“Excellent” and “Very Good” reviews under “Seafood Restaurants” on TripAdvisor led us to Nami, and we thank all of those reviewers whose reviews convinced us that we should try Nami.
We were on our way to a perfectly positive experience when I first called and spoke with hostess Rotina, who was so very hospitable and engaging on the phone. When we arrived she seemed HAPPY to see us.
We drove past Nami several times before we found it, although it’s on Federal Hill among many other restaurants. It wasn’t instantly obvious, though.
Nami is a real winner. The décor was comforting and inviting, with a mix of textures and materials which went together tastefully: white upholstery and a carved wood lattice partition between rooms, offset by a marble bar, and enhanced by moderately low lighting. The music was varied, energetic and interesting, but not irritating. In fact, the restaurant turned out to be VERY romantic.
Our server, Lindsey, was dynamite. We wanted a leisurely, long dinner, and Lindsey, who was ever so smart, seemed to have fun serving us, and we took our time ordering. She was a great help, and our selections were largely guided by her extensive knowledge of the menu.
We had a fine spread, starting with one of Nami’s unique cocktails (our receipt shows “Sparkling Pomake”), and a bottle of cold sake (they have a wide selection). Their miso soup was unique and tasty, served in a soup bowl the likes of which we’d never seen before.
The seared scallops were perfect but the real climax of the meal was the $55.00 o-makase (“Chef’s Choice”) from the raw bar. It arrived in a large clam shell which Lindsey ably maneuvered to our table. The dish was copious and varied, and very much a taster’s delight.
Presentation was beautiful all around, and the dishware was notably unusual and elegant.
Our meal at Nami was full of pleasant surprises, and satisfying in many ways. We will make a beeline for Nami the next time we’re in Providence.
Perhaps most impressive: after the meal as we left, when we chatted with Lindsey and Rotina, (as if we didn’t know already) they spoke of how much they like working at Nami.
(By the way— and I have to say this, because it was my first thought when I read the name of the restaurant— the name has nothing to do with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Nami” is Japanese for “wave,” as in tsunami.)
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