Mediterranean cuisine is renowned for the way its rich ingredients inspire innovative food-fighting techniques. Skillfully execute the Kebab Eye Jab or the Hummus Humdinger with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and cocktails at Temple Downtown, located inside the historic Masonic Temple building.
The enticing menu, which has been crafted by executive chef David Cardell and celebrity chef and cookbook author Joyce Goldstein, shines a culinary spotlight on the flavors of the Mediterranean Sea. Empty-bellied diners can chose from a variety of salads and mezze ($7–$25), as well as entrees of flatbreads, kebabs, tagines, pastas, seafood, and more ($12–$29). The Rhode Island little-neck-clam flatbread ($14) is lovingly saturated with basil pesto and topped with creamy grana padano cheese. Noodle fanatics can set their sights on the penne al forno alla Bolognese ($15), which is oven-baked with meat sauce and topped with fresh parmesan. Protein-craving masticators can hang a fang on the grilled rib-eye steak ($29), topped with porcini butter and served with steamy parmesan-garlic fries that handily lend themselves to table Jenga.
Sharing plates, the number-one perk of communal living, is encouraged by Temple's passionate servers, whereas cooperative flossing is expressly forbidden. The time-honored Masonic tradition of conspiratorial drinking is practiced in the elegant bar-lounge area, which Rhode Island Monthly describes as "goth castle meets belly-dancing commune." Comrades can socialize whilst sprawling on white cushions and sipping limonstillos made with saffron ($5), or they can imbibe a mighty el toro ($12) as they luxuriate on purple couches sewn from authentic Barney the Dinosaur hides.
Call ahead to make a reservation.
Temple Downtown received 2.5 stars out of three from Karen Deutsch of Rhode Island Monthly. The restaurant was also reviewed recently by Bill Rodriguez of the Providence Phoenix. Nearly 50 OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 3.7 stars.
- If you're into interesting variations on calamari, try theirs ($9), which cleverly contains fried slices of lemon. – Bill Rodriguez, Providence Phoenix
- A baked dish of shrimp, feta and tomatoes ($13) manages restraint where it could give in to indulgence. Small dollops of feta steer clear of dominating the seafood while a rustic tomato sauce allows the shrimp to assert their bolder, meatier qualities. – Karen Deutsch, Rhode Island Monthly
- The food exceeded our expectations. – An OpenTable user who dined on 06/12/2010