A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to chop it up with acclaimed chef, Govind Armstrong. One thing I took away from our conversation was his undeniable passion for organic, locally harvested foods. So if you appreciate Govind’s point of view, then you will definitely enjoy dining at Local 121 as they share the same dedication to using the finest farm-fresh ingredients. Housed cozily in what used to be the Dreyfus Hotel (built in the 1890’s), Local 121 has been crafting dishes with the best locally raised meats and vegetables since 2007.
At first glance, their menu provides an array of seasonal dishes and plates. Think comfort food with a touch of elegance. Take for example their rendition of the Chicken Pot Pie. Local 121’s version includes a bounty of baby carrots and turnips along with chunks of Chicken Confit from Baffoni’s Farm in Johnston, RI. Simple, flavorful ingredients, all supplied by local farmers and food artisans. On this night however, we shied away from the Pot Pie and ordered several small and large plates. Click the jump for a look at what Local 121 has to offer.
Wild Mushroom & Leek Tart – What tasted like a puff pastry mini pie crust of sorts was filled with a blend of cloumage cheese and mushrooms. Very solid appetizer if you’re looking to try something new.
Potato, Atwell’s Gold & Caramelized Onion Pierogies – Served with dollops of Rosemary Creme Fraiche, these are an updated, more exciting version of your Grandmother’s pierogies. It is rare to find these Polish dumplings on an appetizer menu nowadays, especially at a fine dining establishment, but it fits perfectly with Chef Dave Johnson’s creative culinary vision.
Bouillabaisse w/ littlenecks, mussels, scallops, pollock – If you are a true shellfish-loving New Englander, then you can’t go wrong with this seafood stew. This specialty dish is a combination of just about everything under the sea. So if you are craving some seafood but can’t make up your mind, just order all of it and go with the Boullabaisse. Problem solved!
Pan Roasted Bomster Scallops – These jumbo-sized scallops were perfectly seared on each side and positioned atop a thick broth of cauliflower and green curry. The interior of the scallops obtained an almost velvety texture. Easily the best dish of the night.
Ice Cream Terrine – Layered and sliced like a cake, this trio of housemade ice creams includes flavors like salted caramel and chai. However, the most distinctive out of the three flavors was the pumpkin ice cream. Who says you can’t eat ice cream in the dead of winter?
Spiced Pear Brioche Bread Pudding – Moist, spongy brioche meets a warm, gooey compote of maple and golden raisins. Need we say more?
Vairhona Chocolate Fallen Torte – This is one of the most popular desserts at Local 121. The Chocolate Torte is decadent without being overly rich. Also decorating the plate is a fruity, flavorful cherry gastrique and crunchy pieces of cocoa nib brittle scattered throughout.