We “old-timers” remember the Boys’ Training School in the former Howard Complex, which was transformed into the elegant Chapel Grille a few years ago.
The restaurant has become one of the top destinations in Rhode Island, offering healthy Mediterranean gourmet dining, white-glove service, and an elegant atmosphere for a special dining experience.
The highlight of the historic building is the Cathedral Bar with its high ceilings and elegant décor. The wine salon and fireplace room give you the feeling of eating in a castle, and are also available for special events.
We dined in the Terrace, an open, airy room with a view of the surrounding area – a pleasant addition to the building, although lacking the atmosphere of the other rooms.
It was a Sunday evening during Restaurant Weeks, and every nook and cranny was filled with diners.
We were impressed with the personal service we received. A young lady immediately filled our water glasses. A young man brought fresh rolls and oil to the table. Our waiter brought our menus. When we finished a course, the waiter removed the dishes and handed them to an accompanying busboy.
Chapel Grille has an extensive wine list, with suggestions to accompany each main course.
A variety of appetizers, pizza, pasta and salad choices are joined by a raw bar. Entrée choices are limited to nine, with different specials offered nightly.
We chose from the $34 per person Restaurant Week menu, a three-course dinner with most interesting choices.
Joyce chose the Organic Greens salad, which features watermelon, grapes, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette.
I enjoyed the best chowder I have ever eaten in my long life – Atlantic Salmon Chowder. It was served piping hot in a large bowl filled with chunks of salmon, smoky bacon, bliss potato, cream, chives, celery and corn. If this delicious soup is not served every night, it should be.
Joyce enjoyed the Chicken Scallopine – pan-seared chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, garlicky spinach, Madiera-mushroom gravy and Concord grape vincotto.
I chose the seared salmon, served over a fregola and cannellini bean ragu with grape tomato, pancetta and buttered pine nuts, and cooked to perfection.
If salmon had been on the menu for dessert, I would have ordered it. Chef Jules Ramon knows how to do it right.
We both topped off the dinner with the Chapel Sundae, vanilla and chocolate ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauces topped with whipped cream and a Toll House cookie.
We did not go away hungry.
Chapel Grille is located at 3000 Chapel View Blvd. For reservations, call 944-4900. They are closed Monday and Tuesday during July and August.
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