February 22, 2010

We planned a trip to Providence so that we could see the very entertaining Jonathan Richman play at Firehouse 13. Figuring that we wouldn’t be spending much time in our hotel room, we booked a $79 suite at Dolce Villa in the Federal Hill area. Federal Hill is Providence’s Little Italy, and luckily our hotel was smack in the middle of it. We were really pleased with how adorable the hotel was. Our suite had a fully equipped kitchen, more equipped in fact than ours at home…but we wont focus on that. After checking in, we decided that a bottle of wine would be nice. On our walk to the wine shop, we stopped in at a great little import shop where we bought some nice olive oil and pepper (red and black) breadsticks and olives. The wine we chose could not be beat: Matane Primitivo.

Deciding on where to have dinner was tough. Being in the Italian section, we were tempted to have Italian food, but we were previously set on Julian’s, which was a short walk from the hotel. We were very happy to have chosen Julian’s, a cute little spot with artwork, a nice beer and wine list, and a terrific variety of vegan options.

I had a Malbec and Patrick got a nice Hitachino White on draft (you have to love a place that has Hitachino on draft).

We chose house made tortilla chips with a smoked tomato romesco for an appetizer. Patrick’s entree was a soy sausage casoulet. My entree came from the specials board and was full of many of my favorite things. Check ¬†out the description:

Corriander cumin fennel crusted tempeh sausage with white bbean and red beet puree and a preserved lemon and watercress salad with Ayinger Celebrator reduction. (Ayinger Celebrator is one of my favorite beers).

This place does it right.

Dinner was great. For dessert, we had a brownie with soy ice cream and decided that we like coconut milk ice cream way better than soy.

We liked Julian’s so much that we returned the next morning for brunch. Mine: tofu Benedict and Patrick’s: tempeh tacos. Of course, we had a Bloody Mary along with it because we were, in fact on vacation.



February 22, 2010

We made a delicious Indian Cauliflower with tofu and quinoa. We were inspired by a cauliflower dish from a Watertown restaurant called Red Lentil. We made ours with cilantro, chile sauce, chick pea flour and other Indian seasonings.

We also did a mushroom-chile cream sauce from Millennium and put it on top of squash with grilled peppers and onions. It was so flavorful we ended up eating most of the sauce as soup. The depth of flavor could be attributed to the smokiness and umami of the chiles and mushrooms, I think.

We tried a “drunken pasta” with red wine and spinach. We cooked the noodles until they were a few minutes from being done, drained them and put them into a pot of boiling red wine to finish. The color was vibrant and the flavor was good, though not exceptional.

We are thankful to friends for recommending tortilla soup and providing us with ancho and pasilla chile peppers to make it. They add such a wonderful earthiness and layered flavor. We topped it with guacamole, blue corn chips and Daiya cheese (which is the best of vegan cheese). It’s hard to believe we hadn’t tried it before.