DiParma's sponge-painted walls are rife with staggered picture frames, floral bouquets, and wicker baskets. Earth-tone bricks recall warm Italian soil and the inventive cuisine that sprung from it. Beside a bar of tile and faux marble, tables clatter with plates of pastas, pesto pizzas, and veal or seafood sautéed in delicate wine sauces, all polished over the course of three decades in business. With the pizza oven pouring forth the aromas of basil, roasted peppers, and bacon, guests peruse a list of more than 50 wines or ask servers to pick out all the grapes for them.
Steve Silverstein was tired. Tired of driving into the city just to get a good meal, and tired of paying too much for the food once he got there. So Steve decided to take matters into his own hands and create Not Your Average Joe’s, a chain of internationally inspired restaurants located in the suburbs of Boston, Washington DC, and other major metropolitan areas. Today, there are 18 Not Your Average Joe's locations serving up quality fare without pretension. There, appetizers of asian chicken dumplings and chouriço-stuffed quahogs give way to both casual grill fare and gourmet entrees. Hand-formed burgers come dressed in bacon and one of five cheeses, while stone-hearth pizzas don both classic and unusual toppings such as pistachios and rosemary. And, there are also entrees inspired by cuisines from all over the globe including a five-meat smokehouse jambalaya and a curry- and peanut-anointed vietnamese salmon. Joe's also offers a gluten-free menu, and because each dish is created from scratch the moment it’s ordered, diners can customize meals to accommodate their needs, whether they're following a low-carb, no-carb, or quadruple-carb diet.
The friendly sustenance dispersers at Two Jerks, a neighborhood pub and live-music venue, serve up American pub fare and drinks well into the night in an environment full of entertainment-inducing elements including a dance floor, large TV screens, and video bowling. An assortment of chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, and onion rings gather together on the Munchie Platter ($9.95), and the half-pound burger is enough to feed a hungry party of one ($5.95). A bottle of domestic beer ($3) washes down a wild flame-grilled pizza ($10), breaking its spirit and turning it into an amicable companion for humans. Premium beers ($4.50), mixed drinks ($3), and shots ($3) encourage patrons to sing along during live acoustic karaoke on Monday evenings and the open mic jam sessions on Tuesdays. Rock and blues bands create a soundtrack for two-stepping minglers and bar-top video gamers on weekend nights and crickets and summertime breezes entertain partiers in the outdoor beer garden.
Cattails City Grill impresses patrons with a menu of fine fare that's served without the nose-in-the-air pretension generally accompanying all things cattail. Begin your belly's beguine with one of Cattails' signature pizzas, such as the margherita ($10), the mushroom and salami ($10.50), or the arugula and prosciutto ($11); or opt for a seafood starter such as the garlic shrimp ($10) or Narragansett Bay littlenecks with chorizo, onions, and garlic in a pomodoro sauce ($10). Noodle-craving neurologists can strike a happy nerve with pasta dishes such as lobster ravioli in a pink vodka sauce ($22.50), and baked shrimp and shells ($21) punched up with tomato cream sauce, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Cattails' carnivore-catering entrees steal away potential attendees of chicken, pig, and cow family reunions with dishes such as sautéed gorgonzola chicken "under a brick" ($18), served over potatoes and spinach and topped with tomatoes and a creamy cheese sauce; pork chops and littleneck clams ($23) with olives and roasted potatoes in a spicy garlic and wine sauce; or the veal tenderloin ($19.50), also served over potatoes and spinach and topped with prosciutto and vinaigrette. Fish options include salmon ($21) and pan-seared tilapia ($16.50). Cap off your Cattails culinary caper with the restaurant's acclaimed Portuguese sweet bread pudding, recently found to be the solar system's true center, relegating the sun to nothing more than a minor answer on an obscure episode of Jeopardy.
The small College Hill takeout restaurant is an offshoot of Haruki East, a popular Japanese eatery in Providence. Haruki Express, a 2008 Best of Rhode Island Editors' Pick in Rhode Island Monthly, serves fresh made-to-order meals that are an alternative to the fast food of yesteryear. Scanning the extensive menu, maki lovers can choose the fresh spicy tekka ($5.50) or the cooked salmon skin ($3.95), and meat-eating tax attorneys can try out the beef gyu don ($5.95), thinly sliced beef and onion sautéed with soy sauce and served over rice. This deal is not good for delivery, but it can be used to taunt illusionist David Blaine with delicious sushi via remote-controlled helicopter as he dangles hungrily in a Plexiglas cube.
The Boston Globe recognized United BBQ in its list of 10 best barbecue joints in New England in 2009. It won the southern barbecue category from Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island in 2009. The Providence Journal and Providence Phoenix also reviewed United BBQ.