Providence Monthly March 2011

Page 1

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march 2011

26 This Month 23 New Tastes of St. Patty’s Day This year, don’t just drink green beer all day

26 Design At Home Local designers give us a peek at their personal spaces

Every Month 6 Editor’s Note 8 PM List

39 33 City Style Take the time to say it with a card 35 The Look 36 Shop Talk

39 Feast An old favorite gets a menu makeover 40 In the Kitchen 43 Behind the Bar 44 Review 47 On the Menu 49 In the Drink 51 Dining Guide

55 Get Out The spirit of Mardi Gras comes to Rhode Island 56 Calendar 59 Music 60 Theatre 63 Art 64 Movies

66 The Last Detail Buddy tells his story, his way

13 Providence Pulse On stage with Girls Rock RI

On the Cover: Interior designer Jessica Becker in

14 City 17 Malcontent 18 Scene in PVD

her West Side home. Photography by Jonathan Beller

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Editor’s Note

Providence MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell

It’s Okay to Look

Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre

Admit it – you’re curious

about what’s inside other people’s homes. Maybe it’s celebrities you wonder about, maybe it’s those mansions on Blackstone Boulevard, but let’s just be honest here – when you’re driving by and the curtains are open, you peek inside. Leave it to Providence Monthly to legitimize your slightly creepy habit. This month, we go inside the homes of four talented local interior designers. You’ve probably seen their work around town, especially in Wayland Square and on the West Side, and now you can see where they take their creativity when the only limitation is their own square footage. Read on to see how the other, more creative half lives.

There’s something else happening this month: something that happens in the honor of a certain Irish saint, starts with a parade in the morning, and ends with you waking up in a pool of stale green beer. This month, save yourself from the classic St. Patty’s party and enjoy our Spirits o’ the Irish, a collection of Irish cocktails you’ll be toasting slainte with all night.

Editor Julie Tremaine Assistant Editor John Taraborelli Acting Art Director Alli Coate Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas Graphic Designers Karli Hendrickson Meghan H. Follett Account Managers Danielle Claro Louann DiMuccio-Darwich Ann Gallagher Nicole Greenspun Nellie Lima Dan Schwartz Elizabeth Riel Jessica Webb

East Side Serving the East Side since 1975

June 2010


Mayoral Material Five candidates begin their run for City Hall

Read us online

Full issues available on

Find us on Facebook Reach out to us at ProvidenceMonthly

Illustrators Karli Hendrickson Ashley MacLure Photographers K Harber Photography Jonathan Beller Laurel Mulherin Mike Braca Dan Schwartz Kate Kelley

Surviving by Archiving... page 27 | Our Annual Summer Arts Preview… pages 29-32

Contributing Writers Stephanie Obodda Linda Beaulieu Cristy Raposo Emily Dietsch Dan Schwartz Scott Duhamel Jen Senecal Dawn Keable Alyssa Smith Molly Lederer Vikki Warner Michael Madden Andrea E. McHugh

Feedback John Taraborelli’s article “A Lively Experiment” (January 2011) was pretty hilarious, but has a ring of truth. Actually, he has the right idea. We must go local and focus on how we can achieve the best positive result with the least possible resources used, burdening the least amount of people, and pretty much ignore the distractive hijinks on Capitol Hill in Washington. It is up to us individually to take responsibility for our foreclosed homes and our fiscally strapped cities, and implement our own policies whenever legally possible. It is true that we are in a crisis situation. But that doesn’t mean that we should sit around and point blame; it means we have to step up. Anyone who is in the position of helping someone else should do it, in any way possible. People are hurting. We need to help each other, because we don’t have time to sit around and wait for Washington to argue it out and then send meager assistance wrapped in more red tape. Craig Howell Warwick On behalf of Providence After School Alliance and The Hub I wanted to extend a huge thank you


Providence Monthly | March 2011

for your efforts in supporting our work and the youth of Providence. We all thought the event was a great success with strong energy and great change-makers in the crowd. Thanks for bringing us all together. Thank you!

Interns Ashley Graham Andrew Brennan Chelsea Sherman Eileen Burdick Carlee Carbone

Damian Ewens Director of High School Initiatives and The Hub Providence After School Alliance, Inc. (PASA) Editor’s Note: With the help of all those who attended our 10 to Watch event, to which Damian is referring, we were able to raise over $2000 for The Hub. Damian and Dave Allyn (our fabulous DJs), the Hope Artiste Village and Russell Morin Fine Caterers all deserve thanks as well.

Got Two Cents? Email providencemonthly@ or find us on Facebook.

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PAPER CONTAINS 20-25% POST-CONSUMER CONTENT Providence Monthly, 1070 Main St. Suite 302 Pawtucket, RI 02860 • Fax: 401-305-3393 For advertising rates call: 401-305-3392 We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright ©2011 by Providence Monthly, All rights reserved. Printed by Gannett Offset. Distributed by Special Delivery.




Photos By Daniel Gagnon Photography


special advertising section

Dance the Night Away

The PM List events / promotions / good deeds HAPPY BIRTHDAY

PROM 2011

PM Hearts PK Pecha Kucha Providence (pronounced puhCHA kuhCHA), the local chapter of this global, unpronounceable phenomenon, celebrates its second birthday on Wednesday, March 30 at the brand new Roots Café (276 Westminster Street, formerly the Black Rep), and Providence Monthly will be there to celebrate. Pecha Kucha is a monthly format for sharing ideas in which presenters are allotted 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. Put simply: 6 minutes and 40 seconds of show and tell for grownups. Started in Tokyo in 2003, Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit chat) has since spread to over 360 cities worldwide, and first landed in Providence in March 2009. To this day, Providence remains the only city in the entire world to host a Pecha Kucha night every single month. If you’ve never been, this is the time to join the loyal and ever-growing community of supporters who show up every month to have fun, hear some interesting stories and maybe even learn something new. This second birthday party will be huge, with an outstanding lineup of presenters, delicious food, an after party – and maybe a few surprise guests. For further updates, join the “Pecha Kucha Providence” group on Facebook. Free. Doors at 7:20, presentations at 8:20.


Still In Love Providence residents and admirers once again flocked to City Hall for the third annual I Heart Providence on Thursday, February 10. Symmetry and Girls Night Out provided the music, local restaurants like El Rancho Grande, Hudson Street Deli and more provided the food, and plenty of supporters and participants turned out to show their city some love. With special appearances by Mayor Angel Taveras and the Extraordinary Rendition Band, it was another great pre-Valentine’s Day lovefest.


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Providence Monthly | March 2011

Every year we have a party to celebrate our January “10 to Watch” story, our annual roundup of the city’s rising stars. This year, we decided to do it in service of a great cause. Hundreds turned out at the Hope Artiste Village to help us raise money for The Hub, an initiative for high school students run by the Providence After School Alliance. The generosity of supporters and wellwishers helped us raise over $2000 for this excellent program. To learn more, visit


SO Rhode Island Has Great Taste Our South County sister publication, So Rhode Island, is partnering with the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce for the second annual Great Tastes of Narragansett, the kickoff to Narragansett Restaurant Week, at the iconic Towers (36 Ocean Road). This fundraiser for the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale will feature ten local restaurants offering samples, as well as beer and wine, raffle prizes and live entertainment. Last year’s event sold out, and this year another capacity crowd is expected, so get your tickets – a steal at only $15 – before it’s too late. To find out more, or purchase tickets, visit the Chamber’s website:


Eastern and American Banquet Available Jacky’s Galaxie Restaurant & Sushi Bar 383 Metacom Ave., Bristol, RI • Tel: 401-253-8818 1764 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI • Tel: 401-333-4700 1449 Mineral Spring Ave., N. Providence, RI • Tel: 401-354-4570

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Restylane® injectable gel is versatile enough to treat a range of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Immediate lift and volume in just the right places for smooth, natural-looking results Restylane adds volume to help restore youthful contours and smooth away moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds).

Results last up to 18 months when you follow the Restylane Regimena

Laugh lines The area that extends from the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds)

Marionette lines The area that extends downward from the corners of the mouth to the jawline a

The Restylane Regimen is a treatment plan that involves an initial treatment using full correction and a follow-up treatment at 4.5 or nine months after the initial treatment. The Restylane Regimen has not been studied with Restylane-L.

Lipstick lines The area just below the nose and above the upper lip

Corners of the mouth The area next to the crease of the lips

The safety or effectiveness of Restylane for the treatment of anatomic regions other than nasolabial folds have not been established in controlled clinical trials. Patients should be limited to 6.0 mL per treatment.

The Restylane you know and trust has been combined with a local anesthetic to help reduce discomfort. In a clinical study, Restylane-L demonstrated less discomfort at injection and up to one hour later compared to Restylane.

Get the lift you’ve been looking for with a more comfortable Restylane® experience Restylane-L® injectable gel with 0.3% lidocaine Go to to see before and afters.

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After 3 mL of Restylane. Individual results may vary.

The Restylane family of products includes Restylane,® Restylane-L,® Perlane,® and Perlane-L.® These products can be used individually to add volume and fullness to the skin to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds). Ask your healthcare professional which is right for you.

Important Safety Considerations for the Restylane family of products Products in the Restylane family should not be used by people with previous bad allergies, particularly to certain microorganisms known as gram-positive bacteria, or by people with previous bad allergies to drugs that have required in-hospital treatment. These products should not be used by people with bleeding disorders. Injections should not be made anywhere except the skin or just under the skin. Restylane-L and Perlane-L should not be used by people with a known allergy to lidocaine. Use of products in the Restylane family at the site of skin sores, pimples, rashes, hives, cysts, or infection should be postponed until healing is complete. Use of the products in these instances could delay healing or make your skin problems worse. After your treatment, you might have some swelling, redness, pain, bruising, and tenderness. This will normally last less than seven days. In rare

circumstances, the doctor may inject into a blood vessel, which can damage the skin. Although rare, red or swollen small bumps may occur. If you have had facial cold sores before, an injection can cause another outbreak. To avoid bruising and bleeding, you should not use the products if you have recently used drugs that thin your blood or prevent clotting. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under 18 years, you should not use products in the Restylane family. Patients should be limited to 6.0 mL per treatment. The safety or effectiveness of products in the Restylane family for the treatment of anatomic regions other than nasolabial folds have not been established in controlled clinical studies. The Restylane family of products is available only through a licensed practitioner. Complete product and safety information is available at Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane and Perlane-L are registered trademarks of HA North American Sales AB. RES 10-123 01/31/12

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Providence Pulse City / Malcontent / Scene in PVD

For Those (Girls) About to Rock Have you ever dreamed

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professional musician or have never touched an instrument before, Ladies Rock Camp will give you all the necessary tools, through band practice, workshops and instrument instruction, to have you rocking out like a professional in just three days. You will form a band with other women in the camp and as an ensemble you will write continued on next page...

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Pulse | City continued from previous page...

