Food and Drink

Market Watch

One city block. Four (Italian) specialty food shops. Countless options for Sunday dinner.

Costantino’s Venda Ravioli265 Atwells Avenue, 421-9105, vendaravioli.comEstablished: 1938 (current owner took over in 1972)Owner: Alan CostantinoGo here for: What else? Pasta (handmade in dozens of shapes, with hundreds of fillings).The vibe: Jamming (low prices equals high volume). The lunch crunch starts at 11 a.m. and doesn’t end till dinner. The glassed-in open kitchen adds to the frenetic feel.   The look:…

How to Pick Out a Fresh Chicken

Antonelli’s Poultry has been operating at De Pasquale Square for more than a century. Chris Morris has managed the store’s daily population of 800 to 2,000 birds since 1974. He tells us how to spot a good one.

1. Buy from a reputable breeder. All farms should present a health certificate with their birds. 2. It doesn’t take a trained eye to spot a bad bird when they’re still alive. Active: good. Lethargic: bad.3. Feathers don’t tell the whole story. Caged birds will inevitably get their feathers rubbed off, while floor birds will remain fluffy. Both will still…

Destination Guide

The Hill is a true dining mecca, traveled to more often for its meatballs and parm than any other diversion. Lucky us, our office is only a few blocks away. Here’s where we go for…

Breakfast/BrunchCaffe Dolce Vita59 De Pasquale Plaza401-331-8240, caffedolcevita.com The beauty of a hotel is that it operates at all hours, leaving Caffe Dolce Vita one of the only area establishments to offer breakfast every day of the week (until noon, sleepyheads) and brunch on weekends. And do they offer it! Pancakes with chunks of brownies, crepes with Nutella and banana sauteed…

Dough Boys: Pizza on the Hill

Four takes on the ultimate Italian-American snack.

A. Bob & Timmy’s: Thin and crispy wood-grilled pizza with toppings both classic and modern. Try a simple pomodoro sauce with parmesan and grilled onions or the trio of wild mushrooms. 32 Spruce Street, 453-2221.B. Sicilia’s: Offers thin and classic crusts, but Sicilia’s is known for its “stuffed” (a.k.a. deep-dish) pizza filled with veggies, chicken, shrimp, sausage or a year’s…

Federal Hill Guide

Where to go and what to do to get the most out of Providence’s own Little Italy.

Federal Hill’s a funny place. While ostensibly defined by its Italian vibe, you’d be hard-pressed these days to find someone there fresh from the Old Country. Part tourist attraction, part historic relic, part modern community center, the Hill resists strict categorization even while seemingly embracing it. Travel Atwells, and you’ll find dumplings as well as pepperoni, tattoo parlors and supper…

10 Scoops of Summer

Like crowded beaches and Paw Sox games, long lines at the local ice cream stand are a sure sign summer has arrived in Rhode Island. We gladly braved dozens of those queues in our quest for superior scoops. And after all this sweet research, we found ten locally made cones that topped the rest. While the ice cream quality at…

Diner’s update

Matthew Thomsen is the new executive chef at Vintage Restaurant. Thomsen has worked at the restaurant since its opening and brings with him experience from stints at both Daniel in New York City and Restaurant L in Boston. 4 South Main Street, Woonsocket, 765-1234, vintageri.com.The marina at Forty 1° North has announced the opening of two restaurants in Newport: The…

Cuban Revolution

Cuban Revolution’s new spot on Aborn Street still maintains a retro vibe, with its familiar backdrop of 1960s Cuba and the players that loomed large: Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe, JFK and a fatigues-clad Fidel. The food is Caribbean influenced (black beans, plantains and pork dishes) and so are the drinks, (house-made sodas and sixteen different milkshakes, including the Havana Blast…

Diner’s update

Robert Higginbotham, new owner of Bravo Brasserie, is reaching out to restaurant professionals. Every other Monday night, part of the restaurant will be set aside for other owners, chefs and restaurant workers to gather for dinner. He has created a special three-course menu for $25. The rest of Bravo will be open to the public. 123 Empire St., Providence, 490-5112.Cuban…

Diner’s Update

Brian Kingsford, who headed the kitchen at Al Forno for the past decade, is opening his own restaurant, Bacaro, this month at the former Neath’s location. The restaurant will feature a wine bar and a full-service dining room with open kitchen, and offer seasonal Italian fare with local ingredients. 262 South Water Street, Providence, 751-3700.The 11th Annual Nantucket Wine Festival…