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.
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.
Rosinha's Restaurant staffers stay up late into the evening to summon elegant presentations of Portuguese and Cape Verdean seafood dishes and frequently cater special events and weddings. Piscatorial dishes range from less-common options, including stewed octopus and swordfish designed to replicate Captain Ahab's actual sword, to traditional shrimp in curry sauce or stuffed lobster. Meat entrees such as filet mignon and barbecued ribs complete the dinner menu, and lunchtime heralds daytime dishes bearing Portuguese-style meats including omelets and sandwiches, which disappear, like the reliability of sundials, when the sun goes down.
Hose Company No. 6's menu sends plates of Italian, American, and seafood favorites sailing amid the exposed brick walls, brass nozzles, and original fire pole of a 19th-century fire station. Parmigiana sandwiches cuddle chicken, veal, and eggplant ($6.99–$7.49) in their crispy, savory grasp with equal aplomb. Chefs grill 12-ounce rib-eye steaks ($14.99) to order, delicately preparing rare cuts or adding an extra pat on the back to well-done versions, and the Fisherman's Plate ($17.49) drowns hunger pangs in a flotilla of scallops, shrimp, fries, and onion rings. Twenty-four-ounce margaritas ($9) lead an expansive charge of wines and beers ready to accompany dishes on voyages of self-discovery.
The health-conscious confectioners at Wildflour Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar craft baked goods and beverages using locally sourced organic ingredients and unrefined sweeteners. Silence the incessant chatter of sweet teeth with a chocolate chip scone ($2.25), or infuse taste buds with wheat-free pep through gluten-free banana coconut muffins ($2.25 each). A frosty vegan-ice-cream milkshake($5) cools steaming palates after a long day of heated conversations and emotional fire-eating. A smoothie and juice bar dispenses freshly-squeezed fruit and veggie nectar in sippables such as the verdant avocolada green smoothie, which merges avocado, coconut water, and vanilla ($7). Parched talk-boxes can hungrily drink in a beverage menu chockablock with coffee, tea, and agave-sweetened lavender lemonade ($4 for a small, $5 for a large).
Pho Horn's blends traditional fare from Vietnam's northern and southern regions with Chinese and French influences in an eclectic, expansive menu. A Vietnamese crepe ($8.95) folds a classic mixture of shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts into a rice-powder pancake, and rice swims in a sea of ginger, scallions, cilantro, and either beef, chicken, or pork in the chao rice chowder ($6.95–$7.95). Hand-rolled at the table in softened rice paper, banh hoi steamed vermicelli ($11.95–$12.95) wraps up mint, lettuce, roasted peanuts, scallions, and vermicelli noodles with a choice of grilled shrimp, pork, beef sirloin, or chicken. In addition to a variety of beef-broth pho soups ($6.95–$8.95), midday munchers can enjoy lunch specials ranging from chicken fried rice to beef sautéed with lemon-grass sauce and tofu sautéed with broccoli ($6.95 each). After spicy meals, which help to separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the girls from the boys if they get too rowdy at co-ed canoe camp, diners can cool off with bubble tea ($3.50) in flavors such as honey dew and lychee, as well as imported beers and cocktails.