Experience: The George on Washington

Downtown’s piano bar specializes in upscale eats and sultry sounds

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“It’s timeless,” my friend muses, taking in the ambiance of the dimly lit establishment as we make our way to a crescent moon-shaped booth. “What era are we in?” The sound of our heels clicking on the polished hardwood floor is soon drowned out by sultry piano music, suggesting 1940s nightlife, but then the decade shifts when classic R&B and funk tunes steal the spotlight. A visit to the restroom feels reminiscent of the roaring ‘20s with its swanky wallpaper of dogs dressed in vintage suits.

This is the beautiful enigma that is The George on Washington. A fine dining restaurant that opened during the pandemic, they were awarded Providence’s “Best Live Music Restaurant” by Open Table this year. The music is a quintessential part of the experience – with managing partner Alex Tomasso often found at the keys – though not to be overlooked is the cozy seating, delicious food, and the servers’ warmth and attention to detail that tie it all together. 

We started with a unique twist on Rhode Island’s beloved delicacy: Sweet Thai Calamari. Its buttery bread coating is paired with a tangy sweet Thai sauce that didn’t dissolve any of the fried squid’s delightful crispness. Lightly crunchy kale topped the appetizer, the bitter and sweet profiles playing off of each other, and a squeeze of lemon juice added another dimension to the deceptively simple dish.

All our entrees were flavorful and arrived in sizable portions. The Lobster and Crab Ravioli special was a savory dish with a touch of sweetness, particularly from the tender lobster and crab meat covered with a creamy vodka sauce that added acidity. The barbeque pulled pork-style Braised Short Rib Sandwich was smokey and delicious, served with a bed of fries salted just right. If you’re in the mood for something comforting yet indulgent, the Half Roasted Chicken is mouth-wateringly juicy white meat with a lemon rosemary glaze adding a pleasing brightness and colorful veggies completing the culinary ensemble.

The drinks were heavenly, specifically, the famous Amelia Earhart and Paul Revere Red. The former starred limoncello with hints of blueberry, while the latter was a deliciously smooth sangria that tasted like fruit juice for adults. 

We swayed to soulful sounds while slicing forks into the final course. The Vanilla Creme Brûlée looked as enticing as it tasted, with a sugary caramel-like crunchy top and creamy, smooth custard. Equally satisfying, the Banana Creme Pie was cool like ice cream and paired deliciously with a thick graham cracker crust and banana toppings. 

If you’re looking to get lost traipsing through decades of classic music and the intimacy only live piano tunes can muster – along with a menu of elevated standards – The George on Washington is a divine choice. 

The George on Washington121 Washington Street • 573-7346

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