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VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Vegetarian, Diabetes & Digestive Disorders
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Lobster Pot, 119-121 Hope Street, Bristol
by Bob Mariani

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A Taste Of India
by Alica London

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Cancer Help
by Alica London

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Café Nordstrom
by Brian J. Lowney

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Celebrating Valentine's Day!!
by Alica London

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The Purple Cat Restaurant
by Brian J. Lowney

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Cardiovascular Disease and Vegetarianism
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Kabob and Cur
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Quizno’s Subs
by Brian J. Lowney

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Valentine Ideas!
by Alica London

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Portabel
by Bob Mariani

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Romantic Vegetarians, Anytime
by Alica London

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Café Nuo
by Bob Mariani

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What's In Season This Month
by Alica London

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Haruki Ea
by Bob Mariani

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Helpful Hints For Valentine's Day
by Alica London

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The Capital Gril
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Trinity Brewhouse
by Brian J. Lowney

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Longhorn Steakhouse
by Brian J. Lowney

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The Many Faces of a Leek
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Providence Oyster B
By Bob Mariani

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Great Asparagus Ideas
by Alica London

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Jack’s Family Restaura
by Bob Mariani

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What You Didn't Know About Parsnips
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Redlefsen’s Rotisserie & Gri
By Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Farmstead Fine Cheeses and Unique Edibles
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
All About Artichokes
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Canfield Hou
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Amy’s Place
by Brian J. Lowney

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Mustard Greens
by Alica London

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Kartab
by Bob Mariani

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Glorious Greens
by Alica London

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Le Bistro Newpo
by Bob Mariani

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A Great Time For Kale
by Alica London

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Providence Pri
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Ruffuls
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Watercress, a healthy treat
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Downstairs Bist
by Bob Mariani

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A Favorite Green- Spinach
by Alica London

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Caffe It
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
3 Steeple Street
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
The Mystery of a Melon
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Lot 4
by Bob Mariani

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Chelo’s Hometown Bar and Grille
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Salads That Make a Meal
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Blue Fin Gril
by Bob Mariani

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Tofu
by Alica London

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The King’s Fea
by Bob Mariani

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Peas in Springtime
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Upcoming Events
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Lighthouse Diner
by Brian J. Lowney

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Olga’s Cup and Saucer
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Royal Vegetarianism
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Trattoria Simpati
by Bob Mariani

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Soy, Anyway You Like It!
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Sideb
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Bolivian Restaurant
by Brian J, Lowney

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The Mystery of a Melon
by Alica London

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Ind
by Bob Mariani

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Quorn
by Alica London

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Chez Pasc
by Bob Mariani

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The List Goes On and On
by Alica London

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Renaissan
by Bob Mariani

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Puppy Picnic by the Shore
by Alica London

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McCormick & Schmick
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
What's Your Pleasure!
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Feast or Fami
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Julian’s Restaurant
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Salads That Make A Meal: Tofu
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Pakara
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Via Via Brick Oven Pizza
by Brian J. Lowney

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Food & Frolic
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Summer Round-up
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Old Country Store
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
What's for Dinner
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Oyster Bar & Gri
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
A Sweet Ending with Famous Vegetarians
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Mo
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Fellini Pizzeria
by Brian J. Lowney

TABLE FOR TWO
Sushi-Go, we hope they stay!
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Café de V
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Why Vegan
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Cheeky Monkey Ca
by Bob Mariani

TABLE FOR TWO
The Longhorn Steakhou
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Chili’s
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
The Wonderful Cheese of Great Britain
by Alica London

OUT TO LUNCH
Union Station Brewery
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
by Alica London
The Best Cheese In the World - France

TABLE FOR TWO
Mc Fadden
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Life Is Great On Broadway
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Ind
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Celebrating the Holy Cheese, Swiss
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Kabob & Cur
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Andreas Restaurant
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Enjoying the Good Potato
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
The Downstairs Bistro at Second Story Theat
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Brussels Sprouts, One of Fall's Special Treats
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Big Fi
by Bob Mariani

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It's Cranberry Time
by Alica London

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
The Fine Fruits of Fall
by Alica London

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Faux Turkey
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Chiazza Trattori
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Chinese Snacks
by Alica London

RAISE YOUR GLASS
Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

TABLE FOR TWO
10 Steak & Sus
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Vegetarian Thanksgiving
by Alica London

OUT TO LUNCH
Cilantro Mexican Grill
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Holiday Entertaining
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
DeWolf Tave
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Vegetarian Happenings
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
XO Steak Hou
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Pizzeria Uno – Chicago Grill
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Holiday Pleasures
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Best of 2004
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Instant Cocktail Party
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Best of 2004
by Bob Mariani

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Best of 2004
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Geoff's Superlative Sandwiches
by Brian J. Lowney

VEGETARIAN PLEASURES
Succulent Morsels
by Alica London

TABLE FOR TWO
Best of ’04 Best New Restaurant
DeWolf Tave

by Bob Mariani

TABLE FOR TWO
Best of 2004
by Bob Mariani

TABLE FOR TWO
Lucky Gard
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Bertucci’s Brick Oven Ristorante
by Brian J. Lowney