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and practice an original song with the help of band coaches. During the instrument instruction, experienced female musicians will assist you in improving your skills and professionals will lead workshops on various topics such as songwriting and making band art. Then, at the end of the three days you will perform with your band in the Showcase Concert at JamStage, a music complex designed for specifically for professional musicians. The cost for this three day, all

inclusive camp ranges from $300500; proceeds from the Ladies Rock Camp benefit Girls Rock Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help girls and women empower themselves through music. Once you say “yes” to following your dream there is only one question to answer: Will you be the singer, guitarist, bassist or drummer? March 18-20. 25 Estin Avenue, Pawtucket. Registration and info at –Ashley Graham

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The Providence Roller Derby was founded in 2004 by Brown University alumna Sarah “Doom” Kingan, and the sport has been growing in popularity ever since, with five teams and over 1,300 fans at the championship game last October. It’s not hard to see why: pseudonyms like Shelby Bruisin, Leonardo DiCapitator, Smack Gyver and (my personal favorite) Bloody Cianci give new meaning to the term “femme fatale,” and each game has more wheels, makeup and fishnet stockings than a late-night truck stop. Think The Rocky Horror Picture Show, football and NASCAR combined, but the end result has fewer songs, less safety equipment and is actually in-

teresting to watch. Those hoping for gladiatorial combat on wheels may be disappointed: it’s no free-for-all, and there are rules and refs. Points aren’t scored for bones broken, but for how many players a team’s jammer can pass, while blockers try to – you guessed it – block the jammer. There’s a lot more to it than that, but the best way to learn is to go see it firsthand. The first bout of the season is on March 20, with the Rhode Island Riveters facing off against Pittsburgh’s “Steel Hurtin’” at the Rhode Island Convention Center. To purchase tickets online, go to Doors open at 2pm, bout starts at 3pm. 1 Sabin Street. –Andrew Brennan

Pulse | City

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For the Ladies

Until the Violence Stops Another year has passed and violence against women still hasn’t stopped (seriously, people, knock it off – I’m looking at you, Ben Roethlisberger), so V-Day Rhode Island returns once again. The annual day to raise awareness of violence against women, inspired by the international phenomenon that is playwright Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, will be observed on Sunday, March 6 with two big events at Rhodes On the Pawtuxet. The Red Tent is a ladies-only getaway from 9am-4pm, where women can enter, relax, be pampered and meet new friends. The $20 admission grants access to a marketplace, yoga, reiki and massage sessions, kickbox-

ing and belly dancing classes, and beauty treatments like hairstyling, facials, manicures and more. All proceeds will benefit Rhode Island Crisis Assistance Center, which works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Then at 4:30, there will be a reading of the play that started it all, the famous Vagina Monologues. Fifteen wonderful women will tell tales of their lady business, with 10% of the proceeds donated to the V-Day spotlight campaign to rebuild a women’s shelter in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti that was destroyed during the earthquake. The $25 admission also includes a dessert buffet. For more info on both events, visit

Seven Days for a Cause Social service programs operating at the nonprofit level often have a low (or no) budget for marketing their mission to alert those who can benefit from their services, as well as build public awareness for fundraising. Enter the good folks at the 7DAYPSA, who are organizing a video contest to create the best public service announcements for these worthy nonprofits. The winning filmmakers win prizes and valuable experience, along with the exposure that comes when the PSAs are aired on local networks and other marketing outlets. The contest is also a Rhode Island International Film Festival Creative Impulse Award

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Competition. Most importantly, the results will benefit these vital social programs. Each team (referred to as an “agency”) will have seven days to produce 20-, 30- and 60-second PSAs from inception to completion for qualified local nonprofits. The week of this year’s competition is March 30 to April 9, and the registration deadline is March 4. Last year’s winner for a program in Maine – Planet Dog (which helps train and place service dogs) – will be screened in Los Angeles for the 2011 New Media Film Festival. So take on the challenge and help create a persuasive film for a great cause! –Dan Schwartz

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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Pulse | The Malcontent

by John Taraborelli

Salvation, Thy Name Is Franco Only one man can truly save Providence People are expecting big things from Mayor Taveras. His most ardent supporters believe he is the man we need to right the good ship Providence, which we can all agree has gone a bit off course, and the majority of voters got behind the idea that this is the man with the brains, passion and policies to fix this city. While it’s good to be civic minded and always encouraging when the people actually believe in their government, it should be clear to any right-thinking person that only one man can truly save Providence: Franco. It’s always been Franco. A c t o r/s t u d e n t /p e r fo r mance artist/renaissance man/parttime Providence resident James Franco is truly the man for the job. This is, always has been and ever shall be, as he is The Franco and therein lies salvation. Am I suggesting that we should have elected him mayor, that author/Oscar nominee/Oscar host/ marquee idol James Franco can balance our city’s budget, fix our struggling school system, repave our pothole riddled streets, create jobs and lower our crime rate? Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. What I’m suggesting is that through his innate Franconess, Franco can lift this city from the depths of despair and deliver it shiny and new to that glorious mountaintop of Franco-dom to which we all aspire. As this goes to press, painter/Ph.D candidate/Gucci pitchman/2009 Sexiest Man Living James

Franco is preparing to host the Oscars alongside actress Anne Hathaway, who is not James Franco. He is both host and nominee, having earned an Oscar nod for his leading role in 127 Hours as real life adventurer Aron Ralston, whose memoir of of getting trapped in a ravine while on a climbing adventure in Utah for more than five days Franco could have written in his sleep, and who had to sever his own arm to escape the ravine, while Franco could have just totally slipped out of it and been back in time for class at RISD. Aron Ralston is not, to say the least, James Franco, but James Franco is Aron Ralston. Such are Franco’s ways. While Franco may or may not walk away with a statue on Oscar night, winning or losing is not the point. One cannot win or lose when one is Franco; as long as one remains true to one’s inner Franco-tude, one cannot truly lose anything. One wins simply by being James Franco. In this same way, aspiring director/ soap opera star/soon-to-be Broadway star/dude who totally made out with Sean Penn/2008 High Times magazine Stoner of the Year James Franco can save Providence. Not by actually saving Providence, mind you, but simply by being James Franco, by revealing to us the best nature of our true selves through his Franco-ocity. For Franco is the way, and the way is Franco. It is written.

As long as one remains true

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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Pulse | Scene in PVD Providence Monthly met its match at The Salon, where we partied with a capacity crowd in honor of our Most Eligible Bachelors and Bachelorettes, drank Stoli cocktails, and matched up random teams of guys and girls for our mixed doubles ping-pong tournament. Photography by Mike Braca.

Our Ping-Pong Champions, Barrett Bready and Jessica Ricci, along with party co-host Cristy Raposo Lindsay Martins, Sheila Lindemann, Michael Perry

and Michaela Johnson of The Rhode Show

Most Eligibles Miss Wensday and Lupe Aguilar Jacob Kamborian, Raychel DeCorpo

Bachelorette Linda Kane, Kevin Gallagher


Providence Monthly | March 2011

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

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3 course prix-fixe menu (soup or salad, entree and dessert) $18.11

945 Boston Neck Rd. Narragansett 789-1725

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


125 Sockanosset Cross Rd, Cranston, RI

(next to Whole Foods Market in Garden City)


Visit the Wines & More Academy in March for our Fine Wine & Craft Beer Seminars! March 9th 6-8pm

Craft Beer Seminar featuring Guinness

March 17th 6:30-8pm

Organic Wines by guest Winemaker Bob Blue from Bonterra

March 23 6-8pm rd

Craft Beer Seminar featuring LongTrail

March 31st 6:30-8pm

Sherry Wines with Nic Bradley of Europvin & Lustau Sherry


Providence Monthly | March 2011





4pk Btls

Spirit o’ the Irish St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for green beer anymore By Chelsea Sherman • Illustration by Karli Hendrickson You don’t have to be Irish to love St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that everyone puts on their top hat, throws a few shamrocks around and heads to the nearest pub to drink their fill of beer dyed with food coloring (yum). We have some good news for you: You don’t have to drink the green beer (or the Irish Car Bombs). There are plenty of other, much tastier, ways to pretend you’re Irish. We’ve found some of the best – and most creative – cocktails for you to try this March 17, courtesy of some of Providence’s finest pubs.

The Troubles Ingredients:

Serving Instructions:

Served by:

• 1 1/2 oz of Jameson Irish Whiskey • 1/2 oz of St. Germain Liqueur • Ginger ale

Combine whiskey and liqueur. Fill glass with ginger ale. Serve on the rocks.

Brett Malenfant at English Cellar Alehouse 165 Angell Street?. 454-3434,

Leprechaun Martini Ingredients:

Serving Instructions:

Served by:

•1 •1 •1 •1

Combine ingredients. Served shaken in a martini glass.

Steven Philips at Ri Ra 50 Exchange Terrace. 272-1953, providence.html

oz of Baileys Irish Cream oz of vanilla vodka oz of green crème de menthe 1/2 oz of half & half or milk

Irish Homecoming Ingredients:

Serving Instructions:

Served by:

• 1 part Baileys Irish Cream • 1 part Amaretto • 2 parts Jameson Irish Whiskey

Combine ingredients. Shake and serve as a shot or on the rocks.

Mathew Hodges of Patrick’s Pub 381 Smith Street. 7511553,

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Tomasso Auto

Irish Kiss Martini

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Serving Instructions:

• 1/2 oz of green crème de menthe • 1 oz of crème de cacao • 1 1/2 oz of Jameson Irish Whiskey

Combine ingredients. Serve shaken and chilled in a martini class.

Served by: Eric at Sullivan’s Rhode 55 Union Street. 383-0852,

Nutty Irishman Coffee


Mon-Fri 8am-6pm

729 East Avenue

Top of the East Side, next door to Rite Aid

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Serving Instructions:

• 1 oz of Baileys Irish Cream • 1 oz of Frangelico Hazlenut Liqueur • 1 1/2 oz of cream or half & half

Combine ingredients. Shake and serve on the rocks or in a mug with 6 oz. of coffee.

Served by:

Keith Dennis – 53 years old, went from 228 to 153

Monica Gualdino at McFadden’s 52 Pine Street. 861-1782,

Mint Mudslide Ingredients:

Serving Instructions:

• 2 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka • 1 oz of Kahlua • 1 oz of Baileys Irish Cream • Dash of green crème de menthe

Combine ingredients. Shake, rim a glass with Oreo cookie crumbs, and serve on the rocks.

Served by: Karen Cutler and Lauren Geraghty at Blake’s Tavern 122 Washington Street. 274-1230,

1385 Mineral Spring Ave. North Providence, RI 401-353-7580


Providence Monthly | March 2011

Š 2010 Salon Panache all rights reserved

ur New Extravagant Location O t i s i V

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for more information and pictures visit 1103 Park Ave. Cranston, RI 401.464.4044 March 2011 | Providence Monthly



Retreat At home with local interior designers in their favorite rooms By Andrea McHugh Photography by Jonathan Beller

The neutral palette of this ladies parlor complements the more masculine living room nearby

A Stylish Renovation Jessica Becker brings modern design to the historic West Side Patrons flock to the Duck & Bunny, a “snuggery” on the East Side for its crave-worthy crêpes, cupcakes, and café fare, but most especially for the warm and cozy environs set by plush banquettes, whimsical styling and fabulous flair. At owners Jessica and Daniel Becker’s home, the two have created a comfortable space where they can retire amidst the controlled chaos of entrepreneurship. “[It’s] designed for everyday living,” says Jessica, an experienced interior designer (see her work at “I really believe that it is so important to live in a space that is beautiful to you, whatever that beauty is for each individual. It makes us all feel better, happier. Running the restaurant, it’s especially important that we come home to a place where we can rest and feel comfortable — a haven where we can escape from the pressures of work, that, yes, doesn’t look exactly like the Duck & Bunny,” Jessica explains. When the couple embarked on a hunt for the perfect place to rest their heads, they fell for an unexpected diamond in the rough on Broadway, nestled on the city’s West Side. “We love all things antiquated — it’s why I fell in love with this historic city,” says Jessica. “We love the vibe of the neighborhood; the great restaurants and shops that are sprouting up there.” Looking to rent (the couple already owns a family beach house in Westerly), they came across a storied Victorian mid-renovation in such a condition that most potential occupants would have run from it. “Despite the pile of rubble it was under, the antique brass fixtures, 12-foot ceilings, large windows, and inlaid wood floors really appealed to us — especially the wood carved fire place,” she says. Reluctant to rent for fear her creativity would be limited and monies wasted, Jessica was convinced when the landlord agreed to let the designer choose paint colors, light fixtures, tiles and more throughout the renovation, creating a win-win situation. “He cares about his home and maintaining the beauty and integrity of the Victorian,” she explains. “Not every rental landlord would do that. So many of the homes around Providence have been chopped up and the details that make them beautiful neglected, because they are used for rentals. It’s a real shame.” Jessica designed a distinctly feminine space for herself in the parlor where she can write, read, and feel inspired by the history of the place. For Daniel, she designed the living room with masculine ambiance using colors, textures and more casual, comfortable pieces of furniture. “You need to find the perfect mix of form and function that is both pleasing to the eye and welcoming,” she advises. For design clients, Jessica charges by the hour, and nothing more. “All of my discounts get passed on to my clients and I don’t take a retainer,” she explains. “With an economy like this, people need an affordable way to design their home.”

