Staff Picks: Providence Restaurant Weeks
Rhode Island Monthly staffers name their picks.
You have fourteen days to feast your way through the Creative Capital and other restaurants located in the Ocean State. Providence Restaurant Weeks returns January 9–22 with two weeks of dining deals from more than forty-five restaurants in Providence, Warwick, Cranston and nearby towns, as well as some all the way down in South County. In addition to special prix fixe menus, participating restaurants may offer lunch, dinner or other special discounts. A list of all participating restaurants, along with their Restaurant Weeks menus, may be found at providencerestaurantweeks.com. Guests are encouraged to share photos of their dishes on social media using the hashtag #PVDEats.
If the list of spots is leaving you indecisive, Rhode Island Monthly‘s expert staff members have weighed in with our picks:
Jamie Coelho, editor in chief and local food lover: “I usually use Restaurant Weeks as an outlet to revisit Providence’s high-end classic restaurant stalwarts like Mill’s Tavern and Parkside, where you can get a taste of some of their most popular dishes for one affordable price. Diners get a lot for their money’s worth as these spots do not skimp on the portions or the quality that they are renowned for during Restaurant Weeks. Mill’s is running a three-course dinner, including an eight-ounce petite Black Angus filet mignon for $39.95. I also recently had a fantastic experience at Massimo. Everything was terrific, so you can’t go wrong with a three-course meal there that includes arancini stuffed with braised beef and risotto ai frutti di mare, featuring P.E.I. mussels, Gulf shrimp, Point Judith calamari and creamy saffron risotto.”
Sarah Francis, outgoing editor in chief: “My first love is Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown. I could eat the Oyster Trio (grilled, bourbon and Rockefeller-styles) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only problem is that wouldn’t leave much room for my other go-to, the jambalaya (jumbo shrimp, chicken, spicy andouille sausage and, yes, fried oysters) awash in a bath of savory Cajun tomato sauce. One other place I’ve been dying to try forever is Metacom Kitchen in Warren. The Kurobuta pork osso bucco with sprouts, and roasted apples in a smoked squash broth, is speaking my language. Oh, and I’d also add Mare Rooftop in Providence. Even if I’m not camping out in one of Mare’s rooftop igloos with its bird’s eye view of the East Side, I could quickly develop a passion for their blue ginger lobster pasta.”
Edelinda Baptista, editorial assistant: “Two classic cheese sliders with fries from Harry’s Bar and Burger On the Hill is an awesome start for a plain Jane like me, especially with a Frozen Oreo hard shake to pair with it. Remembering to take it slow is difficult with great food, but it’s necessary if you want room to hit up another restaurant or bar. It’s only right that I continue with pasta, so down the block at Massimo or Pane e Vino is a good call for some gnocchi. A nightcap at Xaco Taco seems like the perfect place to decide which other eateries we should visit before the two weeks end.”
Kerri Tallman, special editions editor: “As much as I love my comfort food, Restaurant Week is always a fun way to introduce new tastes to your palate. Hemenway’s three-course meal is a steal, offering generously-sized portions. I’ll be starting with the smoked salmon croquettes served with a roasted red pepper remoulade, because why settle for tartar when you can add a little spice? Continuing my seafood trend, I’m eyeing the pan-roasted sea bream or the lemon pepper shrimp linguini with Calabrian sauce, but the herb-roasted half chicken is a delicious alternative (and such a great deal). I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, but the citrus and cardamom crème brulee is calling my name — a bright twist on an indulgent classic.”
Samantha Roberts, director of marketing and digital strategy: “My husband and I recently had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding at Waterman Grille and had such a wonderful experience!This also happens to be where we had one of our first Providence Restaurant Week dinners together as a couple. We are looking forward to going back for this month’s special menu!”
Paige Zuber, marketing and events manager: “There is nothing I love more than the Rhode Island food scene. Looking to try some of Providence’s finest and top tier dining, well this is it. My go-to during this special week is Gracie’s. Experience luxury while not breaking the bank but also indulging yourself in some of the most savory dishes. Outside of Providence, you can find me at Matunuck Oyster Bar slurping down oysters. Did you know the winter is actually the best time for shellfish?”