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Jul 18, 2007 01:38 PM

Temple, Providence, RW dinner report

We stopped in at Temple on Monday night for Restaurant Week. I’ll skip a description of the restaurant since that is covered in today’s ProJo.

We sat at the bar for dinner. My dining companion was not happy that they didn’t have Absolute or Kettle One Vodka. I ordered a glass of wine ($5.50 - $16.50). They had a good sized by the glass list with ~16 red and whites to select from. My wine was good, but the fruit flies also thought my wine was good and I had to keep swatting them away. The music was very loud and club like. We ordered the stuffies to munch on while looking over the restaurant week menu and deciding what we wanted. There were 5 stuffies. The presentation was very nice, in a hot casserole dish atop faux newspaper, with a lemon. There was very heavy breading with a few clam bits.

We both ordered from the Restaurant Week Menu. They had many different selections to choose from. I had the Crispy Point Judith Calamari, pecorino, backyard herbs for my appetizer. The herbs were very strong which I liked. The calamari was crisp and nicely fried. It was served with a marinara sauce, but I really preferred the calamari with just the herbs and pecorino. My entrée was the Clay Pot Mussels with garlic, saffron, a “gansett” served with Temple Fries. This was a very generous serving with at least 20 Mussels. The broth was very good. This was served with a side of temple fries were herb seasoned. They were very tasty, especially soaked on the mussel broth. My dessert was Flourless Chocolate Cake. I was stuffed and couldn’t eat this. I did bring it home to eat later and enjoyed it the next night.

My dining companion ordered the Mushroom, Fontina, Crescenza Cheese Flatbread with sea salt and white truffle order. This flatbread had an ultra thin crust and was very crispy. Parts of the edges and higher parts of the crust were burnt (black) and the burnt taste was very strong when you hit one of these spots on the flatbread. Otherwise, this tasted good. His entrée was the Angus Beef Burger with organic cheddar, bacon, onion jam, also served with Temple Fries. The burger was prepared as ordered, medium rare. It was a very thick burger. His dessert was the Cookie Sandwich, which was two very large chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream. The dessert portion was enormous and could have easily been shared by two or three people.

With the exception of the calamari, all of the portions were very generous. Everything was good. No highlights or stand out dishes, but everything was good. We would probably return for drinks and appetizers in the bar and would possibly return for dinner.

There are still some minor service kinks to work out, but I’ll let them slide since they have only been open for a couple of weeks.

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  1. Unfortunately, this will probably not get posted in time for others to change their Restaurant Week reservations, but here goes for all others who might attempt to pay full price for this place.

    My friend and I went to Temple Bar, in the beautiful and sexy confines of the basement of the Renaissance Providence Hotel. The atmosphere was appealing immediately, but we should just looked around instead of eating. Things got off to a horrible experience immediately when the hostess informed us that she had given away our table after we arrived 15 min late. I understood why this was our fault and she said she would seat us ASAP after that. After about 25-30 minutes of strategizing on the part of the very cute, but not so intelligent hostesses, she informed us that there would not be any tables available for over 1 and a half hours. What are our other options, we asked? The lounge...we were told

    The lounge is a very sheik area where very trendy folks put up their feet and sip the designer cocktails. That's if you can attract any waiters to your banquette/table. We waited for over 20 additional minutes to even see a menu, then we had to ask for the Restaurant Week menu when it was not given to us....please.

    Finally, came the food. We hoped it would be the bright spot of the night. Wrong! My dining partner had the clam chowder to start (which came in a microscopic bowl) and then the fish and chips, which came resting on a soggy white bread roll and pseudo-newspaper. More soggy than crispy.....they didn't fool us. I chose wiser for appetizers and got the eggplant and tomato flatbread....simple, but an ample portion and seasoned well. It was no Al Forno, but we weren't expecting. Then, my dinner was the skate which came without the usual cartilage/bony parts which was convenient, but seemed either overcooked or manipulated to accomplish this. Severely underseasoned to. The wine was the bright spot, the only Cote du Rhone on the menu priced at $32.

    And just when we thought it was over, after a 30 minute wait between dinner and the dessert order, we were presented with the wrong desserts. We ordered the chocolate cake and instead got vanilla gelato and a brownie!!! What kind of culinary idiots did they think we were? Of course, how else would this terrible experience end, but a check that was incorrect and inconsiderate of the restaurant week pricing. It was promptly corrected, but then discovered to be incorrect again. After fixing the second time, I had missed the last commuter rail back to Beantown and ended up taking Acela back instead. I guess I can thank Temple for allowing me this comfort.

    The only justification for going is to people watch and perhaps cocktails....consider Mill's Tavern, Gracies, Al Forno, or any number of fine dining restaurants instead!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bostonhyedoc

      Your post reminded me. They gave us the regular menus. We had to request the restaurant week menu also and our bill was wrong. We had to send it back for corrections once.