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Kyla fills her space with found objects from around the world

Life as Art Object Kyla Coburn sees beauty in ordinary things “I always joke that my own home gets the least of my focus... the cobbler with holes in his shoes thing,” jokes Kyla Coburn. The revered designer is best known for bringing to life some of Rhode Island’s most chic commercial spaces, including The Avery, Broadway Bistro, the Providence Black Repertory Company, Nara Lounge, Don Jose Tequilas, Ama’s, Loie Fuller’s and more. While the designer subscribes to her own distinct taste, she’s careful not to employ her personal aesthetic on professional projects. “Although there is a lot of me in every project, I really enjoy the aspect of design that is the delivery of a custom solution to a client’s specific set of needs,” she explains. “I never like to do the same thing twice. I actively seek variety in design, and my personal taste only shapes the solutions to pre-existing demands of a project.” Coburn describes her personal taste as constantly evolving, but with consistently rich roots peppered by a lifetime of beautiful collected objects. “The objects themselves are often less significant than my drive to assemble their shapes, stories and colors,” she explains. “As much as I love the idea of a minimalist space, worship of color, pattern and patina tends to overtake the rooms I live in.” Among her treasured objects is a collection of hundreds of beaded necklaces gathered from all over the world, that covers an entire wall. Her bedroom, however, claims the title of creative sanctuary. It’s where, in the darkness that only falls in the dead of night, she can clear her head to visualize a project. “It’s very calming and ideas gel for me this way,” Coburn says. “I get some of my best work done here – as well as lots of the other loving, eating, Daily Show-watching… the good stuff of life.” Think being a designer means living in a perpetually perfect space? Think again. On a good week, she says, her home is organized, layered, cohesive and serene; a place where good wine flows and the music matches the room. More typically, her space “is more like ground zero of a busy life: There are no clean spoons, the ‘music’ is an email I’m writing in my head, and there’s a child’s sneaker in the fish tank… but the sneaker is a cool one and the fish tank is custom made,” she jests. The design challenged, Coburn jokes, are her favorite kind of clients, but she is quick to say that, in her opinion, everyone holds the capacity for at least a reaction to design. “Often people just need help reducing the options to their elements and isolating the specifics of a style,” she explains. “There is a lot of psychology to good design and to creating a space that just feels right. Whether people are aware of it or not, everybody absorbs and reacts to the spaces they occupy.”

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


The Curious Home Jay Luiz finds inspiration in everyday passions At the helm of Kyureo, a must-see-to-believe boutique filled to the brim with unique fine furnishings, art, and gifts in Wayland Square, interior designer Jay Luiz has a well-earned reputation for good taste. After all, he’s the one style-starved clients turn to make their living spaces exquisite, so it’s no wonder his own East Providence digs evoke the same chic aesthetic. “I enjoy having beautiful objects near me, items of intrigue, uniqueness, whimsy and things that are handmade,” explains Luiz, “items that have energy from the many lives each piece has touched.” Luxe fabrics are peppered throughout the space, contrasted by natural elements, like hardwoods on the floor and wood furnishings, and varied textures. Thick, soft and velvety damask drapery and wall coverings add a distinctly stately vibe and an African art collection impresses, but the leopard print occasional chair lets you know the space doesn’t take itself too seriously. Artifacts from around the globe merge seamlessly with quirky accoutrements that make for conversation starters, just like at Kyureo. Luiz shares the same philosophy and approach at both spaces. “Kyureo is a gallery of one-of-a-kind objects from around the world that I get excited about,” he describes. “It’s a mix of both old and new.” Everything he buys for the store, and ultimately his home and for his clients’ homes, Luiz likes to actually touch first, to get a feel for its actual sense, how it would look in a space. Nothing comes in via online shopping — it’s an inauthentic experience. “I try to create more of an atmosphere type space with a great, unique, positive vibe,” he says. “I want everyone to feel welcome here, young or old, wealthy or not... something for everyone.” The same welcoming feel is extended at home where he can put up his feet, relax and entertain alongside Sydni and Sophie, his beloved Jack Russell Terriers. Luiz offers half-hour complimentary design consultations (call him at Kyureo to book), and offers this advice for setting the tone in your own space. “If your home lacks style, comfort or good energy, look for inspiration — your favorite shirt, a piece of art work, your favorite film, hotels. Visit places — your favorite bookstore. Take your time, sit back and soak in design books and magazines,” he advises. “Find a look that you get excited about, then re-evaluate” how to incorporate those common denominators in your home, he offers. “People think you need tons of money to recreate and reenergize your space, and it’s not always the case. It’s amazing what a new paint color and new fabrics can do.”


Providence Monthly | March 2011

Perishable Theatre

Presents the New England premiere of:


By Carson Kreitzer

A searing docudrama about Susan Smith & Andrea Yates... and the unthinkable crimes that captured the world’s attention.

April 15-May 7

Tickets on sale at or 401-621-6123

The Home Away from Home Kaitlyn Frolich is all about comfort, no matter where you are As an interior designer for the Cranston-based Procaccianti Group, Kaitlyn is responsible for creating comfortable and stylish guest rooms at major hotels across the country, including choosing the furniture, decorations and lighting design. “I have always enjoyed creating spaces that are comfortable and unique,” she describes. “I strive to design spaces that people can enter and explore – where they can discover various elements as they spend time in the space.” When she isn’t traveling for work, the Connecticut-native calls Providence home. “I love this city and the people that make it,” Kaitlyn says. “It felt like home from the first day.” Her historic apartment on the West Side, which boasts large windows, crown moldings and aged hardwood floors, reflects both her design aesthetic and her personal history. “My home is a collection of my life thus far,” Kaitlyn describes. Inside, she has decorated with items gathered from living in New England, Colorado and Arizona. “I am by nature an eclectic person, and I feel that my space speaks to that.” She also brings an element of her escapist job (before her current job, she worked at LDL Studio designing some of Providence’s poshest restaurant interiors, like Aqua at the Marriott, Chinese Laundry and the chic outdoor patio at Camille’s) into her living space. “I love to entertain,” she says. “I want to have a space that my guests feel swept away in.” She creates that effect by using different lighting methods and paying attention to flow in the space. The living room, pictured here, is where most of the entertaining happens. “It has some of the best features of the house,” Kaitlyn gushes. “The original fireplace is a focal point, with its original tile, mantle and iron casting.” Over the mantle hangs a collection of her own photography (she prefers black and white film, and has a makeshift darkroom in her bathroom) interspersed with framed fabric samples for a bit of color. The room also features an eclectic glass collection and a glass table that the endlessly creative Kaitlyn designed and built herself. And when she entertains – which is often – the pocket doors close off her studio space, which can get messy when she’s mid-project. “I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of creating places that transcend the everyday,” Kaitlyn says, “where people can go and escape, if even for a moment.”

Perishable Theatre

95 Empire St. Providence

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Upscale Home design & Fine woodworking Give us a call to set up a free consultation appointment www.Bradforddesignri.Com

401-231-0099 info@bradforddesignri.Com

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Best catch in Providence The Bluefin Grille is a hideaway of casual elegance located in the Providence Marriott Downtown. The cuisine is globally inspired, utilizing fresh local ingredients with an emphasis on responsibly caught seafood. Come see our new look and explore our updated menu. "It was the Bluefin Signature Pan Chowder on a second visit that turned heads... the subtle flavors were magical together."

– Michael Janusonis, Providence Journal

Bluefingrille Providence Marriott downtown • one orMs street • Reservations: 401-272-5852 • Free parking Tableside Sangria… ask your server for details!

Join us

View complete list of events at T I C K E T S W W W. R I C . E D U / P FA O R ( 4 0 1 ) 4 5 6 - 8 1 4 4





March 28

April 3

The Muir String Quartet with guest Lucy Shelton, Soprano

Awadagin Pratt 32

Providence Monthly | March 2011

City Style shop talk / the look

Local Inspiration They say inspiration comes easy, but I think we could all use a reminder every now and then. What better way than with a gorgeously crafted card from Inspired By It – a new collection created by Rhode Islanders Nicole and Keith Couto. Nicole, a longtime sales rep at her family-owned printing shop, Barrington Printing (where her husband, Keith, is a co-owner), has had this seed of an idea since she was just a child. Growing up with extreme financial hardships, her mother always taught her to persevere, and that she could be or do anything, despite their struggles. Years later, after sending monthly sales postcards to print clients with fun or moving quotes on them – and finding that these clients were asking for extras to display in their offices – she was encouraged to move forward in developing the superbly designed, ecoconsciously printed greeting cards, with hopes that they would

have a positive impact in someone’s life. “I wanted to put something out in this world that could encourage and motivate someone who needs hope or a little push,” Nicole says. “Especially during this movement for inner growth and healthy living and times of digital overload. I love the notion that ‘paper is personal.’” The collection, designed by Nicole’s good friend at pottsdesign, has three lines: the Quote line, the Word line and the Kids line. Each card was designed with the mindset of being an individual work of displayed art, and they have already won the GD USA (a graphic design publication) Award in the Stationery category. The cards can be purchased at Barrington Books, Only in RI (Newport), Pastiche and on their website, The first 150 PM readers who email will receive a free sample card. –Jen Senecal

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


om fr s g n i t e e r G

The BiggesT ArT And FrAme sTore in new englAnd OFFICE | HOME | DELIVERY | INSTALLATION


D rY D e N

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Rte. 95, Exit 24, Branch Ave. (Next to Benny’s) Monday-Saturday 8:30-6:30 401.421.6196

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Providence Prime

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279 Atwells Avenue, Providence 401-454-8881

283 Atwells Avenue, Providence *Tuesday - Saturday 401-272-8866

Providence Monthly | March 2011

providence oyster bar

City Style | The Look Kate Richard Makeup Artist What’s it like to be a makeup artist? I got my start when I was young, and when it became apparent that I needed to pick a career, I thought, Why not? It would be very satisfying for me. Currently I’m the chief of operations for Beauty and Main, a three-store chain of apothecaries in the Boston area. I’m a formally trained aesthetician, but I got involved in the retail side as my career progressed and management opportunities presented themselves. I started here as a buyer, and that’s the core of what I do now: handpicking special pieces for the store. It’s been a few years since I’ve worked as a makeup artist professionally.

Photography: Krzystyna Harber Photography

Describe your personal style. I take style cues from 1940s fashion, and some cues from the ‘50s. Many people think all my clothes are vintage, but they’re not. I’m not a vintage shopper; I don’t have that commitment. But I admire those decades. It’s all about a beautiful line and the silhouette of a woman, like a classic pencil skirt. When I go out, I take the time to look nice, but that style is almost a hobby rather than a total lifestyle. I have a two-yearold, so that doesn’t translate into everyday fashion. Do you have a style icon? I’ve got a lot. Marlene Dietrich is one of my absolute favorites. Betty Grable. Even Katherine Hepburn. I really admire a woman who’s able to make a style part of her persona. More currently, I would say Dita Von Teese. She embodies that passion. Tell me about this outfit. This is mostly about the color. It’s really more of an accessory to have ‘40s hair and makeup. This color green is one of my favorites, and as winter glooms on it’s nice to have something bright. I would wear this for cocktail hour for sure, or really, just for a night out if it’s warm enough. How does Boston style differ from Providence? The thing I love about Providence is the creativity. It’s a really openhearted city, which I love. Boston has a mix of everything, and is a little more casual because of the concentration of colleges. In Providence anything goes, and I have such an appreciation for originality. There’s a great vibe and atmosphere that’s unique from Boston. What are your tips for a “fresh look”? Something simple, with great tailoring. Honestly, I think what women love about the ‘40s style is that it’s attainable; all you need is set hair, a strong lip and a classic silhouette. I love color – bold color in spring. As far as makeup goes, have a clean, pretty face that shows off your features. I like the maintenance of reapplying a lip throughout the night. It’s not about being the most gorgeous person in the room, but about paying attention to details and taking the time to put yourself together.

by Caitlin Quinn

I have more fun getting ready than I usually have going out.

Grand OpeninG Wednesday, March 16 at

400 Bald Hill Road, Warwick 401-739-7500 •

Spend Your Day in Splendor

In-Home Massage Available in RI and MA

Jennifer Ryall, LMT


by Howard Brenton directed by Tony Estrella

172 Exchange St., Pawtucket, RI

March 2011 | Providence Monthly



Visit us at the location of your choice...

Think Spring!

City Style | Shop Talk

by Andrea McHugh

Take $100 Off Your Next Project Discount applies to projects over $500

Haruki Cranston 1210 Oaklawn Ave Cranston 401.463.8338

Haruki ExprEss 112 Waterman St Providence 401.421.0754

Haruki East 172 Wayland Ave Providence 401.223.0332

Easy on the Eyes Painting Plus New York sophistication Interior • Exterior Power Washing • Wall Papering

Call Eric: 401-339-8563

Open 7 Days a Week

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Come in and do your laundry with our new state of the art equipment. Enjoy our 4 plasma televisions and FREE wireless internet while you wait!!

• Dry Cleaning Available • Credit Cards accepted! • Now Offering Wash, Dry & Fold Service

More Toys than the Devil has Sinners Now Open Monday 12pm-8pm! Tue-Thur 11-9 Fri-Sat 11-10, Sun 11-5

Freeway Laundry 453.0000 • 135 Broadway, Providence


Providence Monthly | March 2011

268 Wickenden Street Providence 421- 6969 •

“Nothing in here

looks anything like it did,” says Jed Leach, owner of Opt, a high-end optical boutique in Providence’s Wayland Square. After nearly five months of careful planning alongside lauded interior designer and close friend Kyla Coburn (see her on page 28 of this issue), Leach opened the doors of the super chic boutique in December, transforming a dated, rundown commercial space into a welcoming oasis. A pair of white leather chairs creates an elegant conversation area while custom designed counters, tables and textured white pendant lights lend a retro-meets-luxury vibe. “Kyla’s the only person I wanted to talk to about designing the store,” he describes. Conceptually, the hip aesthetic was more than just a style preference for Leach, though he looks very at home in his professional digs. Opt’s tone needed to complement the luxury eyewear brands they stock: Porsche, La Font, Lindberg, Bulgari, Presol, Karava, Jean Lemperer and perhaps his hottest seller, with whom he holds exclusive licensing in the state, David Yurman. “It was the best location for us. It already was a successful eye store, and the Rhode Island Eye Clinic is right across the street. But I knew early on I wanted it very

clean, very chic and very modern,” explains Leach. “I want you to feel like you’re in a boutique in New York or L.A.” Just over two months into business, his philosophy has paid off, with customers thanking him for no longer having to hit Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street or cruise the Big Apple for a high-end pair of glasses. “There was just a huge gap in the market,” he notes. Leach hand-selects each pair of glasses before they grace the sleek shelves and knows the research behind every brand, like which David Yurman pair Kate Moss prefers, or how Lindberg is the only line of its kind devoid of screws, rivets and welds. Entrepreneurship is in Leach’s blood. His great-grandfather built an Attleboro-based jewelry manufacturing company that thrived under the family name for 110 years, and after the family sold the business, Leach continued to work there. “But I was looking for something different. I was working in a gray cube and thought, There’s gotta be more to it than this.” Clearly, he was on to something. Alongside optician Christine Chan, Leach ensures each client is welcomed, accommodated and walks away with a fantastic piece of eyewear. 138A Wayland Avenue. 490-0200,

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

comes to Wayland Square



From Exotic to Zen… Fine arts, exotic physics, and rare glimpses into baseball history – the unusual and the traditional are here at RIC this summer.

Summer Session I: May 23–July 1 Summer Session II: July 5–August 12 Registration: February 28 for current RIC degree students; March 7 for all others Complete information is available online at

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Prov Monthly_Mar:9 X 5.875


11:11 AM

Page 1

freezing your butt off didn’t work? Burn it off. Join now for special rates.

boston sports clubs there’s a million reasons to join.® 10 Dorrance St, Providence 131 Pitman St, Riverview Place West, Providence

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IAN THOMPSON KITCHENS by Thompson P i s t o c c o

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“Life happens in the kitchen!”


“... leaving RI was difficult; leaving behind my Ian Thompson Kitchen was heartbreaking.” -Denise Crossley


Providence Monthly | March 2011


IN THE KITCHEN / on the menu / behind the bar / review / in the drink

Photography: Kate Kelley

44 REVIEW DownCity

Seared lamb chops

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Feast | In the Kitchen DeLuise Bakery Traditional Italian Baking for more than 70 years Pastries • Mini Pastries Zuppa Inglese Cakes • Decorated Cakes Homestyle Pies • Pizza • Calzones Spinach Pies • Italian Cookies

Delivery Service Available

1251 Chalkstone Ave. Providence


Wings Done Right

20 sauces

. We Deliver!

Burgers, sandwiches & more


by Stephanie Obodda

Growing Up In Public Rosie Cioe’s Amenities Deli is a family-run institution Amenities Deli has a long history downtown. Tell us about it. We’ve been in this building for 37 years, since my parents started a concession stand in the lobby. In 1988, our landlord asked us if we wanted to move into our current space as an “amenity” to the building. I was a young girl when we started, so my whole life has been in this building and downtown Providence. What was it like growing up with the business? It was the best education. I can name at least 100 people who have shaped Providence and the world, whom I have been lucky to get to know. Being involved in this business as a child gave me not only a formal education, but a social education. I learned how to interact and be a citizen of the world. That’s a lesson you have to learn hands-on.

250 Brook St, Providence

Custom Metal Fabrication Exhaust Hood Design & Installation From ranges to smallwares, we have it all!

221 Admiral Street Providence, RI • 421-7030 (open to the public)

Your neighborhood yarn shop. Providing quality yarns, knitting and crochet supplies with friendly, knowledgeable service and a smile.

fresh purls

769A Hope St, Providence 270-8220 •


Providence Monthly | March 2011

How do you choose menu items and ingredients? I’m really picky about the food we serve. We use artisan breads, some of which we make ourselves, and bake pre-boiled NY-style bagels (nothing’s worse than a bagel that tastes like an English muffin). I care about the details, like the half-sour pickle that comes with sandwiches. People are so stressed these days, if I can send them back to the office with something healthy, nutritious and comforting in their bodies, I can make a difference in their day. What kind of relationship do you have with your customers? Especially these days, when times are tight, the fact that someone spends their hard-earned money with us is not something I take lightly – it’s an honor and a privilege. We’re all about customer service, and we do our best to remember first names and food preferences. We’re kind of like Cheers, but a sandwich

shop instead of a bar. Good, personalized service is something that’s hard to come by these days. Do you have any unusual customer stories? I could write three books and a sitcom with everything I’ve overheard in the last 30 years. But what comes to mind now is a Johnson and Wales freshman who told me he was going to eat his way through the menu. Until graduation, he came in three times a week and lived up to his word. What about celebrities? Almost all the local politicians have eaten here: Chafee, Whitehouse… and actors filming in Providence, like Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart, Matthew Broderick, Wesley Snipes. When Steven Spielberg was directing Amistad, he’d come in for a New York Times and bagel in the mornings. We treat everyone the same here – celebrities seem to like that. Who is your inspiration? My mom – she made this business. When my parents had their 50th anniversary, I had their picture mounted on a huge board for customers to sign. So many of our customers knew them as “Mom” and “Dad” and

remember me as a little girl – the board was full of memories. What are your favorite menu items? I love to make soup; it’s my passion. My white chili is popular. For sandwiches, it’s the Growling Rosie, with homemade bread stuffing with cranberry sauce, oven roasted turkey, sometimes topped with melted cheddar. What would you like to see in Downtown Providence? The Arcade needs to be brought back to life; it was the nucleus of the financial district. Even its food businesses were welcome, healthy competition. I love the architecture, the history and even the granite, which is from Graniteville in Johnston, near where I grew up. A lot has happened to revitalize downtown, but we have keep the momentum going while making sure Providence stays unique. This city has so much: the waterfront, the colleges, the architecture. I know we can make it work, or I wouldn’t still be here.

Amenities Deli 155 Westminster Street 272-2723

Photography: Mike Braca

We Buy, Sell & Trade New + Used Commercial Restaurant Equipment

Not many businesses have been here as long as Amenities – what’s your secret? Staying open for 37 years, through good and bad, is a feat that speaks volumes of our commitment to service, price and quality. As for any small business, trying to compete with chains and corporate stores is a challenge, so we had to find our niche and roll with it.

Karen Warner has arrived at Moss salon! Specializing in all aspects of hair artistry

difference “ Thebetween the fleeting and the enduring is artistry

A smart neighborhood pub offering superb beers, wines and spirits.

114 Nor th Main S tre e t , P rov ide nce 751-8877 • Cell 4 6 5 - 2 3 7 4 k war ner63@cox . ne t

Join Us For The Groden Network’s 35th Annual Awards Dinner + Auction

Open Tuesday thru Sunday 4pm – Midnight

302 Wickenden St., Providence • 751-4900 Relax ...

Celebrating Our Community

Friday, March 18, 2011 Rhodes-On-The-Pawtuxet 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston, R.I.

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401-455-3100 March 2011 | Providence Monthly



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Providence Monthly | March 2011

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Feast | Behind the Bar

by Cristy Raposo

The Wow Factor Icon Lounge’s Garrett Plante mixes it up 1860 Broad Street • Cranston • 467-2601

What is Icon Lounge all about? Icon is an intimate, sexy establishment with two separate rooms. You get that feel-good vibe as soon as you walk into the first room, a sexy lounge area. The next room is where the dance floor and dancers are – complete with enclosed poles and showerheads. Don’t worry – only the dancers get wet, not the guests. There’s also an upstairs with a VIP balcony.

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What makes Icon stand out from other lounges in Providence? It has that wow factor as soon as you walk in. The décor is top notch. Every table is beautiful. The staff is sexy. You feel the music. The music is cutting edge. The DJs at Icon play music that is yet to be heard, as well as Top 40, house and hip-hop.

Photography: Mike Braca

How got you get into bartending? I started seven years ago, when I worked as a Chippendale dancer in Boston. The owner put me on the bar and had me make drinks for the females attending the show. Instead of hanging out after the show, I’d continue to bartend in the VIP lounge for the girls. It was a pretty wild Friday night at the Roxy in Boston. I was dancing for them and then making their drinks. Time out – you were a Chippendale? How did you end up doing that? My mother and stepfather are ministers. You wouldn’t imagine me to be a Chippendale. I wasn’t allowed to go to school dances growing up or listen to music. This was about as rebellious as you can be. I was working as a trainer and spinning instructor at a gym. I was approached and told about tryouts. I figured, why not? The Vegas show was already established and they were looking to expand and create a New England show. There were over 1,000 people that tried out. The whole process was grueling. We practiced hours each day to learn the routine. I didn’t exactly have the rhythm when I first started, but the show producers figured I’d work hard to learn. Our show went on for

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The Dog house seven and a half years and ended December 2009. Do you miss it? Yes. It wasn’t a grimy, dirty show. It was a very professional, Broadwaylike production. I enjoyed making the audience smile. No one had a bad time, not even the ones that said “I’d never come to this.” You’d have daughters, grandmothers all there. We had a following. We had dinner with Lou Pearlman. Hung out at Hulk Hogan’s house. We were featured on E! It was crazy. What do you like best about bartending? I love interacting with the customers. I make it fun. Anyone that knows me from managing the Roxy and bartending thinks of me as two different people. Managing a club is a lot of pressure and requires serious disposition. However, when I’m bartending

you’ll see me dancing around having a good time. Either way, I love when customers leave with a smile. What’s your signature drink? My signature drink is a Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Martini complete with flavor crystals that burst in your mouth. It’s made with Godiva Chocolate Raspberry vodka, crème de cacao, a splash of soda water and molecular caramel pearls. When you’re done with your drink, you can chew on these pearls and the caramel flavor will deliciously explode in your mouth.

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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Feast | Review

by Linda Beaulieu

New Attitude DownCity returns to form with the help of a celebrity chef

Photography: Kate Kelley

There’s a new restaurant in Providence – sort of. DownCity may look the same, but the menu has been totally revamped, and the service has a new level of professionalism. Coowner Abby Cabral and her friendly staff are very enthused about the changes, all thanks to the outrageous television chef Gordon Ramsay. At DownCity’s request, Ramsay and his Kitchen Nightmares crew swept into Providence to analyze what this restaurant was doing right and, more importantly, wrong. Ramsay loved the modern look of DownCity – the burnt orange color scheme, multi-colored glass tiles around the open kitchen, shabby chic scuffed wooden floors, exposed brick walls, soaring ceilings and contemporary lighting. However, he had a lot of criticism regarding the food and menus. Cabral said it was an intense week during which she threw Ramsay out of her establishment four times – but he always came back. In the end, she listened to what he had to say, and everyone thanked Chef Ramsay for his constructive comments. You can watch it all happen on March 11 on Fox. New head chef James Bjurman is doing an excellent job with the revised lunch, dinner and brunch menus, which were inspired by Ramsay. Kudos to DownCity for offering the same menu at lunch and dinner, with no change in prices. There are days when all I want

Chef James Bjurman


Providence Monthly | March 2011

for lunch is a filet mignon, and there are nights when I’m happy with a hearty salad. That’s all very doable here. Cabral and Bjurman are eager to hear what the customers think about the new dishes, both the good and the bad. When we expressed our disappointment with the warm bacon jam vinaigrette served over the Frisee Salad, for example, Cabral asked for a taste and immediately agreed with us. Something was not right. All we could taste was vinegar. The “warm bacon jam” component was missing. But it wasn’t so bad that the salad went uneaten. Cabral made good on this by providing a complimentary dessert. Everything else on our first visit to DownCity was on point, starting with a couple of unusual appetizers. If you like salt, you’re going to love the Spicy Salty Calamari ($8), squid rings battered and then lightly fried, served with a retro green goddess sauce. Green goddess, which was created in 1923 in San Francisco, is a salad dressing made with mayonnaise, anchovies, tarragon, vinegar and other seasonings that give the mixture a greenish tint. The zesty dressing came back into fashion in the 1970s and is still made commercially, but in limited quantities, so this is a real treat for green goddess fans (like me). Even better was the Goat Cheese Truffle Dip ($7) served with a pile of housemade potato chips. Granted, just about anything flavored with truffles tastes ex-

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf traordinary. At DownCity, I suspect it’s a drizzle of truffle oil – that’s all you need – into a creamy goat cheese, loose enough for easy dipping. Then you have those wonderful chips, dark golden brown and incredibly thin and delicate. We scarfed down both these appetizers with the best manners as we could muster. Next came that Frisee Salad ($11), and then the Kansas City Pile Up ($13), one of the most satisfying burgers I’ve ever had. This was an all-beef burger, on the thick side, and cooked to the medium doneness I requested. On its own, this was a really good, juicy burger with great, meaty flavor. The toppings only made it better: well-cooked strips of bacon, cheddar cheese nicely melted and oozing down all sides of the patty, thoroughly cooked onions flavored with barbecue sauce, and generous dabs of mayonnaise and guacamole. Yes, guacamole. On a second visit, our taste buds were again tantalized, for starters with the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup ($4) flavored with sage, brown butter and maple crème fraiche. My discerning dining companion declared it was the best he had ever had. The Pork Belly Lettuce Cups ($7) were definitely interesting and pleasingly chewy. The accompanying heirloom tomatoes and avocado puree provided a nice contrast in texture and taste. The Miso Glazed Sea Bass ($24) was surprisingly sweet, but not in a bad way, swimming in a dark mushroom broth rich with enoki mushrooms and baby bok choy. The Seared Lamb Chops ($28) were a big hit, cooked rare and very tender, paired with roasted Brussels sprouts tinged with vanilla butter. There are but three desserts ($5 to $6) on the menu. One is the Molten Chocolate Cake, a dessert that seems to be on almost every restaurant menu.

Here it’s made special with the addition of a wonderful salted caramel sauce. The Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is ultra creamy and served with apple compote and a smear of apple butter, for a taste combination so rich I was satisfied after eating just half. Seated in the very center of the restaurant, we couldn’t help but notice the appealing dishes that were coming out of the open kitchen on their way to various tables. Here’s what looked especially good: Meatball Sliders topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese ($6); Rock Shrimp Quesadilla with guacamole ($8); Cobb Salad with its neat rows of protein over shredded romaine ($14); Grilled Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes topped with mozzarella ($12); and Fish and Chips, golden pieces of fish heaped over fries ($13). If brunch is your thing, ten creative dishes ($9 to $21) await your scrutiny, from the very southern Fried Chicken and Waffles with apple butter to White Chocolate Pancakes with macadamia nuts and toasted coconut, plus a Muffin Basket ($7) featuring jalapeno cheddar biscuits, blueberry muffins and cranberry scones. An outrageous “drag brunch” is held on the third Sunday of every month. I’m sure the equally outrageous Gordon Ramsay would approve. Linda Beaulieu is the author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, available at stores throughout the state.


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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


We are pleased to announce Seiren Salon is expanding!

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

Feast | On The Menu

by John Taraborelli

Welcome to the Neighborhood A pre-Renaissance institution expands its empire

Purchase two entrees from our seasonal menu items, receive a free appetizer. * *1 per table, tax and gratuity not included.

Deb Norman and Chef Twillia Glover at The Rue

Photography: Dan Schwartz

Restaurateur Deborah Norman knows a thing or two about the way an eatery can become part of the fabric of a neighborhood. Her Rue De L’Espoir (99 Hope St.) has been a fixture on Hope Street since 1976. Rue Bis (95 South St.), her breakfast and lunch bistro, is favored daily stop among the myriads who pass through the Jewelry District every day. Now, with the opening of a third location, Baker Street Rue (75 Baker St.), Norman is wagering on yet another up and coming neighborhood. This time it’s Washington Park, where an emerging business corridor strikes her as just the kind of community that needs its own breakfast and lunch bistro. “There’s kind of this techno-corporate sprawl happening up Allens Avenue,” she notes. “The owner of the building was looking for a little restaurant, so we decided to build another.” The concept will essentially be the same as Rue Bis, this time with Chef Twillia Glover in the kitchen. Glover, who was most recently at the Liberty Elm, is a veteran of the original Rue and has been working on and off with Norman for 15 years. She’ll now be back under the Rue’s flag and, as Norman points out, “All of her wonderful cooking will be coming with her.” Glover is a dedicated practitioner of farm-to-table cooking and on the board of Slow Food RI, the local chapter of the international movement founded to reverse the trend towards fast food. Norman stresses that she’s not trying to simply replicate Rue Bis. “It has its own individual identity,” she says of

both Baker Street Rue and the neighborhood that will host it. “It will take on a life of its own – every place does.” The cafe should be open by the time you’re reading this.

52 Pine St, Providence • 401.861.1782 •

RISD FEEDS MORE THAN CREATIVITY The RISD Artisan Events Cafe is open at 345 South Water Street. The handsomely designed space sports a full bar, and will serve as both a function space available for events and a showcase for RISD Caters, overseen by Chef Doug Rhodes. It’s open to the public for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. The menu features salads and sandwiches, but the most unique items are the polenta pizzettas, thin discs of pan-crisped polenta topped like pizzas, with choices including buffalo chicken, rosemary ham and winter squash. DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE Gracie’s (194 Washington St.) stellar Star Chef series continues on March 21, with guest chef Michael Ginor joining Chef Matthew Varga in the kitchen. Chef Ginor brings a particularly interesting pedigree. He is the chef at Lola, an acclaimed restaurant on Long Island, and the owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, one of the major domestic producers of a traditionally French ingredient. One can only assume this five-course menu will prominently feature the fruits of Ginor’s labor, which will make it more than worth the $100 price of admission. (Foie gras commonly sells for upwards of $50 per pound.) Call Gracie’s at 272-7811 to book your reservation.

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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Rhode Island Treasures

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

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Feast | In the Drink

Add some life with Aqua-Life

by Emily Dietsch

The Old College Pour Ivy League rivalries don’t just apply to athletics

Aqua-Life Aquarium

Illustration: Ashley MacLure

Violet purple.

