No More Dining in the Dark

An update on the Rhode Island restaurant scene after the massive power outage that Hurricane Irene left in her wake.

The storm may be over, but many of us will still be powerless for days.

It’s estimated that about 130,000 Rhode Island and 250,000 Massachusetts homes and businesses have been left in the dark. With no power for cooking, what is everyone doing for dinner?

Rather than spend another night manning the grill with a flashlight, getting creative with your stove’s gas burner, or surviving on non-perishables, why not let someone else do the cooking tonight and support a local restaurant?

Luckily, many Rhode Island restaurants are back in business. Some fortunate ones – like Nicks on Broadway and Cook and Brown Public House – never lost power, braving the hurricane to serve diners straight through the storm.

“We had a great crowd of locals in here on Sunday, and many of them were without power at home. When times are turbulent or uncertain, people seem to want to be together,” said Scott Pinocci, general manager at Cook and Brown Public House. “All we ever wanted to be is the public house. That’s been our philosophy from the very beginning, so it was nice to see that come to fruition.”

Other Rhode Islanders searched for comfort through Sunday brunch at Nicks on Broadway. Shauna Tierney (@shaunaenergy on twitter) said, “Even #Irene can’t keep me from @nicksonbroadway the old-fashioned muffins alone were worth the trip!”

Restaurants that haven’t been as lucky with electricity include Al Forno in Providence and Persimmon in Bristol, where power outages have ruled out reopening for now. But Persimmon Provisions reports that they will be open for business tomorrow in Barrington.

It’s business as usual at Tini and Julian’s, as well as at all spots under the Newport Restaurant Group, including Hemenway’s, Waterman Grille, Boat House, The Mooring, Smokehouse Café, Castle Hill, and 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille.

Whether or not your home is lacking lights, here’s a report (gathered through twitter, facebook and phone calls) of other places where you can get a great meal tonight. Candlelight optional.

Burger Night at Talullah on Thames

Once a month, the restaurant holds a special Tuesday burger night. The restaurant is normally closed on Tuesdays, but it just so happened this month’s special night fell two days after the storm hit. They will only be serving two burger varieties, including the American version and the Tallulah burger, which includes ranch dressing and onions. Both will be served with fries. “It’s very low key – a break from the normal menu. It’s great because everyone is still without power, so they can come down and have a nice relaxing meal,” said hostess Alex Pastor.
Talullah on Thames, 464 Thames St., Newport, 849-2433,

Pane e Vino pre-fixe tonight
“3 courses for $19.95 – 5pm – 7pm tonight! Hope everyone is getting their power and water back soon” – @ PaneVinoProv
Pane e Vino, 365 Atwells Ave., Providence; 223-2230,

Dollar Oysters at New Rivers
“Dollar oyster pah-Tay tonight y’all!! Come on down! We have power and ice cold AC (and beer)!” – @newriversbeau, Beau Vestal
New Rivers, 7 Steeple St., Providence; 751-0350,

Rick’s Roadhouse Karaoke Tuesday
“Join us every Tuesday for Rick’s Rockstar Karaoke!! 9:00p-11:30p” – @RicksRoadhouse
Rick’s Roadhouse, 370 Richmond Street, Providence; 272-7675,

George’s of Galilee open
“We are now open for business with our full menu. Beaches are now open. Weather is perfect!” – @ GeorgesGalilee
George’s of Galilee, 250 Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett, 783-2306,

Christie’s Newport open
“All powered up and ready for tonight! See you at 5pm this evening for post-Irene cocktails #itsabouttime” – @ChristiesNwpt
Christie’s, 351 Thames St., Newport, 847-5400,

Barking Crab open
“Newport power is back and the restaurant will be re-open at 11:30 a.m. today. Hope to see some friendly faces for lunch!” @barkingcrab
Barking Crab, 151 Swinburne Row, Newport, 846-2722,

NYLO Warwick open
“NYLO weathered Irene – the hotel has power and the restaurant is open. If you know anyone that is in need of a place to stay, please contact the hotel 401.734.4300. We hope everyone is safe and continues to be safe.” – @NYLOWARWICK
NYLO Providence/ Warwick, 400 Knight St., Warwick, 734-4460,

The Liberty Elm Diner open
“Hey Folks! Aside from a tree in the roof which we cleared yesterday and a downed billboard, the lil’ red diner held tight! We didn’t lose power, but we did lose our busiest day of business Sunday and sure could use lots of customers this week! Please stop in 🙂 Sundays are the day that helps us make it through the week, so we need to feed lots of hungry people to make up for the storm closing.”- from facebook
Liberty Elm Diner, 777 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 467-0777,

Family Dinner at The Locals
Due to the storm, and people not having power, The Locals is organizing a special family dinner tomorrow night from 6-9 p.m., by reservation only. The meal includes lasagna, an organic greens salad and warm bread for $12.95 per person. Children can enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches for $4.95.
The Locals, 11 Waterman Ave., North Providence, 231-2231,

Al Forno closed; Tini open
@AlFornoPVD is still without power and won’t be opening up tonight. @TINIfoodbar is totally open though so go there and enjoy! We’ll update as we know.” – @AlFornoPVD
Al Forno, 577 South Main St., Providence, 273-9760,
Tini, 200 Washington St., Providence, 383-2400,

Persimmon closed today; Persimmon Provisions open tomorrow
“Unfortunately, downtown Bristol is still w/o power, so Persimmon will be closed tonight, Tuesday August 30.”
“On a brighter note, our Barrington butcher shop — Persimmon Provisions — will be OPEN tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31. Come on by!” – @PersimmonRI
Persimmon, 31 State St., Bristol, 254-7474,
Persimmon provisions, 338 County Rd., Barrington, 337-5885,