Location: 121 Washington St, Providence RI, 02903
Last night I took two of my friends to Local 121 for dinner. We weren’t planning on going to a nice restaurant to eat so we weren’t exactly dressed appropriately for the dinning room but there was plenty of room at the end of the bar so we bellied on up and asked for a few menus. While waiting for the menus we began to look around and notice all of the old woodwork on the bar was well as the walls and floor.
Their website explains the history of all this the best; “Our Story — The Dreyfus Hotel (c. 1890) once a popular hotel in the heart of the city’s bustling theater district has been revitalized. The upper floors have been transformed into highly affordable, beautiful live/work space for local artists by the arts organization AS220. The former hotel dining room and tap have been carefully restored to an air of modern elegance which is Local 121. Our dining room offers an elegant and intimate ambiance with a modern twist on the historical opulent décor. The historic wood-paneled tap room offers an upscale, inviting, relaxed environment suitable for an eclectic mix of patrons (local residents and out-of-town visitors). The “speakeasy” located in the basement level offers an elegant private dining room, complete with a state-of-the-art presentation technology, making the space perfect for meetings, events and community programming.”
We received our menus and instantly my cheese loving friend needs to have their cheese platter which had a blue cheese, a lavender and rosemary infused cheese, and a sheep’s milk cheese. This was accompanied by a sunflower seed brittle, two types of bread, and a strawberry preserve. Myself being a wine lover decided that this would be a good opportunity to try a new wine so I ordered a glass of the Conquista, Malbec, 2006 from Mendoza, Argentina. This wine was full bodied with good acidity with hints of dark berries and light spice flavors and was a great match for my entree.
For dinner my friends played it safe. The cheese lover had the Local 121 burger with extra cheese and bacon and said it was quite delicious. My other friend had the pan roasted chicken breast which was seasoned to perfection and served with a side of broccolini and a caramelized onion, swiss chard bread. I chose to walk on the wild side as usual and order the Grilled Quail with sweet italian sausages, grilled apples, and croutons. The quail was cooked perfectly, not dry as many restaurants will serve it but it left a little to be desired. Personally I would have served with with a slightly spicy sausage to add another element to the plate.
We finished up our meal with the Chocolate Tart served with homemade ginger ice cream. This was one of the most incredible desserts I have ever had and I’m not usually a huge chocolate fan. The tart itself was sprinkled with just a hint of what I believe was sea salt. The combination of dark chocolate, sweetness, and salt was enough to have my taste buds dancing the night away. I paired the dessert with a glass of Cockburn’s 20 year Tawny Port.
To sum it all up, we had a great time at Local 121 spending only around $40 each which I believe is a deal considering all of the local food as well as having two drinks each. With the incredible ambiance, delicious meals, and amazing dessert, Local 121 gave me one more reason to Live to Eat.
John T. Osorio