Review: Local 121

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 18, 2011

We had the other two dishes. My three light Giannone Farms chicken meatballs, "polpetti," were accompanied by a half-dozen porcini mushroom tortellini and thin stalks of broccolini, in chicken broth and topped with inch-wide shavings of grana padana. It all worked nicely together, although my tasty pasta packets were badly undercooked — and I'm big on al dente.

Across from me an interesting preparation was being enjoyed: approaching the taste of pate in seeming meatiness was a small soufflé of tofu, walnuts, and mushrooms, in a puddle of mushroom jus. The accompanying chunks of well-browned roasted pumpkin and vinegary pickled beets were smart complements.

The kitchen is headed by exec chef Dave Johnson, with Michael Iannotti his sous chef. They make all their desserts there, including several ice creams. We chose their expresso-ish coffee ice cream to go with a brown-butter brioche bread pudding, which was under-sweetened to make the maple cream sauce and candied pecans stand out. Outstanding.

We've come a long way since the 1970s, when Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse in Berkeley began popularizing local resources for what we eat. It's no longer a fad. And here and there a restaurant like Local 121 demonstrates that doing the right thing can taste exceptional as well.

Bill Rodriguez can be reached at bill@billrod.com.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , pumpkin, food, Alice Waters,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BILL RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   CRITICAL MASS  |  August 20, 2014
    A discussion by three friends about the merits of a white-on-white painting results in a one-act brouhaha that transcends rarefied aesthetics and quickly descends to the human scale.
  •   WILLY'S  |  August 20, 2014
    Sometimes in this world of culinary over-achievement, of luaus and foie gras and molecular gastronomy, sometimes we simply want to chomp into a nice, juicy hamburger or hot dog.
  •   TWOTENOYSTER BAR & GRILL  |  July 23, 2014
    One of the appealing features of living in a place called the Ocean State is that there are plenty of water-view restaurants.
  •   BEE'S THAI CUISINE  |  July 16, 2014
    On the radar of Providence foodies, the ding of Bee’s Thai Cuisine has grown increasingly louder and brighter.
  •   THE FINAL COUNTDOWN  |  July 16, 2014
    Strap in for a fast-paced adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic mystery.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