Thursday, July 4, 2013

Birch in Providence

Located in downtown Providence, right next door to Gracie's along Washington Street was Tini's, one of our favorite eateries. Launched by George Germon and Johanne Killeen (of Al Forno fame), Tini's was small and unique in design (a food bar really) but under the culinary direction of Darius Salko you could always count on not just good food but great food.

When Tini's closed earlier this year it left a big question mark in the minds of local foodies: what is going in to that tiny niche across from Trinity Rep Theater. Well, now we know.

Ben Sukle, who helmed the opening of the Dorrance Restaurant in downtown Providence,  and his wife Heidi have taken the space and, keeping the same design (not much choice there!), launched "Birch" last month.

Susie, Andrea, Matt and I met up there the other day to taste test the food and get a sense of the new space.  While we miss Darius' incredibly creative and tasty comfort food (my God his gnocchi and rabbit!!), still we found the food at Birch quite nice: imaginative, flavorful and priced to sell.  A very nicely rounded wine list as well.

The space only seats about 15 people so I suspect that there will be standing room only before long. Oh, and parking is a challenge of course, it being Providence, so be prepared to be creative on a busy weekend.

Matt always has a way to make people smile

Tini's layout is still pretty much the same: u-shaped bar; kitchen is to the right rear

no, that's not sausage but a roasted carrot with Point Judith Fluke!

shredded crab with potatoes, quinoa, green tomatoes and an egg yolk

Point Judith stripped sea bass with Hakurei turnips, mussels, Escarole and lovage
crispy Vermont quail

triple chocolate pudding with rhubarb sorbet, peanuts and oat snaps

unique take on cheesecake with glazed strawberries, sorrel and wild rose ice cream

raspberries with almonds