On Saturday night AFM and I had a wonderful dinner out at Cook & Brown. I had been really wanting to try Cook & Brown for months, and finally I had someone to go with who I know would appreciate the experience, too.
Cook & Brown is a small restaurant (Public House, actually) on Hope Street on the East Side of Providence. The owners strive to use fresh and local ingredients on their menu, from produce to fish and meats. Because of this the menu changes frequently so every time you dine at Cook and Brown there will be something you [most likely] have not tried yet. It is a constantly evolving dining experience.
I love that the menu changes so much. It reflects creativity and the constant effort [and struggle?] to use the freshest ingredients for their offerings.
However, at the same time, I am the type of person that makes plans. I love knowing where I am going for dinner in a couple of days in advance. I love studying a menu for a couple of days and I like knowing what is on the menu and I like having an idea of what I am going to order. Weird, right? Not really a foodie type of behavior – I totally realize this.
The week leading up to our dinner at Cook & Brown, I studied the menu every day. Each daily menu looked amazing. I was so excited for dinner on Saturday.
Let us just say that I was not disappointed. It was a wonderful dining experience. We walked in a couple of minutes after 8 o’clock on Saturday (our reservations were for 8pm). I saw a couple of tables available and the host was seating a couple of parties just ahead of us. I saw a table that I did not want to sit at – it was in the middle of the floor, close to the bar, and I just did not want to be right out in the middle of the restaurant. I am weird like that.
After the host had sat the two parties that were waiting ahead of us, the only table I saw available was the table I did not want to sit at. For some reason my heart sank. I decided to suck it up. I was not about to let a silly table ruin my dining experience.
I was extremely pleased when our very friendly host walked us right past the table I did not want to one of the best tables at Cook & Brown. He might have been able to tell that I was very excited about this situation. He told us that he referred to this table as The Godfather table. I loved it immediately. It made the night very special. Isn’t it strange how your seat at a dining establishment can have so much power over your experience? Or is it just me..?
I quickly studied the menu. It had changed, which I was expecting. I was glad to see that I could still make some wonderful choices.
I decided that we would order an appetizer. We decided on the Butter Braized Lobster which was served in a corn broth, on top of a french breakfast radish garnished with frisee and squash blossoms (I love squash blossoms). It was such a beautiful presentation and it was an amazing combination of flavors. I could have eaten this for an entree – but I am very glad that AFM and I split it for an appetizer.
It was beautiful:
I had a hard time deciding on what to order for my entree. The menu was rather amazing.
I was trying to decide between the scallops, the hake and the hand-rolled cavatelli. Even though I was fairly certain the freshly made pasta would be amazing, I often make my own pasta. I knew that the fish would be fresh – so I decided that would be the way to go.
I finally decided on the Hake.
My dinner was so wonderful. It was one of the best meals I can remember eating at a restaurant. AFM’s meal looked beautiful. I had a bite of the lamb. I am not much of a meat person, but this was cooked to perfection I thought.
My hake was paired with cous cous, braised fennel, cippolini onions, and a wonderful carrot vinaigrette. The flavor meadly was creative and worked wonderfully together. The hake was prepared perfectly. I was extremely pleased with my choice.
During our meal I had a glass of Cabernet Franc. Yes, red wine is not the traditional choice when you are eating fish or other seafood. But I prefer red wine over white (especially on cool evenings – and it was extremely cool on Saturday night) and I order it even if my meal does not match up exactly. I really appreciated the wine that AFM helped me order.
Because I had decided that we were going for the full Cook & Brown experience, I ordered dessert. It was an amazing bittersweet chocolate torte with a peanut butter mousse and a raspberry (I think?) reduction.
This was a really perfect way to end our meal.
I would highly recommend a visit to Cook and Brown to anyone that loves food. Our service and the food were both outstanding. I am excited to go back to try another meal!