On the day the world was supposed to end my phantom buddy and I took our annual “christmas shopping” trip to the great city of Providence, Rhode Island. This annual trip has become a tradition for us almost as deep-rooted as the Army/Navy Football Game. We starting about 6 years ago and haven’t missed a year.
Providence is a great city. The only two bad things about Providence I can think of off the top of my head are 1. Rhode Island drivers have to be up there with the worst I’ve ever seen and 2. the governor can’t even call a christmas tree a christmas tree for god sakes. Other than that, Providence rocks. It has its own version of the Jersey Shore on Federal Hill. It has a double-decker shopping mall which is connected to the Westin Hotel. An airport that doesn’t charge 50 dollars a day to park your car. It even has the Dunkin Donuts Center formerly known as the Providence Civic Center. Although now they are lucky to book the fourth runner-up on season two of American Idol they have in the past hosted some great bands here. My first concert at the civic center was M.C. Hammer. That’s right, twenty-two years ago or so I was in the top section of the civic center dancing around to You Can’t Touch This. Now, M.C. Hammer is bankrupt and I have a highly successful food blog. Who would have known.
Say what you want about Buddy Cianci, but Providence took a turn for the better during his tenure as mayor. A nice skating park for the kids in the winter and waterfires in the summer for all ages. What do you get in Boston, a 19 Billion dollar highway, tolls every six miles and waiting in traffic til your blood boils over. Oh they do have that thing that picks up the jersey barriers and makes another lane for you, yea – thanks. Providence you are in and out in no time. Of course, what is a great city without great restaurants. Providence boasts some classics. My two favorites are Ruth Chris and Flemmings. Both steak houses, both fairly high-end. Both absolutely delish.
Flemings in on the first floor of the Westin Residences, which is connected to the Westin Hotel. We dined on a Thursday night around 7:30 ish. No reservation was necessary but if you are going to go on a weekend you may want to make one. You can wear jeans and a button down or dress up if you wish. Personally I wouldn’t wear a tee shirt but I’m sure they won’t turn you down if you do. I started the night off with a Blueberry Lemon Drop. Stoli Blueberi Vodka, fresh blueberries and Lemon Juice. The food pics that follow are a little fuzzy as was I after drinking this. As I was milking this concoction for all it was worth, the phantom was crushing captain and cokes. I’m not a huge wine guy, but they do have a nice wine list and wine area I guess you would call it.
Normally when the phantom and I go out to eat we just order everything like there is no tomorrow. For some reason this night we chilled out a bit. Flemings and Ruth Chris are to the Martha’s Vineyard Food Guy
as Tiffany’s is to a woman. Normally I just can’t control myself and pile on one course after another and finally get the steak and am already at max capacity but have to eat it because it’s just so good. Tonight we changed the game plan and actually stuck to it. We stuck to one appetizer each and one side to split. Yes, to split. Yes, one. For the appetizers we got the calamari and The
ahi tuna. The calamari is served with a sweet chile sauce. $14.50 – worth every penny. It’s incredible and one of the best calamari’s I’ve had. The seared ahi tuna is served on a fresh vegetable salad with spicy mustard. Fresh and very tasty as tuna should be. $16.95.
For the main course – Easy decision. Prime Bone in Ribeye. I always go with the bone in version. Very good. Full of flavor. Seasonsed just right and cooked to perfection. 50 bucks a piece. We both got the same thing. Cooked the same. Sounds boring, but it isn’t. It’s what you expect from a 50 dollar steak. Our one side we agreed on was the sauteed sweet corn. Kind of lucked on this one because it came with onions on it. I politely pointed out that there was no mention of onions in the corn on the menu so they brought me a special one without onions. Hey Flemmings, may want to add that little tid bit to the menu, you put onions in the corn.
A couple of drinks and a couple of steaks and that’s it for our annual Christmas trip to
Providence. Flemings didn’t disappoint us this year. It never has. I am pushing for Ruth Chris next year though I think. Have to change it up a little bit .
I’d like to wish all my loyal supporters and followers a Merry Christmas. Even you, Lincoln Chafee who can’t even call a Christmas Tree what it is, Merry Christmas!Follow @mvfoodguy