I really like that Local 121's sign includes the phrase "Locally Harvested Food and Drink". It makes me happy that the sustainable movement has really taken flight, especially in a small city like Providence that can really mobilize its population. Not too long ago I made my first visit to Local 121, but just for drinks. We were really charmed with the place, so were excited to go back with Andy's mom before the theater on a Saturday night. The dining room is gorgeous (it has a slightly more upscale feel than the bar area, but both feel grand).
Since I loved my hot toddy so much, I had to start with a cocktail again this time around. This time, I chose the Dark and Stormy because I was eager to try the ginger beer:
The ginger beer was fabulous, and the drink was strong- a great combination in my book! For appetizers, Andy and his mom split the Root Crisps with herbed creme fraiche, and I had the Salad of Local Greens with red wine vinaigrette:
This was the perfect starter. It was lightly dressed so the freshness of the greens really shined. And it was a good thing it was light, because for my main I had the North East Family Farms Grilled Strip Steak:
The steak was covered in a smoked paprika butter, and served with a twice baked potato and wilted swiss chard. It was all good, but not memorable. I thought the greens were over-salted and there was nothing particularly special about the potato, except that a twice baked potato is almost always tasty as long as there is cheese and fluffy potatoes. The steak was done a little rarer than I asked, but Andy didn't mind so he finished the rest of it for me.
Andy has The Local 121 Burger with aged Vermont cheddar:
I had a small bite, and felt the same way Andy did- that it tasted different. That was the best way to describe the meat. I personally didn't care for it, and thought maybe it needed a little more spice, and Andy said there were many other burgers he prefers more.
Andy's mom had the Prima Pasta special of the day which was fettucini with broccolini in a light cream sauce:
She liked it, and thought it was the perfect portion and that it was perfectly sauced- with a hint of red pepper flakes. But while she finished the bowl, she didn't seem 'wowed'- much like Andy and I's reactions.
For dessert we had the Chocolate Tart with house made ginger ice cream:
The ginger ice cream was the best part, and the tart was certainly made with a wonderful quality bittersweet chocolate. But the crust was too dry and flavorless and it made the dessert feel a little less balanced.
There was nothing in the particular flavors, presentations, or offerings that blew me away. In fact, I felt everything was fairly standard and could be easily re-created in my home kitchen for a better price. But that can be true of many dining out experiences, and that isn't to take away from the beautiful decor and my admiration for Local 121's mission. However, I don't think I will be going back for dinner anytime soon. For drinks in the cozy bar, certainly, but there are other restaurants I'd really like to try, or try again, before returning to Local 121.