Staff Picks: Providence Restaurant Weeks

Rhode Island Monthly staffers name their picks for Providence Restaurant Weeks.

Here at RIM HQ, we live for a good meal. And we're already dreaming of the places we'll while away summer days and nights during Providence Restaurant Weeks, which kicks off this Sunday, July 10 and runs all the way through July 23. Here's where you can find us:


Sarah Francis, editor:

There are so many to choose from it’s hard to narrow down my top picks but here goes: Massimo. It’s new, and I’ve heard a lot good things about it so this will be my excuse to try it out. Plus I crave Italian, and the branzino (Mediterranean seabass with Sardinian couscous) is calling my name. Not to mention the wine.

And Bocado. Tapas is my new love and Bocado offers more than forty different selections, plus paella and other goodies. Oh, and Spanish wine. I like to be eclectic.


Jamie Coelho, associate editor and editor of the Dish e-newsletter:

My top picks to get the most out of the experience include the newly refreshed Avvio Restaurant at Garden City in Cranston and Mill’s Tavern in Providence. Avvio has a beautiful patio (two, actually). The pizza (part of the RW lunch option) is finished in a handcrafted Marra Forni wood-fired oven, and the peach and prosciutto version sounds divine. You can never go wrong at Mill’s Tavern, which has always been a mainstay in Providence. It’s one of those places that has consistently served quality food for more than ten years, and the options are upscale and made with the best local ingredients.

Now for a restaurant I haven’t experienced yet that has been on my list forever: Metacom Kitchen is located in dining hotspot Warren, Rhode Island, and the RW menu reads just like the regular menu, so diners will get a true experience. Our restaurant critic raves about the chickpea fries (“the go-to (and go-back-to) is a pristine bowl of fried chickpea batter cut in slabs — sure, we can call them fries — accompanied by a minute dish of A1 aioli,” she says in a review). I’m excited to see what they do with a market fish and goat cheese cake.



Jen McCaffery, associate editor:

I love how good vegetables taste in the summer, particularly when you want your meals to be light but still delicious. So I’m eyeing the lunch menu at the Salted Slate: cool pea and mint soup, followed by their version of capellini, squash noodles with tomatoes and avocado pesto.


Casey Nilsson, associate editor:

I can't resist a bargain, so the two-for-one deal at Bocado is right up my alley. Tapas are made for sharing.

My love affair with New Rivers remains intact, however I think I'll make another impeccably decorated, French-inspired bistro, Loie Fuller's, my priority. (I know I'll get to New Rivers anyhow. Berkshire pork followed by salted caramel ice cream and crunchy cashew brittle? Yes, yes, yes. I love you.)



Carolyn Marsden, art director:

Personally, I haven’t heard much about one of the listings, Par and Tackle, just yet. When I investigated their menu, I noticed that there’s an item labeled “Crusty Pirate BBQ” on the dinner menu. Seems like something I couldn't turn down, especially when there’s also a key lime pie dessert option.

This is also a fabulous season for sitting on the porch at Waterman Grille, dining decadently while watching the rowers go by. Their three course menu looks like a menu of tough choices, form the seafood gumbo to the kale salad with golden raisins and peach vinaigrette.


Grace Kelly, special publications editorial assistant:

A sucker for anything cutesy, bistro-y and quaint, I would probably have to hit up Chez Pascal on Hope Street for a smattering of French bistro fare (bistro-y: check). I would order the chilled cucumber soup to feel dainty, followed by the roasted chicken breast ragout and because dessert is always obligatory, round out my meal with the summer berry torte. 

To check off cutesy and quaint, I would then roll drive over to the Duck and Bunny (because, I mean, it’s a snuggery — how much more cute and quaint can you get?). While sipping on tea and eating an inappropriate amount of cupcakes, I would pretend I am Elizabeth Bennett meeting Mr. Darcy (“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to cupcakes in a moment”). The only thing that would prevent me from fully slipping into Austin-era reverie is the Beck soundtrack playing and the waiters donning gages.


Kaitlyn Murray, special publications editorial assistant:

Unfortunately the local stereotype rings true: this Narragansett girl rarely make trips north of the tower unless absolutely necessary (i.e. work). However, thanks to Providence Restaurant Weeks’ unbeatable deals and my incorrigible sweet tooth, I might just be persuaded to finally visit the legendary Duck and Bunny. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about the snuggery’s gourmet cupcakes (Mocha with espresso buttercream? This coffee addict says yes, please), but I’m also looking forward to enjoying a slice or three of the Milano, a personal crepe pizza made with (of course) Narragansett Creamery ricotta, sauteed cherry tomatoes and fresh pesto sauce.

And even though a second trip might be pushing it, I’m equally as tempted by Biergarten on Spruce Street. A lunch deal that includes three pick-your-own courses (I’m thinking some gewurzgurken, a good old burger and a piece of chocolate stout cake) for just $14.95? Totally worth the wicked long cah ride.  


Cathrine Nelson, social media coordinator:

I love to stop at one or two of my favorites but also try a few places I have never visited before! Caffe Dolce Vita is always a must and never disappoints. I’ve yet to try Chapel Grille and have heard great things so that is on my list. Pot au Feu seems like a promising new adventure as well. I couldn’t be more excited with so many restaurants to try and a week (or two) of a happy belly in store.