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PVD/RI * May '14 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

Sorry I skipped April. Let's chart the changes!

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  1. Bistro 22 has finally opened in Garden City Center (Cranston) in the former Cafe Luna spot. Owned and operated by Carlo Slaughter - partner of d.carlo's in Smithfiled. In a recent interview, it was described as a 'French country bistro'.

    1. It looks like Tallulah's Taqueria is opening where United BBQ used to be on Ives St., on the East Side. I drove by and noticed signs in the windows.

      Also, a Mexican themed place has opened where Barstow was on Allens Ave.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RIRider

        I just heard about this, and for folks on the East Side tomorrow morning, Jake Rojas is doing a special joint cinco de mayo "brunch" at Farmstead to celebrate the new taco venture. It's booked for reservations, but they save spots for walk-ins. It'll probably be pretty great.

        In other news, I heard the North bakery is set to open in June. We ate at the restaurant last night and drove by the new bakery location on the way out. Freshly painted and looking almost ready for business. They're going to be serving soup and sandwiches and coffee from some producer in the mid-west who isn't available elsewhere in Providence (totally missed the name, but it sounded interesting.)

      2. Tallulah's are having a "soft opening" today (Monday).

        1. Anyone eaten at Rosalina's on Aborn Street downtown yet? I grew up in an Italian home and lived in Italy for a while, so I'm pretty demanding when it comes to both Italian-American and "Italian-Italian" food. I've really been hoping for a great and "different" Italian place in the city. They don't appear to have a menu online, but I'm so curious.

          It can be tough to decide whether to give a place time to work out the kinks or go early to support a new venture. I feel like we went to Rogue Island too soon, and as a result, we probably won't be back for a while (which makes me feel guilty when I hear on the board that they may be struggling.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: RhodyRedHen

            We ended up at Rosalina's last night after making the mistake of not leaving Providence on graduation weekend and being quoted a 1.5 hour wait at North.

            It's definitely not a typical red sauce Italian joint -there is a focus on locally sourced ingredients, the dishes are a bit more creative, and the portion sizes are manageable.

            The menu was heavy on pasta dishes, with several interesting salads and app options.

            We started with a sauteed shrimp appetizer that came with a rich tomato broth and garlicky crostini. The shrimp were well cooked and the broth was tasty. I had the Cioppino, again with a nice rich broth and well cooked seafood (though a rather boring 'giant' crostini). Others in our party had a riff on veal and peas, a baked gnocchi, and a grilled chicken breast. Everyone was happy with their food.

            We don't eat Italian out very often and I'm not sure Rosalina's will change that, but it's worth checking out.

            1. re: barfly

              Thanks for the informative report! I'm sure we'll get around to trying it one of these days.

          2. Also, the Cheese Plate in Warren closed. Too bad, the food was quite good, but they were usually woefully understaffed in the kitchen--meals reliably took well over 30 minutes to be served--and that's always trouble.

              1. re: wormwood

                I was there with a friend Thursday evening with a friend. We were really hoping to find a real BBQ place in RI. Unfortunately this was not the case, I ordered the Pulled Pork plate, the go to test, only to be told they did not have any. How do you run out of Pulled Pork at a BBQ place? I ended up ordering the Pulled chicken sandwich and my dining partner ordered wings and Chili. His meal arrived and I waited a full 5 minutes before I finally had to ask if I was going to eat? After a flurry of activity my sandwich finally arrived. While the chicken had good smoke there had to be less than 2 oz. of chicken on the bun, the bun was weak and everything fell apart as I picked it up. They have a choice of sauces and i chose the Golden sauce that was listed as a Georgia Mustard sauce. As far as I could tell it was French's mustard in a ramekin. The saving grace of the night was Jay the bartender, he made us feel welcome and did everything to make us feel welcome. He even told the owner or manager (wearing the red sweater) that I was unhappy that they were out of pulled pork to which she rolled her eyes and walked away. I may write this off as new restaurant issues and return but they will only get one more chance.

              2. Chef and owners Matt and Kate Jennings have decided to close their much-heralded Farmstead, Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island, and return to their hometown of Boston. Farmstead, Inc. will be closing its doors on June 1.

                http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaur...

                6 Replies
                1. re: jomo9501

                  Noooo! Not Farmstead and the Cheese Plate... Quite sad for the local dining scene and pretty devastating for Wayland Square. Maybe the Cheese Plate folks can open up in the Farmstead space. I always thought their Warren location was a bit of an off season liability.

                  1. re: jomo9501

                    Meh. That place has been pretty wack for a while now.

