Sakura embraces the gustatory traditions of Japanese and Chinese cuisine by forging an eclectic menu with vibrant sushi, sizzling hibachi items, and classic Chinese dishes. The hibachi chefs combine showmanship, culinary skill, and fire-safety lectures as they dexterously shuffle chicken, steak, or seafood across a grill erupting with flames, creating toothsome entrees directly in front of their hungry spectators. Meanwhile, kitchen staffers drape double-cooked pork with a spicy hoisin sauce, and sushi-smiths artfully slice fresh, fire-retardant fish for each order of sashimi and roll maki in a cylinder of rice and seaweed.
Within the dining room, crimson walls sport such personalized decorative accents as a stenciling of the restaurant's name and a finger-painting of its business license.
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.
Tierra Restaurant & Lounge grounds high-flying appetites with a savory menu of Spanish, Italian, and Latin cuisine. Celebrate the recent discovery of seafood by digging into shellfish options such as shrimp swimming laps in extra-virgin olive oil zested with garlic and spices ($7) or a generous pile of pan-fried calamari rings cozily marinating on a mild-and-hot pepper bed ($7). The baked paella bursts from kitchen confines to bedazzle diners with a gentle army of scallops, clams, mussels, and half a lobster, as well as chorizo and chicken, all baked together with Tierra’s moist saffron rice ($19). Tierra's lunch menu addresses midday cravings with afternoon delights including pizza margherita ($10) and caesar salad ($7).
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.
China Inn's menu is like a gustatory balloon ride over China, exploring different regions and culinary traditions to gain an understanding of the country's myriad subcultures. Cantonese-style dishes, such as sautéed lobster with a garden-fresh medley of snow peas, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts, demonstrate favoritism for veggies, whereas the Sichuan and Hunan entrees re-create those cultures’ characteristic spices and chilies with incendiary sauces. Mu shi, a traditional Mandarin dish, presents diners with pork, shrimp, or beef and vegetables as well as four Chinese pancakes to scoop up and wrap each bite or envelop a love note to a date.
In contrast to the complexly assembled menu of pan-regional specialties, China Inn's dining room embraces a more elegant simplicity. The airy space features a large, central skylight that allows ample sunshine to wash over tables and plates. Chinese pottery adds a distinctive and authentic touch to the decor, whereas leafy plants create a calming, natural ambiance and an ample supply of oxygen to last through the dinner rush.
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.