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Contents

Photography: Mike Braca (left), Kate Kelley (right)

APRIL 2011

28 This Month 25 Roots of a Revival An iconic downtown performance space is reborn

28 Drinking with Style A look at cocktail culture in the city

Every Month 8 Editor’s Note 10 Feedback

55 41 City Style Social networking you can wear 43 Beauty 44 The Look 46 Shop Talk

49 Feast A new Federal Hill eatery spans continents 51 In the Kitchen 52 On the Menu 55 Review 56 Behind the Bar 58 In the Drink 61 Dining Guide

65 Get Out Local film, music and art get the festival treatment 66 Calendar 69 Music 70 Art 73 Theater 74 Movies

76 The Last Detail Science and art pop up in Pawtucket

13 Providence Pulse Don’t buy it – make it

On the Cover: Shot on location at the RISD

15 City 20 Malcontent 23 Scene in PVD

Artisan Events Cafe. Photography by Corey Grayhorse

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

7


Editor’s Note

Providence MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre Executive Editor Julie Tremaine Special Projects Manager John Taraborelli

The Art of the Drink

Art Director Alli Coate Assistant Art Director Karli Hendrickson

This month, the RISD Museum debuts a one-ofa-kind exhibit. Instead of focusing on one artist, or genre, or time period, Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion 1920-1980 is a celebration of the cultural rituals surrounding drinking, and examines fashion, art, graphic design and photography pertaining to libations. We were so excited about this inventive experience that we decided to take a page out of RISD’s book and take a look at cocktail culture in Providence. But instead of following their path of acculturation and high fashion, we decided to examine the art of the cocktail itself – how to finely craft one, when to best enjoy one, and who is behind the bar making one for you. We suggest reading while sipping on your favorite cocktail. Better yet, why not head out for

an evening libation? After reading about chocolate mole bitters, grass-flavored vodka and the reinvention of many an old-fashioned favorite, you’re definitely going to feel like enjoying an after-work tipple. Providence Monthly is also hosting our first Providence Cocktail Week this month, with boozy events and specialty cocktails happening all over the city from April 11-16. Meet us there – we’ll be at the bar.

Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas Graphic Designer Meghan H. Follett Account Managers Danielle Claro Louann DiMuccio-Darwich Ann Gallagher Nicole Greenspun Nellie Lima Dan Schwartz Elizabeth Riel Jessica Webb Illustrators Alli Coate Karli Hendrickson Ashley MacLure Photographers K Harber Photography Mike Braca Laurel Mulherin Kate Kelley Dan Schwartz Corey Grayhorse

East Side Serving the East Side since 1975

June 2010

monthly

Mayoral Material Five candidates begin their run for City Hall

Read us online

Full issues available on www.providenceonline.com

Find us on Facebook Reach out to us at ProvidenceMonthly

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

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

Interns Ashley Graham Andrew Brennan Sabrina Kiel Eileen Burdick Chelsea Sherman Carlee Carbone Ana de la Guardia Alfaro

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Phone: 401-305-3391 Fax: 401-305-3392 publishers of Providence Monthly • East Side Monthly • The Bay So Rhode Island • In Providence • providenceonline.com 8

Providence Monthly | April 2011

Providence Monthly, 1070 Main Street, Suite 302 Pawtucket RI 02860 • Fax: 401-305-3392 www.providenceonline.com providencemonthly@providenceonline.com For advertising rates call: 401-305-3391 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.


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Seeing Stars I wanted to thank you so much for the amazing article on Opt Eyewear Boutique (“Easy on the Eyes,” March 2011). We have had lots of people come in and mention they read it and had to come in and see the store. Andrea McHugh was so kind and friendly and we had a very nice time during the interview. And Laurel Mulherin, who is a friend, did a wonderful job making the store look so beautiful in the picture. Jed Leach Opt Eyewear Boutique www.opteyewear.com

From Our Facebook Friends In honor of this month’s “Cocktail Culture” cover story (pg. 28), we asked our Facebook friends where they get their favorite cocktails, and what they get. State Ultra Lounge: best martinis in the state! -Kevin Lepine I like beer a lot, but I’ve been known to have a Hunter S. Thompson at Abe’s from time to time... OK, more than that. They’re really good. -Margo Goods

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

24 Hour Fitness Center 24 Hour Concierge 24 Hour Emergency Service Restaurant on site Tailor Shop on Site Salon on site

Espresso Martinis at Kartabar – they light them on fire! -Carly Villari Nolan Manhattans! Jeff at New Rivers makes the best ones. I have to say, Julian’s is handy with a Manhattan as well. -Helen DaSilva

I love me a Swampwitch at Thee Red Fez. Kudos on the chili-infused simple syrup! -Judie Gonsalves The “House” Cosmo at The Avery. -Katie Cocuzzo The Bumblebee at Julian’s. -Kate Mills Peter’s Cucumber Martini at Parkside! Hendrick’s gin... Mmmm.... -Sara Harrison The Moscow Mule at The Avery. -Kristin Howley Cook & Brown makes amazing cocktails. I had a lemon-basil gimlet last night. -Corey Auger I personally know a following of people that head to LJ’s for their Trailer Park Mary, a Bloody Mary made with Jack Daniels – complete with a Slim Jim stick. -Liz Collins AS220: any of the homemade infused vodkas! The sangria gets an A+ as well. -Danielle Geiler Tammany Hall has a great twist on a Muddled Old Fashioned! -Rebecca Zub The house Cosmo at The Avery is absolutely spectacular. -Christina Sprows Tequila Sour at Harrys Bar & Burger. -Laura Riquinha Love Julian’s breakfast iced tea creation. I forget what it’s called, but it involves St. Germain and Absolut Citron. So good. -Katie Pratt

Got Two Cents? 500 Angell Street, Providence • 751-7700 www.waylandmanor.com

Email providencemonthly@providenceonline.com or find us on Facebook.


special advertising section

The PM List events / promotions / good deeds

PROVIDENCE

CHEERS

COCKTAIL H G WEEK

Drink With Style All Week Long Inspired by the Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion 1920–1980 exhibit at the RISD Museum, which opens April 15, and this month’s cocktail-centric cover story (pg. 28), Providence Monthly presents the first ever Providence Cocktail Week, April 11-16. Bars, restaurants and lounges around the city will be hosting unique cocktail events and launching new cocktail menus all week long. Participating venues include The Avery, The Salon, Waterman Grille, The Duck & Bunny, El Rancho Grande, The E&O and Ebisu. Then on Friday, Cook & Brown Public House will be hosting the official after party to the RISD exhibit’s grand opening, with all proceeds to benefit the museum. On Saturday, Chifferobe presents the Stardust, a night of jazz, cocktails, dance and more, at Cuban Revolution’s Valley Street location. For more information, see the ad on page 50, visit CocktailWeekProvidence.com or the Providence Cocktail Week Facebook page.

CELEBRATE THE CITY

Happy 375th Birthday, Providence What do you get the city that has everything for its birthday? How about a six-month celebration of its art, culture, history and people? Providence 375 is a citywide celebration to honor Roger Williams’ legacy and ideals on the 375th anniversary of him founding our fair city. It’s a collaboration between the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, the National Parks Service, CW28 and, of course, your favorite city magazine. It all kicks off in May and runs through October with events, programming, walking tours and much more. Also, be on the lookout for the official Providence 375 guidebook in our June issue. The best part is you can get involved. There are plenty of opportunities for individuals, organizations and events that want to be a part of the festivities. Find out more at Providence375.com, and get ready to celebrate.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

Show Us Your Providence Think you know Providence? Then show it. Make a short film that tells a visitor or someone new to the city all about what there is to see, do, eat, drink, buy and experience. Amateur and professional videographers of all ages are invited to submit entries into the My Providence Video Contest. We are looking for short videos that show Providence as the fun, quirky, artistic, interesting, vibrant city that it is. Films will be judged on creativity, technical excellence and artistic merit, and the winners will receive great prizes including shopping sprees, dine-out packages and more. This contest, which runs April-June, is cosponsored by the ProvidenceWarwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Rhode Island Film Collaborative, The Rhode Show, Leadership Rhode Island and, of course, Providence Monthly. Visit goprovidence. com for more information and contest entry rules.

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C o n d o m i n i u m s

East Side/College Hill. Renovated 3 bed, 2 bath townhouse features original wide board floors, crown moldings, 2 fireplaces, 2 white tiled baths, granite/stainless kitchen with French doors to deck with city views. Laundry. 2 car parking. $439,000.

East Side Commons. 3 units available! Choose from 1 bed/1 bath, 2 beds/2 baths or 3 beds/2 baths. All units feature kitchens with granite counters, central air, in-unit laundry, garage parking, elevator access, gym. Great location- walk to Wayland Square! $279,000-$425,000.

East Side/Wayland Sq./Moses Brown. Spacious, light-filled & immaculately maintained 2-story Townhouse w/5 bedrooms & 2 full baths. New windows & furnace. Hardwoods, fireplace, porch. 2-car parking w/garage space. Large backyard. Walk everywhere. Priced to sell! $339,000.

Downcity. Striking loft in the Knowledge District. 5 units provides strong cash flow for owner occupant. 10’ windows, 12’ ceilings, hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, new windows and central air. D2 zoning allows many uses. Best value in the building! $325,000.

East Side/Mount Hope. Spacious 3 bed 2 bath Condo in 1st floor of completely renovated building. Sunny open layout, hardwoods, 2 fireplaces. Outstanding new granite/stainless kitchen. Family room addition. Private fenced yard. $299,000.

East Side/Mt. Hope. Easy living in this bright 2 bed, 2nd floor condo with spacious open floor plan. Hardwood floors, beautiful kitchen & bath. Shopping, Brown and medical facilities all a stones throw away. 2 car parking, laundry in unit & new windows. $249,900.

