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Sep 6, 2012 11:43 AM

PVD/RI * September '12 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

A bit late this month, but better than never.

What news here this month in Providence and Rhode Island?

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  1. North opened in the former Ama spot on Tuesday. We plan to check it out tomorrow night, will report back.

    We ended up at The Grande, a new spot on Federal Hill, Saturday night. It was predictably bad. We were with a group and split the baked brie app and the mussels app. The mussels were fine, but the brie was cold in the middle and the pastry crust was undercooked. It was served with "artisanal" crackers, which turned out to be butterfly crackers that I'm sure were taken straight from a box. For my entree I had duck confit served with "house-pressed" waffle (which I took to mean fresh). The duck had a slimy piece of skin covering meat so salty I couldn't finish it. While the waffle may have been homemade, it had clearly been reheated. It ended up soggy in the places where it adsorbed the peach compote and dry everywhere else.

    Cocktails were executed better than food, and we were with good friends so the night wasn't a total loss.

    Does anyone know what's going on with the diner that was moved onto Westminster St months ago?

    2 Replies
    1. re: barfly

      That place Grande is a bar the food is secondary if that

      1. re: barfly

        We made it to North last night. We arrived about 6:30 - the bar was full-ish, but we were only the 2nd table. Things did fill up not long after we arrived. They haven't changed the Ama decor, which was fine by us, we always thought it was a nice space.

        It was only their third night open for business and they're still serving a limited menu. We started with the oyster special and the squash salad. The oysters (3 for $7) came topped with a toasted spinach/artichoke/crumb mixture and were divine. The squash salad ($9) was served in a bowl and consisted of sauteed (nicely browned) zucchini and summer squash, mixed with chunks of toasted, vinegary, sourdough bread, and whole leaves of thai basil. Overall a good dish, I found the squash a little under seasoned, but the bread and basil mostly made up for that. They don't have entrees yet, so we both had sandwiches. My husband loved his scrapple sandwich ($9), particularly the sauce. I also enjoyed my lobster roll ($14), though it looked pretty lonely on my plate as there was not a lot to it. Fried shallots and cilantro were nice additions, though I didn't get a lot of green curry flavor, as described on the menu.

        Overall we though it was good and a nice addition to the neighborhood. We'll be back when the full menu is available.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Has anyone been to Bayal Buffet? It's a BYOB Senegalese/African place in Pawtucket. I tried the buffet for dinner one night and really enjoyed sampling all the various dishes in one sitting, but I do wonder how freshly made some items were. Thoughts?

          1 Reply
          1. re: jamiecoelho

            I noticed it the last time I was picking up some food from Pho Horns. Checked Yelp, and the reviews were pretty bad.

          2. Yikes, just heard that the Red Fez was sold. If anyone knows about future plans, please post! It's one of our go to spots.

            2 Replies
            1. re: barfly

              Yes! I saw that on Twitter and asked Ed Reposa what it's all about. He sold it to the same manager so nothing will change. I think Ed's moving.

              1. re: jamiecoelho

                Well, the Ginger Gentleman has been killed as a cocktail (no more Maker's Mark, no more candied ginger slices). Went from superb to meh over the past few weeks to months. My heart weeps & hopes nothing else changes for the bad.

            2. Carlo Carlozzi, the popular bartender at Ten Prime Steak and Sushi for the past decade, will soon open his first restaurant, named Circe, in the space that housed Downcity until it's closing last year.