Friday Afternoon in Providence!
Newport, RI is one of the best places for restauranting…so I obviously had to return this past weekend, after having visited the weekend before, to hit some more foodie destinations! This time I got to stay in town for two nights, and took my trip with this blog’s namer, my good friend Rachel. After I took an awesome spin class and did a quick arm and ab workout, we hit the road and actually started the long weekend with Friday afternoon not in Newport but Providence, RI. I’ve been dying to check out The Grange ever since it was opened by the same guy responsible for Wildflour and Garden Grille.
The restaurant totally took our breaths away the moment we walked in; immediately I forgot I was soaking wet from the epic downpour raining down outside. That’s the kind of place The Grange is…a place where one could easily lose him or herself. And let’s be honest, often that is a good thing.
We sat at the bar (my fave indoor spot in any restaurant!) and our nice bartender/server Christopher offered us coffees. To which we replied, “NO thanks, we will have cocktails.” And with an awe-inspiring drink menu like The Grange’s, how could we not?! It took awhile to decide; I would have to stay at The Grange for a couple days straight to try every cocktail I wanted to try, aka ALL THE COCKTAILS. But with Christopher’s help and patience I narrowed it down to the Steppe (Aalborg Aquavit, Shiso leaf syrup, lemon, smoke mist, egg white). I won’t try to be cool and pretend I knew what Aalbor Aquavit was…I had no freaking clue. But I won’t apologize for wanting to try it as soon as Christopher described it as a “grain alcohol”. Apparently it is also the official booze of Scandinavia!
The Scandinavians sure know how to make yummy grain alcohol, and Christopher knows how to make a cocktail. My drink was INCREDIBLE…so complex, like nothing I’ve had elsewhere. Rachel’s drink tasted amazing too, and also came with a show!
She selected the Basandere (tequila, Velvet Falernum, lime, torched sage, orange bitters). I’ve been a Velvet Falernum fan since last year’s trip to Newport, and they don’t have it in CT bars, so I urged her to select this option. We didn’t realize the sage would be torched right in front of us!
I sampled the cocktail and give it two more thumbs up, though I was partial to mine. Rachel ended up removing the torched sage from the drink about halfway through, because it was a bit much to smell when she took a sip.
Rachel and I love sharing dishes so that we can try as many different foods as possible. We were immediately sold on the corn soup special, and its brothy consistency as opposed to creamy pleasantly surprised us both! The locally baked bread it came with was awesome too, but of course we could have used more (bread monsters).
We split the Huevos Verdes – black beans, salsa verde, avocado, cheese, jalapenos, and tortillas. For protein, The Grange was kind enough to let us do a little of each option – eggs AND fried tofu. I was all about the latter! The dish was absolutely incredible. My favorite part was the tofu, but a VERY close second were the black beans.
Our one cocktail each and shared plates satisfied us perfectly, but we sure weren’t going to turn Christopher down when he offered us complimentary after-lunch shots (yes that’s a thing) of Fernet-Branca! I love this stuff and it was Rachel’s first time trying it. Cheers to vacation!
We then made the blatantly poor decision of going to the Providence Place Mall in our buzzed state. We spent not TOO much money, and saw some funny things. Like this puppy lying in a Longchamp bag on the floor of LOFT….
…and these dead-sexy polka-dot suspenders from Forever 21
Then we drove through not-too-terrible rush-hour traffic to Newport, where our first stop had to be for gasoline to refuel my car and iced coffee to refuel ourselves. Obviously at iced-coffee mecca…MARYLOU’S!!!
I built up the Banana Nut iced coffee for Rachel and was relieved to hear it met her expectations, even just served black! We later cursed the decision to drink iced coffee at 5PM when we later experienced a night of restless sleep, but it was SO worth it at the time.
To be continued tomorrow, with our Newport shenanigans!
Have you ever ordered a cocktail that came with a show?
Would you have opted for eggs or fried tofu in the Huevos Verdes?
Have you ever made the poor decision to do some buzzed shopping?