Mocha Dacquoise

  In honor of Valentine's Day I decided to go on a Chowda Scouting mission for something chocolate.  This was also a good excuse to visit Pastiche, my absolute favorite place for dessert.  Pastiche makes the best cheesecake, not too heavy or overwhelmingly sweet.  The fruit tart is light and flavorful.  My fiance adores the chocolate mousse cake and often goes for any of their seasonal specials.  I decided to branch out and try something new... the waitress recommended the mocha dacquoise.* Mocha Dacquoise is described as "dark chocolate sponge and almond meringue filled with coffee mousse.  finished with coffee buttercream and chocolate glaze."

 I really enjoyed all the different flavors in each layer of the cake, it reminded me of a tiramisu.  If your looking to take your honey out for dessert go to Pastiche!  Or if you want to bring home a sampling of sweets check out their amazing array of cookies, cannoli, macaroons, brownies, rugelach and Valentines day specials! 

Pastiche is tucked away on Federal Hill at 92 Spruce Street. (it's one over from Atwells)

Open: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 AM to 11 PM

Friday & Saturday, 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM Sunday, 10 AM to 10 PM

*I've been cracking myself up by saying mocha dacquoise with an over the top French accent...  Now I can't say it without giggling or speaking in a fake french accent. 

Ebisu Comfort Food

I threw myself another curve ball by picking a dish that was tricky to illustrate.  When I lived in Japan oyakodon was my go to comfort food on a cold winter day because there is nothing better than a warm bowl of rice topped with eggs, chicken, and a sweet salty broth.  Oyakodon literally means mother and child (get it?? haha)

After returning to the US I looked everywhere for a satisfying oyakodon, but was mostly disappointed... Until I went to Ebisu !

Since then, Ebisu has become one of my favorite restaurants in RI.  This is the food that reminds of my time in Japan!  Their menu does not have sushi, but instead focuses on bowls of rice, ramen and even shabu-shabu!  Traditionally, oyakodon is not made with the crispy breaded "katsu" style chicken, but I think it's even better served this way! If you go to Ebisu, look for it on the menu as Katsu Don for $9.95 .

Ebisu is located at:

38 Pontiac Ave. Providence, RI 02907 and you can reach them

@ (401) 270 7500

Of if you want to make some oyakodon at home, here's a recipe with katsu style chicken. (I haven't tried it but it's based on a Momofuku recipe, so I bet it's awesome !)  And here's a faster and more traditional recipe option.

Rasoi Thali

Hello dear readers! It's been far too long since I've posted a Chowda Scout piece... Rest assured, I have been eating lots of great food in the state of RI!  This latest dish is from my favorite Indian restaurant; RASOI.  I chose to illustrate their Vegetarian Ayurvedic Thali.  A thali is a traditional Indian meal served in a platter.  It's usually a balanced sampling of nutrition, flavor, texture and color!

Tuesday- Thursday Rasoi offers thali's from different regions of India.  It's a fun way to try little portions of a variety of dishes.  I forgot to write down exactly what was in this one... but I think it included: a saag (or spinach dish), eggplant and potato curry, mushroom& pea curry, lentil dal and a mango rice pudding that was insanely delicious...  Also with some basmati rice and fresh naan!

The thali was quite a challenge; the metal platter and dishes, drawing curries, puddings and lentil dal was even harder than I thought it would be... But I wanted to try to convey the bright colors,  and delicious spices used in Indian cooking.  On a technical note I've also been working on adding texture and layers of translucency to my work.  I struggled with this piece for awhile but I'm pretty happy with where it's at now!

Anyways, I hope this piece makes you hungry for Indian food... In addition to having weeknight specials, Rasoi also has a delicious Brunch buffet on the weekends.

Olga's Sourdough Waffles

If you live in the Providence area you probably see Olga's Cup and Saucer bread at all of the local grocery stores and cafes.  For years, I've been buying their bread and never tried the cafe.  

I finally made it there for brunch with the bf, my sister, her friend and we all left extremely satisfied.  The brunch menu has many of the usual staples, but I recommend ordering anything that features Olga's fresh artisanal bread such as: toad in a hole on sourdough, poached eggs on grilled scallion cheddar scones or brioche french toast! (Which is exactly what my brunch companions ordered)

But on to the waffles!!! Olga's waffles are made with the bread starter they use to make their sourdough bread.  The waffles were thinner than the Belgian style waffles one usually encounters.  They were crisp, flavorful and topped with scrumptious cinnamon-y apples, toasted walnuts and a little maple syrup on the side!!  The fruit topping changes depending on what's in season, which always makes me happy!   Look for Olga's bread at the local farmer's markets or stop by the cafe @ 103 Point St Providence   They do breakfast during the week 7am- 11am as well as lunch 11am-3pm.  Well that's it for now!  If you have ideas for where I should go next: leave a comment or email me – Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com

Red Stripe Grilled Cheese

For my first Chowda Scout post I'm sharing one of my favorite sandwiches... the grilled cheese.  Grilled cheese is one of those sandwiches that is easy to make at home, but its always more enjoyable if someone else makes it for you.  Really what is more comforting than a grilled cheese?  This is not just any grilled cheese, the Red Stripe  grilled cheese comes packed with a well rounded combo of pesto, pear and prosciutto.

The sandwich also comes with your choice of fries or a small bowl of tomato soup & a crisp pickle for $11. I always go with the soup because it's flavorful, without being too heavy and is topped with a delightful dollop of creme fraiche!  I greatly enjoy dunking my sandwich into the soup... even if it's not very ladylike.  So if your craving melty cheese, head over for lunch during the week or late lunch on the weekend (3-5).  During the week their "pick two" is the way to go.  You can decide on two items from the soups, salads or 1/2 a sandwich for $8.95.  Not bad. The one on the East Side is at 465 Angell St. 

Have an idea for someone I should go?  leave a comment or email me - Jessica@firstpancakestudio.com