Sullivan's Rhode boasts an Irish lilt and a vibrant, sporting atmosphere where cold brews are savored and traditional pub fare warms bellies. Among the murmur of sporting debates, affable servers float plates amid the glow of nine 50-inch plasma TVs that display basketball, hockey, and full-contact tic-tac-toe. Providence College basketball games precede Thursday-night karaoke, and locals shake a leg during Wednesday's DJ dance party. Minutiae masters host Monday-evening trivia, where guests must flex brain muscles and refrain from taking advantage of Sullivan's free WiFi to look up the answers.:
Caribbean transplant Steven Correa brings tropical tastes stateside with Aruba Steve’s eclectic menu of savory Caribbean cuisine. Diners can prime palates with small bites such as the Jamaican jerk chicken skewers served with mango salsa ($5) or a 6-inch pulled-pork pizza ($6.95). Meanwhile, the blackened mahi BLT ($9.95) unites surf ‘n’ turf, with crispy bacon and mahi-mahi served open-faced together with a spicy aioli skilled in land-sea conflict resolution. The chicken caesar burrito ($7.95) wraps a crisp salad in a soft-shell tortilla, and the Aru-BQ dog ($4.95) adorns a juicy hot dog with bacon, cheddar, and barbecue sauce. Dinner comes with a serenade of live music three nights a week, and visitors can show off their brainpower or wombat mating calls at weekly trivia and open mic nights.
With recipes that call to mind the towering spires of the Khmer Empire’s antique capital, the chef at Angkor Restaurant recreates modern Cambodia’s favorite dishes. Nam yaa, the restaurant's most popular dish, is also known as medicine soup for the restorative qualities of its lemongrass, ginger, and garlic and the tradition of serving it in a tiny childproof bottle. Distinct Cambodian sauces, such as tamarind and spicy garlic, douse crispy fish, and peanut sauce tops banh hoi, whose steamed noodles are accompanied by lettuce and mint.
You would be hard pressed to find a can opener anywhere in the kitchen of Cilantro Mexican Grill. That's because the restaurant's chefs don't need one; they only cook with fresh ingredients. A typical day in their kitchen sees the chefs mashing the nutty flesh of ripe avocados into guacamole, slicing fresh tortillas to be fried and sprinkled with lime juice, and grilling adobo-seasoned chicken, steak, and tilapia. Local growers get in on the action too, supplying the kitchen with tomatoes and onions. The Cranston location also finds patrons sipping one of 20+ craft beers and, at several others, margaritas.
The creative culinarians at Aspire dish out a delightful variety of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner fare. Guests can start their day on a savory slipper with a plate of classic eggs benedict and home fries ($14), or they can opt for a sweeter climb back to consciousness by sending their fork to scale a stack of cinnamon-brioche french toast ($10) as they slurp a cup of coffee ($3). The lunch menu sports soups (cups starting at $3 and bowls starting at $6), fresh salads ($6–$7), and inventive sandwiches ($6–$10, $2 extra for unlimited toppings), paving the way to the dinner list, which swaps out sandwiches for a selection of mussels, clams, and oysters ($1.50–$12), small plates ($10–$17), and large plates ($21–$34, with a lobster feast at market price). Treat your table to an order of Korean barbecue pork eggrolls to share ($10) or a bowl of New Bedford–style mussels, swimming in perfect synchronization with chorizo, kalamata olives, and sweet peppers ($12). Grilled swordfish ($21) is one of Aspire's headlining hunger tamers, served with a summertime blend of orzo, couscous, quinoa, and split peas and topped with spicy green-papaya salad.
Luxe Burger Bar dishes out extra-thick milkshakes, inventive grilled-cheese sandwiches, and customizable burgers made with all-natural, USDA-certified beef. Stack coleslaw and veggies atop a foundation of grilled-to-order beef ($7.99), ahi tuna ($10.99), or four other types of protein. Fried sharp-provolone or aged-cheddar blanket meat before the chef tucks in the burger with Bruce Springsteen’s oral history of spice rubs from VH1's Storytellers. Give burgers zing with complimentary sauces, such as tzatziki and garlic aioli, or jazz up sweet-potato fries (an extra $0.69 with build-your-own burgers) with chili and sour cream ($0.59 each). Diners can also slather specialty sandwiches like a D'Luxe grilled cheese, with aged cheddar, havarti, swiss, and a hint of arugula ($7.99). The Frankenstein—four beef patties, four strips of bacon, four slices of american cheese, and two jumbo hot-dogs slathered in chili, relish, and slaw ($19.99)—tempts the bravest eaters with a free T-shirt if they can scarf down the entire monster after it spends a day learning table manners.
Souper Bowl is a pun with purpose: each soup and sandwich served is inspired by football teams and the regions from which they hail. Beneath an eclectic mix of sports memorabilia, including colorful vintage posters and black and white photographs, diners plunge spoons into bowls of Wisconsin broccoli cheddar, New England clam chowder, and Texas red chili served in a football helmet. Souper Bowl also serves up sandwiches and wraps, such as chicken salad or roast beef, as well as all-beef hot dogs served 'naked' or draped with chili and cheese.