Red Stripe: A Classy, Casual Favorite

Guys, I finally did it.

I went to a favorite restaurant and ordered something new. Not even something on the official menu. Something I trusted the chef to produce well, and something that’s normally out of my seafood comfort zone.

And the reason I was able to do it was because I know the quality of food, service, and experience is A-grade.

I give you…(drum roll please)…Red Stripe of Providence, RI.

Image

courtesy of redstriperestaurants.com

Jake and I discovered Red Stripe during our freshman year of college. He was visiting me for a long weekend, and we asked my foodie aunt for nearby restaurant recommendations: “somewhere cozy, yummy, but not pretentious and outrageously priced.” This was in the top three on her list, and I don’t even remember the others because this place is still our go-to for date nights, four years later.

Usually, we split some dishes. The paella is a personal favorite, accompanied by some pasta dish or appetizer (or meat, when it’s Jake’s turn to choose), and occasionally a dessert. This tends to be our pattern because I can never finish a meal by myself and he pushes me to try new things. Though I instinctively leaned towards the paella this past weekend, something told me to hear the specials. And thank G-d, because it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had. Sea scallops with butternut squash risotto, grilled asparagus, and lindonberry chutney.

Saturday Night Dinner!

Saturday Night Dinner!

Anyone who has ever had a meal with me would be floored by this selection. Sea scallops? Lindonberry? (“Julie, do you even know what a lindonberry is?”) (The answer is no) Chutney? I love my taste bud comfort zone, and I love looking forward to those same favorite restaurants and meals, but this was truly fantastic and i was grateful for my trust in their cooking. I paired it with the red wine special of the evening based on our waiter’s recommendation (Meiomi Pinot Noir), and spent the next 45 minutes in a glorious dinner experience.

Though I can’t completely recall  Jake’s particular thoughts – blame it on the wine; some words along the lines of “tender” and “delicious” – he definitely enjoyed his beer-braised short ribs and the local beer on tap. And yes, you guessed it, he’s a beer guy. Who knew we had it in us to be such cuisine connoisseurs?

** I should note here that the manager paid for Jake’s beer after some minor spillage. Great guy with a passion for perfect service! **

Anyway, every few months we come back for the smart-casual attire (read: excuse for me to wear heels without being judged), soft lights, and a comfortable volume of conversation so that we’re never whispering or yelling across the table. And the fact that it makes me want to eat something  I associate with this moment in cinema history…well…all the better, I think.

Do you have any favorite restaurants that earn your loyalties year after year? For date night? Or girls night? Or guys night, for that matter? Leave your comments and suggestions for a potential post in your honor.

Stay beautiful (and hungry).

 

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