Last weekend I went out with a friend, Kelly, for her birthday. The restaurant was her choice, and she had been raving about a salad she had at Waterplace- so she saw this as the perfect opportunity to go back to have it again. As plentiful as they are, I had never been to a Pinelli Marra restaurant before, and Waterplace is their newest endeavor, which opened last summer.
It is a huge place, and when we mentioned that the place looked quite empty, the host confirmed that Waterplace is really a summer destination for diners- they have an impressive three-tiered patio area and a "rooftop" bar/dining area. It's quite impressive that a restaurant group in Providence can afford to have this large of a restaurant situated downtown when most of their revenue is from the summer months.
We started with the Honey Chipotle Calamari with an amazing Scallion Pesto dipping sauce. It was unique and fantastic. Kelly said she's sick of "RI Style" calamari with hot pepper rings, and so she is thrilled when an RI restaurant offers something different. I really enjoy the hot pepper rings, but would order this Honey Chipotle Calamari over RI Style any day.
For our main meal, we both had the salad that Kelly had been talking about. It was a grilled hearts of romaine salad with crumbled goat cheese, slow roasted tomatoes, kalamata olives, toasted soy nuts, and a warm applewood bacon vinaigrette:
The presentation certainly could have been better. While there are a lot of colors on the plate, this looks like a mess with rotted greens. Grilled romaine lettuce is not the most attractive thing, but I'm sure there is a way Waterplace could work with this salad to make it a little more pleasing to the eye- instead of like a heap of whatever is in the kitchen. The scallops also were a little paltry, and were even more dwarfed by the rest of the stuff on the plate. However, it was good. The soy nuts were an interesting addition, but I loved the crunch they added and the subtle nutty flavor. The goat cheese went well with the scallops and the dressing made the whole thing taste like a bacon wrapped scallop.
For dessert we had the espresso chocolate creme bruleé:
It was tasty, and I really enjoyed the strong espresso flavor and the more subtle chocolate. I don't think I would return to Waterplace for the food, but I may be one of their summer patrons to take advantage of their massive patio space for a drink.