TABLE FOR TWO
The Lobster P
by Bob Mariani

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Lei’s Bar & Grill (formerly The Catfish Gril
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Urban Kitchen Café
by Brian J. Lowney

TABLE FOR TWO
The Sakonnet Fish C
by Bob Mariani

YOUR TABLE IS READY
Viola
by Bob Mariani

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The Ivy Tave
by Bob Mariani

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Brick Alley P
by Bob Mariani

OUT TO LUNCH
Tito’s Cantina Mexican Grill
by Brian J. Lowney

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Table
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Banana Pudding
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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Caffe Dolce Vi
by Bob Mariani

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Coconut Cookie Nests
Information provided by celebrationcorner.com

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Rob's Corner Grill
by Brian J. Lowney

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Geppetto
by Bob Mariani

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Banana Cream Cheesecake
by Ann Castle

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Mediterran
by Bob Mariani

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Cappuccino Brownies with White Chocolate Sauce
Information provided by acplace.com

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The Mooring Restaura
by Bob Mariani

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Waffles for Dessert
by Ann Castle

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Napa Valley Gril
by Bob Mariani

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Delicious Dilemma
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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Quick Guide to German Wine
by Chris Gasbarro

YOUR TABLE IS READY
Cherryston
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Creamy Caramel Treasure Brownies
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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Wines from Israel
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Glass Oni
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Chocolate-Cinnamon Angel Cake
Recipe provided by bhg.com

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Gin is Back In
by Chris Gasbarro

YOUR TABLE IS READY
Zooma Bar Ristoran
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Ann Castle

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Kosher Wine
by Chris Gasbarro

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L’Epicureo at The Hotel Providen
by Bob Mariani

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The Lobster Pot
119 Hope Street
Bristol, RI

by Rob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Lemon Nut White Chip Cookies
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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French Regional Wine Class/Tasti
by Bob Mariani

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Chocolate Crumb Bars
Recipe provided by verybestbaking.com

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Ask the Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Hi-H
by Bob Mariani

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Cookie and Ice Cream Frozen Dessert
Recipe provided by verybestbaking.com

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Summer Wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Nat. Porter I
by Bob Mariani

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White Wines
by Chris Gasbarro

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Pane E Vi
by Bob Mariani

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Custard Tart with Fresh Berries
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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Paraduxx Wine
by Chris Gasbarro

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Lot 4
by Bob Mariani

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Brownies with Coconut Frosting
Information provided by verybestbaking.com

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Unoaked Chardonnays
by Chris Gasbarro

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Persimmon Restaura
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
Recipe provided by verybestbaking.com

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New Sauvignon Blanc
by Chris Gasbarro

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Oak Restaurant and B
by Bob Mariani

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Chocolate Decadence with Sweet Cream
Information provided by cooksrecipes.com

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Dr. Loosen Wines
by Chris Gasbarro

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DeWolf Tave
by Bob Mariani

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Rich Raspberry Swirl Brownies
Recipe provided by verybestbaking.com

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The Margarita!
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Gatehouse Restaura
by Bob Mariani

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Squares
Recipe provided by desserts-recipes.com

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White Rum
by Chris Gasbarro

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Raphael Bar Ris
by Bob Mariani

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Banana Caramel Fluff
by DesiRey

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Rhone Wines
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Downstairs Bist
by Bob Mariani

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Bananas Foster
Recipe provided by Ann Castle

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Burgundy Wines
by Chris Gasbarro

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Shogun Steak & Seafood Hou
by Bob Mariani

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Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
Recipe provided by verybestbaking.com

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Austrian Wine
by Chris Gasbarro

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Bella Vis
by Bob Mariani

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Dessert Wines
by Chris Gasbarro

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Jacky’s Galaxie & Sushi B
by Bob Mariani

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Café Four
by Bob Mariani

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Ask the Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Grille On Ma
by Bob Mariani

HOW SWEET IT IS
Amazing Coconut Pie
Recipe provided by M. Logan

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Ask the Expert
Dry Rose

by Chris Gasbarro

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The Longhorn Steakhouse
400 Bald Hill Road
Warwick Mall, Warwick

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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McCormick & Schmic
by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Twist
336 Baldhill Road
Warwick, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Audrey’s at the Johnson & Wales Inn
213 Taunton Avenue
Seekonk, MA

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Blue Plate Diner
665 West Main Road
Middletown, RI

by Bob Mariani

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The Salvation Café
140 Broadway
Newport, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Lot 401
44 Hospital Street
Providence Jewelry District

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Blaze
776 Hope Street
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Red Stripe
465 Angell Street
Providence

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Hi-Hat
3 Davol Square
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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A Very Good Year
by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Most Memorable Dishes of the Year
by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Bella Vista
One Finance Way
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask The Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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Gracie’s
194 Washington Street
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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La Luna
272 Thayer Street
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask the Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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The Napa Valley Grille
Providence Place Mall
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

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Ask the Expert
by Chris Gasbarro

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McCormick & Schmick’s
Providence Biltmore Hotel
11 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI

by Bob Mariani

Your Table Is Ready
Persimmon Restaurant
31 State Street
Bristol


Just how the heck did Bristol get so lucky? The quaint little waterfront town has attracted not one, but two of the Ocean State’s best chefs: Chef Sai Viswantath (whom I’ve raved about in previous articles) of DeWolf’s Tavern, and now, the well-known Chef Champe Speidel of Persimmon, formerly known as The Hot Point.

