Temple: "Masonic delights" Top 5 Page for this destination Providence Restaurant Tip by Bunsch
Providence Restaurants: 88 reviews and 78 photos
I didn't want to like Temple. After all, who puts a great restaurant in the cellar? Who lines the entire place with marble, so that in theory sound will bounce around insufferably, making it impossible to talk? And yet, I found that I was really taken with the place, which turned out NOT to be noisy, and not really even in the cellar -- the site's grade means that you walk down a lovely staircase to get there, but if you happen to sit in one of the banquette seats (watch out, though, those steel-topped tables are icy cold) you'll have a fine view of the State House just across the street. Once seated, service was very fast, friendly and efficient. My guest and I sampled a number of different luncheon items and I'll definitely be back for the Sunday buffet brunch. A couple of notable things: the Masonic Temple, which has now been transformed by Sage Hospitality to the Renaissance Hotel Providence, was left unfinished for about eighty years and, unsurprisingly, it became a favorite spot for taggers. Sage made a virtue of necessity and hired some of the most creative graffiti artists to decorate their new hotel. Check out the door to your right as you enter the Temple precincts -- just a sample. There's more in the charming bar/music area which is tucked under that staircase.
Update for 2013: Temple closed on 12/27/12, in part because Sage sold the hotel. It is apparently going to reopen this spring under new management. Stay tuned!
Favorite Dish: The pulled pork sandwich was succulent and a pleasant surprise at such an upscale eatery, but it could have used a bit of cornbread for authenticity. My guest's salad was innovative and beautifully presented. We each had a berry-encrusted miniature cheesecake for dessert. I took a peek at the dinner and brunch menus and think most people would find an assortment of palate-pleasers here.
Address: 120 Francis Street, Providence
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Downstairs at Renaissance Hotel Providence, across from the Rhode Island State House
Phone: (401) 919-5050
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