Questions about Providence...
(1) Would it be stupid be visit Providence on a Monday? Many chefs take Mondays as their day off, and the servers sometimes use this as an excuse for disappointing food. Should I be afraid of this happening at Providence? Would it be equally as foolish to visit on a Saturday night, when they would be at full capacity and very busy, if that were the only alternative to Monday?
(2) Is it stupid to visit Providence and not order the tasting menu? I am going with my father, who generally doesn't enjoy stronger flavored (fishy) fish, raw fish, or seared tuna, but rather enjoys lobster, scallops, shrimp, salmon, and mild white flesh fish such as bass or snapper. So while I'd love to do the tasting menu, I'm not sure it would be ideal for him. Would they adjust things accordingly if I made his preferences known beforehand?
(3) How is the dessert tasting menu? Is it a good value? Would this be a worthwhile stop after a meal someplace else, or would limiting ourselves to dessert deny us from experiencing what Providence best excels at?
(4) Anyone sat at the chef's table? Is this even an option for a party of 2?
I don't know the answers to any of your questions, but have a suggestion. Every time I've dealt with them, the folks at Providence have been really nice and accommodating, very anxious to please. If it were me, I'd call or stop by and pose my questions to them directly. With item 2, in particular, I bet they'd be able to take care of you.
1)not stupid, but perhaps not wise. like sushi, i'm not sure if their mongers come in with fish on monday, or perhaps they do because they probably have a ton of pull.
2)i just can't eat a tasting menu on a regular basis. i'm at the point where two apps are great for me, however, on special occasions, it's a nice thing to do. the tasting menu at providence is very nice. they will accomdate your father in any way they can. you may want to call ahead, ask for donato, and make the request, or if you are making reservations via opentable, put them in the request field. they read them.
3)haven't had it, but their desserts are fabulous.
4)have sat at the table three times. it requires ordering a tasting menu. if they are not too busy and it's not booked, i'm sure they would seat two there. it would be great for two as you could look out into the kitchen without obstruction and it gives two something to talk about.
tues. - thurs. are my favorite times to be there.
have fun! buen provecho!
Monday for fish is never a great idea. if you have reservations, Saturday is no problem, but they won't do the Chef's table for less than 4 people on a saturday.
No lie: Providence serves more tasting menus than a la carte items, Donato told me. It is a dang fine way to go. three choices there, the 5 course, 9 course, or chef's. Prices rise accordingly. It's even more if you get wine pairings. Frankly, I say DON'T get the wine parings. Instead, bring or order a nice bottle or two. We always bring several bottles and aske the sommalier to choose. Yes, we pay corkage. Odd, actually, how both times we went, the mentioned corkage fee did not end up on the bill :)
The dessert menu is tasty, but yo'll get a few desserts with any tastig menu. It's up to you. Frankly, though, I would eat the main meal at Providence, and go for dessert elsewhere, if you want to go 2 places. In my opinion, the main food far outshines the desserts-but both are good,
I asked for the "worst table in the house" which is a great table. But if you ask for it, they give you a 10% discount. tell them you are aware of the promo!