Official Drink of T.O.P 2011 = Pisco Sour

The Taste Of Providence (T.O.P.) weekend started when our friend Walt came to visit us (fromCortlandNY, where he summers) in Providence 5 years ago. We decided that the goal of the weekend would be to have an enormous dinner on Saturday night that was cooked with ingredients we were able to find at the local farmers markets. A few years later, Walt was joined by another close friend, Bert, who also summers in Cortland. They are both teachers, and “summering” in Cortland is not as glamorous as it sounds…but that’s another topic. Friday night we usually go out to dinner. This year we did a bit of an App Crawl.


We started at Matunuck Oyster Bar and had several dozen delicious oysters (even though July clearly has no ‘R’ in it)  calamari, and some broiled oysters for good measure. We were all huge fan’s of the calamari, but we decided the local oysters are way too small to work well for broiling.


If you haven’t been, the Matunuck Oyster Bar is a great restaurant in a beautiful setting…What a great way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon! We chilled out on the deck over looking the salt pond, had some beers and oysters…life is good!


We then walked to the other side of the beach to have a few more drinks at the Ocean Mist. Once back to Providence, our first stop was Mill’s Tavern where we sat at the bar and had a great meal comprised of several of their appetizers. All of them winners. Great cocktails as well! From Mill’s we had hoped to get to New Rivers, but it was closed, so instead we went downscale and enjoyed sliders & fries at Harry’s. The burgers were quite delicious, but man where they salty! We finally got to bed around 1:00 a.m.The next day, we were all reasonably unaffected by Fridays debauchery, and were ready to hit the markets by 10:30am.


As mentioned, this is our 5th year. Our first forays into this effort always yielded extraordinary results…at a cost. The food was always excellent, but the early dinners were almost as well known for their length, and quantity of leftovers. One of these was a seven hour affair, and we were often eating well into the early hours of the morning, and more times than not we finished the last few courses as a Sunday Brunch.


With each year that’s passed however the process gets smoother and smoother. A few years back we changed to “small plates”, and this year we paired down the number of courses from 10 to 7, and tried to reduce the size of each course. This year also found our buying much more successful. Very few leftovers…I would actually have preferred a few MORE leftovers in fact! The timing of the meal was much improved as well. We even had time to take in Waterfire later in the evening. We still overshot the goal a bit on the courses though as we only finished 4 on Saturday, and completed the next 2 for Brunch, which actually worked out really well.


Menu for Taste Of Providence 5

Chefs Mike & Amy

Sous Chefs Walt & Bert


Amuse Bouche

Deviled Duck Eggs with smoked paprika


Eggs from Antonelli’s Poultry on Federal Hill



Seared Bomster Scallops, Blueberry Compote, Fried Leeks


Bomster Scallops



Field Greens, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette, Cherry Tomatoes, Smoked Bluefish


The smoked bluefish was incredible. Found it at the farmers market at Lippitt Park


Meat Course

Aged NY Strip Steak, Blue Cheese Compound Butter, Pan Roasted Shitake Mushrooms, Fried Green Tomato


Aged NY Strip from Whole Foods glass of Jefferson’s Presidential Reserve Bourbon in the background.


Seafood Course

Poached Local Monkfish &  Sautéed Lobster, Coconut Milk, Lemongrass, Lime


Poor man’s lobster & rich man’s lobster…both local.



Fresh Local Blueberry Crisp, Homemade Cardamom Honey Frozen Yogurt


Local Blueberries from farmers market


Cheese Course

Roomano Pradera Aged Gouda, Brie Chatelain, Landaff Farmers Cheese

Served with a German Beerenauslese


Cheeses from Farmstead on Wayland Square.!


So, I would call this one of our most successful T.O.P’s to date! It’s a great weekend, spent with good food & drink and even better friends.