Sunday, November 10, 2013

Still Not Just Meat and Potatoes!

My love for Providence New American Kitchen has made me do something very rare, unprecedented in fact. Outside of my food truck family, I have never written twice about the same place. That is all about to change, and you have a revised menu (and new lead bartender) at PNAK to thank for it. If you want to know more about PNAK, click on the link above, this post is going to get straight into the food and drink.

The new food (at least what we tried of it):

For starters, the P&P Tots and Clam Chowder Dumplings are both great!

Porcini & Pecorino Tots
The P&P Tots are not your run of the mill tots that Napoleon Dynamite would stick in his pocket. They are porcini crusted and crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy (from the pecorino cheese) on the inside. The tots are garnished with pumpkin ketchup (which isn't as pumpkin-y or as ketchup-y as you might expect, but nicely compliments the delicate fried starch nuggets) and laid atop pumpernickel crumble (which I could honestly eat by itself, and did after the tots were gone).

Clam Chowder Dumplings
The CC Dumplings are exactly what they sound like: creamy chowder in a crunchy fried shell, topped with crispy bacon and served on a vinegar slaw (with chunks of clam in it). It is not often that I talk about garnishes, but both of these starters have garnishes that I would eat by themselves. How do they get liquid soup in that crunchy shell, you ask? I imagine that they freeze the chowder, bread it, then fry it (which melts the chowder and crisps the shell, all at once).

Kobe Burger
You can find the Kobe Burger on the lunch and dinner menus, probably because it is hard to think of a time of day when Kobe beef, Beemster cheese, pickled mustard seed, pickled onions, and shallot jam is not out of this world good!

Beer Braised Short Rib
A Boulevard beer braised short rib that is so tender that you can shred it with a spoon, served on top of house-made cavatelli pasta, smoked mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, a jam made with more Boulevard beer, and topped with sprouts. You can really tell the difference that the house-made cavatelli pasta makes in this incredibly savory dish!

Spiced Doughnuts
These spiced doughnuts have replaced the ricotta doughnuts that I wrote about in my last post about PNAK and are just as amazing as they sound. These doughnuts taste like fall incarnated (or whatever the word would be for fall to take object form, but not necessarily human form). These doughnuts kick the highly coveted apple cider doughnuts (from Louisburg Cider Mill) in the crotch, hard. Add on to that the pumpkin glaze and pepita caramel brittle that come with the donuts and you have everything that you could hope for, from fall, on a plate.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
I can honestly not say enough about this dessert! This is probably the best dessert (and best ice cream) that I have ever had in my life (even better than the S'More's Flavors dessert from PNAK that I got put into the Ink Summer Dining Guide)! The hot date cake, covered in campfire whiskey glaze, and paired with Boulevard 6th Glass ice cream is unlike anything that you have ever tasted in your life; sweet, but not overly rich. This dessert is beyond words, do not plan to eat anything else for a few hours after this for risk of it tasting like hot feet comparatively. 

The Cocktails: 

Not only is PNAK shaking things up on the food menu, but also the cocktail menu. Some of the new cocktails that have been added are The Quiet Man, Bootlegger's Punch, and TIPple de Jalisco. We gave The Quiet Man and Bootlegger's Punch a try. 

Bootlegger's Punch (left) & The Quiet Man (right)
The Quiet Man is a whiskey cocktail, featuring Jameson, that is named after the 1952 John Wayne film about an American Boxer who retires to Ireland (so awesome, on so many levels). This cocktail runnith over with fall flavours: spiced apple cider, cinnamon & cardamom syrup, topped with ginger ale, and garnished with a piece of house-made candied ginger. Bootlegger's Punch is an equally awesome citrus-y rum cocktail: Goslings' Rum, Cherry Heering Liquer, Falernum, Fresh Lemon, and Orange Bitters.

Finally, the TIPple de Jalisco, that I did not get a chance to try, but supports a cause that is close to my heart. We all know that I love Mexico! The "TIP" in "TIPple" stands for Tequila Interchange Project, a non-profit that supports the preservation of regional tequila (aka the anti-Cuervo). This cocktail contains: Tequila Ocho "Plata", Mexican Coca Cola syrup (real sugar, not HFCS), and Regan's Orange Bitters.

Some of the new cocktails were formulated by the famous Brock Schulte (Drum Room Bar Manager). Some were created by the new lead bartender, who was brought over when Hickok's closed (sad face, I loved that place), Travis. After you have a couple cocktails with dinner, at PNAK, walk up the stairs to the Drum Room for a nightcap. If the Drum Room is not that busy, do the following: ask Travis about the time he got kicked out of the Robert Mondavi Vineyard in Napa (it is such an amazing story!), show him the below photo, tell him that you heard that it was the best New York themed cocktail out there, and ask him very nicely to make it for you.

Happy 1st Anniversary to PNAK, the new Drum Room, Rick Brook, Chef Eric Carter, Brock Schulte, Travis (who I am a jerk and forgot his last name), and crew! Cheers!

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