Diner’s Update

How to Be a Good Customer

Yesterday, Nicole posted a response to a piece that’s been the talk of the blogosphere (and twittosphere and facebookosphere): Times blogger Bruce Buschel’s list of “100 Things a Restaurant Staffer Should Never Do.” It’s a good list, and I agree with most of Buschel’s points. But, having waited many a table and having catered more parties than I care to…

Rules for the Fragile Diner

Back in September, Lisa posted tips from departing New York Times critic Frank Bruni on what to order in restaurants. I read it with great interest because I am a terrible orderer. I’ve never in my life ordered anything that made a server compliment my choice. I’ll sit there as the server praises the selections of my dinner companions: “An…

The Restaurant at AS220

The Restaurant at AS220 opened today at 11 a.m. and is likely serving its very first customers as I type. Regardless of where you stand on the whole AS220/Taqueria Pacifica controversy (the beloved burrito joint housed within the art space closed a few months back after a rent dispute with AS220), its tough not to be intrigued by the new incarnation’s delicious-sounding, super affordable menu.The most expensive item is just $8. Options include…

Eats Week

The countdown is on. Newport Restaurant Week starts Sunday (and runs through the following Sunday) and I’m already poring over the menus online. The whole concept intrigues me. How do restaurants serve food that will wow first-time guests enough to draw them back on a regular week, avoid losing money (they’re only charging $16 for three-course lunches and $30 for three-course dinners) and put enough on…

Here’s the Beef

Until three weeks ago, I’d never tasted wagyu beef. Waygu beef, for those who don’t venture deep into the land of carnivores, is very expensive and very marbled, the product of grass-fed cows, and is sometimes called the foie gras of beef – if you can wrap your brain around that concept.  But in the last twenty-one days, I’ve had…

Outrage of the Week

In homage to local TV show “A Lively Experiment,” I offer up this scenario. Picture the scene: a dozen thirty-something women, baby shower, weekend luncheon at local restaurant/banquet hall (no name will be used; suffice it to say said restaurant was not my choice). Champagne is poured, orders are placed. Three minutes later our server returns to inform us that…

Trend Watch: Burger Mania

It used to be safe to assume that BYOB meant bring your own booze. These days the acronym is just as likely to mean build-your-own burger.The gourmet burger trend first arrived locally about a year ago, when Todd Rizzo (of Rizzo Ford fame) left the car business to open Ozzi’s Steakburger in Warwick. At Ozzi’s (a Best of Rhode Island…

What the Hell Should I Order?

I admit it. I loved reading Times critic Frank Bruni’s reviews. Not only is he an incredibly entertaining writer, but he could be unabashedly brutal. Hey, it’s New York — they’ve got to live up to that whole if-you-can-make-it-here-you-can-make-it-anywhere mantra. Before Bruni stepped down from his post as Kingmaker to promote his new book, Born Round, he left his loyal…

All-You-Can-Eat (Gourmet?) Chicken

Rhode Island seems ripe for road trips lately. Not only did the Food Network’s Guy Fieri point his ’67 Camaro in our direction, visiting Louis, Liberty Elm and Crazy Burger for his show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" (read more about that here), but the folks at Gourmet have also trekked to our fair state for their August Road Food column….

Get Your Drink On at Tina's Jamaican

One of the best parts of working on the Best of issue — on newsstands now! — is getting some great recommendations from the other editors of new places to try. Be it a spa, restaurant or boutique, I have never been disappointed when checking out a Best of winner for the first time. So I was excited to try…