Red Stripe

The Red Stripe
465 Angell Street
Providence, RI
02906

Phone
401-437-6950

Reservations?
Yes

Hours
Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. (with late lunch running between 3 and 5)
Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday Late Lunch 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday Dinner 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

I know there are times I come off a little bit…err, conceited or arrogant when it comes to my seafood. I’m from SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are you really that surprised?

My best friend of 10 years took me to The Red Stripe on the East Side of Providence to celebrate my birthday. She had raved about this place FOREVER, so I figured I’d be in for a treat.

We were sat immediately by the window (I love to people watch) and immediately tackled the menu.

Since Chelsea is a somewhat regular (I don’t think she’d argue that point with me, she is a member of their loyalty program!) we decided to steer away from her normal appetizer order – The Risotto Croquettes ($9) and go with something different. That’s where we enlisted the help of our very patient waiter, Dana.

“What would you suggest?”

“What do you like?”

“What goes in this?”

He answered all of our questions with a smile and convinced us (not that it took all that much) to go with the Basque Calamari with hot peppers, cherry tomatoes and roasted red pepper rouille ($10).

Can we just all take a moment of silence at this point? Shut your eyes and take a moment to thank Poseidon for blessing us with CALAMARI. Okay, that’s dramatic but man when it’s good, it’s THAT good. And The Red Stripe did not disappoint! The meat was incredibly tender. It melted in your mouth. The batter was well seasoned and didn’t slop off like most sub-par batter tends to do.

If anyone from The Red Stripe is reading, can you all send me a tweet or email and let me know what herbs go into the roasted red pepper rouille? UPDATE: it’s roasted red pepper aioli scented with white wine and saffron, thanks guys! Chelsea and I couldn’t put our fingers on it and got too distracted by our main dishes to ask Dana. It was a wonderful change from marinara sauce you sometimes see served with RI calamari or (if you really took a wrong turn somewhere) tartar sauce.

I spent oh, I don’t know, nothing short of 45 years perusing the menu. Not because it was too large to navigate but because everything sounded amazing and I had no idea what I should get. Chelsea insisted I try the Moules & Frites ($12) – so I went for it!

You can choose from ten different styles to have your mussels. Although my instinct had me leaning towards the Portuguese style, I took a step out of my comfort zone and got them done Normade. This meant the broth they were cooked in had mushrooms, lardon (wee pork pieces), garlic, shallot, apple brandy and cream. Chelsea got them done in the Poulette style. The broth had parsley, chive, garlic, shallot, white wine and cream.

Ugh, these mussels. Once again – let’s take a moment to close our eyes and take a moment to bask in the epic that is a pot full of perfectly cooked mussels placed, covered, in front of you…then your waiter removing the lids so that you are punched in the face by the most delicious aroma of (insert the style of mussels you got here).

I say punch in a good way, by the way.

We got to work, slowly devouring these super tender mussels and using every ounce of self-control to not ask for a serving spoon to eat the broth like a soup. Dana recognized our struggle and offered to bring us over bread to soak up what was left of the broth. He must see this all the time…

The fries? They were good – but not the highlight of the meal. They were a great compliment but I barely got through half of them!

The only sad/disappointing thing was that I had to head back to Atlanta and don’t know when I’ll be in Rhode Island next! For those of you reading – please head to The Red Stripe, leave Dana an awesome tip and tweet us your pictures (@_goodeats) and let us know what you have!

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