A Special Meal in a Special Place

Enjoying the Star Chef Series at Gracie's in Providence


Gracie’s is a place to create memories.  Fine food and wine, attentive service, and a warming atmosphere make it the place to bring someone special for… a proposal?  … an anniversary?  But during the Star Chef Series dinners, the food is the reason for the evening, and that someone special you bring becomes a fellow explorer in a dining adventure.

My wife and I were the guests of Gracie’s for a remarkable dinner by star Chef Michael Ginor.   Ginor is  widely acclaimed for his modern twist on the ancient delicacy Foie Gras. He’s the owner of the swank LOLA restaurant in Great Neck, N.Y. and Hudson Valley Foie Gras.  He teamed with Gracie’s Executive Chef Matthew Varga to creating a unique, five-course dinner paired with wine.
<p>
The evening started with canapés carefully matched with a red wine, featuring Foie Gras of course. In one case, crisp chips of lotus blossoms held, among other things, a light mousse of foie gras.  The foie gras in the second canapé I mistook at first for a beef-flavored butter. That explained the red wine so early in the evening – the richness of foie gras needs a good red wine. 
<p>
The evening also started with meeting fellow food lovers.  We chatted with a young couple, both lawyers, who have made it their mission in life to come to all of Gracie’s Star Chef dinners.   The previous dinner had been a showcase for wines, and they had gone home with a long list of wines that they shopped then went out and added to their cellar, thanks in part to a discount offered by the Savory Grape in East Greenwich.
<p>
The Star Chef Series combines the talents of extraordinary chefs from all around the country and pairs them with the Gracie’s team, led by Varga. After careful collaboration, the Star Chef and the team create a five-course menu paired with wine.
<p>
After being seated, in our case we shared a table with our hosts and their other guests, we started a dining experience where each dish had fois gras in different ways.  The first dish was salmon tartar – a cake of minced raw salmon with seasons, topped with panco crumbs, hiding a poached quail egg in its center, and surrounded variety of spices and flavors. When I began eating the salmon, I ended up pushing it with the tip of the fork into the spices.  It gave each bite unexpected flavors, and one of those flavors was fois gras.
<p>
Poached lobster with a beet reduction and a fluffy fois gras flan came next.  Pot-au-feu with fois gras swimming in the tasty broth next to the duck. Venison with fois gras brazed just enough to burst in your mouth. Even the dessert had fois gras, this time blended into a chocolate so intense that completely disguised its source of creaminess.
<p>
Throughout the dinner, the chefs and staff dropped by to visit and chat about the selections and preparations. We learned that Gracie’s has been in downtown Providence since 1998. The 70-seat restaurant, just steps from Trinity Repertory Theater, entices guests with fresh and inventive food inspired by the seasons, focusing on locally-sourced foods — including some grown on downcity rooftops.
<p>
To learn more, visit www.graciesprov.com or call 401.272.7811. You can also follow Gracie’s on Facebook at http://bit.ly/GraciesProv.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons