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Apr 10, 2008 11:40 AM

Roma Gourmet on the hill

Has anyone been to the new Roma since they changed things? Although they've cleaning up the store and added more seating - they've drastically increased the prices of the food. Since when should a sandwich with JUST mozzarella and prosciutto be $7? Since when should an EXTREMELY skimpy "Italian" be $5.50? Before the renovation, it cost $4.25 - and it was STUFFED with fresh cold cuts. They also don't have pasta fagioli everyday anymore - and now the small soup is $1 more per pint than it previously was. Other things that pissed me off? They changed the meatball recipe. Once lovingly made by a dear old italian lady in back - they now taste like the freezer bag variety. Oh, and they have buffalo and bqq chicken pizza now. SERIOUSLY? Yeah, thats sooo Italian.
So now that my favorite Italian deli is ruined, I ask, is there anywhere else? I know of the others on the hill - but, I dislike Venda since they MICROWAVE the hot food - among other pet peeves about the place.
Is there somewhere else? I'll drive to the end of the earth for good, fresh, fast Italian food. Ideally, it has good cheese, fresh bread, fresh cold cuts, maybe some hot food and soup - and prices worth paying....

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  1. Please help the uninformed....Roma, on what hill? Where??

    2 Replies
    1. re: MagnumWino

      On Federal Hill in Providence, more specifically Atwells Avenue.

      1. re: HungryHipster

        Nobody has mentioned Angelo's, it's been there forever. I think they have the best red sauce, love their escarole soup, their eggplant is outstanding, the french fries really taste like potatoes. They have everything from subs to full meals.

    2. too bad, it sounded promising - this was in the projo a few weeks ago: Gianfranco Marrocco has made several changes to his new business on Federal Hill. Vecchia Roma — “Old Rome” — is the new name on the store/café/bakery at 310 Atwells Ave., Providence, that was Roma Gourmet. Marrocco is the owner of several restaurants and businesses on Federal Hill, including Mediterraneo, Caffe Dolce Vita and Hotel Dolce Villa, and co-owner of Geppetto’s Pizzeria. New are 48 seats for those dining on hot food items from chef Gianfranco Campanella (from Dolce Vita) or some of the coffees and pastries. They are baking their own bread and have a pizzeria up and running in the space. Marrocco plans trattoria service and al fresco dining in the near future.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sk3

        I like Constantino's in the center of North Attleboro (next to the post office and across from town hall and the old high school). They are affiliated with Luciano's and I found the food to be on parr. They are a bit expensive though.
        I'm not sure if they have soups, but their sandwiches are good, their antipasto is great, and their eggplant rollatini is to die for

        1. re: sk3

          That's too bad about Roma. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Has G.Marrocco always owned it, or did he just buy it? He's got too much going on.

        2. improbably, The Italian Corner Deli on warren ave (seekonk/e prov line, next to rumford pets.)

          1. I'm so disappointed to hear this. It seems there's nothing authentic on Federal Hill any more. Venda is good, but not as good as it thinks it is. Tony's prices are out of control. Roma used to be OK, though I always wished it was more than it was. This seems like they've lost their way, and wrecked the only things that made it good. La Spezia was an interesting idea, with a great selection of imported foodstuffs, but it never got any traction and closed. Caserta is still good, but their prices have nearly doubled from a couple of years ago, and it's very expensive for what it is.

            The only really special place left is Pastiche, but it's not Italian, of course. I've heard good things about Siena, but haven't been

            I've never tried Ricotti. Is it any good? Geppetto's is lousy. I really don't get Bob and Timmy's grilled pizza. I tried the stuffed pizza place once, and thought it wasn't good either.

            Caffe Dolce Vita is unappealing to me as well, so I've never tried it. Are the sandwiches or pastries any good?

            It's amazing to me how quickly all of the best things on the hill have been wrecked.

            2 Replies
            1. re: winedude

              Siena is excellent. Caffe DV is good enough if it's summer and you want to sit outside - but the desserts are outrageously expensive (I think they have one that is $12.95? it's just not that kind of place).

              1. re: JaneRI

                Venda is the best, especially the food in the cafe.

            2. Wow, loved all these responses - now its time to address them...

              Thank you Jenz - I will be traveling to North Attleboro very soon as you said the magic words "best eggplant rollatini"

              Jane - this guy Marracco just bought it, and apparently owns/operates a bunch of other mediocre places on the hill (cough, cough Mediterraneo)

              Aaahh the Italian Corner Deli. I've been. Good grinders (apparently the secret is slicing the meat very thin) and a nice pesto spread they put on the grinders as well - but no hot food - and the bread is always under baked...

              WineDude, I feel your pain. Tony's is super over priced - and yeah, Venda isn't that good. If I need fresh pasta, good cheese or ready to use sauce - this place is perfect. (they also have exceptional coffee and gelato) - but the prepared food sucks. hands down.

              Ricotti's is eh. The one on Mineral Spring Avenue is better...Haven't been to Cafe Dolce Vita in years, although I never had a good reason to go back.... I think the problem with La Spezia was A. it was organic and B. it was directly across the street from Venda

              Oh, and lastly Sashimi - maybe you should read the post before replying .....