East Side/College Hill. Sophisticated & charming! Terrific garden level unit w/private entrance & brick patio overlooking the state house. Open layout, hardwood floors, built-ins, working fireplace. Updated kitchen. Master bed w/private bath. Laundry. Walk to city & train! $229,000.

East Side/Wayland Sq. Two 1st floor, 1 bedroom/1 bath units available at The Adway. Features include spacious floor plans, living rooms with fireplaces, high ceilings and hardwood floors. Only steps to vibrant Wayland Square! $199,000.

Downcity/Plantations. Perfect 1 bedroom unit offers stunning new kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances. Lovely private patio just outside your living room door. Walk to great shops, restaurants, universities, 1 mile to RI hospital. $189,900.

140 Wickenden Street, Providence, RI 02903 401.274.6740 • ResidentialProperties.com Barrington • CumBerland • east greenwiCh • narragansett • ProvidenCe • reloCation


Providence Pulse

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

City / Malcontent / Scene in PVD

Let’s Just Check This Out Local designer

Jessica Brown has three rules for the do-it-yourself projects she covers in her blog and on her YouTube channel, Let’s Just Make That. First, the projects should reuse stuff you have around the house. For example, cartridges from your aging eighttrack collection might make a fine basis for a key ring holder. Second, the projects should only require tools you already (or should) have around the house. continued on page 17...


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Providence Monthly | April 2011

Sale prices are for goods only; exclusions apply. See store for details.


Pulse | City In Memoriam continued from page 15... And third, they have to be so easy that her mother could complete them. It’s from this third rule that the whole site came about. “My mother, in Kentucky, just became a homeowner for the first time at age 57,” Jessica explains. “I spent 45 minutes teaching her how to read a ruler. I wanted to be able to help her, even from 2000 miles away.” Thus, a Youtube channel was born. Jessica is an experienced furniture maker with a Master’s in Industrial Design, focusing on sustainable products and systems. She is also extremely personable, witty, quick

spoken and decidedly local – the ideal person to show you low-cost ways to improve the space around you by using things you already have at home. At the end of her videos and posts, she gives a price breakdown for materials, as well as a difficulty rating for her projects (in wrenches, from level one, the easiest, to four, which require some professional aid), but all of her projects are well within your skill level – as long as you can read a ruler, anyway. Though if you can’t, I’m sure Jessica would be happy to teach you. letsjustmakethat.blogspot.com. –Michael Madden

A Musical Tribute Larry Friedlander, owner of The Hi-Hat in Davol Square, tragically passed away on February 26 at the much-too-young age of 57. On April 10, the club will be hosting a musical tribute to him to raise scholarship money for music students. The Larry Friedlander Scholarship Concert will feature a dozen bands, as

well as special guest bartenders, paying tribute to the beloved club owner from 3pm-9pm – and all for a good cause. Tickets are $20 and are available at The Hi-Hat, Lupo’s, Hot Club, Local 121, The Met, Nick-A-Nees, Z-Bar and Trinity Brewhouse. 3 Davol Square. 453-6500, thehihat.com

Book Smart

Celebrate the Great White Whale Indulge your bibliophilia at the Providence Athenaeum, which is hosting a celebration of all things Melville this spring. On April 21, the Athenaeum will host a reading and discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street. The reading, co-presented by Not About the Buildings, is part of the Athenaeum’s “Hark! The White Whale!” program, a celebration of the 160th anniversary of the publication of Moby-Dick. While the private library’s salon events are usually only open to members, this one is free and open to the public.

Poe’s “The Raven,” published in 1845, is one of his best-known poems and inspired praise and parody alike for the contrarian bird and its mantra, “Nevermore.” Melville’s Bartleby was published eight years later and also features a narrator whose life is upended by a mysterious, uncooperative visitor, in this case a clerk who responds to all queries and commands with a terse, “I would prefer not to.” Is Bartleby an homage to “The Raven?” A coincidence? Participate in a discussion of both and decide for yourself. 251 Benefit Street. 421-6970, providenceathenaeum.org -Andrew Brennan

Buy Local

A Crafty Affair Sure, it may be nice to own a painting by Picasso or a sculpture by Michelangelo, but what’s the fun in owning a copy of something countless other people have displayed in their homes that was crafted thousands of miles away? (And how many of us can really afford one?) Instead, plan on spending a funfilled day at Craftopia to find a new addition to your art collection (or closet). This unique event at the Hope Artiste Village showcases and sells the one-ofa-kind handmade works of over 70 local artists. You will find arts and crafts of

all sorts, including repurposed clothing, handbags, jewelry, fine arts and housewares. For a sneak peek of what can be expected, pop into Rhody Craft 100, the local store (also in Hope Artiste) behind this event. With the paltry $1 admission, it won’t hurt your bank account as much as a Picasso would. Whether you desire an afternoon of shopping, simply browsing or eating, come help celebrate and support all things local and handmade. Sunday, April 10. 10am-4pm. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. rhodycraft100.com. –Ashley Graham

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

17


Pulse | City Bradford design, inc. renovate restore rejuvenate

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PM Experiment

Get Baked

Adventures in the kitchen with Olga There are few people

in town who have the public presence to pull off first-name-only recognition. Besides the singularly eponymous Buddy, there’s Olga – or more specifically, there’s Olga’s Cup and Saucer, the bakery and café in the Jewelry District that has been turning out delicious bread for over a decade. I’ve been a fan for a long time, so when I read about the Bread-u-cation class that partners Olga Bravo and Becky Wagner were offering through RISD Continuing Education, I jumped at the chance to take it. We gathered at the restaurant on Saturday afternoon, just as brunch service was ending. Olga and Becky brought the baker’s dozen of us back into the kitchen, where they gave us a mini-lesson in bread basics. We’d be making three kinds of bread that day: seeded Italian fougasse (which is a lot like focaccia), baguettes and boules (which I still can’t say without affecting a Monty Python accent… sorry, ladies). Because the dough needed to be mixed, kneaded and left to rise for hours beforehand, our teachers had prepared the dough we’d be using in advance, but gave us a demonstration on how to make it before handing out portions for us to use. For the next three hours, we rolled, floured, pinched and shaped dough into what would become the six different loaves we each got to take home with us. It turns out I’m not bad at making decorative breads. (Although my only-childness definitely came

through when I hovered over the cooling baguettes to make sure nobody touched my pretty ones. Hey, I made those. Can you blame me?) Even though Olga and Becky had done the hardest parts in advance, I still knew breadmaking was a skill I was going to save to impress my family on holidays, because it’s just too much work to fit in on a regular weekend. I learned a lot that day, but mostly what I learned is that their $5 baguette is worth every penny. The hours that go into making bread – hours that I need for sleep and, well, sleep – are more than I ever thought

they would be. I left Olga’s feeling like she could charge double for her breads and I would be fine with paying it. But the next morning, I woke up and made myself breakfast: a Toad in the Hollow from the Cup and Saucer’s brunch menu, using a thick slice of the boule I had made with my own two hands the day before. Did it taste better because I baked it myself at one of my favorite places? No, that was the smoked gouda I added. But was it an awesome experience baking it? Absolutely. Check out CE’s spring class offerings at risd.edu. –Julie Tremaine

Party Music

Mardi Gras ended last month. St. Joseph’s Day, when the Mardi Gras Indians come out to play, passed by too. Jazz Fest kicks off later this month, but if you don’t have your tickets booked already, it’s probably not going to happen. So, unless you’re going to satisfy your craving for that heady mix of cultural influences that is New Orleans music with HBO’s drama Treme (season two premieres April 24), then

18

Providence Monthly | April 2011

you should probably get your tickets – right now, before they sell out – for the Rebirth Brass Band live at the Spot Underground on Saturday, April 9. Since the ‘80s, this classic Big Easy brass band has been second-lining its way around the world, carrying on the proud street music tradition of its hometown. There is nothing – nothing – quite like the funk and bombast of that real N’Awlins sound, and Rebirth is one

of the best, a fixture on the music scene that launched the career of no less than famed jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. They’ll share the stage with some local talent, including opening act Fungus Amungus and a special guest performance by Providence’s own street brass band, the Extraordinary Rendition Band. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $18 in advance. 15 Elbow Street. 383-7133, thespotunderground.com

