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Jan 3, 2011 04:37 PM

Providence: ALC or Tasting Menu

I am visiting my daughter who is attending college in LA, and planning to take her to Providence. The online menu looks great, and I am debating between ordering a la carte vs tasting menu.

• The tasting menu gives us a chance to try many different dishes. But I read from this board that it has too much food. Do you know if we can do 9-course for one, and 5-course for the other? Also can we substitute course? 1 meal dish is too many for me, although my daughter would welcome a taste of meat by that point.
• Another option is to go a la carte. Turbot for 2 is enticing. Last time I had Turbot was in Southern France many years ago. Anyone experience that at Providence? We can follow that with a dessert tasting.


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  1. The same type of tasting menu (either in 5 or 7 course iteration) must be ordered for the entire table. One person cannot have a 5-course and another a 7-course.

    Do the Tasting Menu -- in either iteration, esp. if you have the time. A la carte is not the best way to experience Providence.

    1. You must both order the same tasting menu, but they were very accomodating about substitutions for our dietary restrictions. I had a marvelous meal, without shellfish or land animals. My husband had no shellfish and no pork. The two others ate without restrictions. This was for the 14 course tasting menu.
      Not sure, though, about, "I only want one meat course" since that implies picky eater more than restricted eater. But you could order one "regular" menu and one "no meat" menu.

      4 Replies
      1. re: lrhr

        Out of curiosity, does anyone know the current price of the chef's tasting menu?

        1. re: shouzen

          Per their website: $160, or $245 with wine pairing.

          1. re: foggy_town

            Oh, thanks - apparently I'm retarded and completely missed it *blush*

            1. re: foggy_town

              There is a more reasonable $125 tasting menu too.

        2. The 5 course tasting menu isn't too much food, go with that. They will let you substitute courses, just ask. For instance, once I wanted to do the 5-course tasting menu followed by the dessert tasting menu, and they allowed me to sub a savory cheese course for the dessert that is supposed to be in the 5-course. So that's another idea if you want to do the dessert tasting menu as well. Although the desserts are all light, that really was quite a lot of food, though.

          1. And, of course, you can also order a la carte dishes to supplement the 5 course tasting if there is something that strikes your fancy (last time I was there, I added the spectacular Santa Barbara spot prawns cooked in a bed of salt to my 5 course).

            1 Reply
            1. re: New Trial

              I usually go with the same game plan supplementing the 5 course with the spot prawns, or hokkaido scallops, or pasta alla chitarra with white tuffles, or whatever else looks good on the seasonal market menu.

            2. Definitely go tasting menu. And as said above, they're very good about substitutions and adding a few courses (e.g., we usually do the 5-course and add a cheese course).