A violet-purple violation of the classic, normally achromatic gin fizz idled on the bar before me. Crème de violette was the culprit, doused into a cocktail designed, I imagine, to marry gin’s botanicals with the liqueur’s floral character. Minutes passed before I willed a sip, and when I did, discovered that the drink… wasn’t bad. Intriguing, even: lightly perfumed, properly balanced and effectively bracing. Yet there was still the matter of that overwhelming bluish-purple. Conceivably, some patrons might find the shocking hue novel in a good way; this patron, however, prefers cocktails that don’t invoke a Kool-Aid stand. Nevertheless, still curious about crème de violette, I endeavored to find another use that might whisper, rather than scream, “violet.” One so-so prospect, the Yale Cocktail, led me to the drink I never knew my bibulous life lacked: The Brown University. Both the Brown and Yale hail from the 1930s, when Ivy Leagueinspired cocktails began to enjoy something of a fad. All the Ivies, with poor, square UPenn excepted, had an eponymous blend, as evidenced in period bartending guides and bar requests alike. (One chagrined saloon-owner confessed to a spirits columnist in 1960, “You’ll think I’m kidding, but I got an order couple nights ago for a Yale Cocktail!”) In essence, these were versions of familiar cocktail stalwarts like the martini and the Manhattan, altered nominally for the purposes of swearing tipsy allegiance. After the 1960s these cocktails’ popularity waned, in step with a dwindling of the schools’ exclusive prestige. Let’s say that 1968 killed the nation’s innocence and the Ivy-cocktail trend with one psychedelic stone. Yale’s liquid homage has lingered longer than the rest, possibly because it’s the most distinctive in appearance and ingredients. (“Distinctive” is not an unqualified good, mind you.) Mixing gin, vermouth and crème de violette, the Yale Cocktail is a chauvinistic riff on the classic martini that salutes Bulldog Blue a touch too literally. For a drink tied to a WASP-y bastion such as Yale, it is unexpectedly gaudy – but school pride often has a way of excusing

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matters of taste. In fact, the Yale has grown even more garish over time, swapping neon-blue curaçao for the crème de violette once the latter took a hiatus from American markets. Although the liqueur staged a quiet comeback in 2007, the Yale Club in New York City reports that blue curaçao still tints the namesake cocktail. In truth, when mixed properly with crème de violette, the Yale isn’t a bad drink. Nevertheless, it suffers the same aesthetic problem as the aforementioned, sullied fizz. By contrast, the Brown University is as easy on the eyes as the gullet. Featuring bourbon, vermouth and bitters, it is a respectable, maraschino cherry-less turn on the Manhattan. Actually, true cocktail mavens will recognize the formula as a variant of the Rosemary, rather than the Manhattan per se, which uses rye whiskey (not bourbon) and a slightly different liquor-to-vermouth ratio. But why split hairs? The basic facts: The Brown University is appro-

priately brown (due to the bourbon), and appropriately terrific (again, the bourbon). Unlike the Yale, no one appears to serve a Brown University by name anymore. Not in Brown’s two campus bars, where beer unequivocally trounces cocktails as students’ drink of choice. Ditto in non-campus bars, where ordering the Brown University by name will garner a quizzical stare or an outright eye roll. Perhaps rightly so, but a shame given that the Brown cocktail is worth a nip regardless of the drinker’s diploma. And for those occasioned to warble Brown’s axiom, it might just be the perfect liquid proof: nd the people always say (what A do they say?) That you can’t outdrink Brown men (and women!) With a scotch and rye and a whiskey dry, And a B-O-U-R-B-O-N.

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The Brown University Serves one

A Depression Era bartending guide lists equal ratios of bourbon and vermouth, but I prefer something a little less sweet and a little more potent. Sissies, we alums are not.

2 ounces bourbon whiskey 1 ounce dry vermouth 2 dashes orange bitters Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the spirits. Stir well, and strain into a chilled glass.

March 2011 | Providence Monthly



The arT oF Live jazz...

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

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Feast | Dining Guide

THe BeST &

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Biggest GrinDerS in Town cuisine in the cozy atmosphere of Bombay Club. The extensive menu includes Indian specialties such as lamb, seafood, vegetables and more. Weekends offer a lunch buffet. LD $-$$

Rue De L’Espoir 99 Hope St. Providence; 751-8890. In business for over 30 years, the Rue has only gotten better. Beautifully prepared with the freshest ingredients, the innovative, constantly changing menu keeps diners on their toes. Superb brunch. BBrLD $$-$$$


Photography: Kate Kelley

Andreas 268 Thayer St.; 331-7879. For a taste of Greece, head to Andreas. Their menu includes souvlaki, moussaka and a variety of kabobs, along with specialties like Lemon Oregano Lamb Chops and Spanakopita, an appetizer of spinach and feta in flaky phyllo dough. BrLD $-$$ ASIAN BISTRO 123 Dorrance St.; 383-3551. Chinese, Japanese and Thai, hibachi and sushi – they’re all under one roof at Asian Bistro. For the freshest flavors in a convenient downtown location, this is the place. LD $-$$$ ASIAN PALACE 1184 North Main St.; 228-7805. All the flavors of Asia are here: from Chinese classics to new


Thai favorites to fresh, impeccably prepared sushi. The gorgeous banquet room is available for private functions. LD $-$$$ Aspire Restaurant 311 Westminster St.; 521-3333. Aspire offers an exquisite fine dining experience with a number of delicious small and large plates, numerous fine wines and full bar – with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrLD $-$$$ BLUEFIN GRILLE 1 Orms St. (Providence Marriott); 272-5852. The Bluefin Grille is a hideaway of casual elegance with a nautical atmosphere. The cuisine is globally inspired, utilizing fresh, local ingredients with an emphasis on responsibly caught seafood. LD $$-$$$ BOMBAY CLUB 145 Dean St.; 2736363. Taste authentic North Indian

Café noir 125 North Main St.; 2722116. It’s elegant French bistro fair without the elegant French bistro prices. This sophisticated brasserie features an extensive wine list to accompany classic French fare like steak au poivre and cheese plates. D $$ Café Paragon 234 Thayer St.; 331-6200. This hip eatery serves sandwiches, pasta, and entrees at prices lower than the chic décor would have you believe. The adjoining Viva lounge is perfect for afterdinner drinks and private parties. BrLD $-$$ CASERTA’S PIZZERIA 121 Spruce St.; 621-9190. This Rhode Island tradition serves big pizzas with generous toppings and thick, rich tomato sauce. The Wimpy Skippy, a spinach pie with cheese and pepperoni, is not to be missed. LD $-$$ CAV 14 Imperial Pl.; 751-9164. The New York Times’ choice as one of Providence’s five best restaurants, CAV’s contemporary upscale cuisine is available al fresco for lunch and dinner daily. They also feature weekend brunch. BrLD $$-$$$ DON JOSE TEQUILAS 351 Atwells Ave.; 454-8951. Don Jose’s digs a little deeper than your average Mexican restaurant, with all the basics

Br Brunch B breakfast L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10–20 $$$ 20+

downtown, PVD

BYBLOS 235 Meeting St.; 4539727. Providence’s original hookah lounge offers more than just a relaxing smoke and chic atmosphere. You can also enjoy classic Lebanese dishes and light cuisine with your cocktail. LD $

228-8555 • 68 Hudson Street, Providence Mon-Fri 7am to 7pm, Sat and Sun 9am-3pm

220 Westminster St

BRAVO BRASSERIE 123 Empire St.; 490-5112. Enjoy lunch and dinner at this American bistro with the French flair. Located downtown across from Trinity Rep, it’s the perfect place for a pre-theater dinner or cocktail after the show. LD $$-$$$

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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Feast | Dining Guide you love alongside more artfully composed entrees and a wonderful selection of house-made tequilas. LD $$ DOWNCITY 50 Weybosset St.; 3319217. DownCity has raised the bar for downtown dining with a menu makeover by Chef Gordon Ramsay of Kitchen Nightmares. Enjoy creative New England fare in a gorgeous, high-energy setting. BrLD $$-$$$

new Spring itemS Arriving dAily!

GOURMET HOUSE 787 Hope St.; 8314722. Beautiful murals and decor set the mood for delicious Cambodian and Southeast Asian cuisine, spicy curries and noodle dishes. The tamarind duck is a must. LD $-$$ HARUKI EAST 172 Wayland Ave.; 223-0332. For authentic Japanese dining, try Haruki’s large variety of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, soba noodles and delicious specialty entrees. Enjoy the chic atmosphere and the freshest sushi around. LD $-$$$

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HEMENWAY’S 121 South Main St.; 351-8570. A true Providence classic, Hemenway’s has been serving topnotch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island variety to the local favorite, Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$ HUDSON STREET DELICATESSEN 68 Hudson St.; 228-8555. For a true neighborhood deli, head to the West Side. Try one of their delicious specialty sandwiches, using only quality Boar’s Head meats, including the biggest and best grinder in town. BLD $ Kartabar 284 Thayer St.; 331-8111 This European-style restaurant and lounge offers a full menu of unique dishes such as Champagne Sea Bass and Gorgonzola-stuffed Filet Mignon. They also offer a gourmet wine list and martini menu. LD $-$$ McFADDEN’S RESTAURANT AND SALOON 52 Pine St.; 861-1782. Looking for a great sports bar that also offers top-notch dining? Look no further. For game night, a quality lunch or dinner, or a great after-work cocktail, stop by McFadden’s. LD $-$$ MILLS TAVERN 101 North Main St., 272-3331. The only restaurant in RI to

Key 52

Providence Monthly | March 2011

receive The Mobile Four Star Award for five consecutive years, Mills Tavern provides traditional American cuisine in a warm, friendly setting. LD $$-$$$ MU MU CUISINE 220 Atwells Ave.; 369-7040. Get a true taste of China in the heart of Federal Hill. Mu Mu mixes the best of familiar stateside favorites with a selection of authentic Chinese specialties. LD $-$$ NEW RIVERS 7 Steeple St.; 751-0350. Long considered one of Providence’s finest restaurants, the James Beard Award-nominated New Rivers serves creative New American cuisine with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients in an intimate setting. D $$-$$$ PARKSIDE 76 South Main St.; 3310003. Chef/owner Steven Davenport’s Parkside offers innovative foods ranging from spicy crab cakes to grilled tenderloin and Portobello salad. The menu also includes creative pasta dishes and Parkside’s signature rotisserie meat. LD $-$$ Pizza Gourmet 357 Hope St.; 7510355. Toppings like sirloin steak and shallots justify this pizza shop’s name. Also available are specialty pasta entrees and sandwiches. Their delicious white and wheat pizzas are also available in take-and-bake versions. LD $-$$ Pizzico Ristorante 762 Hope St.; 421-4114. Pizzico sets the standard for Italian cuisine on the East Side, with award-winning food, a wide variety of wine and a rustic yet eclectic atmosphere. LD $$-$$$ Red Stripe 465 Angell St.; 4376950. It’s classic comfort food with French influences. From their Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup to ten styles of Moules & Frites, Red Stripe’s menu is reasonably priced and made with passion. LD $-$$$ Siena 238 Atwells Ave.; 521-3311. Federal Hill’s Siena features authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere. The extensive menu includes wood-grilled veal, steak and seafood entrees along with signature pasta and sauté dishes. D $$-$$$ TAMMANY HALL 409 Atwells Ave.;

Br Brunch B breakfast L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10–20 $$$ 20+

831-3180. This Irish pub and parlor is the place to be for food, drink and a relaxing smoke. Enjoy their friendly service and great pub fare while lighting up your favorite cigar. LD $ TASTE OF INDIA 230 Wickenden St.; 421-4355. Providence’s first Indian restaurant delivers on its promise of serving real (and really delicious) Indian cuisine, with seafood delicacies and Tandoori specialties, made with authentic Indian spices. LD $-$$ TRATTORIA ZOOMA 245 Atwells Ave.; 383-2002. Located on historic Federal Hill, Zooma offers award winning Neapolitan cuisine in a beautiful, upscale setting, specializing in house made pasta, local fish, meats, vegetables and authentic wood fired pizza.LD $$-$$$ United BBQ 146 Ives Street, 7519000. Barbecue is an art form here. Feed the inner man with a classic rack of ribs (sold in half or whole racks) or make it light with a “Tofurkey” kielbasa sandwich from the menu’s Weird Stuff section. They deliver. LD $-$$ WATERMAN GRILLE 4 Richmond Square; 521-9229. An exquisite waterfront dining experience, Waterman Grille offers a plethora of delectable dishes including grille and seafood plates with a focus on seasonal flavors and local offerings. BrD $-$$$ WINGS AND THINGS 250 Brook St.; 369-7551. This family run business offers fresh, never frozen, chicken wings bathed in hot sauce made by hand from freshly ground chili peppers, plus 20 sauces, appetizers, sandwiches and soups. LD $