Illustration: Alli Coate

Make Way for the Rebirth


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Pulse | The Malcontent

by John Taraborelli

Representation Without Taxation How to get more city funding out of the colleges The tax-exempt status of so much property in the city – particularly that owned by the colleges and universities – is a consistent sticking point for both sides of the issue. The city feels these institutions – often well endowed as they are – should be paying more into the public coffers for the city services they use. The schools, for their part, claim to that their ability to create jobs, attract students and bring innovation to Providence would be hampered by having to pay out more money for their real estate. Right now, this is as hot button an issue as ever, with Mayor Taveras pledging to renegotiate these payments as part of his efforts to close the city’s massive budget gaps, and Governor Chafee proposing a radical restructuring of the tax system in order to do the same at the state level. It seems like a perfect time to try some new ideas and perhaps introduce some drastic changes to the current system. While the schools are unlikely to open their wallets further without a fight, there is perhaps a way to circumvent this problem by cutting out the middlemen and taking money straight from the students. This can be done by finely tailoring laws and taxes to fit college students – essentially imposing fines and consumption taxes aimed squarely at the student body. For example, East Side residents can attest to the huge revenue potential in establishing a $100 fine for puking in bushes of a residence, place of business or city park. Similarly, anyone who has ever seen a clique of female Johnson and Wales students wandering Federal Hill in the middle of the day knows that imposing a $5 city tax on Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees jacketed inside hot coffee cups would boost finances by roughly 3-6%. Other potential revenue sources: • Building on Governor Chafee’s proposed 1% sales tax on clothing, there will be an additional 1% tax

on any sweatpants sold within city limits bearing the words “juicy” or “pink” across the posterior. The revenue potential here will be compounded by a new $25 fine for every inch of “muffin top” that shows above the waistband of said sweatpants. • An across the board Jagermeister tax: 2% on cocktails containing it, 5% on shots and a full 10% on Jagerbombs. • Fraternities will now need to apply for a $50 city license for any hazing activity that’s intended to foster brotherhood and machismo, but is actually just kinda gay. • Continuing with the governor’s efforts towards taxing services, there will be a new 2% surcharge on valet parking fees for SUVs with New York or New Jersey plates. • Acknowledging the, shall we say, unique nature of RISD’s students, they will be specifically targeted with a new 2% sales tax on items and services including ironic tshirts, obnoxious hipster sunglasses, asymmetrical haircuts and gluten-free foods purchased without a doctor’s note verifying that the purchaser does indeed suffer from Celiac disease. • A $100 fine for not knowing how to cross a goddamned street for Christ’s sake. • An additional 4% sales tax on all lacrosse equipment. Seriously, no one outside of college plays lacrosse. As you can see, the possibilities are myriad and lucrative. While these measures may seem unorthodox, they are an effective way for the city to address the old town vs. gowns debate without imposing any financial hardship directly on the schools, while at the same time encouraging students to feel more connected to the city in which they live.


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Pulse | Scene in PVD The all-new Whiskey Republic celebrated its grand opening in the South Water Street space that formerly housed Fish Co. Co-owned by Ken Casey of Boston rockers the Dropkick Murphys and designed by HGTV’s Taniya Nayak, the longtime waterfront hotspot will now be an Irish-style pub and restaurant with a rock and roll style. Photography by Mike Braca.

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April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Last month,

the Roots Café opened at 276 Westminster Street, a promising rebirth for a downtown location that has spent the better part of the last year and a half mired in debt and controversy. Providence Inner City Arts (PICA), the nonprofit that will operate the café at the former home of the Providence Black Repertory Company, is touting a mission that includes pledges of bringing hope, vibrancy and broad community understanding through the medium of art. While owner and co-founder Len Cabral says the café’s March 6 opening met with a positive reception, he understands many still are reeling from the unfortunate end of the Black Rep, which went into receivership in 2009 before shutting its doors permanently last year. With that dark cloud still lingering, many wonder if Cabral and his team can create the cultural scene they believe the city of Providence needs. A lot seems to be riding on the reputa-

tion of PICA and what its founding members, including Cabral, have done for this city since the early ‘70s. PICA is one of the oldest nonprofit arts organizations in Rhode Island, a small venture started by a few culturally diverse friends that grew larger with each decade of its existence. “We started PICA at a time when not a lot was going on and there was a lot of division,” Cabral recalls. “We were a diverse group of friends that knew each other in the ‘60s and started doing things like bike races and jazz shows, and hiring local performers and musicians for events.” PICA’s biggest and most famous brainchild was the Florentine Faire, a popular Renaissance-themed festival that brought together a wealth of different cultures for dancing, dining and partying. Cabral says the faire was meant to emulate a time when the people of Florence would be graced with traveling gypsies who would bring a caravan full of their wares to sell and trade with others. For

ten years, the Florentine Faire was a hit in Providence, starting in empty lots on Thayer Street and eventually moving to Roger Williams Park. The nonprofit work continued into the 1980s. PICA wanted to expand and find a place to house the props for Florentine Faire, so the organization bought a building in South Providence with plans to renovate. In the middle of that work, however, the building caught fire, leaving PICA with nothing but ashes and a political administration that wasn’t willing to help. “We lost all our sets, sound systems and costumes,” Cabral recounts. “Because Reagan was President at the time, a lot of arts programs were cut and there were no grants available to help us. We decided to lay low for a while.” Shocked from the blaze, PICA’s members stepped back to evaluate their plans, choosing to focus on helping other fledging nonprofits like the Carriage House Theatre and the Rhode Island

Black Storytellers. For a better part of the ‘80s, PICA became a sort of godfather for nonprofits, taking on an advisory role as an umbrella organization. Some members of PICA moved away, but Cabral remained local, working on his other passion and career, storytelling. When the Black Rep shut down, Cabral saw opportunity for the space, purchasing it along with his brother Ali Cabral and Herman “Bud” Snead, then leasing the building to PICA. While music and nightlife will be an integral part of Roots Café’s success, Cabral says that’s just one part of the building’s potential. “It’s not just a lounge and it’s not just for young people,” he stresses. “We want to utilize the space for music lessons, workshops, theatre and galleries. We want to collaborate with the community libraries, Amos House and other organizations in the city.” With a change of paint color from stark red to a warm orange, Cabral hopes the

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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different events and understanding the demographics of cultures in Providence like the Latino community, I have that global sense and I’m excited to bring that in here,” she enthuses. Clifton feels that the more gaps the Roots Café can bridge, the better – whether they’re separations of age, race or musical/artistic preference. “The performances we’ll have will definitely be thematic,” she explains. “Someone might be able to step up on an open mic for 20 minutes, but they’ll be chosen to perform on the Roots stage because it extends to the mission we have.” For examples of artists in sync with Roots Café’s mission, Clifton cites those chosen for the first installment of the Home Grown Hip-Hop series, a two-part musical event last month. From Dirty Durdie, a duo of rappers who change the lexicon of rap by spitting rhymes about filth and garbage, to “femcee” and spoken word performer 5th Elament, Clifton wants the stage to be a home for artists who embody the Café’s mission. The Café has a solid core of seasoned professionals behind it, and the promise of programming rich in diversity. The team members routinely stay late to argue the value of one performer over another, bounce ideas off one another, and speak about bettering their mission. Cabral believes these people will be the key to its success. “Many people worked feverishly to get the Café open,” he says. “They all put in good spirit. Their hearts are in the right place – you can feel that vibe.” If the Roots Café can put down deep roots, it could give downtown the vital cultural venue it deserves to have back. rootscafeprovidence.com

Photography: Amy Amerantes

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building will give off the vibe of a place where dialogue and deep thought can occur. “There’s not as much of a club atmosphere in here now. We’ll have light lunch available, events earlier in the evening for people that get out of work but don’t want to go home right away, and panel discussions about things like women’s rights and hip-hop.” Though the Black Rep will be missed, Roots Café will continue the tradition of diverse, multicultural programming in the space. Cabral understands the importance of events like Black Rep’s signature summer music festival, Sound Session, and says he wouldn’t object to the Café creating its own version of it. Despite the still shaky economy, Cabral is optimistic that people will support the Café due to its abundance of offerings. “We’re going to be showcasing diversity,” he declares. “Diversity is something people travel for, but we have that right here in Providence.” The Roots team consists of nonprofit veterans, but its young blooded artistic director, Reza Clifton, seems to be Cabral’s secret weapon. Clifton will take the lead in programming the majority of the musical and artistic events. The 31-year-old has stacked up an impressive resume, working as a DJ for radio stations based out of URI and Brown University and co-founding Isis Storm, a collective of female artists, writers, educators and media producers who use art and words to empower women and communities of color. Clifton says she has some solid ideas on how to foster young artists’ development while showcasing the value of different musical genres to both young and old alike. “Being a woman in hip-hop, DJing at


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COCKTAIL CULTURE

Elisabeth Morrissey Works at: Abe’s on Wickenden, The Duck & Bunny Favorite drink: Lava Lambp (The Duck & Bunny’s signature cocktail of Guinness and Magner’s Cider with a raspberry lambic floater)

Photography by Corey Grayhorse Hair and makeup by Leah Carlson of La La Luxe Salon Shot on location at the RISD Artisan Events Café For clothing info see p. 32

Josh Cournoyer

Works at: The Met Favorite drink: Jameson, neat


Inspired by RISD’s new Cocktail Culture exhibit, Providence Monthly takes a look at drinking with style in the city. Here, some of the people behind your favorite local bars step out to model cocktail attire.

Michaelle Saintil

Works at: The Salon, Forbidden City Tea Room Favorite drink: Patron, straight up

Brittani Octeau Works at: The Abbey Favorite drink: Stoli and soda

John MacAndrew

Works at: Rick’s Roadhouse, Paragon Favorite drink: Jack Daniels, neat


Art of

The the Drink

Local cocktail experts on tippling and tipping their hats to the past By John Taraborelli • Photography by Mike Braca

>And what’s one that shouldn’t be tampered with? It’s the high priestess of the alcoholic beverage: the Martini. Alas, this drink has been just about beaten to death on “martini” lists across the country. A traditional martini is gin and vermouth, stirred and served with a twist. There’s nothing wrong with mixing pomegranate with vodka – in fact it can be quite tasty – but call it something else. Just because it’s served in a V-shaped glass does not make it a martini.

bring a gourmet approach to the bar, focusing on fresh juices, pre-Prohibition techniques and classic cocktails. Along the way, bartenders and patrons both began to see that the cocktail could take on its own role in an evening of dining. Bartenders began emphasizing gin over vodka. Spirits categories such as rye whiskey began to rise up from obscurity as bartenders combed old bar manuals. They began to incorporate foreign spirits such as cachaca, pisco and mezcal into their cocktails.

>Tell us about the classic cocktail pictured here. This tasty tipple comes from the godfather of American bartending, Jerry “The Professor” Thomas, circa 1876. I’ve changed the original recipe ever so slightly.

