Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not Just Meat and Potatoes!

Providence New American Kitchen is the new contemporary American restaurant that resides inside the President Hilton, in the space that the old Drum Room dining room used to occupy. The old Drum Room has been separated into what is now Providence New American Kitchen and the new Drum Room bar. The Drum Room bar has been transformed into a modern mixology bar that doubles as an amazing place to watch a game, with 4 big TVs encircling the bar area.

President Hotel
New Drum Room Lounge
Old Drum Room Dining Room (Photo stolen from
Providence New American Kitchen
The President Hilton is owned by Ron Jury, a native Nebraskan, who felt that his hotel needed an American restaurant that serves dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. I know what you are thinking right now, "I see salmon, scallops, and shrimp on the menu. How is all of that locally sourced?", as I thought as well. Everything that can be locally sourced, is (even the wood that you see adorning the new dining room). Everything that cannot be locally sourced is single sourced to a local farmer/purveyor near the area that the product is indigenous to. This is also the reason that the restaurant does not open until 11am daily: Chef Eric is at the markets, personally selecting ingredients.

Providence takes its name from the Secret Service's code name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, not from the city in Rhode Island. The dining area is enriched with vintage Americana pieces, such as the tattered flag on the wall and the filament light bulbs in the vintage light fixtures. The menu is also full of classic American favorites, but is not just your grandfather's steak and potatoes. Steak and potatoes are on the menu, but there is also so much more!

Vintage Light Fixture
My wife and I were taken care of by a tag-team duo of Sirish and Jeff. They were both extremely knowledgeable of the menu (both able to explain everything on the menu), helpful, and pleasant. We could not have asked for a better experience! We sampled the lion's share of Providence's menu items, and there were no weak links. Below I have included a photo of each item that we tried, followed by a brief description. I will try to do each dish its due justice. Do keep in mind that we requested sampling sizes of each dish and that the actual dish sizes may be much larger than pictured.

The Vino:

Immortal Zinfandel
The Immortal Zinfandel is an amazing mate for any of the red meat dishes at Providence. The full bodiness of this wine pairs wonderfully with the complex flavours of the dishes that we sampled. You also cannot go wrong with the Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon, especially if you like a more oaky flavoured vino. Also of note: The Parducci Pinot Noir has been so immensely popular that they have already sold out of it (a week and a half after opening).

The Starters:

Buffalo Carpaccio
The Buffalo Carpaccio: extremely thinly sliced buffalo, arugula salad, pieces of shaved hard cheese, and some aioli dressing plated with crustini to eat it all with. The buffalo was so thinly sliced that Jeff told me it was a secret how it was even sliced.

Dungeness Crab Cake
Dungeness Crab Cake: Probably 90% crab and 10% cake. There were just enough bread crumbs in the cake to keep it from crumbling into pieces and to give it a little colour, not any more. The lump Dungeness Crab meat with just a dab of the Sriracha Mayonnaise was incredible! Possibly the best crab cake you will find outside of the Northeast.

Loaded Potato Pierogi
Loaded Potato Pierogi: American twist on this Polish classic. What's better than a crispy pierogi with that creamy potato center? Only a crispy pierogi with a creamy potato center that has been loaded with cheese, bacon, chives, and sour cream. This thing was gigantic too!

Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta
Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta: Wonderful bruschetta that is topped with fresh (never frozen) shrimp, roasted pepper salad, and tomato vinaigrette. I love bruschetta anyways, but you put grilled shrimp that tastes as fresh as the second it came out of the water on top of it, and you have a masterpiece. The shrimp tasted just as fresh as the shrimp that we get on the coast.

BBQ Glazed Pork Belly
BBQ Glazed Pork Belly: This was my favorite of the starters that we tried. Borderline bite sized pieces of pork belly (I say that because chomping the whole skewer will yield a very full mouth, something I found out the hard way), covered in a maple chili glaze and Japanese Seven-Spice, on a skewer with a piece of tart Granny Smith apple to balance out the spice. Perfecto!

The Salads:

Blue Note (left) and House Salad (right)
The Blue Note salad was incredible! I would have never thought that mixing blueberries and bleu cheese would yield such an awesome combination, but it does! The House Salad did not punch me in the mouth like I had hoped and expected when we were told that it is served with a Tank 7 vinaigrette, but is a solid option when you want something with a lighter taste.

The Entrees:

Pan Seared Rainbow Trout
Pan Seared Rainbow Trout: A very light piece of fish served with a thin piece of lobster sausage and baby potatoes. Great for anyone trying to add some Omega-3 to the diet, yet doesn't like a strong fish taste. The house made lobster sausage was probably my favorite part of this dish.

Smoked Chicken Ravioli

Smoked Chicken Ravioli: Sort of like a ravioli deconstructed. Delicious tender smoked chicken thigh and baby spinach served with a ravioli that is lightly filled with a ricotta filling.

Apple Wood Smoked Meatloaf

Apple Wood Smoked Meatloaf: My favorite entree! Meatloaf made with veal, pork, and beef (yes I know veal is a form of beef, but lets not split hairs here), slow smoked and then grilled. The sides that come with this entree are equally awesome: sour cream golden russet potatoes on top of wild mushroom gravy, grilled mushrooms, grilled seasonal veggie cubes (carrots, butternut squash, etc), crisp green beans, and lightly pickled onions (vinegary yet still crisp).

The Desserts:

Nothing goes with dessert like coffee
Ricotta Doughnuts
Ricotta Doughnuts: I never thought that doughnuts and key lime would go well together, but they do, deliciously. These doughnuts are fantastic: sweet doughnuts, tangy key lime dipping sauce, and a wonderfully light white chocolate mousse accompanying it all.

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake: The Carrot Cake is great. Served with orange sherbet and topped with candied roman carrots.

S’mores Flavors
S’mores Flavors: This is essentially a deconstructed S'more: graham cracker crumbles, graham cracker ice cream (yes you read that right, graham cracker ice cream), molten brownie (I couldn't think of a better descriptor for this brownie myself, it is indeed molten), and marshmallow fluff that has been hit with a torch. This has to be one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life! This dessert alone would be worth the drive for a South Kansas Citian! Just incredible! Words cannot describe it!

Hotel President at Night

Everything at Providence New American Kitchen was awesome! We will definitely be back for some of our favorites, as well as to try other dishes (such as the Bully Porter Braised Short Ribs). As we were walking home, discussing our favorite dishes (that we had just gorged ourselves with), and stopping for a couple photo ops, we were reminded that we live in a pretty sweet city!

Buenas Noches

Providence New American Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. Nice post! I like all of the images. I've put this on my wish list.