Part of the GPub initiation is finding the entrance. If you’re a newbie, there’s a good chance you enter the five-story Providence G building from Dorrance Street, are swept through the revolving door and up the elevator, and accidentally find yourself underdressed for light bites and skyline views at Rooftop (happy accident?). If you know the ropes, you head straight to the Orange Street entrance, down a set of stairs, and into the hidden basement gem we call GPub – fitting for an underground gastropub with the tagline “Speak Easy. Eat Well.”
Our first time back since their recent reopening, my friend and I were excited to explore the new menu they’ve curated since closing their doors during the pandemic. The vibe includes an expansive bar, rows of family-style tables down the center, and an arcade and pool area. TVs take the place of windows, completing what I like to refer to as the “elevated sports bar aesthetic.”
Though their craft cocktail menu was full of seasonal cravings – maple, apple, salted caramel, pumpkin, cranberry – we both went for Proclamation Tendrils, just one of many local options on their extensive craft beer and wine list. When our server, Ashley, suggested we kick off the meal with the Spinach Artichoke Dip, we agreed wholeheartedly. She returned with a hot cast-iron skillet. “Hot stuff, ladies – and I’m talking about the spinach artichoke dip,” she teased. Seeing the generous portion, we feared we may need more friends to finish it, but after one bite it was hard to stop. The epicly creamy and cheesy dip pairs perfectly with their crunchy (and addicting) house kettle chips.
Going for a surf ‘n’ turf vibe, my friend built a meal out of an app and a side – the Korean Sticky Ribs and the Lobster Mashed Potatoes. The ribs, which were coated in a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce, were sprinkled with kimchi, toasted sesame, and scallions. Perfectly tender, the meat fell right off the bone. Again served in a cast-iron skillet, the velvety, buttery mashed potatoes complemented the generous serving of lobster surprisingly well.
My entree, the Wild Mushroom Fettuccine, featured caramelized mushrooms served in a creamy, almost soup-like mascarpone sauce, topped with spinach, parmesan, and roasted garlic – yet another dish I couldn’t stop eating.
By the time we were thinking of dessert, around 6:30pm, the pub was just beginning to come alive with friend groups gathering for a game of pool or foosball, grabbing a beer to watch the game, or cozying up for a three-course meal like us. We rounded out the evening with another recommendation from Ashley: Honey Crème Brulée. As soon as we sampled the crisp layer of honey with the sweet and cool cream, we regretted sharing.
Once you visit GPub, you realize quickly it’s not a once-in-while type of place, but a spot where you want to become a regular. I would happily reorder every one of the dishes we enjoyed that evening but look forward to exploring more of GPub’s seasonal comfort selections next time.
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