Five Things: Gracie’s, Providence
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
GoLocalProv's roaming culinarian had dinner at the newly retooled hotspot on Washington Street. Here are the five things he wants you to know.
Texture, Texture: Gracie’s may have well just invented the al dente vegetable. Each one better than the last. My roasted rack of lamb was escorted by a faultlessly roasted peppery carrot. Then along came my asparagus. First grilled then sautéed in butter and garlic, this charred/fatty shoot had my taste buds running around the room. Of course my lamb needed somewhere to rest, the chef set each rib on a bed of Knöpfle Spätzle. Bravo to whomever herbed this egg noodle. The flavor was exquisite and each button was so tender that it melted in your mouth.
What Cheer! Netop: If I come away feeling like every employee wanted me to have an unforgettable dining experience, then Gracie's is doing something very right. This “All-Star” service started the moment Mario, the valet, took my car keys. This tremendous consideration continued all night through my server, John. Every employee had a remarkable knowledge of each item on the menu and they were always available to help with all my needs.
Buffed Up: Be you urban gardener or wine aficionado Gracie’s has you covered. A rooftop garden provides micro greens and fresh herbs that lace the menu. From upstairs all the way to down-cellar, a working wine room (right) sets a cozy, fantastic ambience for private parties. It's ours for the booking.
Oh What a Bar: This beautifully designed bar served me two of the best cocktails I have had in some time. The Seoul-Cosmo made with Soju and Plum wine delivered my long-held, and until now, unfulfilled dream of what a Sake-based cocktail should be. Equally fabulous: a Colonial Shrub made with Whiskey, Raspberry shrub and bitters. Not a cocktail person? No problem. Gracie’s has an extensive wine list, many by the glass and even more by the half bottle (nice for light drinkers), so keep on tasting.
Leave Room For... Everything Else: It is easy to get lost in how expertly Gracie’s executes the details. Let me not forget to mention how mind-blowing my entire meal was. Starting with Rhode Island Little Necks perched in a creamy leek sauce. These clams were absolutely mouth watering. My only advice to the chef would be to hold back on the smoked bacon a little. I wanted to enjoy the clams natural flavor just a little more. A minted jus gave sweet/herbaceous notes to an adeptly seared and roasted rack of lamb. Please order dessert… The raspberry and almond tart du jour had a great sharp and buttery flavor that gave a perfect end to a wonderful meal.
Would I go back? You can find me at the bar sipping a thoughtfully crafted cocktail or in the working wine cellar dining room.
Hit “Save”: Gracie’s, 194 Washington St., 272-7811, www.graciesprovidence.com. Dinner served Tues-Sat 5pm-close, reservations encouraged, free valet parking.
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