Thursday, December 16, 2010

Olga's Cup and Saucer

A dining fixture in Providence for more than a quarter of a century, Olga's Cup and Saucer, known locally as simply "Olga's," has become an icon (along with Seven Stars) for those seeking fresh bread and a tasty sandwich.

But I draw the line at their soup.

Over the past several months I've tried three of their soups, the last one just yesterday: a disappointing Navy Bean. Basically a mediocre tomato vegetable, the beans, less navy than coast guard, were smallish, a bit too firm to the bite and not worth the time or trouble it took to prepare, order or eat it.

So stick with the panini's, the tuna melt, the salads or whatever, but steer clear of the soups.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cook and Brown in Providence

It's been too long since I've updated this blog -- primarily because we tend to eat at the same wonderful places right here in Providence, and you've heard most of those details all before. But I wanted to share our latest dining adventure: a very nice new restaurant opened about 8 months ago on the East Side, right across the street from one of our favorite places, Chez Pascal.

Called Cook and Brown (no, I don't know why), you can skip Atwell's Avenue,  this place needs to go right to the top of your list of places to eat next.

We had an early dinner and were probably the second table seated for the evening. By the time we left, at nearly 8pm, the bar was shoulder to shoulder and the restaurant was packed, each table full to capacity.

Ambience -- a magical word in today's dining experience -- was cozy, and the small dining space had a comfortable neighborhood feel. and indeed, one senses that lots of the folks dining that evening were locals.

Service (Kandace with a "K") was friendly,  straightforward, and attentive without being invasive, striking just the right balance we thought.

Food was delicious, filling and creative without being contrived. I had Hubbard squash soup with chicken confit and pumpkin seed and Susie had the swordfish salad. Yes, we thought it sounded strange, too, but the flavor was so good you couldn't wait for the next bite. For our entree (or plat in French) Susie had the John Dory (not him personally just his fish), on a bed of small white beans and veggies, and I had the Cuban sandwich with a side of their home frites. Outstanding in every way. Portions were just right and so our second meal at Cook & Brown proved just as wonderful experience as our first.

We can't wait to try their Sunday dinner, one seating. . .  See ya there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Olga's for lunch, Broadway Bistro and New Rivers for Dinner

Since the turn of the new year we've been to Olga's twice for lunch. It's located just a block from where I work in Providence, on the corner of Richmond and Point Streets, and a great place to meet up with Susie and family when they breeze through the city (like our niece Rachel did recently, along with her boyfriend Steve).

The sandwiches are delicious and always freshly made with Olga's incredible bread. The tortilla-corn soup we had recently, though, was a bit on the mediocre side but I'm eager to try their chili.

Broadway Bistro is always a favorite of ours and we enjoy Pat Lowney's scrumptious comfort food: his incredible short ribs n grits app is a meal until itself and a bargain, to be sure. He still lacks a solid wine list but what he does offer is OK -- and of course there are NO desserts.

Susie and I spent last Friday at New Rivers, celebrating my dad's 100th birthday. We were impressed by the newly remodeled space and found the use of glass on one side and mirrors on the other imaginative. Bruce's wine list is one of the best in the city with plenty of value to be found. We ordered a steak for my dad -- he was a very picky eater -- and toasted his memory, never forgetting that in a very real sense he started us on this particular part of our journey together.

Thanks pop!