400 Knight Street
Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 734-4460

Unlike me, who is but a hobbyist with a website, Seth happens to be a real journalist. Like, he gets paid and everything. So when he was asked to write a travel piece about Providence and asked if I wanted to tag along, how could I say no? Providence is like a miniature Boston. The same architecture, the same horrid streets, the same colonial kitch, the same college-city atmosphere, the same accent. Seth came for the colonial kitch, which is apparently what the tourists, bratty kids in tow, came for as well. As an aside, I'm not sure why parents think that children enjoy tours of old mansions, but someone should really clue them in. I'm willing to bet that no ten-year old ever held a tantrum at being told that they're skipping the mansion tour for an amusement park.

Warwick neighbors Providence the way Hoboken neighbors NYC. It's five minutes away and cheaper to stay in. So we stayed in Warwick, venturing north during the day to ProTown to figure out what tourists would want to do. After a hard day of aimful wandering, it was time for food, drink, and possibly another drink.

The NYLO Hotel, in a renovated factory, with it's loft-style rooms, modern interiors, and clubby atmosphere caters to a certain demographic. And you know who you are. This ain't Holiday Inn. The restaurant at the NYLO is The Loft, an upscale casual American restaurant. Overlooking the river is a huge patio area with tables and sofas and even little curtained off beds. On the weekends, the restaurant becomes a club with DJs and dancing. It's a sexy place, and on days when they aren't spinning tunes, a very chill place.

It should be noted that our waitress was... well, I don't think she liked me. And I'm a likable guy. Maybe she had a bad day, maybe she didn't think it was cute when I flipped a coin to choose my dinner*, maybe it's her personality. And I liked her. She had spunk. Sigh.

*Actually, I was out of coins so I flipped a credit card.

We were in Rhode Island, a seafood state, so Seth started off with a simple bowl of New England Clam Chowder and I tried the Crab Cakes with a spicy remoulade sauce. The clam chowder was good, but not unique. The crab cakes were very good. No breading. All crab. I wish they were larger than the size of a golf ball, but I can't complain for the taste.

Dinners at The Loft are simple and casual and while I was surely tempted by the Molasses-brined Heritage Pork Chop, I decided to go with a sandwich to leave room for dessert. Specifically I went with the Whiskey-Orange Grilled Steak Sandwich, orange-seasoned steak with lettuce, tomato and goat cheese. Very good, and I don't much care for goat cheese. So I can imagine what it would be like if I did like it. Seth asked why I didn't ask for the sandwich without the goat cheese. Maybe get another cheese instead. I suppose that it's a valid comment, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of trying out the dish? I mean, someone designed the meal specifically to include certain flavors. Besides, I can't stand those people who substitute things. Seth ordered the Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwich, which he liked very much and didn't have to swap anything in or out.

Dessert was the most disappointing part of the meal. Seth tried the Warm Brownie with caramel, vanilla gelato, and cream. This was basically I margarita glass stuffed to overflowing with calories. Gelato, caramel, cream and chocolate. It was good, I guess, but it felt like it belonged on the menu of a TGIFriday's. My choice was the House-Made Dough Boy dusted liberally with powdered sugar and under a mixed-berry compote. I was told that it was a Rhode Island specialty, but that implies that Rhode Island was founded by carnies. It was good, but heavy. I got through half of it, but try as I might, just couldn't finish it.

Oh yeah, The Loft has a cocktail list too. They looked pretty good and the one I had (I forgot to write the name down) was.

Two appetizers, two sandwiches, two desserts, four drinks, and a coffee came to $90 plus tip.

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