3 Steeple Street

3 Steeple Street
125 Canal Street
Providence Rhode Island 02903

Situated in one of the oldest industrial buildings in the country (read their web page for more info), the building has a unique feel with exposed beams and posts and a combination of brick and stone walls. The lighting is kept dim, yielding an intimate feel. Tables are adequately spaced to feel like you have some privacy from neighboring tables. Walking in is an interesting experience, as the front entry is very narrow and cavelike, with nothing to see ahead but an opening onto one end of the bar.

Start out with the awesome. Best Creme Brulee I or my mother have ever had. The custard was perfectly smooth. It was a pleasure to move a bite around the mouth and wait for it to warm up. Absolutely no graininess. The caramelized sugar on top was a thick, even, crisp layer across the entire top. Continuing with the best part of dinner, my dessert was very good.

I'm very picky about my bread puddings, having grown up eating a custard concoction made from day old home made bread, arguably more custard than bread. I find that most restaurants bread puddings are dense, compacted and dry loaves of torn, seasoned bread. I must admit, I was happy to experience a lightly custardy dish of good bread, crisp on the exposed tops of the bread jutting from the custard base, and with the lower bread well integrated with a discernible custard. My mother's only complaint about desert was the lack of espresso and cappuccino.

The rest of our dining experience, while very tasty, had minor issues. All of the dishes that we ordered came out and seemed to be over cooked. My seared Ahi tuna was more to medium than rare and dry as a result. The wasabi mashed potatoes were good, but I found that the wasabi flavor was too subtle for me to detect. Finally, I found the accompanying vegetables very good, with a nice light sauce, reminiscent of a teriyaki, but lighter and better tasting.

My dining companions also mentioned that the chicken and duck seemed to be somewhat overdone or perhaps just cooked too close to the broiler. The Chicken Florentine was very good, but the tough and dry outside layer of chicken and tip detracted from the overall effect, though I was told it was accompanied very well as leftovers with my own homemade chicken giblet gravy. The Samurai Phils 5 Spice Duck was also very tasty, but slightly dry.

For appetizer, we shared the mediteranean plate, which featured an overly parsleyed tabouleh, an extremely good, if garlicy hummus, baba gahoush and fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. The plate had bland canned black olives substituted for the kalamata olives, a dissapointing choice.

We shared a very good bottle of wine, at 3.5 times the per glass cost, we felt it was a reasonable price. The wine menu is limited, covering the basic wine pallet, no outstanding choices, but no poor choices either.

Price Range: $18 - $25 entrees, $8-15 appetizers

Recommended? Needs further investigation. The desert's were great, dinners were good, perhaps just a little off the night I dined. Great, cozy atmosphere.

Date of Dining: November 28.

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