East Bay BUCA DI BEPPO 353 Highland Ave., Seekonk; 508-336-4204. Dine with family and friends while enjoying the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Buca di Beppo’s dishes are served family style and are meant to be shared. LD $-$$ HORTON’S SEAFOOD 809 Broadway, East Providence; 434-3116. Enjoy the finest of fresh seafood at this family-owned-and-operated restaurant. Horton’s is famous for their

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fried clams and fish and chips, and offers takeout. LD $-$$

377 Broadway Providence, RI 421-0123

Ichigo Ichie 5 Catamore Blvd., East Providence; 435-5511. The name roughly translates as “one encounter in a lifetime,” but you’ll want to visit again and again for the enchanting Japanese décor, and of course, the sushi and hibachi menus. LD $$ JACKYS GALAXIE 338 Metacom Ave., Bristol; 253-8818. Jacky’s offers an eclectic taste of Asia, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese. Enjoy traditional recipes combined with modern technique and flair for a unique dining experience. LD $-$$$

South County ELEVEN FORTY NINE RESTAURANT 1149 Division St, (Warwick/East Greenwich line), 884-1149. 965 Fall River Ave., Seekonk; 508-336-1149. Metropolitan chic comes to the suburbs at this super stylish restaurant with a raw bar, outstanding menu, and some of the best cocktails around. LD $$-$$$ SIENA CUCINA 5600 Post Rd., East Greenwich; 885-8850. Siena features authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere, plus over 20 wines by the glass and an Italian “tapas” menu. D $$-$$$

North RASOI 727 East Ave., Pawtucket; 728-5500. Rasoi, Hindi for “kitchen,” is the fruition of a dream by Chef Sanjiv Dhar to balance healthy food, personalized service and Indian culture. Featuring a full bar and famous weekend buffet. LD $-$$

West Bay CHAPEL GRILLE 3000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston; 944-9900. Nestled in the hills of Cranston’s Chapel View complex, this restaurant offers great food and views. Enjoy a Mediterranean inflected menu while admiring the Providence skyline in the distance. LD $$-$$$

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

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Get Out

Events / art / music / MOVIES / theatre

All On a Mardi Gras Day March 5: Mardi Gras in Cranston. On any other Saturday during the year, there’d be no confusion. Big hair. Low cut top. And the chance to appear on public access compliments of Ulysses’ Party Thang, capturing the drunken antics of nightclubbing Rhode Islanders and their challenged rhythms for decades. But not tonight. Tonight, the usual Mardi Gras get-down sidesteps the four-club multiplex in favor of the 19th Annual Cajun and Zydeco Mardi

Gras Ball. No doubt you’ll still be able to grab a beer, hit the dance floor and hear the accent of your people, but you have the added bonus of listening to the live sounds of Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band. 6pm-midnight. $40, $30 advance. Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. 783-3926, - Dawn Keable

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Get Out | Calendar

by Dawn Keable

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This Month March 3 Critique the athletes spreading their talent at the Dunk during Smucker’s Stars on Ice. March 4-6 Discover the language-free world of the Blue Man Group as they invade PPAC. March 6 Celebrate V-Day, a day of awareness of violence against women, by getting beautified inside the Red Tent, pitched at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. March 10 Stretch to touch it when witty juggler Mark Nizer turns the RIC stage 3D. March 12 Knead out the snow-shoveling kinks as the Learning Connection teaches Massage for Couples. March 14 Imbibe in history during Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer and Extreme Fermented Beverages at the Haffenreffer Museum.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling March 19: The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade can give anyone a damaging case of spring fever. It starts even before the official festivities, at 11:15am with a 5K race. A properly staked out spot along Route 44 will first give you a glimpse of running shorts, then marching bagpipers, some step dancers and undoubtedly a fantasy about spending the rest of the day drinking green beer with someone you spied along the way. Before you head to Patrick’s Pub for the after party, make sure the confusing rules of the Claddagh ring don’t ruin your game. So, once and for all: band on the ring finger of the wearer’s right hand, with the point of the heart turned away from the wearer’s heart equals single. Ring finger on the left hand? You’re just looking for a fight. Noon. Free. Starts at intersection of Smith Street and Hilltop Avenue, proceeding east to the State House.

March 17 Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – well, not exactly – with comedian Wanda Sykes at PPAC.

tear up the Dunk hardwoods.

March 25-26 Whistle “Sweet Georgia Brown” as the Harlem Globetrotters

March 26 Beat a path to the Roger Williams Botanical Center to join the Spring Equi-

nox Drum Circle. March 31 Improv your next visit to the Central Library with sketches by Long and the Short of It.

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

The Stage Door Restaurant and Lounge with the Historic Park Theater is pleased to announce it’s Sunday Jazz Brunch. The brunch will consist of a variety of traditional breakfast and lunch items, salads and pastries. Featuring the most talented musicians that Rhode Island has to offer.



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Get Out | Music

by Alyssa Smith

Concerts Check out this month’s awesome shows by Dawn Keable

Jess Powers

Big Voice, Big Ambitions Chanteuse Jess Powers has a vision for local music

Photography: Amy Amerantes

After wrangling

her “kiddos” – seven-year-old Aiden and five-yearold Caitlin – to sleep, Jess Powers let me in to her other life that happens past 8pm bedtime. She might be a doting mother, but Powers is also musical force to be reckoned with, taking on the task of curating her own music series, creating a new band and reinvigorating the Providence scene right under our noses. Originally from Missouri, Powers moved to Rhode Island through her work with Clean Water Action (CWA), a national environmental organization. While she was working during the day as a canvass director, she continued to sing at night, most notably playing with Route .44, a popular and resilient local band, for seven years. Using the steam and tenacity that fueled her work with CWA, Powers thought about the tools of her trade and how they could apply to her musical aspirations. “Knocking on people’s doors, getting them to sign checks and get involved with a cause, I really learned an invaluable skill,” Powers says. “Now I’m not afraid to ask people what I want. I had a clear vision with this project and that’s what a lot of people don’t

have when they start out. You need to understand what you want.” What Powers wanted was a chance to get artists together while flexing her own musical muscles, thus forming the Jes Powers Project and the Chanteuse music series. Premiering last month, Chanteuse featured a slew of local female artists who were encouraged by Powers to share the stage and show off their musical chops. Artists ranged in genre from the folky Sarah Blacker to the sultry crooning of Michelle Cruz. True to form and Jess’ tastes, she and her band members come from strikingly different musical backgrounds as well. “My guitarist, Sean Donovan, played in punk and post-punk bands 20 years ago; Gabriel Veloso, my drummer, toured with a heavy metal band in Europe; while I lean towards jazz and blues,” she notes. And though she and her band are a large part of what the Jes Powers Project is, she insists it’s more than that. “‘Project’ signifies it’s a work in progress. We will curate the music series, Chanteuse being the first, as a way to develop relationships with other musicians, facilitate collaborations between

artists, as well as use the series as a vehicle to present our own music,” she explains. “I want to have more control over where I play and what I play. I also want to be part of a show that presents the array of talent, which is abundant within and around Providence.” When she’s not leading a production of musicians, Powers is working as the creative director of Fete, a proposed music venue in Olneyville, set to open in late spring/ early summer of this year. A believer in Providence’s potential, Powers is realistic in that she knows musicians need venues to survive and help the city thrive. “We have great daytime tourism with beaches, art galleries and farmer’s markets, but we need to back that up and tap into the night time economy,” she stresses. “There could be a local musician’s task force, where we could work with the city to help create new ideas while also helping artists.” To see the Jes Powers Project, check out the next installment of Chanteuse on Saturday, April 30 at Firehouse 13, 41 Central Street. Doors open at 7:30. Check for updates.

March 4 Welcome back John McCauley of Deer Tick, who’s doing his own version of wife swap with Middle Brother, an alt-country group with Taylor Goldsmith and Matthew Vasquez. Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street. 331-5876,

March 12 Opt out of that facelift. The Party Tour with the Sugar Hill Gang, Rob Base, The Jets, C & C Music Factory and Debbie Deb will help you feel young, until you see a mirror. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2997,

March 13 What kind of local treasure have you been sleepin’ on with vocalist Kim Trusty? She’s an R&B powerhouse in the spirit of Tracy Chapman, only stronger. Providence Public Library, Lippitt Hall, first floor, 150 Empire Street. 455-8057,

March 19 Unless you speak Portuguese you won’t know exactly what’s going on. But with the pulsating beats and crazy Eurodance energy of Santamaria, it won’t matter one bit. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, One LaSalle Square. 331-6700,

March 25 Hail the folksy Kingston Trio, awarded a 2011 Grammy for Lifetime Achievement, and organizers RI4GIs, helping returning vets with proceeds benefiting the Wounded Warrior. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts. 421-2787,

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Get Out | Theatre

by Molly Lederer

On Stage See what’s going up this month

The art of self-expression in six minutes or less Some tales take hundreds of pages to tell. Others require hours of film. But the ones told at Live Bait, the late night storytelling event held monthly at Perishable Theatre, need no more than six minutes. That’s all the time participants get to share original anecdotes from their personal pasts. It may surprise you to learn what love, loss, laughter and looniness can fit inside of six little minutes. From the haunting to the hilarious, these true stories reel you in and hook you fast. Live Bait: True Stories from Real People is the brainchild of Warwick resident Phil Goldman. Inspired by The Moth, a popular storytelling slam in New York City, Goldman launched the series in Providence two and a half years ago. He found a welcome home for it at Perishable Theatre, where artistic director Vanessa Gilbert suggested that he deviate from The Moth’s competitive format. At Live Bait, no one is judged. The participants include as many average Joes as professional performers. The environment is encouraging, the audience accepting. And the stories, while perhaps less polished, remain just as captivating. Anyone who wishes to tell a story at Live Bait drops his or her name in a hat (or, in this case, a fishbowl) when they enter. Goldman, as show host, draws as many names as time permits. He announces the monthly theme in advance, usually a phrase open to interpretation. At the January show, the theme “Whatever She Wants” yielded typically diverse results. A twenty-something spoke of sadness over drifting apart from a college roommate. An older man recalled his cab driving days and the yearning women who peopled it, including streetwalkers trapped by their pimp. In February, the theme “If Only” inspired stories ranging from a part in the worst independent film ever made to a summer camp fling gone awkwardly awry. Goldman himself gave a touching tribute to his late brother. “People want to hear something real,” Goldman explains of Live Bait’s appeal, and the recent trend toward similar events around the country. The award-winning series often sells out (no mean feat, given the 10pm start time) and boasts a slew of devotees (“Live Baitites,” Goldman calls them). He believes that it doesn’t matter how well a story is told there, but how vulnerable, 60

Providence Monthly | March 2011

authentic and truthful the teller is. If the idea of revealing your innermost thoughts sounds scary, remember that participation is optional. It also has given pause to pro storytellers used to relying on a script, persona or microphone. Onstage at Live Bait, as Goldman notes, “There’s nothing to hide behind. It’s just you being you.” Local actor Kevin Broccoli is a regular at Live Bait, and his stories are a scream. He finds involvement in the event to be empowering, and hearing others’ stories enlightening. As he puts it, “It’s a chance for people to come together as a community and really listen to each other, which is something I feel we don’t do enough of. Every single evening is completely different, but each one is exhilarating and provocative. There have been stories about life, death, sex, love and, at one of the nights, somebody even proposed. I promise everybody: go once and you’ll be hooked.” “There’s something cathartic about it,” Goldman suggests of the Live Bait experience. Storytellers process events from the past as they speak of them, and audience members find humor, meaning and insight in the telling. This month, the theme is “Eat Your Broccoli.” Kevin Broccoli, fittingly, co-hosts. The amiable Jerry Gregoire, also known as “The Professor,” sings the ever changing, original theme song to kick off the show. Goldman says that you can “expect to be entertained, to be moved and, occasionally, to be disturbed a little.” With a ticket price of $5, that’s a lot of bang for your buck. As he points out, “If you stay home, chances are you’re going to watch something on a screen. If you come to Live Bait, you’ll see something real.”