>What sort of liqueurs and spirits has this revival brought back into vogue that you feel are worth the second look? I’m amazed by how many formerly defunct ingredients have arisen from the dead. A Jamaican liqueur called allspice dram is lovely with aged rum and tiki cocktails, and it was nearly impossible to find in the United States until a couple of years ago. Genever and Old Tom Gin are making comebacks. Before Prohibition, both ingredients were more common than London Dry Gin in American barrooms. The revival of absinthe has been interesting to watch, both in the way it briefly became faddish and in the way it’s implanted itself again as a relatively common cocktail ingredient. Very few bars need traditional absinthe service, with the fancy spoons and fountains, but any wellstocked professional bar should have a brand or two of absinthe for the delicious cocktails that require it. The one thing I want to see more of is aged gin. Only a couple of producers have aged gin on the market, and they’re hard to find, especially in Rhode Island.

THE IMPROVED BRANDY COCKTAIL

The Classicist Jesse Hedberg of Cook & Brown Public House

St. Germain and rhubarb bitters? Sure.

>What are the fundamentals of classic mixology? I don’t really like the term mixologist. I prefer when people call me a bartender. But if I had to define classic mixology, I’d say it is the art (and science) of making certain particularly enduring alcoholic beverages. The classic mixologist knows everything from technique (proportions, shaking vs. stirring, garnishes) to ingredients (quality spirits, bitters, homemade sweeteners, fresh juices) to equipment (bar tools, appropriate glassware) and even a little bit of history. 

>Conversely, what lessons can the modern bartender draw from the classics? There are so many amazing micro-distilleries, esoteric cordials, unctuous vermouths and boutique bitters out there that have only become available in the last few years. If you use the tried and true ratios of the classic libations in conjunction with these new products, the possibilities are endless. Recently, some people have even been taking classic cocktails like a Manhattan or Negroni and barrel aging the drink itself, mellowing and blending the flavors of the individual spirits together in the oak barrel. This really blurs the line between old and new.

>How can modern techniques and ingredients be blended into classic cocktails? So many great, new drinks these days are just variations of old recipes. Take the Old Fashioned for example. Traditionally, an Old Fashioned is simply defined as spirit, bitters, sugar and water (ice). Ordinarily you see it with some kind of whiskey, Angostura bitters and sugar. But if you want to use mezcal, agave nectar and chocolate mole bitters, go for it. How about gin,

>What is one classic cocktail that lends itself well to modern twists? The Last Word. It’s equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and fresh lime juice, shaken hard and served up. If you switch the Chartreuse for Lillet, the maraschino for Cointreau, lime for lemon, and add a drop of absinthe you have a Corpse Reviver #2. These old, equal-parts drinks are not only delicious but the recipe is easy enough to remember after you’ve had a few!

30

Providence Monthly | April 2011

•2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac • 3 dashes gomme syrup •2 dashes Luxardo maraschino liqueur •2 dashes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Decanter bitters • 1 dash Kubler absinthe • Lemon twist In a mixing glass, stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon oils over the drink and drop the twist in. You can also go with whiskey and you have an Improved Whiskey Cocktail. Gomme syrup is rich simple syrup with the addition of gum arabic, which gives it a unique texture. You can always use 2:1 sugar-to-water simple syrup instead. Cook & Brown Public House is located at 959 Hope Street. 273-7275, cookandbrown.com

The Revivalist

Cocktail blogger Michael Dietsch of ADashOfBitters.com >Why has there been this revival of vintage and pre-Prohibition Era cocktails? It started in Manhattan in the 1980s and 1990s with Dale DeGroff at the Rainbow Room. His manager there was the venerable restaurateur Joe Baum, who challenged DeGroff to

>Do you see any other revival trends on the horizon? A tiki revival is popular in New York and California right now, with new tiki bars popping up in both areas. I don’t think we need to see tiki bars everywhere, as they were in the 1950s and ‘60s, but it would be nice to see a well-crafted, properly made Mai Tai or Painkiller on cocktail menus in Rhode Island. It’s possible to embrace the recipes and drinks without going overboard in adopting the surrounding kitsch. >How can the aspiring home mixologist take inspiration from this trend?


The best advice for newbies I’ve ever heard comes from a drinks writer named Robert Hess: Find a cocktail you really like and learn how to make the hell out of it at home. My favorite example is always the Sidecar. It’s a cousin to the margarita in that they both have three ingredients: base spirit, fresh citrus juice and triple sec. In the case of the Sidecar, the base is cognac and the citrus is lemon. Get a good cognac (I like Pierre Ferrand) and a bottle of Cointreau. Play with the ratio of cognac to lemon to triple sec. Swap out one brand of cognac for another. Try it with apple brandy instead of cognac. Try Meyer lemon juice instead of regular lemon. Experiment and have fun. What’s the story with the cocktail pictured here? This is the Boulevardier. It’s similar to the Negroni, but of completely independent origin. The Negroni is a classic cocktail comprising equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari bitter liqueur. It’s herbal and slightly bitter and utterly delicious. The Boulevardier is a lesser-known companion to the Negroni, but just as good.

THE BOULEVARDIER •1 ½ ounces bourbon •1 ounce sweet vermouth •1 ounce Campari Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Modernist Brendan Roane of Gracie’s

>What is your approach to cocktails? I think it’s important for bartenders to think about the drinks they create – actually think for a minute. I like to think about the basics and then use them as building blocks in creating my final cocktail. I look to the season and the moment for my inspiration. There are countless cocktail recipe books out there that I could follow, but it seems more interesting to me if I let myself go and make new things up. >What are some of the techniques you incorporate? This past fall, we played around with many house-infused syrups for the drinks, from a cinnamon, black peppercorn and nutmeg syrup to a biscotti syrup made from toasted almonds, star anise and raisins. I think it’s always better to go that extra step and make something yourself, instead of buying pre-made syrups. This upcoming summer and fall, I plan on creating a line of infused spirits made from produce coming from our rooftop garden on the Peerless Building. There is something fun about these projects, and I know the guests always find interest in things grown and produced locally. >What is your process for coming up with a cocktail recipe? What’s fresh? What’s in season? Where is my mindset? Right now, I am done with winter and enjoying the start of spring. I was

thinking about the great smell of freshly cut grass and how much I look forward to its return. I try to create a drink that reminds me of that circumstance.

menu is none other than “Citrus Grass.” It’s easy to make, refreshing to drink and will get you in that spring mindset. CITRUS GRASS

>What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with? Everything tastes better with fresh squeezed or all natural juices. The Pink, one of our top sellers, is made with white wine, cava, Chambord and fresh-squeezed orange, lemon and lime juices. It’s juiced to order. It’s amazing how much better any cocktail tastes when you incorporate fresh juice. Julia Child always said that everything is better with butter. I believe that everything is better with bubbles. Sparking wine lightens up drinks, adds effervescence, and seems to make people extra happy for some odd reason. >Do you have any advice for the aspiring home mixologist? Be free, and let yourself go. Instead of looking up a basic recipe in a cocktail book, get creative, think of something new and innovative. Be open to new spirits and be brave. The more often you try out new things, the more you will find what works and what doesn’t. >Tell us about the cocktail you’ve made here. Referring back to my freshly cut grass mindset, it just so turns out that our newest addition to the cocktail

•2 ½ oz Bison Grass Vodka (imported from Poland) •1 oz Bella Lula Lemonade (imported from France – made with fresh lemons, limes, oranges and mint) •½ oz Cuarenta y Tres Liquor 43 (imported from Spain – made with 43 ingredients including vanilla, citrus, herbs) Combine all three ingredients in a martini shaker (be sure to chill down your martini glass ahead of time), shake, strain and serve. Feel free to garnish with wheat grass.

Gracie’s is located at 194 Washington Street. 272-7811, graciesprovidence.com WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read full-length versions of these interviews at COCKTAILWEEKPROVIDENCE.COM

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

31


the original cocktail culture The new RISD Museum exhibit that has the whole town buzzed By Julie Tremaine

You might be wondering why an exhibit at the RISD Museum got us excited enough to plan a whole cover story around it. Simply put, Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion 1920-1980, which runs April 15-July 31, contains in one exhibit everything that Providence Monthly is about: drinking, dressing well, being cultured and enjoying the best that the city has to offer. We were so inspired by seeing it all in one place that we decided to riff on that, and provide our own take on what cocktail culture looks like in the city today. Why were we so inspired? Take a look for yourself.

The Exhibit

Cocktail Culture is a huge, multi-disciplinary exhibit about the culture surrounding drinking. Starting with Prohibition, the exhibit looks at the fashion and design present in the ritual of drinking for entertainment. Expect to see cocktail dresses from luminaries like Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Halson, Yves Saint Laurent and Cristobal Balenciaga. The exhibit also includes barware, furniture, graphic design and photography.

The Classes

So you’ve seen the exhibit, but it isn’t enough. You need to know more. You want to bring cocktail culture into your life. What you need is a Continuing Education class at RISD. Inspired by this exhibit, the school is offering a handful of classes through CE (which are really affordable and open to everyone). Dressing for Drinking: The Cocktail’s Place in Fashion History is a six-week course starting on April 7. The Art of Shopping for Vintage Clothing is a one-night class on May

32

Providence Monthly | April 2011

18 that will help you learn to sift through the seas of old clothes in consignment shops to find the real gems. Check out risd.edu for more.

The Events

To better understand the culture of tippling, RISD is also offering lectures (like Curatorium owner Matthew Bird’s lecture on April 17, “Cocktail Connected Design,” and “Cocktail Fashion” on May 13 by Apparel Design Emerita Lorraine Howes), Cocktail Hour Salons and a Cocktail Culture Film Series through July. No exhibit like this would be complete without a proper cocktail party. RISD’s version of this party involves an alumna who is now part of fashion royalty. An Evening with Nicole Miller: A Fashionable Gala will take place on May 6. The tickets are pricey, but the event features a menu inspired by Miller’s designs and Festival Ballet dancers modeling and dancing in her fashions. You can also bid on a personal shopping spree with Nicole herself at one of her boutiques. For ticket information, contact Pamela Kimel at pkimel@risd.edu.

