A Fitting End to a Tasty Year: Christian’s Restaurant in Bristol, RI

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Fortunately for us, Bristol, RI has become a foodie destination despite its small-town size. Among the impressive eateries is Christian’s, run by the talented Christian Ferreira, where “small plates, big flavors, and wood grilling” (www.christiansri.com) stand out. Thanks to him and his terrific staff, the students felt special and well taken care of as the only diners  for a special tasting menu. It. Was. Remarkable.

Students comment:

The food we had a Christian’s righteously marked a finale in my Portsmouth Abbey experience; it was one of the best, with Chef Christian Ferreira doing the cooking.  My favorite was the Herb Roasted New York Strip. Not only was the steak itself juicy and tender, but the sides were exceptional, especially the leek and potato croquette. The batter was extremely light and not greasy, and I loved the flavor profile between the two ingredients. I also loved the Bass Ceviche. The diced bass went extremely well with the citrus salad. I hope I can come back next time with the class of 2016! — Seha Choi ’16

The second annual lunch of the Portsmouth Abbey Culinary Arts Club took place in a fine dining place, Christian’s, in the town of Bristol. What enhanced our dining experience was that the restaurant reserved its seats only for Abbey students, making the lunch more of an appreciation of food rather than a satiation of hunger. My favorite part of Chef Ferreira’s cooking is the use of sauces and cream sauces. These sauces are finishing touches of these already delicious courses. The two sauces that I enjoyed the most were the Taleggio cream sauce in the calamari and the Ajo Blanco sauce in the charred octopus. According to the chef, the Taleggio sauce comes from the original cheese, melting it down to give a strong, fruity aroma. It worked out very well with the lemon zest, which is also fruity. The Ajo Blanco sauce is made of crushed garlic and sherry vinegar, adding flavor to the previously plain octopus.– Christine Gu ’17

For our final trip of the year, the Culinary Arts Club went to Christian’s for a delightful six-course meal. The menu could probably be described as somewhat adventurous since it featured ingredients like “tallegio cream,” “vanilla and sumac gastrique,” and “duck confit rillettes.” Even our first course of Sweet Corn and Ricotta Ravioli sounded relatively unusual, and we were slightly apprehensive as we waited for it to be served. The raviolis were served, plated beautifully, and as I tried them, I found that the sweet freshness of the corn melded perfectly with the creamy ricotta. As we continued to the second course with the much feared “Charred Octopus,” the meal continued to far exceed my expectations. Though the octopus was decidedly different, it was very enjoyable especially when eaten with the green chili romesco, which gave the plate both a refreshing color and flavor. Though it was chilled and firmer than a traditional crème brulee, my favorite part of the meal was unquestionably the kahlua crème brulee. The brulee was delightfully sweet and light, and the caramelized sugar piece on top of it accessorized the creamy interior nicely without overwhelming it. This fantastic dinner taught me not to fear complicated-sounding elements of a dish and to appreciate how a good chef–in this case, Chef Christian Ferreira– makes all the elements of a meal work together harmoniously. Hannah Banderob ’17

As the Culinary Arts Club embarked on its final outing of the year, I could not help but feel sentimental about closing this chapter of my Abbey experience. The past two years have taught me about the passion and effort people put into preparing, talking, and writing about food and also the various culinary opportunities one can experience on the island. The only restaurant I had gone to in Bristol was Persimmon so I was looking forward to trying a new spot in the area. Overall, I was very impressed with the fish courses and dessert that we had at Christian’s. The octopus was my favorite dish because it was so tender and well-cooked. I also loved the fish trio because each portion of the dish had its own unique flavor, which made it interesting and even more delicious. To round it off, dessert was the classic duo of chocolate molten lava cake and creme brulee, which everyone devoured. I am sad to leave the club and two fantastic faculty advisors, but I will never forget my special experience and, of course, the food that has followed me on my culinary journey. –Lucy Ferry ’16

Passing over the bridge, the ocean, and the sunshine, we Culinary Arts members went on our last journey of the year. Our final dinner was held at Christian’s restaurant in Bristol, which created a special meal just for us. The restaurant was not big but cozy, the kind that friends would come together to enjoy a fancy meal and catch up beside the beautiful ocean and sunset. Courses started with delicate salads and appetizers, continued into delicious seafood and meat, and eventually to amazing desserts. I can still remember the dense chocolate taste of the lava cake and the juicy flavor of the steak. Everything was executed to perfection. Nothing was missing, and nothing was excessive. Ended in laughter, the taste, the smell, and the appearance of the food made my time with my best friends and favorite teachers especially memorable. The fact that it was my last Culinary Art event with my senior friends made me melancholy, but I know this was just a start; here’s to many more! Kevin Jiang ‘17

For our end-of-the-year dinner, the Culinary Arts Club went to a restaurant in Bristol named Christian’s. We were served many courses including a fish plate with some of the most delicious tuna I have ever had. I also tried octopus for the first time, which I ended up liking a lot more than I thought I would. We tried thick cut beef tenderloin that was beautifully marinated and cooked. For dessert, we had a chocolate soufflé with a mascarpone bar on the side. The meal was fantastic and a great end to a very fun year! –Grace Gibbons ‘17

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