancel that and get another order of that holy hash.

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Bitters are Better: Line me up another please.  The wonderfully crafted Bennet Fizz with gin, Angostura and Green Chartreuse is one of those cocktails that will warm you in the winter and refresh you in the summer.  So…. bottoms up.  This tipple was so nice I needed to come in a few nights later to try something else.  Bartender Bryan Witmer prepared an off-menu Raspbery Rum Shrub, thankfully with a heavy dash of bitters.  This has me thinking: ATTENTION ALL BARS: add some bitters and I’ll see you there.

Sometimes, Keep it Simple: Dessert was a miss for me.  A well-conceived but poorly executed panna cotta with fluorescent green fennel syrup looked like it belonged at a Halloween party. Served in a glass parfait cup that emphasized the two-tone quality (ramekins, anyone?), it didn't get any prettier once the spoon hit the custard and things started to… well… blend.

Sometimes, Just Go For It:  At the same time, there is something to be said about ignoring tradition and having fun in the kitchen.  Cook & Brown is innovating every night… from a Savory Bacon & Herb Granola (this might be even better over some ricotta) to a Garlic Bread pudding, you can guarantee that you will try something new while at Cook & Brown.

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Would I go back?  I see fancy cocktails and starters in my immediate future; and every time I hit the Hope St. Farmers Market, I'm going imagine what Nemo's cooking up that night. 

Hit “Save”  Cook & Brown Public House, 959 Hope St, Providence, 02906, 273-7275, http://cookandbrown.com.  Open Tues-Sun 5:30-10 pm

Photos: kelleydebettencourt.com

 

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