A couple of years ago, the Courtland Club opened on the West Side of Providence, a revamped social club that’s not just for old men anymore. But as its interior is more speakeasy-vibe than luxuriously spaced, they needed to adapt (as every other restaurant and bar) to CoronaTimes.
Their solution was an outdoor window — where the keypad-containing door now remains propped open with a table — through which they serve freshly made cocktails and ice cream to go. Recently, they’ve added five outdoor tables to their quaint backyard, which means you can snag a spot to sit if you time it right. My friend and I happened to get lucky on a Sunday afternoon, and we were taken to a small table in the shade, adorned with a vase of flowers.
Their menu was put together on an old-fashioned message board, with black and red letters. The list of cocktails contains some of their classic favorites, like the Mother Theresa — and with a garnish of edible gold stars, how could you not love this drink? — and seasonal creations. For example, each month they have a zodiac-inspired cocktail, and even though I visited in my birth month and am proud to be a Cancer, I’m not usually a fan of tequila. Instead, I opted for a Beach Rose Martini, and hot damn, it was perfect. It was like inhaling beach air, in the best possible way. It was served in a small mason jar, and garnishes (like the gold stars for my friend’s Mother Theresa) were given in a small Ziploc bag.
The ice cream is drool-worthy, and with the heat wave we’ve been experiencing, I was not only drooling but profusely sweating. I couldn’t decide between Piña Colada ice cream and the Strawberry Daiquiri Sorbet, so I decided to do the unthinkable and get a scoop of each. Mixing sorbet and ice cream? Yes. Regrets? None. In fact, I loved the Piña Colada ice cream so much, I got a pint of it before we left.
If cocktails and ice cream aren’t enough to inspire you, here’s a bonus: Each week they serve a specialty cookie for which 100% of proceeds to go charity (a “dough-nation,” if you will). I’m proud to say I supported the EduLeaders of Color RI, and I will happily eat more cookies if it means I can help more people.
The Courtland Club accepts online orders and table reservations. You might even find a pizza on their menu — the Pizza Of the Week is always worth checking out. Masks are required, because we want to spread love, not germs. The Courtland Club has come a long way since the ’40s, and now the doors are wide open.
51 Courtland Street, PVD; @courtlandclub; Closed Monday