Chef Speidel first caught my attention a while back at Gracie’s on Federal Hill. I, along with many other food writers, recognized Chef Speidel’s special talents for sharply focused flavors and creative mixings of various ingredients. Nothing has changed in that regard. His talents continue to blossom.

When Persimmon was The Hot Point, its popularity was based on a menu of well-prepared favorites. Now under Speidel’s guidance, you can expect some truly innovative fare; but with nothing eccentric or "experimental" and evidently, word’s already gotten out about Persimmon. On the Tuesday night we went, diners were already tightly packed into the compact, unassuming little space on State Street.

Before they brought our main order, they surprised us first with a very delicate sliver of sushi-style sea bass, and then, with an absolutely heavenly sample of a creamy soup of morel mushrooms, spring peas, and chive blossoms. Every note of this wonderful, silky broth was perfectly struck.

Next I began in earnest with the crispy Maryland Soft-Shelled Crab appetizer ($10). The lightly breaded crab came with an herbed mayonnaise and what’s referred to on the menu as "Old Bay and lemon emulsion." Let me just say that this was not your right-out-of-the-Hellmann’s-jar mayo. It was filled with subtle little flavor accents, some peppery, some piquant, and all very well-thought out, to go with the crunchy crabmeat. This appetizer, by the way, is enough to serve as an entrée.

My wife decided to explore "the Persimmon Cheese Experience with treats and surprises"($12). The plate arrived looking a lot like an artist’s pallet, which is just what it turned out to be. Arranged so that you can taste from the very mild and firm cow’s milk cheese to a slightly sharper blue, and then finally to an incredibly intense goat and cow’s milk cheese, this was a miniature masterpiece. In between the mouthfuls of cheese samples were a wide range of dainty accompanying tastes such as figs puree, leechie nuts, and marinated cherries – a cheese-lover’s orgy!

Other starters this night included Crispy Calamari with spicy tomato condiment; butter-basted Lobster Risotto with sweet peas and creamy lobster froth; a warm salad of roasted beets, camembert cheese, pickled fennel, navel oranges, and baby arugula in an African roasted peanut oil, honey and Banyuls vinegar; and Pan-Seared Foi Gras with duck confit ravioli.

My main dish was a Maple and Soy Glazed Pork Porterhouse ($24). Cooked perfectly medium rare as I’d requested, this most-tender of pork cuts was infused with a very subtle but perfectly matched sweet and sour rhubarb condiment. The maple sweetness was beautifully balanced by the subtler soy, and the rhubarb condiment just kept tasting better and better with every mouthful. The accompanying veggies were also a treat: little broccoli flowerlets, oyster mushrooms, and some wonderful tidbits of potato gnocchi the size of your thumbnail.

Jan’s entrée was the Braised Spring Lamb Shank ($24). It came in a dark, dark "calaminth-infused sauce" accompanied by a tantalizingly soft/sweet puree of spring parsnips, and an array of tiny but really tasty spring veggies. The lamb was on the bone and it fell away at the touch of a fork. It should be noted here that because of Chef Speidel’s devotion to fresh ingredients, the menu is slightly different every night, depending on what the best items available that day might be.

Other entrees at Persimmon were the Herb-Crusted R.I. Fluke with a creamy shellfish ragout ($24); Beef Sirloin with Yukon Gold potato pancakes in a Sauce Bordelaise ($26); Crispy Young BBQ Half-Chicken with warm fingerling potato salad ($22); Pan-Roasted Long Island Duck Breast with ravioli of leg confit in a tarragon-infused sauce ($24); and Bowtie Pasta Carbonara with smokehouse bacon, sweet peas, and parmigianno-reggianno ($20).

The desserts are all house-made. I chose the Warm Banana Sponge Cake. It was a soft, spongy slice of cake, with a small dollop of banana ice cream on top. The sauce was a really interesting mixture of chocolate and salty peanut praline. Jan’s desert was the Yogurt and Vanilla Panna Cotta which was served with fresh strawberries and sweet pie dough - remarkably light and loaded with soft spring flavors.

As downtown Bristol continues to evolve with its new million-dollar, waterfront condos, Chef Speidel’s sophisticated brand of cuisine is going to be a perfect fit. The prices struck me as extremely reasonable in light of the finesse and quality of the cooking here. Hidden message: go now while the prices are still geared towards the average diner.

Persimmon Restaurant is open for dinner every night except Mondays. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 401-254-7474.

Bob Mariani is a Southeastern New England freelance author. Besides his "Your Table is Ready" restaurant reviews found here, he also writes jazz articles on allaboutjazz.com.

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