When Caprice opened in East Greenwich, The Rhode Show correspondent Joe Zito interviewed owner Kostas Karampetsos and overflowed with enthusiasm for his classic Italian preparations. Drawing from his experience running Tavern by the Sea, Kostas and head chef Domingo Fernandez created a menu of pizzas, pastas, and chicken and veal entrees. They also draw inspiration from East Greenwich’s nearby sea monsters to craft seafood dishes such as the scrod francese and frutti di mare, which peppers linguine with littlenecks, scallops, and mussels. Caprice surrounds its guests with elegant dark wood tables and floors and a fully stocked bar. A long wall of windows admits sunlight during the day, and hanging lamps ribbed with an abstract floral design take over at night. Patrons can pull up leather chairs upholstered with a panel of pastel stripes, or slide into one of the lush semicircular booths lining the walls. Behind a speckled stone bar, bartenders also carefully mix more than a dozen specialty martinis.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Christopher Palios, executive chef and owner of Sophia’s Tuscan Grille, inherited his cooking skills from his Sicilian grandmother, with whom he worked side-by-side as a child constructing traditional Italian dishes. Palios went on to refine his techniques by attending culinary school, traveling to the Caribbean and northern Italy, and working in the kitchens of celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Todd English. Palios uses high-quality ingredients to create innovative dishes that reflect the Tuscan countryside.
Personal touches go into the savory entrees, as seen by the hand-stretched peasant-style grilled flatbreads and the handcrafted nuggets of spinach and ricotta gnocchi. Black n’ blue mussels—simmered with crisp pancetta, gorgonzola, and chives—and linguine with clams pair with diners’ libations toted from home under the restaurant's BYOB policy. House-made desserts round out meals with creamy bites of wild-strawberry spumoni as refreshing as a nap in the produce aisle. To bring the Tuscan experience to their own kitchens, diners may take a cooking class or purchase one of four spice rubs hand mixed and packaged by chef Christopher.
At any given moment, there might be three kinds of bars operating inside Amalfi Oceanside. One produces signature cocktails ready to be sipped in view of the Narragansett beach. Another, which springs up on Sundays, allows visitors to concoct their preferred variants on a bloody mary to pair with their brunches. The third is a raw bar, where lobster tails sit alongside native littleneck clams and oysters that were farmed locally, rather than shipped via friendly pelican.
These seafood samples function as chilled appetizers for a host of oceanic entrees. Pasta options such as shrimp scampi and the seafood fra diavolo—mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster, and marinara sauce over linguine—complement plates of baked cod and pan-seared scallops. Lobster sliders and beer-battered-fish tacos also augment a list of burgers and sandwiches. Breaking from the maritime theme, rib-eye steaks and grilled specialty pizzas round out the menu in addition to slow-roasted cuts of prime rib, which are only available on Fridays—like a feeling of relief among America's work force.
Had you arrived at Mews Tavern in 1947, you would find fishermen swapping tall stories over pints. Things have changed since then: today, you'll find fishermen and everyone else swapping tall stories over pints. The general-purpose pub has 69 beers on tap, more than 200 varieties of single-malt scotches, and a menu of timeless American bar food.
Burgers comprise the heart of that menu, ranging from the Tangled Up in Blue burger topped with bleu cheese and bleu-cheese mayo to the salmon burger with ginger, green onions, and soy sauce. The tap selection complements these specialties with microbrews from Maryland, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, as well as bigger-name craft brews from the likes of Lagunitas, Breckenridge, and Dogfish.
They say that good things come to those who wait. But at Providence Coal Fired Pizza, you only have to wait four minutes for what are perhaps the most distinctive pizzas in the state. This is because of what's billed as Rhode Island's first and only coal-fired oven, which crisps and chars the pies' air-thin dough over anthracite coals that heat up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. There are nearly a dozen specialty pizzas to choose from, with unique toppings such as house-pulled pork and fresh clams shucked daily, though these aren't all that's prepared in the namesake oven. The baked goat-cheese appetizer is, too, as well as crispy wings seasoned with sea salt and rosemary that are said to taste just like roasted chicken.