Announcing

PROVIDENCE

COCKTAIL H G WEEK

So what should you do with your newfound (or enhanced) appreciation – and thirst – for well-made cocktails? You should experience one of the many offerings of Providence Monthly’s first ever Providence Cocktail Week. That’s right, from April 11-16, bars, restaurants and lounges around the city will be offering a week of thoughtful mixology and sophisticated sipping. It kicks off on Monday with a special menu of Mexican cocktails (there is more to them than margaritas, you know) with food pairings at El Rancho Grande (311 Plainfield St.). On Tuesday you can broaden your horizons further with a selection of sake cocktails at Ebisu Japanese restaurant (38 Pontiac Ave.). Wednesday brings Cocktails and Comedy to The Salon (57 Eddy St.), featuring host Eric Fox and the debut of a spring cocktail menu. Get a taste of New Orleans right here in Providence with a Thursday night full of classic Big Easy concoctions at The E&O (289 Knight Street). Things really get going on Friday night, when Cook & Brown Public House (959 Hope St.) hosts the official after party for the grand opening of the RISD Museum’s Cocktail Culture exhibit, a night of food, drinks and Mad Men-esque style, with all proceeds to benefit the RISD Museum. Finally, on Saturday night, the vintage era cabaret Chifferobe presents “The Stardust” at Cuban Revolution (60 Valley St.), promising music, dancing, eclectic entertainment and period cocktails. There will also be special cocktail menus all week long. The Avery (18 Luongo Sq.) will spotlight Old World cocktails featuring Haus Alpenz specialty liqueurs, Monday through Thursday, 5-7pm. At Waterman Grille (4 Richmond Sq.), order one of three signature Cocktail Week cocktails and get half-price appetizers at the bar from 4-9pm. Head to the Duck & Bunny (312 Wickenden St.) after 5pm, MondayFriday, for a unique selection of beer and winebased cocktails. Cocktail Week gives you plenty of opportunities to try something new, so drink up. For updates and further information, visit CocktailWeekProvidence.com or the Providence Cocktail Week Facebook page.

credits from page 28 JOSH: shirt from Clover, tie and pants from Into the Wardrobe. ELISABETH: dress from ZuZu’s Petals, shoes from J. Marcel, bracelet from J. Marcel. MICHAELLE: dress from ZuZu’s Petals, shoes from J. Marcel, necklace from NAVA, earrings from Flaunt. BRITTANI: Dress from Capucine, shoes from J. Marcel, bracelets from Flaunt, earrings from J. Marcel JOHN: Shirt and suit from Into the Wardrobe. Sweater vest from Clover.


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how to

drink a cocktail

Handy advice for the aspiring connoisseur

By John Taraborelli and Julie Tremaine

Where to Drink

T

he goal here is to get a cocktail – and a damn good one at that. You’re not looking for a place to party, or to dance, or to enjoy a pitcher of beer and a plate of wings while watching the game – all noble pursuits in their own right, but this isn’t about that. This is about procuring and enjoying a well made drink in an atmosphere conducive to such a simple yet sophisticated pursuit. It goes without saying that the bar should be well stocked – but we’re emphasizing quality over quantity here. A wide selection of flavored Smirnoffs does not a well stocked bar make. Quite the contrary, that sort of thing is to be avoided. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say the bar should be thoughtfully stocked. One of those contraptions that dispenses chilled Jagermeister shots is a bad sign. A cocktail menu on which most of the names end in “-tini” is a bad sign. A blender that looks like it’s used frequently is a bad sign. Your chances of getting a well made cocktail are inversely proportional to the number of “ultra premium” or “luxury” vodkas in gimmicky bottles.

Things like rye whiskey, small batch tequilas, Bols Genever and absinthe – these are good signs, indicators of thoughtfulness, of refinement, of attention to ingredients. One local bar has an entire shelf dedicated solely to an array of bitters – this hints at good drinks to come. You want a bar with a cocktail list, as opposed to a “martini” list. A martini list should have one thing on it: a martini. Gin. Vermouth. Twist. (Ok, maybe vodka too.) Really, just a martini PostIt would suffice. The majority of the cocktail list should be drinks that contain only three or four ingredients, with recipes that play off well-established formulas like spirit-vermouth-bitters or spirit-liqueur-citrus. The bartender should be just that: a bartender, a professional, a practitioner of the arts of cocktails and conversation in equal measure. This bartender should know the fundamentals of both a good drink and a dirty joke. He or she should be able to recommend something you haven’t tried based on a few questions about some things you have. It should be strong, or bracing, or smooth, or smoky – in short, it should have a character to it – but most of all, it should be well made. If a bartender can eagerly whip up a chocolate espressotini or a raspberry mojito, but blanches at the mention of an Old Fashioned or a daiquiri (the real kind, the kind Hemingway drank, not the frozen kind they serve with umbrellas at all-inclusive resorts), you are not in the hands of a true professional. Stick with wine, beer or liquor straight-up – then go find a bar that can make a decent drink.

It goes without saying that the bar should be well stocked – but we’re emphasizing quality over quantity here. 34

Providence Monthly | April 2011

What to Drink

T

hings can get ugly when you’re ordering at the bar. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not having a few easyto-make, easy-to-drink options at the ready, you’re going to go one of two ways: you’ll stand there, awkwardly perusing a specialty drink list from which you will inevitably order something made with blue curacao; or you’ll order something rote, like a Bacardi and Diet or a Cosmopolitan, which is about as interesting as the plot of Sex and the City 2. Try a warm weather favorite, the Dark and Stormy. The drink’s three simple ingredients (dark rum, ginger beer, lime) are at almost every bar, and really, there’s no better toast to a New England summer than a pirate libation. A Moscow Mule is a lighter variation that substitutes the rum for vodka, and is an increasingly popular step up in sophistication for those people who are tired of ordering the same old Stoli Raz and soda. When choosing a cocktail, things tend to fall across the gender divide. Women can order anything

from a Razz-ma-tini to something garnished with actual pieces of candy – but that doesn’t mean they should. There are plenty of respectable libations that taste good and don’t have anything involving the word “pucker” in them. Next time, opt for a Gimlet (gin and lime), a Tom Collins (gin, lemon, sugar and soda), or anything your bartender is willing to make you with fresh juice. Men tend to impose the strictest rules on what they order, disdaining what tastes good for a suitably manly Jack Daniels or Jameson’s, neat. While it is less than ideal to drink out of a margarita glass with a cactus for a stem, it’s also remiss to ignore the joy of a carefully crafted cocktail. Those who won’t be seen without something no-frills and brown in a glass should try a Sazerac (rye whiskey, sugar, bitters and a wash of absinthe) or a Rusty Nail (scotch and Drambuie). There’s nothing unmanly about a drink that tastes good – but there is something suspect about a man who’s afraid to drink anything that isn’t straight from the bottle.


“I like feeding the village.” “I love coming to work every day. It gives me an incredible opportunity to do the two things I love best: be creative and eat.

When to Drink

H

ave a drink when you feel like drinking. When you’re in the mood for a tipple, when you feel you’ve earned it, when you just want to take the edge off the day, sit down and order a drink. Don’t allow societal norms or vapid niceties to tell you otherwise. Drinking in the morning is fine. After all, why not? Drinking in the morning does not inherently make you irresponsible, immoral or an alcoholic. Are you any of those things? No. Then why the hell shouldn’t you be able to enjoy a cocktail with breakfast when the time and the place are right? The same principle applies at lunch, or at any point during the workday. If you drive an ambulance, operate dangerous machinery, perform openheart surgery or otherwise have a job in which the safety of yourself and others is at stake, you should not be drinking on the job. If you work in an office, however, or run a business, or work in a creative field, don’t shy away from the midday cocktail. Don’t let the disapproval of your coworkers – fear and jealousy masquerading as tsk-tsk moralizing – dissuade you. Order a martini with lunch. It’ll take the edge off. After all, this is drinking for the sake of enjoying a drink – not to get drunk, drown your sorrows or loosen yourself up for a social situation. It’s about enjoying the privileges of being an adult, a grown-up, and reminding yourself that you’ve damn well earned those privileges and nobody – but nobody – is go-

ing to keep you from enjoying them. These tiny transgressions against the polite banality that often passes for “appropriate behavior,” these essentially harmless but nonetheless meaningful subversions of broadly accepted social norms remind us that we are free and we are grown – and make all the responsibilities that come with that more bearable and worth the trouble. A friend of mine, a like-minded tippler, often notes that when people who don’t think it’s appropriate to drink during the day are asked why, they often snap, “That’s just not done.” Well, today it is. Of course, that brings us to the evening. Those precious, magic hours after work, around dinnertime, are made for the thoughtful drinker. The crowds of amateurs have not yet arrived, bringing bartenders to a grinding halt with their orders of two mojitos, a cosmo, an espressotini, four RedHeaded Sluts and a low-carb beer at a bar that’s four deep all around. No, at this hour, you’re in the company of fellow drinkers, folks looking to relax, think, sip something worth sipping slowly, and discuss worldly matters with friends and strangers alike. This is the time to order a cocktail – and a damn good one at that.

After all, this is drinking for the sake of enjoying a drink – not to get drunk, drown your sorrows or loosen yourself up for a social situation. It’s about enjoying the privileges of being an adult.

I remember the first night I opened over 34 years ago. I looked into the full dining room. It gave me a genuine thrill that I still feel today. I’m very proud of this wonderfully consistent product we’ve created. It’s nice to see returning customers all the time. I like feeding the village.”

