Smithfield is Still Rhode Island’s Apple Valley
Once rife with orchards, the rural side of town has shrunk exponentially. But it's still our favorite place for apples, cider doughnuts and holiday pies.
Great places for foodies
Giuseppe’s Pizzeria Bistro
Joe “Giuseppe” Saltamachia, the chef at Giuseppe’s Pizzeria Bistro, has had years to cultivate an understanding of the noble pizza pie. From the sights and smells of his grandmother’s kitchen and his time working in an Italian restaurant as a teen to his training at Johnson and Wales, Saltamachia knows how to make classic Italian fare. Enjoy everything from pappardelle Bolognese to salsicca pizza, and know that it’s all authentic. 19 Smith Ave., Smithfield, 349-3377, giuseppespizzabistro.com.
Condesa Restaurante Mexicano
You haven’t had Mexican like this before. At Condesa’s, everything is made from scratch, and they even go out of their way to offer a number of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Make sure to try some of the handcrafted cocktails, margaritas included. If you prefer a beer, Condesa’s has a number of Latin classics on tap. 970 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 349-3935, condesarestaurant.com.
A Short Drive Away
Looking for authentic Asian eats can be frustrating; most restaurants serve an unoriginal selection of Americanized food that lacks the vitality of the original. But at Green Basil, they make sure that the Southeast Asian delicacies the chefs prepare are as authentic as possible. The restaurant specializes in Thai cuisine, with dishes like pad Thai, green chicken curry and ginger-infused duck. 2086 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence, 349-4887, thaigreenbasil.com.
Tavern on Main
It’s easy to forget that Rhode Island has a long history, but at Tavern on Main, you’ll be greeted by historic details around every corner. Housed at a onetime stagecoach stop, the Tavern is approximately 300 years old. It was also once the focal point of the Dorr Rebellion, Rhode Island’s own mini-Civil War. Sit inside its storied rooms and enjoy classic fare, from New England pot roast to stuffed lobster. 1157 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, 710-9788, tavernonmainri.com.
Great places to shop
Smithfield is about as landlocked as a town can get, so it may come as a surprise to many that it has one of the best scuba diving shops in the state. Kalipso sells a variety of equipment, from tanks and regulators to fins and snorkels. If your equipment needs repairs, maintenance or inspection, stop by for help from the professional staff. Also check out the dive training classes and trips if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience. 375 Putnam Pike, Smithfield, 231-3483, kalipsodive.com.
Housed in a repurposed mill building, Stillwater Antiques reflects the history of the surrounding town. Check out cabinets full of vintage memorabilia, Victorian-era furniture and just about everything else from the near or distant past. If you’re an old-fashioned audiophile, Stillwater has an impressive collection of vinyls from jazz to rock. Looking to sell some of your own forgotten treasures? Put your goods up on consignment. 711 Putnam Pike, 949-4999, stillwaterantiques.net.
A Short Drive Away
Pure Paradise Pets
Animal lovers will adore this store. While many pet shops rely on unethical practices to stay afloat (like the infamous puppy mills), Pure Paradise emphasizes the safety and comfort of the animals above all else. Customers rave about how happy, healthy and well-socialized the store’s occupants are. With a specialty in exotic pets, like ball pythons and hedgehogs, you just might add a new member to your family after visiting. 39 Putnam Pike, Johnston, 231-5710.
Lulu’s Krazy Daisy
Oftentimes, when we think of clothing consignment stores, we imagine rows of grungy T-shirts and frumpy sweaters. Nothing could be further from the truth with Lulu’s Krazy Daisy: The shop specializes in high-end fashion, and many goods still have their original tags. It has a sizable selection of purses and shoes as well as a variety of other items. Browse products from brands like Chanel, Kate Spade and Michael Kors. 706 Saint Paul St., North Smithfield, 597-6219.
Great places to explore
Wolf Hill Forest Preserve
Once the location of some of Smithfield’s oldest farms, the Wolf Hill Forest Preserve now offers miles of trails. Follow old farm roads through shady forests and scenic overlooks and admire some impressive mature maple and oak groves. As you explore, keep on the lookout for deer, foxes, turkeys and other wildlife. If you reach the center of the preserve, there is a memorial to three airmen who died in a 1943 plane crash there. Waterview Dr., Smithfield.
Smith-Appleby House Museum
Originally built in 1696, the Smith-Appleby House has been slowly growing and transforming over the centuries. The property has been host to a grist mill, a blacksmith and even a sawmill. Now, the home is the headquarters of the Smithfield Historical Society and is stocked with an impressive antiques collection and beautiful cabinetry. Visitors can arrange a tour with the house’s caretakers or visit during one of the scheduled events. 220 Stillwater Rd., Smithfield, 231-7363, smithapplebyhouse.org.
Farm Stand Fun
As the name implies, this sweet orchard and farm stand is a utopia for apple lovers. Through Christmas, shoppers can pick up apples, unpasteurized
cider, cider doughnuts, pies, artisan candy apples and more goodies, plus fudge, loaf breads and other baked goods. For adults, apple wine and hard apple cider are a big draw. The farm stand also sells Christmas trees, wreaths and more seasonal decorations. 135 Smith Ave., Greenville, 949-3690, applelandorchardri.com.
If you’re looking for fresh, local meat, check out Blackbird Farm. Pedigreed American Berkshire pigs and Black
Angus cattle are raised on the property with a natural approach: The livestock is free of antibiotics and added hormones. Some of the best restaurants in the state use Blackbird’s meat,
including Gracie’s, the Salted Slate and Persimmon. If you want some professional quality meat for yourself, visit the farmstand Friday through Sunday. 660 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 232-2495, blackbirdfarmri.com.
Smithfield was once known far and wide as Rhode Island’s Apple Valley, and
Jaswell Farm continues the local tradition of growing some of the best apples around. The farm was founded in 1899, meaning the Jaswell family has had more than 100 years to perfect their produce. Try the cider, candy and caramel apples or the fresh apple pie. If you’re all appled out, pick up some other fresh fruit and veggies, including corn, blueberries, pumpkins and other fresh produce. 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, 231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com.
Seven Cedars Farm
The folks at Seven Cedars Farm do a little bit of everything. In spring, they sell a variety of flowers and designer pots that would make perfect gifts.
During the winter, you can buy everything from Christmas trees and wreaths to hand-arranged greenery. They also host a weekly farmers market on Saturdays with vendors selling pies, produce, baked goods, crafts and more. 7 John Mowry Rd., Smithfield, 263-7330, sevencedarsfarm.us.