Five Things: The Grande, Providence
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I’m not sure if it was my Long Island roots or the unique preparations, but I couldn’t help ordering two types of duck dishes that are worth note. The first, an appetizer, crispy duck wings. Chef Antonio Franco, formerly of Pane e Vino, creates this interesting starter by frying large duck wings before coating them in a zesty chili garlic sauce. This had some serious heat, as many wings do, and I was glad there was a lime aioli to cool things off a little. I am a man who loves wings, and this was certainly a version I hadn’t had before.
For an entrée, chef takes another interesting twist on a more well-known dish. Duck confit with waffles. This is just what you think it is. A crispy Crescent Valley duck leg confit served with sweet and delicate house-pressed waffles. A little peach chutney and honey and this was an entrée that I will remember for its epicurean simplicity. I hope it is on the brunch menu.
Three. Great Mussels.
There are some well-known mussel spots in Providence. The Grande should feel free to stack up their PEIs against anyone else in town. These mussels tasted oceanic without tasting fishy. The sea broth, spiked with parsley oil and saffron, was absolutely mouth-watering. It was hard to put down the baguette and move on with the meal. I could have sat there all night sopping up everything in the bowl. The mussels themselves were perfect—delicate with a great texture. This dish was certainly worthy of revere from its contemporaries.
Four. Simple Cocktails.
Five. Savory Finish.
Who says you have to go sweet? Why not try a bit of cheese for dessert. The simple baked brie was perfect—crispy puff pastry adorned with peach chutney and Betty’s bee farm honey. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Hit ‘Save’: The Grande, 224 Atwells Ave, Providence, 401-432-7676. thegranderi.com
Would I go back? Yes. Interesting takes. Easy ambience. Something refreshing on The Hill.
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