More than a breeding ground for revolution, hip hats, and lovelorn sea turtles, Rhode Island Reds keeps your mitochondria busy with a mouthwatering menu of gourmet pizzas, homemade soups, salads, signature sandwiches, wine, beer, and more. Reds is renowned for its Roman-style thin-crust pizzas (eight slices of gormondo tomato pie cost $10). Try the Broforino, made with garlic pesto sauce, onions, anchovies, and fresh tomatoes; or dine on a prosciutto, pineapple, mozzarella, and tomato-herb gravy pie. Sandwiches ($6.50 each) such as the Joe Di Maggio (a salami sandwich on a baguette with mozzarella, tomatoes, and garlic pesto dressing) or the Black Friday (turkey breast and Swiss with a smear of cranberry sauce on rye bread) are served weekdays until 3 p.m. Customize your sandwich's condiments or design the entire thing yourself; Reds' ingredients are fresh, usually organic, and often locally sourced. Plus, there are vegetarian and vegan options available.
Real-estate agent LaKisa Taylor may have been a longtime whiz in the business of brokering homes, but brokering cupcakes began as a hobby. As a thank-you to clients and potential buyers, LaKisa would bake and decorate batches of the confectionary delights. Her sweet tooth and background in event planning eventually propelled the pastime into a full-fledged career when she dreamed up Pretty Girl Cupcakery, named for her still-flourishing real-estate campaign, Pretty Girl County. Inside the shop's recently opened doors, LaKisa and her staff bake treats fresh each morning in an atmosphere more welcoming than a doormat carved from peanut brittle. Their classic menu keeps it simple with chocolate and vanilla, double chocolate and vanilla, half and half, and red-velvet cakes topped with rich buttercream frosting.
LaKisa and her team spread their passion for edible artistry at classes that broach subjects such as basic frosting techniques and crafting fondant that deliciously embellishes cakes. They also host themed bashes at the bakery, enveloping birthday kids and their guests in a world of pretty princesses or doll and tea parties.
The chefs at Calvert House Inn, which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, commingle succulent crab, scallops, and oysters to create a menu of freshly caught fare alongside free-range meat dishes and a bounty of vegetarian plates. An appetizer of oysters rockefeller ($7.95) readies palates for the main event, as baked oysters sizzle beneath spinach, bacon, and a drizzle of earthy Pernod liqueur. Broiled 5-ounce morsels of backfin and jumbo lump crab make up Maryland-style crab cakes ($12.95–$25.95), which scrumptiously celebrate East Coast culinary traditions and mermaid birthdays alike, and shrimp Calvert ($18.95) drapes garlic-and-lemon-infused crustaceans with a light tomato sauce and gems of feta cheese. A mélange of natural and free-range beef, pork, chicken, and lamb dishes keep appetites on solid ground more effectively than eating a magnet, and herbivorous eaters find a range of meat-free items, including the roasted-red-pepper-and-onion-topped grilled-eggplant sandwich ($7.95).
Cotton's Gourmet Gifts & Creations’ team of expert confectioners whip up batches of hand-crafted cupcakes in a host of creative flavors including white-chocolate raspberry and classic red velvet. Upon completion of the cloak-and-dagger initiation ceremony, members of the Cupcake of the Month club can cartwheel into the store to pick up their sextet of frosted treats after three page flips of the calendar. Each army of six cupped cakes forges a single-flavored united front against sugar cravings, with iterations such as Cotton’s signature sweet-potato pound cake. A citrusy Lemonicious cupcake rouses taste buds with its nectarous-yet-zesty character, and a 24 Carrot Gold embellishes mouth caves with a flavorful Midas-inspired filigree.