Karen Deutsch

Cafe Nuovo

Big, bold excess — culinary and aesthetic —  is still the secret to Cafe Nuovo’s success.

Cafe Nuovo Cafe Nuovo  One Citizens Plaza, Providence, 421-2525, cafenuovo.com. Open for lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Mon.–Sat. Reservations recommended. Wheelchair accessible. Valet parking. Cuisine Modern American. Capacity One hundred-plus inside and nearly 200 when the patio’s open; the lobby holds 200 for private parties. Vibe A lily that was gilded back in Clinton’s day and remains encased in glass, impervious to…

Trattoria Zooma

Trattoria Zooma Trattoria Zooma  245 Atwells Ave., Providence, 383-2002, trattoriazooma.com. Open for dinner seven days a week. Reservations suggested. Wheelchair accessible. Valet parking. Cuisine Italian, but not the gawking tourist kind. Capacity About a hundred, split between three dining areas. Vibe Conflicted. Based on the decor, you’d expect the servers to be wearing shoulder pads and sporting huge hair. But…

Perro Salado

Mad for mole? A modern take on Mexican has a cult following in Newport.

 Perro Salado  Perro Salado  19 Charles St., Newport, 619-4777, perrosalado.com. Hours Open Mon.-Sat. for dinner, Sundays for brunch. Reservations suggested. Wheelchair accessibility is highly doubtful; corners are tight, as are tables. Street parking. Cuisine Modern Mexican. Capacity About seventy-five in five separate rooms. Vibe Über relaxed — evidenced by the tequila-happy cheerleader at the bar wearing paint-splattered sweatpants and a pashmina. Local…

1854 Tap Room at the Stone House

Is dressed up New England-style comfort food worth the drive to Little Compton?

The ceilings are low — almost guillotine-like if you stand above six feet tall. The lights are dim to the point of abstraction. The walls — a cannon’s width of solid stone — keep a stronghold on Prohibition-era secrets and other tawdry tales. If there’s a more quintessentially colonial space in all of Rhode Island than The Stone House, it’s yet to be unearthed. Inside the…

Cheap Eats

Our food critic takes you to dozens of restaurants where you can dine well on a dime — and we’re not talking your basic burger and fries.

Want the best meal for your money? 
Two words: go global. The state’s 
top ethnic restaurants serve up full 
flavored food for a song. Find out about 
86 of our favorites.What’s inside:Dumplings, DeconstructedEating EthnicFear FactorInternational EggsDemystifying Pho… and more 

Cook & Brown Public House

Now that Cook & Brown has strayed successfully from its British beginnings, a neighborhood hot spot is born.

Cook & Brown Public House Cook & Brown Public House  959 Hope Street, 273-7275, cookandbrown.com Open for dinner every night, with one family style seating on Sunday at 8 p.m. Reservations recommended. Wheelchair accessible. Street parking. Cuisine Urbane tavern food. Capacity Thirty-five with a dozen more at the bar. Vibe An evolving neighborhood favorite. Upscale East Siders and tattooed ladies…

Tallulah on Thames

Tallulah may be on Thames, but it’s not your typical tourist trap. Can a new-to-town chef armed with an avant garde menu stir up Newport’s dining scene?

Tallulah on Thames 464 Thames Street, Newport, tallulahonthames.com, 849-2433. Open for dinner nightly; brunch and lunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., tapas lounge open nightly from 6 p.m. to close. Reservations accepted downstairs. Wheelchair accessibility is possible but not probable; the colonial-style house is a veritable maze of small steps. . Cuisine Modern American with a nod to international…

Matunuck Oyster Bar

Oysterman Perry Raso’s new venture brings the pond to plate movement (quite literally) to Matunuck. And the view’s not half bad either.

Matunuck Oyster Bar 629 Succotash Road, East Matunuck, 783-4202, rhodyoysters.com. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Wheelchairs can make it, but the shell-coated ground is a struggle. Private parking lot that’s perpetually full. Cuisine New England’s Greatest Hits, Volume 1. Capacity Inside: fifty. Outside: thirty. Standing: always. Vibe Salty, sticky, suntanned, laid-back. Prices $5.95–$27.95. The wine list…

Temple

Known more for its cocktails than its cuisine, Temple is betting big that a new Mediterranean menu will draw destination diners.

Temple  120 Francis Street, Providence, 919-5050, temple-downtown.com. Open for dinner every night (and breakfast, but that’s a whole other ballgame). Reservations recommended. Wheelchair accessibility through the hotel lobby. Valet parking. Cuisine European sun and sea, doused in garlic, oregano and lemon.  Capacity A hundred in the dining room, as well as in the lounge/bar. Vibe Goth castle meets belly-dancing commune. PricesAppetizers…

La Masseria

Our state’s got no shortage of red sauce restaurants. But can the newest, La Masseria, bank on its New York roots to make a mark in East Greenwich?

La Masseria  223 Main Street, East Greenwich, 398-0693, masseriari.com. Lunch and dinner Tuesday–Sunday. Reservations recommended. Wheelchair accessible. Valet parking. Cuisine Urban interpretation of rustic Italian. Capacity More than a hundred. Vibe City folk on a farmhouse vacation without the awkward tourist attire. Prices Appetizers $6.50–$16.50 
(the burrata, at $26.50, serves at least two and probably ten); entrees $12.50–$32.50. Karen’s picks…