Five Things: Pietra, Little Compton

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

 

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With the arrival of Pietra, chef Paul Jonathan Wade's showcase of Tuscan-inspired cuisine at the luxuriously restored Stone House, sophisticated dining has made landfall in far-flung Little Compton. Sean DeBobes ventured south to see if Pietra was worth the journey. Here are the five things he wants you to know.

One. Oyster Flight.

Pietra surprised me with a great concept: a flight of oysters. For a restaurant that is not an oyster bar, they pay incredible respect to the dish. Four oysters arrive individually prepared: one tempura fried with Béarnaise sauce, one topped by a Tabasco sorbet, another by lobster roe, and the fourth, purely naked. Each flavor shone. I especially enjoyed the Tabasco sorbet, ice cold but with heat. Order one for everyone at the table; you won’t want to share.

Two. Summer Sipper.

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Melting through these 90° days you just need a refreshing cocktail. I found mine in the Compton Special. This revitalizer made with Clement Rhum, Clement Creole Shrubb (not Shrub – this was an orange Curacao), pineapple juice and lime was just what I needed after the long haul from the PVD. For after dinner, order off the extensive list of single malt scotches and enjoy around the outdoor fire pit.

Three. Day Trip, Anyone?

Clocking in around an hour from Providence, this is as far as I drive for dinner. Though after walking around this property and through a few rooms of the inn, I am tempted to pack my bags and settle into some Little Compton living for the weekend. The drive out is beautiful and relaxing, and certainly helps build up that appetite.

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Four. Serene Style.

I want to live in this dining room. This very modern space with simple but stunning art focuses much of your attention on what’s around you. Your eyes will slowly wander to the gorgeous vistas just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. Sprawling lawns with cute cottages give way to the tranquil Round Pond at the edge of the property. Back in the dining room the subtle décor reminds me far more of East Hampton than Rhode Island.

Five. FLAVOR!

Entrees were brilliant. The Niman Ranch pork was boosted by a violet plum mustard that braided sweetness, tang and spice, served with pan-fried gnocchi with the restrained taste of sheep’s milk. This was some really lofty barbeque. I was surprised and delighted by a rare tuna that was tempura fried. Into the oil and onto my plate, the tuna retained many of the raw characteristics that I love. It was accented with a lemongrass and mustard sauce and served with little scoops of perfectly ripe, velvety avocado. Rich palette, indeed.

Would I go back? Yes. GET IN YOUR CAR, drive to the end of the earth and enjoy. You may find yourself wanting to stay a few days.

Hit Save: Pietra @ the Stone House. 122 Sakonnet Point Rd, Little Compton, 635-2222. Open for lunch Thurs–Mon 11am-2pm and dinner 5-10pm. Reservations strongly encouraged.

 
 

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