Bar Menu Is High End at Providence
I was discussing with a friend about going to bars alone. I don’t go very often to bars by myself but I do like it at times. I particularly like going to restaurant bars and having a few snacks as well as a cocktail or two. That’s what I intended when I went to Providence. Though to be honest, a friend later joined me so this experience wasn’t quite the single adventure it could have been.
I hadn’t been to Providence in a bit but it’s one of my favorite seafood restaurants. And I had always meant to visit the bar when Zahra Bates was in charge. She recently left and is now bartending at Cole’s. However, the bar staff is very capable. Laura Lindsay took care of me this evening and I saw glimpses of bartender Krishna Vutla formerly of Picca poking about.
Providence sent out a few gifts including the greyhound gelee and an amuse bouche that disappeared all too quickly.
Good thing we had “bread” which were wonderful crisps with a salmon dip. We also ordered oysters and had the kitchen choose the varieties.
Predictably, I liked the smaller West Coast oysters more though I like all raw oysters. I liked the simple squeezing of a bit of lemon to balance the salinity of the oysters.
I had started out with the Longboarder (Oro pisco, Old Overholt rye, housemade falernum, vanilla bean, fresh citrus, Manzanilla sherry float). I’m a big fan of pisco, rye and sherry drinks but never thought to put all three together. It was a great opening drink. I later moved on to bartender Laura’s 1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch, 1 Beer. I really enjoyed this drink; the subtle blending of the two spirits and beer. And yet, it wasn’t smack-in-your-face boozy. At least, not for me.
My friend got Providence’s famous Chowdah. I’ve had this at various food festivals and have always enjoyed it.
I want to hang with the Ugly Bunch. I mean, who wouldn’t want sea urchin, abalone and geoduck atop a wonderful panna cotta. I really loved this dish and wish I could have this every week. Maybe next week.
I also picked out the live new Bedford sea scallop with sea urchin and squid with a dashi broth. I loved the plating using the scallop shell itself. So beautiful.
I probably didn’t need a full entree but I get seafood greedy and wanted more fish. I decided to get the black sea bass with blood sausage.
I had actually forgotten this dish would come with the blood sausage until I found it hiding under the frisee. I love surprises!
My friend picked out a dessert with huckleberries while I enjoyed a little after-dinner drink.
The Yellow Chartreuse was a perfect way to end the meal. Some amari can be really bitter but the French Monks know how to do it right. Yellow Chartreuse is just a touch sweet and has enough viscosity to clear the palate of the wonderful seafood I just had.
Can’t end the night without some mignardises from the restaurant. Providence sent out some gelees, macarons and caramels. Really nice touch and love the presentation on the wood slab.
So who says you can’t go to bars alone (sorta)?
5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038 — (323) 460-4170
© The Minty 2013