It’s been a few years since I last visited Waterplace in Providence, and apparently a lot has changed since then…like the amount of people in their restaurant. It’s a shame to say, but the dining room was completely empty (granted it was a Thursday night). I was one of only two tables filled. There was also a large crowd at the bar attending a Speed Dating event. Apparently Waterplace is a popular destination for Speed Dating, just not for dining at. I guess I missed the memo.
When I first walked in, I was tempted to turn back around and leave. Then I remembered how much I enjoyed my last experience at Waterplace a few years ago, so I wanted to find out for myself why customers aren’t returning. Did they raise their prices? Is the service poor? Do they have a new menu? I felt like Gordon Ramsey on Kitchen Nightmares trying to pinpoint the issues within the restaurant. However, to my surprise, my experience was nothing like the places portrayed on the hit TV show. Everything was actually…really good!
Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Waffles with a Maple Bechamel Sauce ($8)
This was an interesting spin on a Southern inspired favorite. Although not totally authentic, this modern interpretation was stacked with a soft, airy waffle, a thin layer a ham, and several strips of crispy chicken. Rather than douse it in syrup, the chef created a Maple Bechamel sauce which was buttery, creamy, sweet, and delicious!
Overall, it was a tasty and creative appetizer. You rarely find Chicken and Waffles north of the Tar Heel State, so I definitely had to order it here!
My only complaint is that I wish the chicken was more crunchy in comparison to the Southern deep-fried variety. I also don’t think the ham was necessary – it seemed to get lost amongst the other ingredients.
Fig & Prosciutto Pizza ($13.95)
The picture above is not an optical illusion. This pizza was served on a wooden board that was so long it really did seem to go on forever, vanishing into the distance. We literally ate it for dinner that night, lunch the next day, and lunch again the day after. Small portions definitely are not an issue at Waterplace!
This delicious surfboard pie was topped with Fig spread, Mozzarella Cheese, Gorgonzola Cheese, Pear, Prosciutto, and White Balsamic Glaze. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it all jived together in an amazing way! Each bite led to a unique blend of flavors and textures. It was the perfect balance of sweet, salty, crunchy, and everything else imaginable.
Hand Cut Organic Pork Chop with Polenta Fries Wilted Spinach, Caramelized Onion Pancetta Sauce, and Crispy Leeks ($21.95)
This juicy Pork Chop was served on the bone and loaded with flavor. It was cooked to the perfect temperature making the pork extremely succulent. The Caramelized Onion Pancetta Sauce also provided some bold, rich flavor.
I enjoyed the soft, creamy Polenta Fries, but would have preferred traditional French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries instead.
Aside from the awkward library-like surroundings inside the restaurant, my overall meal was excellent. My server also did a superb job. Despite it being a slow night, he was fun, attentive, and energetic. He definitely contributed to our positive dining experience.
Based on the dishes I tasted, Waterplace officially deserves to move up in the popularity rankings. Perhaps they are busier on the weekends…I’m not entirely sure. I guess I will have to visit again soon and find out for myself.
Until then, keep Speed-Dating!