Tierra Restaurant & Lounge grounds high-flying appetites with a savory menu of Spanish, Italian, and Latin cuisine. Celebrate the recent discovery of seafood by digging into shellfish options such as shrimp swimming laps in extra-virgin olive oil zested with garlic and spices ($7) or a generous pile of pan-fried calamari rings cozily marinating on a mild-and-hot pepper bed ($7). The baked paella bursts from kitchen confines to bedazzle diners with a gentle army of scallops, clams, mussels, and half a lobster, as well as chorizo and chicken, all baked together with Tierra’s moist saffron rice ($19). Tierra's lunch menu addresses midday cravings with afternoon delights including pizza margherita ($10) and caesar salad ($7).
Under a striking canopy of wooden beams, dancers shuffle and slide across the blond hardwood dance floor of Studio One RI's 2,300-square-foot studio. Elegant ballroom routines, sultry salsa exchanges, and down-home country-western steps fill a schedule of morning, evening, and weekend classes. In group and private classes, experienced instructors balance the fun and charm of dance with the precision and complex systems of strings required by its more rigorous forms. Parents and toddlers can tango together in special classes, and youth ages 4 to 16 can soak up the fun, social environment of youth classes.
China Inn's menu is like a gustatory balloon ride over China, exploring different regions and culinary traditions to gain an understanding of the country's myriad subcultures. Cantonese-style dishes, such as sautéed lobster with a garden-fresh medley of snow peas, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts, demonstrate favoritism for veggies, whereas the Sichuan and Hunan entrees re-create those cultures’ characteristic spices and chilies with incendiary sauces. Mu shi, a traditional Mandarin dish, presents diners with pork, shrimp, or beef and vegetables as well as four Chinese pancakes to scoop up and wrap each bite or envelop a love note to a date.
In contrast to the complexly assembled menu of pan-regional specialties, China Inn's dining room embraces a more elegant simplicity. The airy space features a large, central skylight that allows ample sunshine to wash over tables and plates. Chinese pottery adds a distinctive and authentic touch to the decor, whereas leafy plants create a calming, natural ambiance and an ample supply of oxygen to last through the dinner rush.
Nature is responsible for stimulating all the senses at Cresta Bar & Ristorante, where diners savor fresh ingredients as they bask in the shade on an outdoor patio. Fresh flourishes such as foraged mushrooms and homemade pasta embellish the entrees, which include panko-encrusted cuts of veal and chicken. More than 60 wines pair with the meals so that guests don’t have to determine complementary flavors by licking a color wheel. Diners can eat either inside or on the terrace, where marble-topped tables reflect the leafy branches that criss-cross overhead, leaving matte wrought-iron bistro chairs to lounge on the flagstone patio.
As diners uncork the wines they've brought to Cafe Sowa, chefs busily prepare inventive bistro fare. Those options shift with the seasons, which is appropriate for a restaurant with a sprawling outdoor patio. During the summer, they might include a fresh watermelon salad with feta and cracked pepper or smoked-salmon wrap with capers and dill mayo. An array of desserts also changes with the availability of fresh ingredients, and they those sweets arrive at tables beneath brightly hued rustic paintings.
Starting Friday, October 5 at 6 p.m. and running through Monday, October 8, O Fest RI, spearheaded by Doherty's East Avenue Irish Pub, celebrates autumn with beer, live music, and general merriment. The festival features fall-themed libations from as far away as Germany itself—with Oktoberfest brews from Spaten, Hofbrau, and Paulaner—and those from closer to home from brewers such as Harpoon, Sam Adams, and Shipyard. In addition, the festival will feature a lineup of musical acts, including What Matters and Those Guys.
Doherty's East Avenue Irish Pub, whose whopping 82 taps helped earn it an award for Best Bar and Beer Selection in The Phoenix's Best of Providence 2011, will anchor the celebration from their dark-wood bar. The bar itself serves a host of culinary treats from Prince Edward Island mussels in zesty zuppa sauce to blackened jerk salmon. An outdoor patio plays host to al fresco dining and lassoing the moon to impress dates.
Named a Top 100 Overall Excellence winner at the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Awards Show, Shanghai Gardens' fiery woks beget a diverse array of traditional Asian cuisine. Szechuan, Shanghai, and Cantonese recipes suffuse sizzling meat and vegetarian dishes with powerful flavor as sushi artisans craft delicate maki and sashimi selections. The dining room accents its marigold walls with framed art and decorative checkered flooring as bartenders mix Polynesian-style cocktails atop the lounge's sleek curved bar, adding a tropical element to Asian cuisine, such as stir-frying on a steel drum.