– Deborah Norman Restauranteur

Rue De L’Espoir American Bistro Cooking

open daily breakfast, lunch, dinner 99 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906 info/reservations 751-8890 www.therue.com

Make the Trip to

Mister Sister Erotica

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

268 Wickenden Street Providence 421- 6969 •

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

35


A cut Above the rest

Open

Now Featuring An A La Carte Exclusive... All Your Sides Are Inclusive!

Check out our Sunday hours in May, visit us at

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www.providencepictureframe.com 36

Providence Monthly | April 2011

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6 1940s cocktail set (shaker/pitcher) $48 7 Fabulous 1950s shaker $34 8 Guest bar utensil set $28 9 Red and Black shot glass $5

EMMA’S BACK PORCH 729 Pontiac Ave, Cranston. 461-2881

HALL’S ON BROADWAY 145 Broadway. 272-0000

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

37


Wooden Ships by paola buendia BB DAKOTA • George Gina & Lucy Necklush • Local artisan jewelry 349-4611 • 20 cedar swamp road, smithfield Www.Rockandroseboutiquellc.Com

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

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April 2011 | Providence Monthly

39


Visit Wickford

Daffodil Days April 30 - May 1

For sidewalk sales and special offers visit: Beauty and the Bath Different Drummer Blue Hydrangea The Mermaid’s Purl

Lulabells Shaggy Chic Pet Boutique Green Ink Beach Rose Cafe

The Grateful Heart Wickford Art Association JW Graham Wilson’s of Wickford

and more... Sponsored by SO Rhode Island

Join us

View complete list of events at www.ric.edu/pfa 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

Wednesday, April 27 7:30 P.M. | THE AUDITORIUM IN ROBERTS HALL

Aszure Barton & Artists

40

Providence Monthly | April 2011


City Style shop talk / beauty / the look

Local Inspiration If using Twitter or Facebook has become akin to eating and breathing for you, then you’re going to love Becky DiStefano’s creative brainchild, Haute Tags. Pronounced “oat tag,” this chic and fashionably fun accessory line was inspired by the power and connectivity of social media sites. With a background in public relations and marketing for the beauty industry and a love for fashion, Becky thought what better way to personify our virtual identities than with a trendy, high-end, nickel-plated, Swarovski-studded (if you choose) tag – reminiscent of a dog tag – that can be engraved with your Twitter handle, hashtag, logo or essentially anything you want. Worn as a necklace on a ball chain or key ring, Haute Tags can serve as a networking/marketing

tool and all-around great conversation starter. “The tags are truly for anyone,” Becky says. “There’s a generation of kids who will never know the world without social media and it’s exciting. We’re looking to take that trend and create our own within the fashion and accessory world.” With a vision both vast and deep, Becky plans to expand the brand into other accessories and various lifestyle items. She also does her part in boosting Rhode Island’s economy by manufacturing, engraving and studding the tags locally. Haute Tags are the nametags of our generation, with a much hotter look. Haute Tags can be purchased through Becky at Becky47417@gmail.com. Be on the lookout for the website, launching soon. –Jen Senecal

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

41


at Hope

Artiste Village • 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI {FREE PARKING behind bldg.}

100 125 Sockanosset Cross Rd, Cranston, RI

(next to Whole Foods Market in Garden City)

401.270.5500

winesandmoreri.com

Spend in intimate evening of Italian Wines with Ambassador

Aldo Rafanelli of Antinori April 19, 2011 6:30-8:30pm

This very special seminar will include a selection of Red & White Wines from Antinori with food pairings from Caffe Itri. Tickets for this special occasion are $25 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance. Seating is limited to 40 people.

42

Providence Monthly | April 2011


City Style | Beauty

by Julie Tremaine

A Two-Hour Vacation

Illustration: Karli Hendrikson

Island treatments for summer-ready skin

Ah, April. There are so many things to be excited about this time of year: getting to see sunlight when you leave work in the evening, finally putting away your much-too-used winter coat and boots, christening the deck of the Hot Club for the season. It’s also the time of year when you can once again put on a dress without thick tights. But oh, those legs. Take a second to pull up your pant leg and really have a look at what’s happening down there. See all that dry, flaky skin? That needs to go before you can start showing off those legs for the season. This winter was brutal for many reasons, but the one I’m still feeling the effects of was the blisteringly cold air (followed by the blisteringly hot heat that tried to compensate for it) that completely sapped my skin of every bit of moisture. I moisturized faithfully every single day and still couldn’t keep up with my dry winter skin. Home exfoliators worked about as well as those tiny Ikea tools would to build a whole house. And all of a sudden, it was time to break out of those tights, with me nowhere near ready. I needed help, and I needed it fast. That’s why I was so excited to check out the new Spa at the Biltmore. Any new way to pamper is exciting, but what really drew me in were the islandinspired treatments they offer, using Pure Fiji products straight from the is-

land itself. If there’s any time that I need a tiny taste of the tropics, it’s March’s tail end of winter. So, with a long season of dresses in mind, I signed up for a Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Treatment and Island Bliss Pedicure. What’s cool about the Spa at the Biltmore is that it’s this total oasis in the middle of a busy hotel in the middle of a busy part of town – once you’re inside the serene atmosphere, you’re a long way from Kennedy Plaza. Manager Deb Garman met me at the Spa’s front desk, and led me upstairs to the ladies changing room (which is outfitted with an impressive array of grooming products, including razors for some pre-massage grooming – it’s a really nice touch for those among us who obsessively shave before anyone, even a pedicurist, touches our legs). I then headed to a treatment room for the hydrating treatment with Leslie. The process was simple: she gently scrubbed my arms, legs and chest with warm coconut oil and sugar, then removed the scrub with hot towels and followed that with an amazing coconut hydrating treatment. The smells of the coconut and fresh flowers really were transporting, and she applied enough massage to be relaxing and soothing without all of the painful pulling and twisting of a normal massage. I left that

Dance the Night Away

PROM 2011

room with my skin literally glowing, and headed to the nail salon. The Island Bliss pedicure has all the things you’d expect, except in their most luxurious version. Here, the pedicure chair is as big and comfortable as a recliner, the water in the foot bath is really a coconut milk soak, they use coconut bowls for all of the pedicure potions, there’s another round of scrubbing with coconut oil and sugar, and the moisturizer at the end is a house-blend of coconut oil and body butter. The experience felt much more luxurious than your normally rushed Saturday morning pedicure. In fact, you know that scene in Joe vs. the Volcano when Meg Ryan is being pampered by all the island women? It’s a lot like that, minus the bad wigs and deathby-kitsch. As Lauren painted my toes with some grape-colored Essie polish, she told me that the staff at this spa (which only opened a couple of months ago) is a blend of Red Door Spa employees who stayed, and Hotel Viking spa techs whom the new manager hand-picked. She also told me that the spa offers a 20% discount on all services to people who live and work in Providence. What better reason could you possibly need for a little island indulgence? To have your own mini-vacation, check out providencebiltmore.com/spa

Prom Fashions Arriving Daily

Contemporary women’s apparel, lingerie, shoes and accessories

A specialty boutique

Open Daily 10-5:30 Saturday 10-5

The Village CenTer 290 County road, Barrington 247-1087 April 2011 | Providence Monthly

43


City Style | The Look Julie Sygiel CEO & Founder, Sexy Period Tell me a little about Sexy Period. We are a brand new company with a line of underwear made from leak resistant fabric. It’s fashionable period underwear that women can wear as a backup so we never have to worry about spills. The idea started in my entrepreneurship class at Brown in 2008 and we worked for about two and a half years developing the product. We just launched sales in January and we were featured in StyleWeek Providence.

377 Broadway Providence, RI 401.421.0123 visavishairdesign.com Appointments helpful but not always necessary

Were you always interested in fashion? Growing up I was peripherally interested in fashion. I remember subscribing to Teen Vogue in middle school, and then in high school I designed and sewed my prom dress. It was lavender and had about 17 yards of tulle in the skirt. Describe your personal style. My personal style is cute, chic, conservative and fun. Recently I’ve been incorporating more colors into my wardrobe. I’m very inspired by Kate Spade’s spring collection.   Tell me about this look. I’m wearing one of my favorite J.Crew pencil skirts. I love them because they are professional, yet the bright colors make them fun. This one in particular is great because I can wear it year round and it makes me feel like a blossoming beauty. If I have an important meeting, I’ll wear an outfit like this because it puts a bounce in my step.   What are some style tips for every woman’s favorite week? I think it’s important to look for clothes that are not only comfy, but also fashionable. My mood is definitely influenced by what I wear and that time of the month is when I need an extra pick-me-up. Try wearing a sparkly accessory to give a bit of shimmer to your outfit.

What’s next for Sexy Period? We’ve received great feedback, so we’re excited to move into retail stores soon. We are looking forward to expanding to include more colors and cuts. Check us out at www.sexyperiod.com and send any style requests my way!

Providence Monthly | April 2011

if no one sees it, you’ll know you’re ready to rock the day.”

What inspired you? I love waking up in the morning knowing that my work empowers women and brightens their day when they put on a pair. The actual idea for period underwear came from my co-founder, Eunice Png, who went on a trip with female friends and they all had their periods at the same time. She realized that she wasn’t the only one who deals with this issue.

And for spring? Bright lipstick can put a glam spin on any outfit. Grace by Armour Beauty is my favorite fuchsia lip gloss. It makes your lips pop like no other.

