Where to eat in Providence: De Wolf Tavern

13. November 2005 Rhode Island 0

10:25pm – train back to New York City, delayed
12:10am – finally on board, but with an announcement that we’d arrive an extra hour late
1:00am – somewhere outside Providence when “the train’s axl hit debris”; delayed another extra hour “to switch machines”
4:00am – somewhere in Connecticut, stalls for forty minutes
6:00am – somewhere in upstate New York, stalls for half an hour
6:18am – sunset, still on the fucking train!
7:30am – back in Harlem, kissing my own pillows on my own bed

I thought riding in trains was supposed to be romantic. I am still wondering how the Europeans can take me from Amsterdam to Belgium, but the United States can’t even get me from Providence to New York City under the three-hour schedule.

The boy and I started laughing at ourselves when we first heard of the delay at 10:30pm because I originally rescheduled my 5pm train. I ended up missing the 7:30pm as well because we were having too much fun over dinner. It stopped being funny at midnight. He had to drive at least two hours back to Maine to go to work at 7am, but he couldn’t stand to leave me waiting in the station alone. He only left after the Amtrak clerk told him the train was five minutes away from Providence.

Despite the inconvenient and frustrating ending to our reunion, we exhausted Rhode Island during the twenty-four hours we spent there. On Friday, he picked me up from the train station at 9pm. We had 9:30pm dinner reservations at De Wolf Tavern so we hurried and drove to Bristol. The staff at the restaurant was accommodating. They still honored my request and sat us by the fireplace even though we arrived fifteen minutes before the kitchen was scheduled to close.

Our meal was one of the most refreshing we’ve had in a long time. Almost every dish had an Indian influence, a nice break from the predictable French taste we’ve gotten used to in fine dining. With our Glenlivets, Guinness beers and sparkling wine with orange-spiced rum, we shared three appetizers and a main course. The tuna carpaccio was served with green mango salad in mustard oil and verjus chutney. The tortellini was stuffed with king crab meat and drizzled with sauce made of fried curry leaves that tasted deliciously nutty. The quail legs were roasted and came with a pretty boring salad of iceberg lettuce and bacon and ranch dressing, but the infused tandoor flavor in the quail perfectly came out at every bite. The medium-rare rib-eye steak completed our meal with crunchy haricot verts and mashed potatoes. To end the night, we also split the cafe au lait ice cream on top of warm pumpkin bread. Esquire Magazine might have prematurely picked The Modern as one of its 2005 restaurant of the year, but they hit the bull’s-eye with De Wolf Tavern.

De Wolf Tavern is about a thirty-minute drive from Providence in Rhode Island. It’s at 259 Thames Street in Bristol. Call 405/254.2005 for reservations.