                    1. re: Nl2012

                      Agreed - thought the food was trending too esoteric and the price point too high. Still will be missed, but I go to North, Broadway Bistro, etc., much more.

                      1. re: Jenkins

                        Wow, that's a bit of a blow for the Providence food scene. I'm with the rest of you, though--Farmstead seemed to be in a bit of a funk for at least the past year. We went a couple times late last year, and the service was sooooo slow. We were with out-of-town guests one time, and it was borderline embarrassing. I think they were just packing in too many people. Plus, the food was just...less tasty. Maybe they need a bit of a break, an injection of renewed enthusiasm, and a fresh start. I wish them all the luck in the world with their new venture in Boston.

                        As for the Cheese Plate, that spot in Warren has bad mojo. That was the second restaurant (of the same name) to fold in that location, although the second iteration was more appealing than the first. Again, the service just made it impossible to keep going. Last time I was there, they had a single woman working the tiny kitchen, and she came out and screamed at the table when we asked where our food was after 45 minutes of waiting. Needless to say, we didn't go back. Maybe the tragically, impossibly small Water Street Café across the street could take over the Cheese Plate space. They seriously need the extra room.

                        Some restaurant should take over the Farmstead space. That spot gets great traffic and has a good association for lots of people.

                        1. re: RhodyRedHen

                          Good point - it's a ready-made location for a restaurant that does a good job. I just hope it is something worthy of the location.

                    2. re: jomo9501

                      Wow, so glad I found this discussion while planning for an upcoming visit. We were enchanted by a dinner we had there several years ago (could it really have been in January 2009?) and have been wanting to return ever since. We're getting to town a few days after they close.

                      Oh, well, time to read up -- it's always fun to plan a great meal!

                    3. Romeo's Kitchen had their grand opening this week, and my friend said the food was very good. The restaurant is at 139 Acorn Street, Providence - can't recall what was there before.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: OOliver

                        I think Adesso was there before... Correct?

                          1. re: digga

                            Ha! I just dated myself. That was Adesso I, circa late 1980s!

                            1. re: digga

                              Maybe it was the 2nd Adesso. Is that the same location that once housed Casa Christina?

                      2. A friend of mine who owns a business in Wayland Square told me today that a well-known (locally owned) Italian restaurant is looking at the empty space on the corner of Wayland /Medway (used to be Runcible Spoon gift store) for a second location, with a potential opening of late summer/early fall. There is also news in the Square that a popular local Asian restaurant is interested in opening another location around the same time in the Wayland Manor (used to be 'Twist'). Don't want to reveal the names yet....but I will keep you updated as she updates me.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: OOliver

                          Thanks for the interesting news. I live in Wayland Square and the rumor was that Runcible Spoon was somewhat forced out by the owner (they were apparently doing fine) since they wanted to divide that large space into two smaller spaces. Who knows, that might still be the case, but I bet an Italian place would do beautifully there...

                          Another Asian restaurant is intriguing, considering Wayland Square already has two very good sushi places (one Thai, one Japanese) so close to one another. I imagine a new one would have to do something different. I can't see there being market room for some kind of generic pan-Asian. I'd love to see a dedicated Chinese place.

                          We'll see.

                          1. re: Garris

                            Interesting about the space....My friend had heard the opposite of RS. She heard the owners wanted out of their lease for years because they weren't doing well at all in that location, but the landlord held them to it...and they had to stay until their 10 year lease expired this past winter. I know whenever I was in there, I was usually the only one in the store, and there was nothing different about their selection than what was available in the big-box stores like BB&B and HomeGoods (IMO).

                            We'll see what happens in that space. It would be ideal for an Italian restaurant! Apparently, the major bump in the road is getting a liquor license for that location. I guess they allow only so many in one neighborhood?

                        2. "Cafe Ol`e" is now open on Allens Avenue, where Barstow closed a few weeks ago - that was rather quick. I guess they just changed the signage and logos?

                          1. 32 Branch Ave in Providence (old Bond Brothers office) has postering in the windows saying that Nikki's Craft Beer/Wine of North Providence is moving there soon. That should be a great location for them.

                             
                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Garris

                              I like that it will be a much bigger store and closer to my house. Might even mean I go to Bottles less. Can't say I like the specific location though - that area around Bennys, the exits on and off 95 and intersection with North Main already is already kinda chaotic.

                            2. I have driven by Asian Palace on North Main Street (Providence) and it has been closed all week. I called the phone number today to see if the lines are still connected, and the message was 'closed for renovations, hopefully reopening soon'. I believe the owners were trying to sell for the past year, from what I have heard. Hope this place reopens - one of my favorite places for Asian food, and extremely clean. I have to say, it never seemed too busy, though.