44

Put on a fabulous pair of underwear every day. Even

Photography: Krzystyna Harber Photography

vis-á-vis hair design

by Caitlin Quinn


ppac

P

blvd

westminster

me mo rial

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

45


Classic Bistro

City Style | Shop Talk

by Ashley Graham

zbar & grille

831-1566 • 244 Wickenden St., Providence

Casual Chic Many people feel

Native American Jewelry, Pottery, Fetishes 401-751-7587 • 180 Wayland Ave • Providence 46

Providence Monthly | April 2011

as though they have peaked in their current career – and some are content with this. Meg Freaney was someone who was not. After many years of being a social worker, she decided that it was time to begin a new career path. On a whim she decided that her new career would be opening and operating a boutique in her hometown of Smithfield. Two short months later, in November 2010, Freaney opened the doors of Rock and Rose Boutique. Freaney feels as though the name Rock and Rose Boutique precisely defines the personality of the store. It’s “feminine but edgy and stylish,” she says. She would like to show people that they are able to look fashionable without losing functionality or comfort. Her role, as she sees it, is to “serve the community, not push [styles] on them” – which is why she is still “testing the waters” with certain styles. Her way of testing the waters is unique and effective. If there is a style she likes, but is unsure if customers will feel the same way, Freaney will wear it around the store to get first hand feedback. Recently, she wore a circle scarf to see if it was something her customers would like. As it turns out, they did and those Necklush scarfs are expected to be in the store soon. Trial and error also comes into play. To her surprise Freaney has found that causal is much more popular than dressy with her clientele. As such, “ca-

sual chic” has become the overall style of the store. A key element of the store is uniqueness. When looking for items, Freaney looks for different and unusual elements. It may be a small embellishment on the back of a basic blazer or an uneven hemline. It could also be where the items are made. The Wooden Ship sweaters she carries are custom made, designed and hand-knitted in Bali. All of the jewelry is handmade by local artists. The newest addition is a line of purses designed by George, Gina and Lucy. These bags are the epitome of function and fashion combined. They are large enough to hold everything, made of canvas and easy to wash. However, they also come in a variety of styles and colors, are extremely fashionable, and are becoming a must-have for celebrities including Fergie, Hayden Panettiere and Teri Hatcher. In addition to clothing and accessories, Rock and Rose also sells bath and body products. Neatly arranged on a black dresser are a variety of beautifully packaged perfumes, bubble baths, lip balms and candles. The products “create a romantic atmosphere,” says Freaney. Currently, she carries only Tokyo Milk, a popular all-natural beauty products line, but hopes to expand in this area, as well as in the locally designed and handmade jewelry. Stop by any time and see what’s new. 20 Cedar Swamp Road, Smithfield. 349-4611, rockandroseboutiquellc.com

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

Combining function and fashion, feminine and edgy


handbag (redefined)

iPod Be vewry vewry quiet... I’m hunting wabbit!

suede

speaker

Happy h unting this easter!

OPEN EVERY DAY

FIND US ON FACEBOOK OR AT MYSPACE.COM/TAMMANYHALLRI 409 ATWELLS AVE. PROVIDENCE, RI 401-831-3180

Additional seminar topics include:

BUSINESS + KNOWLEDGE+ NETWORKING

“The Status Quon’t: If you don’t break the rules, they’ll break you” Jeremy Crisp and Jeanette Palmer, Nail Communications

“Goals, Technology and Profits!Knowing your ROI in social media” C.J. Bordeleau and Daniel Faggella, Arsenal Social Media

“How Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress and YouTube Can Grow Your Business and Create a Social Media Footprint”

Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI Monday - May 2, 2011 - exhibitor move-in and kick-off celebration Tuesday - May 3, 2011 - exhibition and exhibitor move-out

Audrey McClelland, Mom Generations

“Leveraging the Knowledge Economy to Innovate Business Productivity and Practices” Katharine White, Workplace Renaissance

RIBX speaker line-up includes:

“Drive Revenue and Build a High Performance Sales Organization” Chuck Moller, MCG Partners

Helena Foulkes

Executive Vice President and Chief Health Care Strategy and Marketing Officer, CVS Caremark and Vice-Chair of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation

Jon Iwata

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IBM Corporation

Gina Raimondo

“Finding the Soul of Big Business”

Rhode Island General Treasurer

Produced by:

Paula Marshall

Chief Executive Officer, Bama Companies

Patricia Raskin President, Raskin Resources

Booth space is going fast! Contact the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce at 521.5000 to reserve your space today!

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April 2011 | Providence Monthly

47


Rhode island’s diamond Center

view our Entire Inventory online at

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Rare shapes and sizes available daily hundreds of ring & diamond possibilities

MRTjewelers.com 401.435.3500 9 2 7 Wa r r e n Av e . E as t P ro v i de nc e , R I E x i t 8 F rom rt. 1 9 5 e as t

48

Providence Monthly | April 2011


Feast

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

Photography: Kate Kelley

55

REVIEW Amici Bar & Grille

Chicken Fiorentina

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

49


Liquor and Mixers for Cosmos, Mojitos, Martinis and More! Vesica

Imported Gluten-Free Potato Vodka 1.75 litres

Buying or Selling?

Providence Monthly presents the first ever

“Let me do the work for you!” Ellen O’Donnell-Forte

a.k.a. “Elle Forte,” Realtor® cell: 401.524.0563 office: 401.521.9490 EODonnell5@cox.net

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DAILY events monday 4/11 Mexican cocktails (with food

pairings) @ El Rancho Grande (311 Plainfield St.)

East sidE PrEscriPtion 632 Hope Street, Providence ph: 401-751-1430 fx: 454-8096

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Butterman & Kryston 749 East Avenue Pawtucket, RI 02860

Welcome to

Baker Street Rue Your Neighborhood Bistro

75 Baker Street Providence, RI 02905 t. 401-490-5025 / f. 410-490-5026 open mon-fri. 7:30-4:30 starting April 3, sunday brunch 8-3

the newest member of the

Rue De L’Espoir Family and don’t forget our little sister bistro

tuesday 4/12 Sake cocktails @ Ebisu (38

Pontiac Ave.)

wednesday 4/13 Cocktails and Comedy

hosted by Eric Fox (new cocktail menu debut) @ The Salon (57 Eddy St.)

Thursday 4/14 New Orleans cocktail night

@ The E&O (289 Knight St.)

friday 4/15 The official after party for the

opening of the RISD Museum’s Cocktail Culture exhibit @ Cook & Brown Public House (959 Hope St.) *all proceeds to benefit the RISD Museum

saturday 4/16 Chifferobe, a Jazz Era

cabaret, presents The Stardust @ Cuban Revolution (60 Valley St.)

ALL WEEK LONG Mon-Thu: Old World cocktails featuring

Haus Alpenz specialty liqueurs, 5-7pm @ The Avery (18 Luongo Sq.)

Mon-Fri: Order a signature Cocktail Week

95 South Street Providence, RI 02903 t. 401-490-9966 / f. 410-490-9955 open mon-fri. 7:30-3:30

Rue De L’Espoir American Bistro Cooking

open daily breakfast, lunch, dinner 99 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906 info/reservations 751-8890 www.therue.com

50

Providence Monthly | April 2011

cocktail and get half-price appetizers at the bar, 4-9pm @ Waterman Grille (4 Richmond Sq.)

Mon-Fri: Special beer and wine-based

cocktails, 5pm-close @ The Duck & Bunny (312 Wickenden St.) More Info www.CocktailWeekProvidence.com Facebook.com/ProvidenceCocktailWeek


Feast | In the Kitchen

by Stephanie Obodda

Gain ExpEriEncE MakE connEctions HavE Fun!

Seasonal Inspiration Chef Matt Gennuso talks sausage and spring asparagus

now accepting resumes for:

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providencemonthly@providenceonline.com How has Chez Pascal evolved over the years? When we took over in 2003, we changed everything on the menu, repainted the interior and exterior, and made a few other cosmetic changes. We wanted to keep the name and the French influence on the menu, but make it our own. In a restaurant, things change all the time: produce, products, trends, food styles, techniques. It’s always a constant learning process. What’s influenced our changes most is the availability of local ingredients, continuing to be inspired by food and, most importantly, our customers being comfortable and trusting what we make. There is nothing more fulfilling than a customer saying, “Make whatever you want – I trust you.” How has access to local ingredients changed over the years? When we started, we sought out farmers and local produce. At the time we were working with only three farmers, and for local protein, had to drive to farms in Vermont or Massachusetts. Since then, we have seen an amazing transformation of the farming movement and easy access to fresh, local, handshake produce – meaning I can shake the hand of the farmer who has just handed me a bunch of tomatoes.

Photography: Mike Braca

Tell us about the sausage truck. The sausage truck is a result of my fixation and addiction to making sausages. Our hot dog cart has always featured our house made relishes and condiments. When I got into sausage making, we added the truck to showcase our house made sausages and cured meats. When I can, I love working the truck and interacting with the customers. I don’t have the opportunity to do that in the restaurant very often. Chez Pascal is known for seasonal cuisine using local ingredients. What spring ingredients are you most looking forward to? My favorite spring ingredient is asparagus. Much like a locally harvested tomato, there is nothing like asparagus. I don’t like to manipulate it too

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much at all – it’s perfect as is. We have a seasonal salad with asparagus every spring. I also love it simply grilled with salt and pepper, a little olive oil and some cheese. My grandmother used to have a small asparagus patch in her yard. She would steam it and put it between pieces of her homemade bread with a bit of butter. We used to make fun of her, but now, as with most things we learn from our grandparents, I know she really had it going on. In New England, spring happens on its own schedule. Patience is a required attribute as a chef in this region. It makes us appreciate what we have when we have it. What can we expect to find on your spring menus? Asparagus for as long was we can. It is a shamefully short season. Also, spring garlic, or green garlic bisque and more gorgeous beets. At the truck we will follow the same seasonal influence. Perhaps an asparagus sandwich on our house made potato bread, field arugula and Shy Brothers’ Farm Cloumage cheese.

