Showing posts with the label Hotel Reviews

Fine Dining Southern Rhode Island Style

In recent posts, I described a trip to Rhode Island where I was introduced to a community of talented chefs who are making the state a go-to place for anyone who enjoys good food. I knew I would find good restaurants in Providence. What surprised me was the number of accomplished chefs working in the resort towns in the southern half of the state.

Newport is Rhode Island's best known tourist destination. Located on the southern tip of Aquidneck Island, Newport is home to Cliff Walk and the world-famous mansions built at the end of the 19th century with their distinctive architecture and opulent details. Its sheltered harbor and many beaches also makes Newport a destination for anyone who enjoys sailing and water sports. The city is family-friendly as well, with dozens of affordable restaurants on Broadway and Bowen's Wharf in the harbor.

Newport has fine dining but you have to search it out.

One Bellevue (One Bellevue Avenue, Newport, 401/847-3300) is located on Historic Hil…

Lobster Rolls, Clams, Oysters, and Much Much More on the Rhode Island Shore

Providence has a dynamic food scene. There are fun neighborhood hangouts like Thee "Red" Fez (49 Peck Street, Providence, 401/272-1212) and fine dining at upscale restaurants like Bacaro (262 South Water Street, Providence, 401/751-3700) with it's encyclopedic menu of regional Italian dishes. But you don't have to stay in the big city to enjoy great food.

Hop in your car and head south.

It's only a short trip to East Greenwich, Wickford, and Matunuck in South County or to Bristol and Newport on Aquidneck Island. If you have a little more time, drive down to Watch Hill on the southern-most tip of the state or go day-tripping out to Block Island and spend the day walking, hiking, biking, and eating.

Everywhere you go, you'll be rewarded with wonderful meals in beautiful settings.

During the summer, stopping at a clam shack when you're at the beach is a guilty pleasure not to be denied. In the coastal towns ringing Narragansett Bay and Block Island Soun…

The Amazing and Delicious Food Scene in Providence, Rhode Island

If you lived in Providence when I did in the mid-1970s, you would never go back. In those days, the city was suffering the human equivalent of deep depression. Jobs were scarce. Downtown was dominated by the boarded up Biltmore Hotel and a grimy Amtrak station. If you wanted to eat out, your choices were pretty much restricted to Mafi-style Italian restaurants and food from diners like the Haven Bros. Diner in front of City Hall.

All that has changed. Renamed the Renaissance City, Providence has been reborn.

Downtown was revived by Buddy Cianci, the frequently indicted and much revered mayor of Providence, who convinced Amtrak to relocate so he could create a park in the center of the city. He tore up the streets that had paved over the Providence, Woonasquatucket, and Moshassuk Rivers and created a Venice-like system of canals that are used today by WaterFire (, the summer festival that transforms the center of the city into a street fair of music, foo…