Providence Coal Fired Pizza

I’m not entirely convinced that just because you can put any topping on pizza, you necessarily should! Additionally, I remain contemplative on whether certain ingredient combinations balance more harmoniously when subject to the wrath of a coal-fired inferno. And finally, is the quality of pizza crust really so damn important?

Providence Coal Fired Pizza Signage

Providence Coal Fired Pizza Signage

Well, the owners at Providence Coal Fired Pizza clearly take these questions to heart. Utilizing an eco-friendly, custom-built oven that fires up at a face-scorching 900°F, their chefs can lock-in flavor complexities, while producing an envious crispy crust that maintains a terrific chew. Most of the cooks working the ovens have no eyebrows, but facial hair is overrated anyway.

Pumpkinhead

Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Draft

Providence Coal Fired Pizza is a welcome addition to the downcity restaurant landscape because it maintains several very appealing qualities. The atmosphere is energetic and fun. The knowledgeable staff is welcoming, attentive and extremely proud of their entire operation. The menu price points are exceedingly reasonable for its location, and most importantly, the food is absolutely worth writing about!

Coal-Fired Wings

Coal-Fired Wings

Our party of four started the evening off with some drinks and the Coal-Fired Wings (sea salt, rosemary, and roasted onions). I spotted another table getting this starter and was immediately drawn to the fire roasted caramelized onions blanketing the wings as if it were sheltering them from the light. The wings were perfectly spiced and a bit smoky. The onions were mild, sweet and had just enough char to remind you where you were eating.

Rocket Pizza - Pancetta and Peppers

Rocket Pizza – Pancetta and Peppers

 

Our entrees included the sharing of two pizzas that seemed to speak to us. You could say that the pizzas chose us, but that’s neither here nor there.  The first was a Nightly Special which included rocket (arugula), pancetta and banana peppers. The second was the Broccoli Rabe (EVOO, sausage, ricotta and provolone cheeses).  The rocket was fresh and peppery, the rabe was not bitter, the ricotta cheese was creamy, and the sausage was scratch made.  Ring the bell, we have winners.

Broccoli Rabe - Sausage and Ricotta

Broccoli Rabe – Sausage and Ricotta

The desert menu was limited, but we were quick to order the oven-fired Fresh Berry Cobbler special, topped with crunchy sweet oats and a side of whip cream. Simple fresh ingredients that imparted a beautiful sauce under intense heat – made the desert a standout.

So, in response to my own initial questions; just because you can put any topping on pizza doesn’t mean you should, holds true.   Providence Coal Fired Pizza will harmoniously balance the combinations for you, and trusting them to do so might be the best decision you’ll make the entire evening.  And finally is the quality of pizza crust really so damn important? Perhaps you should stop by Providence Coal Fired Pizza and make the damn decision yourself!

 

Providence Coal Fired Pizza  385 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903 401.454.7499

Ebisu 恵比寿

Ebisu SignageIn Japanese mythology and folklore, the Seven Gods of Fortune is characterized as a seafaring group that arrived in town by treasure ship each New Year in order to distribute fantastic gifts to worthy people. Ebisu, the only originating Japanese member was the God of fishermen, luck and the workingman.

In the spirit of Japanese tradition and the conveyance of good fortune to the workingman, Ebisu delivers on its promise to excite the neighborhood’s culinary habit! Ebisu offers a unique dining experience due to a creative and unabashed menu brimming with varied proteins, vegetables and noodle combinations.

Korean Pork Belly

Korean Pork Belly

Ebisu’s menu primarily  breaks down in three appealing categories. The first is Robatayaki, which literally means fire-side cooking, similar to barbecue, in which various meats and vegetable combinations are skewered and slow-grilled over coals. We had the Korean Pork Belly with a spicy honey miso sauce and Kimchee, which was so personally satisfying, that quite frankly could have encompassed my entire meal!  The pork belly was tender and juicy on the inside, and sweet and spicy on the outside. I’m a firm believer that food on a stick is just plain fun – ask anyone!

Spicy Tuna Tostada

Spicy Tuna Tostada

The second menu category is a Japanese style Tapas. Ebisu does a brilliant job of elaborating on the Spanish version of small plate appetizers, which in combination; offers diners a sophisticated option for combining varied flavors, textures and spices in order to enjoy a dining experience not traditionally centered on one entrée.

Upon our server’s recommendation, we ordered the Spicy Tuna Tostado on a bed of crispy seaweed rice crackers, with a spicy mayo.

Ika

Ika

The tuna was perfectly fresh and flavorful, and the rice crackers were homemade, crunchy and warm. Eat your heart out sushi fans, this was a home run!

Additionally, we ordered the Ika (grilled whole Surume squid) and Geso (the accompanying tentacles with a teriyaki glaze). The squid was tenderly grilled and beautifully presented. This is the perfect alternative to traditional fried calamari for which we have all come to knowingly love as our standard dining starter.

Nagasaki Chanpon

Nagasaki Chanpon

And finally, the third menu category is Ramen. Step aside Maruchan; this isn’t your college hot-pot, sodium-laden, block of pasta under cellophane! These are freshly prepared noodle dishes with rich and flavorful broths that bring sheer joy to the soup-slurpers among us.  We ordered the Nagasaki Chanpon (medium thick noodles in a pork broth, shrimp, squid, scallops, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, cabbage and carrots). The seafood was perfectly prepared, the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, and the noodles firmly swimming in a bath of warm broth.

Tan Tan Men

Tan Tan Men

Additionally, a bowl of Tan Tan Men (egg noodles in spicy pork miso broth, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, spinach, fish cake, seaweed, cabbage, carrots and seven spices) made a welcome appearance at our table. The addition of pork combined with a rich and spicy miso broth elevated this dish to a memorable category.

Whenever I exit a restaurant, the same question plays over in my mind; is this place worth visiting again, or would my dining dollars be best spent somewhere new? In response, I’m confident that I have not yet scratched the surface of Ebisu’s exciting menu, and feel compelled to return to a restaurant that I believe may quickly become an old friend! 果報

Ebisu 38 Pontiac Avenue, Providence, RI 02907 (401) 270-7500