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Jun 2, 2014 09:42 PM

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

We've hit the midway point of the year! Winter will be here before we know it, um, uh... Let's just enjoy summer dining for the 10 minutes it lasts and chart the changes...

On a personal note, this will be my last month living in Providence. I've been here over 10 years and it's been a blast, the place I've enjoyed living most by far. The amazing dining scene for a city of this size and the invaluable information I've learned from the Chow(hound) community past and present has made it all the more enjoyable. Mrs. Garris and the kiddies and I are heading up to Boston. If anyone wants to take up the baton and keep these monthly update threads going, let me know. If not, I'll try to keep them active here, but I can't guarantee timeliness.

Oh, if anyone posting to the thread this month (and keep it on topic please) wants to throw in a one sentence recommendation on their one favorite, must go-to Boston area restaurant, I'd appreciate that too! Thanks to you all...

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  1. Man-O-Salwas opened on George Washington Highway in Johnston. Location is a grim strip mall that was formerly a nondescript Chinese place. Surprised to find they have a web site, and this is a second location. Reviews seemed split between "food is great" and "location is filthy." I hope they can make a go of it and maintain some basic standards of hygiene, this place is right around the corner from me and i would welcome a good Pakistani/Indian restaurant in the area.


    1 Reply
    1. re: wormwood

      UPDATE: got take out from Man-O-Salwas on Thursday. Place was empty at 7 pm (not surprising, the location sucks and there is absolutely nothing to clue you in on what kind of food they serve). They did not have everything available on the menu and could only accept credit cards by calling the number into their other location (he said they are still waiting on the POS system install).

      The food however was absolutely delicious. Huge portions, extremely fresh, and excellent flavor. Good heat level. Hope they make it, I will definitely be back.

    2. After ten years of delighting diners with their modern, farm-driven cuisine at their restaurant Farmstead, Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island, Chef and Owners Matt and Kate Jennings are returning to their hometown of Boston

      Now from Garris:

      On a personal note, this will be my last month living in Providence. I've been here over 10 years....Mrs. Garris and the kiddies and I are heading up to Boston.


      6 Replies
      1. re: jomo9501

        LOL, gotta love a good conspiracy theory!

        Seriously though, Garris, good luck with the move. I hope you and the family enjoy good eats up in Boston. We don't get up there with any regularity, but if we're near Cambridge for lunch we always try to get to Sofra. It's Turkish and awesome--the lack of Turkish cuisine in PVD is a bummer, as there was a great place we used to eat at all the time when we lived in Philly. Sofra is our fix now. Someday, hopefully we'll make it to the sister restaurant, Oleana.

        As for what's happening in my neck of the woods, a gelateria and a creperie are set to open soon on Maple Ave. in Barrington. Simone's (formerly the very popular Sunnyside,) will open in a newly renovated space on Child Street in Warren at the end of the month. They'll be serving dinner as well as breakfast, brunch, and lunch. This was our go-to brunch place when we didn't feel like going into the city, and many people around here have been eagerly awaiting the reopening.

        I haven't been on the board too long, but I've appreciated your efforts with the monthly posts, Garris. Thanks for taking the time.

        1. re: RhodyRedHen

          Please, please try Oleana ASAP. More expensive, but man is it incredible. Veggie tasting, regular tasting, special occasion tasting, whatever you order it's all fantastic, and great wine list to match. Forget Sofra, sub Oleana in Cambridge and Arax/Sevan markets in Watertown for Sofra-like products at half the price.

          1. re: phipsi102

            We know and like Oleana well. I must have not chosen my meals well there the last time I've been as what I have has always been solid but not amazing like people seem to say...

            1. re: Garris

              I'm with you Garris, thought Oleana was solid but not amazing last time I went.

              I live halfway between Boston and PVD, so I frequent both restaurant scenes. Here's my favorite spot in Boston: Picco, in the South End. Great, casual spot, fantastic high-end pizzas (love the goat cheese, arugula and roasted pepper one, the best ravioli I've had in Boston, by far (changes seasonally), and great ice cream with homemade hot fudge and whipped cream. Long waits, no reservations, horrible parking, but well worth it.

              In PVD, the closest I've come is Providence Coal Fired pizza, which I also think is very good.

        2. re: jomo9501

          Haha!! The timing of both their and our departures is funny, and it's especially surprising I hadn't thought of it given I live in Wayland Square as well. No, no, no, we are definitely not one in the same!

          Has it been announced what they're going to be doing in the Boston area? I know L'Artisan in Wayland Square is doing well and looking at possibly opening a Boston area satellite and have heard the Garden Grill folks have thought about (and rejected) such an outpost themselves...

          1. re: Garris

            From Zagat's:

            they're returning to Boston to open Townsman in late 2014. Details are slim, but the spot is slated to inhabit the new Radian building at 120 Kingston Street, neighboring Chinatown. A release describes its identity as "native to place," so we can probably expect more Farmstead-style New England cuisine.

        3. Garris
          If you have not been contacted by anyone. I can carry the torch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FjmArch

            I have not yet been contacted by anyone, so as you are willing, I so pass the torch to you starting with July. I'm thrilled that it will be continuing.

            Do me proud!

          2. I drove by the location which was formerly "Asian Palace" on North Main Street in Providence ('AP' closed last month). There is a 'Coming Soon' sign for a Japanese sushi/ hibachi grille.. The name of it is "Fuji" (at least part of the name is Fuji!).

            Now, AP had offered sushi and a hibachi menu as well, not sure if this will make a big difference. I have a feeling that it may be at least one of the original three owners doing this.

            1. According to the East Side Monthly, Ben Lloyd (most recently the Executive Chef at Tazza Cafe) purchased Farmstead in Wayland Square. He will open a "contemporary American restaurant" called the Salted Slate, with about 60 seats.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jomo9501

                As a soon to be ex-Wayland Square resident, I'm happy the space won't stay vacant for long. However, am I the only one who inwardly groans at reading about yet another "New American" restaurant? Wayland Square already has Blue Stripe and Waterman Grille which are both New American and Twist (also New American) closed a few years back.

                Despite rumors about varying things for the ex-Runcible Spoon spot, including an Italian (inward groan) restaurant, there are still rental signs up.

                Peachwave, the worthy frozen yogurt place in Wayland Square, is having a "Grand Opening" (haven't they already been open for a few months now?) and sprinkling 20% off coupons around, feeling a bit desperate...

                1. re: Garris

                  Enh, "New American" is almost a non-descriptor at this point. It seems to mean anything from farm-to-table, to MG influenced, to fusion cuisine.

                  I was sorry to see Tazza close, mostly because I appreciated it for daytime dining downtown (also, they made some of the best iced coffee around). I'll be curious to see what Ben Lloyd does with the Salted Slate, but I hope the service is tighter than what was happening at Tazza towards the end.