Ten Years of Fine Dining

Celebrating a decade of wonderful food at Mills Tavern in Providence


How do you celebrate ten years of excellent food? The folks at four-diamond Mills Tavern celebrated by searching their archives and memories for the very best of the best — the dishes that were so good that they still stand out after a decade of creating and serving memorable fine food.

Last year, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal featuring some of the Tavern’s favorites — including braized littlenecks with grilled chorizo and sweet onions in a broth of smoked tomatoes and Narragansett Lager for an appetizer and New Zeeland rack of lamb encrusted with horseradish pommery mustard for the entree. When We were recently invited back to sample some of the favorites revived from classic menus, we jumped at the chance.

For our tasting menu, we started with Beef Tartare over Bulgar Wheat Salad and cornichon emulsion with a sunny side up quail egg. While beef tatare is familar to Europeans, it’s uncommon in the US outside of gourmet restaurants, so it is an excellent way to introdce a meal that celebrates fine dining.

Next, we sampled Risotto with Duck Confit, beet green, and mustard chevre. I had tasted Mills Tavern’s risotto before and have always enjoyed it. This rice dish was so rich and savory that I wanted a second helping, but I still wanted to taste the rest of the menu.

For the third course, we tested Kataifi Wrapped Roulade of Sole with crab, rock shrimp, marscapone, and lemon buerre blanc. Kataifi was thin crispy shreads of crisp filo, making a distinctive coating around a mild white fish.  That was followed by the fourth course of Chairman’s Reserve All Natural Soy Brined Center Cut Pork Chop with roasted fingerling potatoes and truffled cauliflower over roasted apple and spring onion puree.  Either would make excellent choices for an entree.

Our final tasting of the night was of Lavendar-Vanilla Panna Cotta with stewed bluberries, honey sponge cake and crisp meringue.  Completly delicious, and definite competition to my own favorite Mills Tavern dessert — Portuguise sweet bread pudding with currents and caramel sauce.

While these dishes were all wonderful, they are by no means the only rediscovered favorites.  The anniversary spring menu also includes the famous “Mill’s Sandwich” — Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with black currant buttermilk biscuit and tea braised figs, Open-Faced Braised Rabbit Ravioli with organic wild mushroom truffle cream sauce, and Grilled Black Angus Short Ribs in a ruby port with Roquefort Yorkshire pudding and watercress greens, along with many long standing favorites like the lamb I enjoyed on a previous visit.

Visit Mills Tavern throughout 2012 to ejoy these delicous foods, served in dark wood luxury of restored historic Pilgrim Mill’s Building. You’ll find Mills Tavern at 101 North Main Street in Providence, RI 02903. You can call for reservations at (401)272-3331 and check out their website at www.millstavernrestaurant.com

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