Though I went to the opening of Providence New American Kitchen in the President Hotel, I hadn’t sat down to any meals there until last month. The first thing most people notice is that it’s beautifully appointed, but a bit rustic, with walls made of reclaimed wood and walls painted with earth tones. The second thing is that it’s easy to have a conversation, which isn’t always the case at new, trendy venues.
The food is a revelation, too. Though it is a hotel restaurant, the menu doesn’t scream room service, nor does it offer typical hotel fare. Yes, you can get an aged KC Strip, or a cobb salad (though with beef tenderloin rather than chicken), and even a hamburger (Kobe), but you can also get some interesting entrees that represent Chef Eric Carter’s creativity. A heritage pork chop comes with brussel sprouts and a mustard sauce, the lamb chop with braised white beans and swiss chard, and bison hangar steak with potato hash and a fried egg.
Starters are fun. Pork belly comes in cubes with a touch of apple, and ahi tuna tacos are enhanced with guacamole, cilantro slaw and sriracha mayo.
The only sour note that I’ve encountered is with the tuna sashimi “salad”. Listed under salads and labeled a tuna sashimi salad with vegetable slaw, wontons and miso vinaigrette, it was somewhat of a shock to have a plate put before me that had 3 tuna tostadas on it. Lovely cubes of tuna sat atop squares of wontons, garnished with slaw and the miso vinaigrette. The ingredients would have made a great salad, so it was a bit disappointing. And though I did enjoy it, no part of that dish could have been considered a salad, so I would suggest a new name or description.
Restaurants of this quality are hard to find in the downtown loop and near the Sprint Center, so I’d suggest giving it a try. It’s reasonably priced, the atmosphere is congenial, the food is satisfying, and complimentary valet parking is available.