Meatball Comedy Stop travels to a variety of venues presenting standup sets during the night. But regardless of its latest resident bar, restaurant, or whoopee-cushion factory, it always brings along a brick-wall façade. It's served as the backdrop for a variety of national headliners. Audiences lounging in cabaret-style seating sip cocktails and munch snacks between chuckles.
Included in Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island, The Pizza Gourmet accommodates customers with a choice of custom pizzas cooked in-house or raw pies that customers can take home. All pizzas start out as a plate of fresh garlic, olive oil, parmesan, asiago, and italian parsley, but customers can personalize their pies with a multitude of crust, sauce, cheese, and topping options. Although the eatery specializes in pizza, noncircular appetites can be slaked with menu items such as sun-dried tomato pesto penne, italian grinders, and sodas.
The chefs also take their culinary creations out into the world via four theme catering menus, outfitting tailgate parties, corporate breakfasts, and cocktail parties with equal enthusiasm. Food-eaters can customize their catering orders according to dietary needs, as well, including vegan and gluten-free catering options. Inside the restaurant, an exposed-brick accent wall is painted fire-truck red to match the dining room's vivid crimson accents. The walls are covered in a rainbow of handwritten menu options, with entrees, appetizers, salads, and desserts all vying for perfect penmanship awards.
In 2011, CBS's the Early Show lauded Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House for having the best clam chowder in America. Perhaps that’s because each batch is made with clam juice instead of water, with clams added at the very end to ensure tenderness. Or maybe it’s because owner David Gravino whips up the Manhattan-style red chowder using his mother's special recipe. Whatever the cause, the effect is a zesty stew flecked with celery, pepper, garlic, dill, and basil that people have been happy to stand in line for.
Recently celebrating their 25th anniversary, Iggy's, which has also been graced with a recent visit from Nick Jonas and Miss Universe 2012, also dishes out clam cakes, stuffed quahogs, and landlubbing entrees such as burgers and BLTs in a dining room overlooking Narragansett Bay. Housemade root beer and raspberry-lime sodas complement each meal, alongside doughboys—pastries topped with ice cream, cool whip, and powdered sugar. In addition to the main location, there’s a seasonal outpost in Narragansett proper that stays open from March until Columbus Day, the holiday which celebrates Christopher Columbus's discovery of a new world inhabited solely by fish.
At Timmy’s One Bay Avenue, diners enjoy scenic waterfront views as chefs prepare a menu of succulent steaks and fresh seafood. A cup of new england clam chowder ($2.95) or the steamed mussels in a light garlic and butter broth ($8.95) pave the way for heartier eats, such as the filet mignon ($21.95), a 10-ounce center-cut steak so tender it weeps at cell-phone commercials, and the honey-almond salmon ($17.95). For the best of land and sea, guests can sample the surf 'n' turf, a hearty 12-ounce Black Angus sirloin steak served alongside three baked, stuffed shrimp. Complement feasts or add a prop to arm-flailing sea shanties with a chalice of wine or beer.
Christopher Palios, executive chef and owner of Sophia’s Tuscan Grille, inherited his cooking skills from his Sicilian grandmother, with whom he worked side-by-side as a child constructing traditional Italian dishes. Palios went on to refine his techniques by attending culinary school, traveling to the Caribbean and northern Italy, and working in the kitchens of celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Todd English. Palios uses high-quality ingredients to create innovative dishes that reflect the Tuscan countryside.
Personal touches go into the savory entrees, as seen by the hand-stretched peasant-style grilled flatbreads and the handcrafted nuggets of spinach and ricotta gnocchi. Black n’ blue mussels—simmered with crisp pancetta, gorgonzola, and chives—and linguine with clams pair with diners’ libations toted from home under the restaurant's BYOB policy. House-made desserts round out meals with creamy bites of wild-strawberry spumoni as refreshing as a nap in the produce aisle. To bring the Tuscan experience to their own kitchens, diners may take a cooking class or purchase one of four spice rubs hand mixed and packaged by chef Christopher.