Five Things: Return to Gracie’s, Providence
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
One. Tasting menu.
Any Rhode Island foodie worth their Himalayan rock salt already knows that Gracie’s can turn out one memorable experience after another, so spice things up a bit. When going to Gracie’s I suggest going for the gusto. Enjoy one of Chef Matt Varga’s skillfully prepared tasting menus, which is what I chose to do on a recent visit. The only real question is whether to get the five- or seven-course meal (I vote the latter).
Two. Don’t forget the wine.
For a special occasion be sure to indulge in the paired wines with your tasting menu. I particularly enjoyed the Rioja from Beronia paired with roasted rabbit and found the Ferraria white port paired with a regional cheese plate to be particularly memorable.
Four. Seasonal foie.
I know some people take issue with Foie Gras. Not this guy. Gracie’s sources the delicacy responsibly, allowing me to enjoy guilt-free. It would be difficult to resist anyway with the impressive preparation that this duck liver receives. A perfectly seared piece of Hudson Valley foie was joined in an elegant plate presentation with (all house-made) pumpkin butter, pickled sugar pumpkin and cranberries, pumpkin seed oil, candied walnuts and pumpkin brioche. This dish was truly an autumnal mission. The bitter-sweet cranberry cut through the fatty foie effortlessly while the rich and decadent pumpkin oil added a deep and refined flavor.
Five. Crispy capers.
Gracie’s excels in interesting texture combinations. They fulfilled this charge stylishly on the fourth course with an Italian Sea Bass. The Branzino with its delicate and flavorful core was wonderfully enhanced by the presence of fried capers and lemon preserve. This preparation of the capers transformed the pickled bud into a crunchy accent with an almost meaty quality.
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Would I go back? Yes. Gracie’s always delivers. Amazing and thoughtful food, refined service and an elegant but relaxed environment. Meet me there anytime.
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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