Local 121, Providence
I heard that Local 121, Josh Miller's new local-focused place in AS220's Dreyfus building downtown, had a soft opening last week. Anybody hear anything, any early rumblings?
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I went there last night and it was excellent! The ingredients are really top-notch. I had the frisee and spinach salad with mustard vinaigrette and a poached egg. It might have been the best salad I've ever had.
The interior is beautiful and the dining area is fancier than I expected, yet I wouldn't say that I felt like I had to be dressed up. Everyone who works there seemed professional but laid back - definitely not a snobby place.
Wow, I visited too and I definitely disagree. The ingredients were very good, and they are definitely doing their best to source locally (very difficult this time of year, it's still quite early for most local producers), but they seemed very disorganized and the place was mostly empty.
The biggest lapse was right off the bat, we walked in and couldn't find anyone to seat us. Stood around for a good 5 minutes, walking between the dining room and bar, until we finally asked the bartende rif we could sit in there. We then watched it happen to another couple a half hour later. They've got to have someone on the front door, that's just silly.
The food was good, but uneven. In particular, the salad i had made no sense to me, the way the ingredients had been sliced and combined, the dressing was bland. Also the clam chowder tasted like chicken soup.
I mean, it's a soft opening for a reason, i realize that, but I'll let them work the kinks out for a little while before I return. Maybe we caught them at an off moment, but I'm not impressed yet.
also, the little tables in the bar room bounce and wobble like nobody's business, they're awful.
I went to Local 121 with my wife last night. Got there around 8, dropped the car off with the valet and was immediately greeted at the door by a hostess. The place was only about 1/3rd full, much to my surprise. The design is gorgeous, kind of what Bravo would be if they took a chance and weren't so masculine. Our server was excellent, both attentive and helpful. My wife asked about the name of the wine she was drinking and at the end of the night the server brought over the actual bottle so that she would know what the label looks like.
The food was very good. The bread they served had this tangy, almost sourdough background to it, although neither piece was technically sourdough bread. Loved it, though. I got the scallop entree, pan seared with roasted potatoes and some sort of asian root (?). The dish was top notch, scallops nicely seared, the sauce very tasty without being too sweet or salty. My wife got a white bean soup and entree salad, the details of which I don't recall, actually. Her soup was a bit of disappointment. Too salty and not very rich in flavor. The salad was very tasty.
There is also a bar area separated from the dining area by a full wall. It has a very different feel from the elegant dining area. Darker colors, more masculine, but very well laid out with a long bar, high top tables to sit, too. All and all we will be back!
We finally made it to Local 121 last night, and it was fantastic. We ordered an assortment of small plates - and all were delicious, fresh, and interesting. Our favorites were the clam arancini and the littlenecks in beer, shallots, and cocoa nibs. The white bean, roasted parsnip, and fennel brandade was also a hit.
Service was excellent - we were neither rushed nor ignored. We had a pleasant, leisurely meal, and will definitely be back again.
We had a less than stellar meal there last week.
The service was pretty bad- the food, basic and not really noteworthy.
I'm going to give it another try sometime this winter.