Ever since North opened on Luongo Square in the West End of Providence, I’ve heard countless people rave about the place. Discreetly hidden on a side street between Westminster and Broadway (look for the blue door), you probably wouldn’t even know North existed if it wasn’t for word of mouth. It feels exclusive. A place where hipsters and foodies unite. Just think about it…if a six table restaurant off the beaten path is creating this kind of buzz…you know it’s gotta be good, right?
At North, their menu changes daily and is posted on their social media pages. With a selection of about 10-15 dishes (appetizers and entrees), this is not your ordinary menu…or ordinary minds creating them for that matter. It feels like a kitchen full of renegades and non-conformists cooking food the way they think food should taste. Sure, their menu may consist of unconventional pairings, but these unyielding culinary minds are cooking with relentless passion…in an unpretentious, laid-back kind of way. Just so you understand what I mean…one of the owners, James Mark, is formerly of David Chang’s Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko in New York. Now he is holding it down in the kitchen at North, cooking the type of food he would want to eat, just in a more casual setting.
Reason #1 to visit North – If can you stand the heat, taste the food from this kitchen!
Each dish packs a punch with bold, aggressive flavors. Take for example the “Dan Dan Noodles” (picture above) made with Goat, Squid, Black Pepper, and Fermented Chiles. Each fiery bite left me reaching for water, but the flavors were so irresistible that I repeatedly reached back for my spoon to dig in for more! If you can’t stand the heat, make sure to order “the painkiller” which is a refreshing alcoholic beverage made with coconut rum. After this, you’ll be good as new.
Reason #2 to visit North – It’s reasonably priced!
Everything on the menu is priced $15 and under (most items around $10 on average). Just know that some entrees are more generously portioned than others. For example, the Fluke with Shallots, Cilantro, Daikon, and Ham (pictured above) is $9 while the bottomless bowl of Dan Dan Noodles (in main picture at top of page) costs $11.
Reason #3 to visit North – Tiny Ham Biscuits!
If these ever appear on the daily menu (we’ve been scoping their menu the past few weeks and these might be a keeper), be sure to order these flaky, buttery biscuits. Delicately tucked in the middle was Country Ham while Burnt Honey Mustard was spread throughout. For only $6 for three biscuits, this bargain appetizer is the perfect way to start any meal. It may seem random on a predominantly Asian inspired menu…but good food, is good food – and that’s the theme at North.
Reason #4 to visit North – Where else can you order authentic Ramen Noodles in Providence?
Reason #5 to visit North – Plenty of Vegetarian options
I personally love meat and have trouble imagining life without it. But if you are the opposite of me, North has plenty of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The biggest misconception with vegetarian food is that it’s boring and bland. Well, that’s not the case here. Even the meatless dishes are full of bold, spicy flavors. For example, the “Mapo Shan Tofu” with Dried Chiles, Black Peppercorn, Peanut Brittle, and Pork. Yes, you read it right…Pork. OK, so this one isn’t pure vegetarian, but it did have Tofu, so doesn’t that count? I already told you that I can’t imagine life without meat. :)
There really are plenty of 100% vegetarian dishes. I just don’t order them, lol.