Authors: Victor, Monte, and Tad
Exec Chef: John Fraser
Date: March 25, 2013
Tad’s notes: Ah Dovetail. I’ve gushed about this place before, and you’ve probably gotten the sense that the reason I love this place is not just because of the food. Don’t get me wrong, the food is great. But what makes me LOVE Dovetail is the sense of comfort I get when I come here. It is close, it is casual enough that I don’t have to dress up, and it is consistent. It’s like Applebee’s, only for people in my tax bracket. AND they offer cheaper prix fixe options for those not so lucky.
We chose to order three different tasting menus, but shared them all.
White truffle arancini, rosemary wheat cracker, and cornbread.
Tad: The bread course here remains one of my favorites in New York. There is something special about the amount of love, and buttery goodness, that goes into the cornbread. Arancini is delicious, and the rosemary cracker is fun both in flavor and in texture.
Exec Chef: Michael Cimarusti
Date: April 20, 2013
Dinner: 9-Course Tasting
Providence has been high on my list for a while now, and I finally got to try it today! Unfortunately, our reservation was for 9:30 p.m., and they apparently stop serving the 14-course Chef’s Tasting after 9:00 p.m. We settled for the 9-course, which was pretty solid.
The service wasn’t too great. They didn’t make any mistakes or anything, but the waiters were pretty stiff—it made us feel a bit out of place. To be fair, we WERE underdressed; still, it’s LA! It should totally be fine for us to dress relatively casually haha. Maybe it was because we were really young? I dunno.
I really want to write more about the courses of this meal, but I can’t bring myself to do it. It was one of those weird meals where you KNOW the food is objectively really good… but it was just a bad experience. A lot of the dishes were solid and of the quality that you’d expect from a restaurant of this caliber, and there were definitely some amazing courses. Still… I can’t help but feel that I enjoyed the experience at Yamakase the previous night more.
Chef: Kiyoshiro Yamamoto
Date: April 19, 2013
(Whew, Dinner #2. I just had 38 pieces of sushi at Sushi Zo at 5:30 p.m., and here I am at Yamakase to eat a lot more food at 7:30 p.m. I’m going to gain a looooooooooooot of weight today.)
Yamakase recently opened, and they call it an “invite-only” restaurant. It’s not hard to get “invited”, though. You just fill out a form online on their website, and they’ll reply back with an “invitation” soon enough.
The restaurant’s pretty hard to find, and parking was annoying. It’s street parking–only, but, if you’re like me, you’ll just park in a nearby lot and hope that your car doesn’t get towed away. Once we arrived at the restaurant, we had to knock. There’s no sign, and it even says “closed”. They even lock the door hahaha—it was pretty shady.
The meal was wonderful. Chef Yamamoto seemed a bit strict at first, but you realize a few minutes in that he’s a really, really nice guy. He’ll also like you more if you’re really enthusiastic about the food. (He seemed a little offended when one of the customers near us wouldn’t eat the rice when he was serving nigiri.) It was one of those meals that reminded me of Urasawa—you could chat with the chef a lot and even drink with him!
The rice was even warmer than Sushi Zo’s, which was kind of a con for me. The rice was similar to Sasabune’s rice in NYC when I went; I have to admit that the rice was really soft and fluffy, though it did break apart easily once or twice (a problem that Sasabune also had). It did feel a little inconsistent at times, though—for a few pieces, the rice would at times feel slightly grainy, but this particular issue wasn’t too big of a deal.
The fish was VERY fresh, and it seemed like nearly all of his ingredients came from Japan.