While we’ve got our share of iconic foods – pizza strips, clam cakes, johnnycakes – Rhode Island’s dining scene is also remarkable for how varied and eclectic it is.
1. Pane e Vino on Federal Hill has an extensive Italian wine list, organized by regions of the country – plus an in-house sommelier who recommends the best wine to pair with their impeccable Italian cuisine. Even better, they offer 50 percent off wine on Monday nights.
2. On Providence’s West Side, La Mei Hot Pot offers authentic Sichuan cuisine that goes way beyond the Chinese food you’re used to. Cook it yourself at the table in a hot pot, or try one of their prepared dishes like Chicken with Red Pine Mushroom Stew and Preserved Duck Egg with Tofu Salad.
3. Pasquale Iliano was born and raised in Naples, and trained there as a chef. Now, he recreates Neapolitan cuisine at Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana in Wakefield, with all ingredients imported from Italy. Pizzas like the D.O.P. – with Piennolo tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella from the Campania region, EVOO and basil leaves – are cooked in two minutes in an oven brought in from Naples.
4. Tong-D in South Kingstown is South County’s only Thai restaurant, and serves some of the most authentic cuisine in the state, like Spicy Holy Basil Chicken with Fried Egg and spicy green, coconut red and peanut massaman curries. There’s a sister restaurant in Barrington, with another coming in Providence later this year.
5. Two brothers opened Mosaic Restaurant in Cranston to recreate their families’ Syrian recipes. The only Syrian restaurant in the state, Mosaic serves classic dishes like Kibbeh, Kofta and Shawerma.
6. In East Providence, Madeira has been serving traditional Portuguese cuisine for 30 years. Think Camarao (Shrimp) Mozambique, Mariscada seafood stew and Bife a Casa. Their stunning patio feels like it’s on an island: it has ponds, a gazebo and boats with dinner tables on them.