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Pot au feu, Downtown, Providence RI

Although we have been in Providence for over a week, Steve and I have not had a single dinner alone, so we decided to go to Pot au feu, a cozy, subterranean French bistro, half a mile away from the convention center. I had read that this is one of Julia Child's favorite restaurants in Providence. They are milking this for all it's worth - there is a picture of her on their website under History, even though she has nothing to do with their history and when you walk in and go downstairs, there is a large poster of her on the exposed brick wall.

All entrées come with a green salad, which amounted to a handful of a plain mesclun mix. It's fine when it is included with the meal - some restaurants have charged me seven dollars for the same thing. I enjoyed the homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Steve had the Sole Amandine ($28). It was a large filet of sole sautéed with lemon, butter, white wine and slivered almonds. The fish was perfectly cooked - it was a harmonious balance of tender, flaky and almost creamy. It came with a side of vegetable ratatouille, and crispy deep fried potatoes. He loved the potatoes.

Because they did not have steamed mussels, I ordered my second fallback entree - Steak Frites ($25). It is listed as being served “au Poivre” on the menu, however mine was just pan roasted. I thought the portion was average sized, and although the meat was medium rare, the cut was slightly tough. I thought my fries were excellent; this restaurant seems to know what to do with a potato.

There is also warm French bread and butter, although it was offered around the restaurant in a basket with tongs. We were expected to pick out our own bread. I would rather they just serve the bread instead of everybody's hands on the tongs. The bread was appropriately crusty, but the interior was too cottony for my taste.

Our waitress was lovely; she was attentive and friendly. Steve seemed to enjoy his wine and the prices were fairly reasonable. The lights are so dim that you may require your iPhone flashlight to read the menu, so there was no chance any pictures were coming out. But that is what you want for a romantic evening out, isn't it?

http://potaufeu.businesscatalyst.com/menu.html

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