Live Bait: True Stories from Real People March 4 (ongoing, first Friday of every month) Perishable Theatre, 95 Empire Street 331-2695

by Dawn Keable

Through April 3 A light skinned man. A dark skinned woman. Yellowman looks at the complex relations experienced within the black race and makes you realize that no one ever gets a break. Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street. 351-4242,

March 3-13 Sorry, there’s no blood at A Night at the Fights, as this action-packed smackdown, showcasing brothers and professional fight masters Normand and Jim Beuregard, is all an illusion. The Gamm Theatre, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266,

March 3-13 Sorta like fish and chips, As You Like It is better with a proper British touch, like that of director Nicholas Ridout, Visiting Professor from Queen Mary University of London. Brown University, Stuart Theatre, 77 Waterman Street. 863-2838,

March 22-27 A rock musical about mental illness? Next To Normal, about a family’s struggle with Mom’s bipolar disorder, just shows that everything gets better if you just bust out in song. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2997,

March 25-27 During Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!, split your attention between the stage and the side desk, where the playwright, usually a third grader, watches his or her creation. The Media and Arts Center at Met Public, 325 Public Street. 331-7007,

Photo: Susan Harrison

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Providence Monthly | March 2011

Get Out | Art

by Vikki Warner

Exhibits Get inspired at this month’s artsy events by Dawn Keable

From left to right: Corey Grayhorse, Anna Jane Kocon and Jyll Ethier-Mullen

Animal Instincts West Side Arts goes wild For the three artists whose work comprises Urbania: Flora y Fauna, now open at West Side Arts, nature is interpreted through a hazy, fanciful lens – one that lets no subject escape without some degree of manipulation. Eight animals – pigs, deer, tigers, rabbits, horses, chickens, wolves and dogs – are presented, often in fantastical situations, some comforting, some unsettling. It’s nature run through the prism of the urban mind, and it confronts the range of human regard for animals. Animals form the backbone of the work, but the three artists – Anna Jane Kocon, Corey Grayhorse and Jyll Ethier-Mullen – approach them with different goals in mind. Kocon’s work focuses on food culture: animals people eat, what animals themselves eat and the interplay between them. She uses layers of wallpaper, paint and screenprinted paper to create textured works that are playfully rendered, their outlines encompassing other forms: a rabbit, for example, is gracefully overlaid with images of carrots; a pig on a spit is covered in pink pork chops. Kocon has unified her pieces with the space by painting around them, extending each piece directly onto the gallery walls. It’s an effective gesture that unifies the space beautifully. Corey Grayhorse’s half-human, half-animal fantasy photographs bring a supercharged color onslaught to the show. She uses fashion and portraiture techniques to infuse her photos with the surreal; beautiful humans cavort with strange masked creatures and various mammalian representations, in situations

that are highly abnormal, yet somehow soothing. Classically shaped, brightly painted frames adorn each photo, tying it all together and reinforcing the fact that Grayhorse’s style is always pitch-perfect. Jyll Ethier-Mullen has established herself as a creator of sweet and spirited characters with a children’s storybook feel. She uses layers of organic color to create the lovely environments where her subjects dwell. Her latest work is newly dynamic, with animal subjects that seem to beckon toward the viewer, and bits of text that encourage interaction and reflection. A tiger strolls along in the sun, a sly grin on his face; a buck sits peacefully, his antlers serving as a rest stop for a clique of birds. At the show’s opening on February 12, the crowd was energized, seemingly sprung from their dark and snowbound homes. The show was conceptualized by Kocon partly for just that purpose: as an antidote to the dreary tundra that has overtaken Providence in the last couple of months. She visualized a lively, colorful environment that would warm up the winter a bit; by bringing Grayhorse and EthierMullen into the show, she created exactly that. Urbania: Flora y Fauna is at West Side Arts, 745 Westminster Street, until March 12. Gallery hours are Fridays, 12-4pm, and Saturdays, 11 am-2pm. A closing party will take place on March 12 from 6-9pm, including music from DJs RedBeard and Mike Potatoes. More information is available at

Through March 9 If you’re lost in the winter doldrums and just need to get through to spring, six emerging artists are Finding a Way at the Chazan Gallery with this multi-disciplinary exhibit. Chazan Gallery at Wheeler, 228 Angell Street. 421-9230,

Through March 19 Mix some color pigment with egg and get The Magical Realism of Louise E. Marianetti, a recreation of the acclaimed 1949 exhibits of the RISD grad that once hung in Boston and Newport. Bert Gallery, 540 South Water Street. 751-2628,

March 1-31 Crossing Currents: Feminism Now, a collaboration with Hera Gallery and The Hive Archive, harnesses a whole lot of girl power downtown and a Gallery Night reception on March 17. University of Rhode Island, 80 Washington Street. 277-5206,

March 3-30 There won’t be a spelling test, just the work of Polish artist Wlodzimierz Ksiazek addressing time and exile, recovery and ruin. Bannister Gallery, Roberts Hall, Room 124, Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 456-9765,

March 22 See what rose from the ashes as Curator of the MIT List Visual Center, Joas Ribas, helps open this brand new building with a lecture on the former site of your favorite gas pumps. Granoff Center, Brown University, 145 Angell Street. 863-2853,

March 2011 | Providence Monthly


Get Out | Movies

by Scott Duhamel

The Social Network

The Ones That Count Handicapping the crown jewels of awards season

Despite the steady

proliferation of awards shows, none of the competitors hold a candle to the Academy Awards as a far as prestige, importance and actual historical significance. The 83rd Annual Oscar show looms just as this magazine hits newsstands, and while I should be stepping out to the VMA on Feburary 27 to catch an enjoyable big screen television viewing presented by the Rhode Island International Film Festival, I’ll be home safely ensconced on the couch, feverishly checking off categories on my wellthought-out Oscar ballot. Below is a quick overview of the major awards.

BEST PICTURE 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone Should Win: The Social Network. It’s racked up $95 million at the box office. Only True Grit and Toy Story have earned more, but the former was helmed by the Coens, recent award recipients, and the latter is animated – and Hollywood just isn’t ready to hand out the Grand Wazoo to an animated feature. Also, The Social Network is director David Fincher’s best achievement so far. Will Win: The King’s Speech. Hollywood adores all things British, costumed and historical, and this one is right up the alley of over-the-hill Academy voters. BEST ACTOR Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours) Should Win: Javier Bardem. This is a powerhouse piece of acting that


Providence Monthly | March 2011

only James Franco came close to matching. Will Win: Colin Firth. See aforementioned Oscar predilection for all things British. BEST ACTRESS Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) Should Win: Annette Bening. She gives a tremendously modulated and affecting performance. Plus, she’s been nominated three times and came up short. Will Win: Natalie Portman. With this bravura, showy turn from a good citizen who has grown up on camera, her votes will be multiplied by a huge dose of her colleagues’ good will. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Christian Bale (The Fighter), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) Should Win: Christian Bale. This is the eye-popping, in-yer-face, most magnetic role-playing of the year in the strongest category. Will Win: Geoffrey Rush. Hate to say it, but add another one to the win column for The King’s Speech. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfield (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) Should Win: Melissa Leo. Will Win: Melissa Leo. She’s a great journeyperson actress, she’s campaigned unabashedly for the hon-

or, and someone has to break up the momentum generated by The King’s Speech. DIRECTOR Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David Fincher (The Social Network), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit) Should Win: David Fincher Will Win: David Fincher. Its Fincher’s turn – although Tom Hooper will be looking closely over his shoulder. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Mike Leigh (Another Year), Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson (The Fighter), Christopher Nolan (Inception), Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right), David Seidler (The King’s Speech) Should Win: Inception. Writer/director Christopher Nolan’s absence from the Best Director category is one of the more blatant snubs in recent Oscar history. There may be enough sympathy or fairness votes to throw him the bone that is Best Original Screenplay. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit), Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini (Winter’s Bone) Should Win: The Social Network. Will Win: The Social Network. Hollywood loves it when a big-timey screenwriter like Aaron Sorkin hooks up with a brainy, filmmaker like David Fincher to make hay – and heavy duty ticket sales.

Film Here’s what’s showing on the local big screen. by Dawn Keable

March 4 Role play a bit during the 7 Day PSA, a weeklong competition involving an agency, aka a team of creative peeps with broadcasting backgrounds, and a client, a local nonprofit in need of some publicity, during this RI International Film Festival competition.

March 11 Before its 2005 rediscovery, it’s doubtful you could have spotted an Ivorybilled woodpecker sober. Ghost Bird tells the story of threatened species and conservation that works. Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street (Rte 114), Bristol. 245-7500,

March 13 Cram eight survivors of a German torpedo attack into a Lifeboat, from 1944, and see what happens when Alfred Hitchcock stages the entire movie there. Providence Public Library, Auditorium Theatre, 3rd fl, 150 Empire Street. 455-8057,

March 25 Before Brian De Palma made sure that no one wanted to go to the prom with Carrie, he wrote and directed the murder mysteries Sisters and Obsession, screened tonight together. Production One, 135 Thayer Street. 863-2853,

March 26 Take a break from the stress of pleading with your kids not to touch, or worse, waiting for a crash, during the Family Film Series, projecting live action and animated shorts for ages 4+. The RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street. 454-6530,


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March 2011 | Providence Monthly


The Last Detail

Renaissance Man This month, former mayor, talk show host and all around Providence icon Vincent “Buddy” Cianci adds a new chapter to his life – well, several actually. His less-than-succinctly titled memoir, Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Dined with Sinatra, Spent Five Years In a Federally Funded Gated Community, and Lived to Tell the Tale, hits bookstores on March 15. As the movie version of The Prince of Providence, Projo reporter Mike Stanton’s account of Buddy’s rise and fall, continues to languish in Hollywood limbo, the Prince himself finally tells his story, to paraphrase Ol’ Blue Eyes, his way. Ever the media savvy, larger than life personality, Buddy is sure to make a big splash. The book has already gotten some attention, with noted political website running a big story as far back as December, in which writer Molly Ball remarks, “It’s pure Buddy. Beguil66

Providence Monthly | March 2011

ing, hilarious, with an excuse – and a joke – for everything.” The requisite book tour takes him around his southern New England base, but also to New York and DC. Locally, he makes the rounds at Barrington Books on March 15, Barnes & Noble in Warwick on March 16, Brown University’s Salomon Hall on March 17, Borders at Providence Place on March 18 and Angell Street’s Books on the Square on March 21. The big celebration, however, happens at PPAC at 6pm on March 15, when Buddy holds his release party. Tickets are $50 per person ($75 per couple), and include a meet and greet with the man himself (including a photo op), an autographed copy of the book, a Buddy bobblehead, and a pasta station with the Mayor’s Own Marinara. Again, pure Buddy. Stay tuned to Buddy’s official website,, for updates and to purchase tickets. -John Taraborelli

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