I’ve heard that you’re a talented pig butcher. Tell me about your first time handling a whole hog. My first experience with butchering was when I was working in California at Oliveto. I would volunteer my time to come to work and watch Paul Bertolli and Mike Tusk break down pigs and other animals. After watching for a while, they let me butcher with them and I eventually got to do it on my own. Once you understand the muscle groups, other four-legged animals follow a similar butchering procedure. Much like embarking on any skilled discipline, you need to have the desire to learn, and the patience in knowing that learning takes time and that you never stop learning.

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Feast | On The Menu

by John Taraborelli

Oodles of Noodles Japanese ramen finally gets its due

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

have some familiarity with ramen, the vast majority probably thinks of the low cost, high sodium packets of dried noodles or microwavable cups of noodle soup that are the staple of so many dorm rooms. In Japan, however, ramen is a wheat noodle dish, originally of Chinese origin (it is often known as chuka soba, which means “Chinese buckwheat noodle”), commonly served in specialty ramen restaurants. Even in larger American cities like New York, ramen houses are a popular choice for lovers of Japanese food, but no restaurant in Providence has truly explored the many delicious varieties. Much like barbecue in the American south, each region of Japan has its own unique variant of ramen. Enter Ebisu, the unassuming little Japanese restaurant hidden on the Providence/Cranston line (38 Pontiac Ave.). It’s gone practically unnoticed by all but the most ardent foodies since it opened in 2009, but Ebisu has been quietly and consistently putting out some of the most exciting and inventive food in Providence. From their extensive sake menu (including some creative sake cocktails) to their ever evolving izakaya (Japanese bar food) selection to their Rice Burger, a Japanese take on fast food that is equal parts silly, ingenious and addictively delicious, partners Kazu Kondo, Gift Nutalaya and X

Premwat (who all met while working at Haruki) have been both elevating and defying diners’ expectations (many of whom are surprised to find a Japanese restaurant that has neither a sushi bar nor a hibachi grill). This month, they explore four regions of Japan through ramen. Each one is served noodle soup style, accompanied by nori (the seaweed most often used to wrap sushi) to add a little extra salt and flavor to the broth. The differences between the dishes are numerous: the thickness of the noodle, the type of broth, the toppings, etc. In some cases, the variations were quite specific, as in the case of the Tokyo Miso and Nagasaki Champon. Both are made with pork broth, but where the Tokyo version is flavored with miso and chashu (roast pork), Nagasaki uses tonkutsu (pork knuckle) stock as its base. The landscape of its origin also comes into play with each dish. The northern city of Sapporo, for instance, is known for its seafood, but also its dairy products. As such, its version of ramen is topped with squid, shrimp and scallops, as well as butter, which lends the broth a creamy richness not found in the others. In southern Okinawa, where the climate is more subtropical and the flavors lighter, the broth is made with kelp and bonito (skipjack tuna) flakes. Kondo says the new ramen menu

has already been a hit with their regulars, so perhaps if more diners show an interest, they’ll be inspired to make it permanent. For the moment, however, don’t miss your chance to try ramen the way it’s meant to be. Ebisu will be hosting a special sake cocktail night as part of Providence Cocktail Week on Tuesday, April 12. See page 32 for more details. RESTAURANT WEEK BY THE SEA It would be fair to say that outside of Providence, Newport has the best dining scene in Rhode Island. There are plenty of noteworthy restaurants worth the trip, and Newport Restaurant Week (March 25-April 3) is the perfect opportunity to not only try them at a value price, but get to them before the post-Memorial Day swarms of tourists do. Some of the City by the Sea’s most buzzed about (and priciest) eateries will be offering three-course prix-fixe specials ($16 for lunch, $30 for dinner), including Castle Hill Inn, The Spiced Pear and Tallulah On Thames. As an added bonus, the recently combined efforts the Newport and Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau means that many of the East Bay’s hottest places to dine are participating as well, so you finally have a chance to try places like Persimmon and Hourglass Brasserie at a steep discount. gonewportrestaurantweek.com


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Feast | Review

by Linda Beaulieu

East meets West A taste excursion from Italy to Asia We rarely go out

Photography: Kate Kelley

to dinner on a Saturday night, mostly because we find that the food and service is usually better on a slow night at many restaurants. But if we do dine on the weekend, we generally arrive early, and that’s what we did at Amici Bar & Grille, walking in just after 5pm. The gorgeous hostess offered us a coveted table for two next to the French doors that provide a view of Atwells Avenue, which is an especially lively scene on Saturday night. Amici is the latest restaurant to open on Federal Hill, and it is already a genuine hot spot, jam-packed on most nights. It is yet another venture involving Gianfranco Marrocco, who has had a string of successes including Caffé Dolce Vita and Mediterraneo. In the past, this location was home to Renaissance, then Naissance, and most recently Restaurant 242. Marrocco and his team have come up with a winning recipe at Amici with its wood-fired brick oven and exposed brick walls on the inside and bold neon signage on the exterior. You won’t have any trouble at all finding Amici, which is the Italian word for friends. You might think this is just another Italian restaurant on Federal Hill, but you’d be wrong. First of all, the handsome chef is Gianfranco Campanella, who we got to know back when he was at Mediterraneo. I consider Campanella to be one of the finest chefs in

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Rhode Island. Secondly, Campanella is a huge fan of Asian cuisine. So, Amici might sound very Italian, but to quote a foodie phrase, this is most definitely a “Mediterrasian” restaurant, with a combination menu that offers an extensive list of classic Italian fare and an intriguing array of Japanese sushi. Brian Webber, the former sous chef at Providence Oyster Bar, is the truly talented head sushi chef at Amici. As much as I love Campanella’s Italian dishes, I was craving sushi and got on the Orient Express, while my dining companion was content to visit southern Italy, where Campanella was raised. I ordered three appetizers from the Asian section of Amici’s menu, beginning with the Amici Roll ($14). An exotic thing of beauty, this large sushi roll is a combination of tempura shrimp, crabstick, avocado and cucumber flavored with spicy aioli, rolled futomaki style and topped with bold red and black tobiko (flying fish roe), sesame seeds and eel sauce. Futomaki are thick sushi rolls, also known as fat rolls, with nori (dried and pressed sheets of seaweed) on the outside. The roll is cut into slices for easy eating. I like to smear a fair amount of wasabi on each slice and then dip it into soy sauce, low sodium preferably. Japanese etiquette calls for the sushi to be turned over so that only the topping is dipped in the soy sauce, a technique I learned the

Chef’s Toy Box (sushi sampler) hard way. Otherwise the rice absorbs too much soy sauce and falls apart. I liked the slight crunch of the tempura shrimp and nori, the creaminess of the avocado, and the mild smoky and salty taste of the tobiko. I am addicted to that jolt of wasabi and, like any addict I tend to need more and more with each piece of sushi. In between that rush of wasabi, I munched on the slightly sweet pickled ginger to cleanse my palate. The two other apps served as my entrée: Japanese Bruschetta and Kung Pao Surf & Turf ($14 each). Mediterrasian food is exemplified here with this Japanese take on the classic Italian bruschetta. Instead of bread, which never appears in Asian cuisine, the chef has taken sushi rice, wrapped it in nori and fried it tempura style. Four of these slices are served on an oblong plate, topped generously with finely diced, sushi-grade raw tuna, tiny bits of tomato, and arugula micro greens. The presentation is finished with paintbrush strokes of Sriracha chili sauce. Seared tuna was the surf, and beef tenderloin tips were the turf, topped with a spicy-sweet chili sauce, toasted sesame seeds and finely chopped roasted peanuts. The two skewers were presented over not-too-sweet slices of fresh pineapple, grilled. All three Asian dishes were deeply satisfying. Brian sat across the table from me, but he was thousands of miles away, enjoying the food of southern Italy. He opted for the prix-fixe menu, three courses for $29.95, and selected the Mista Salad, Pappardelle alla Bolognese and RicottaCinnamon Fritters for dessert. The salad of mixed field greens, really enough for two to share, was dotted with Roma tomatoes and red onions, all dressed with a heady balsamic

vinaigrette reduction. The ribbons of fresh pasta were piled high in a deep white bowl, sauced with San Marzano tomatoes and many tender chunks of veal, beef and pork. Shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese garnished this dish. Served with warm slices of focaccia bread, this was a just-about-perfect Italian dinner. After dinner, we were presented with complimentary glasses of orangecello, a cousin to limoncello, the popular Italian liqueur from the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. This was not only delicious, but it also helped us digest our food. Minutes later we were heading down Atwells Avenue when Brian realized he never got the dessert he ordered as part of his prix-fixe menu. We were both so disappointed to miss what the menu described as sweet fried dough stuffed with ricotta cheese and then tossed in cinnamon and sugar. Anyone can make an honest mistake, especially when a restaurant is humming along at 100 miles per hour on a busy night. Sometimes you can be so seduced by extraordinary food that you float out of a restaurant and head home, totally unaware of any missteps. Linda Beaulieu is the author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, available at stores throughout the state.

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April 2011 | Providence Monthly

55


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Providence Monthly | April 2011

Feast | Behind the Bar

by Cristy Raposo

Second Time’s a Charm Justin Erickson of Sequel helps improve a Hill favorite Tell me about Sequel. It’s a modern, upscale lounge with a New York City feel to it. We have DJs on special nights. The owners designed and customized this lounge themselves – everything from the custom-made furniture with built-in champagne buckets on the tables to the designs on the wall. The main bar is made from an unscratchable, unbreakable glass that has lit liquid underneath it, making it an interactive piece. There’s a garage door that will open the lounge up to our patio during the summer. Why call it Sequel? The owners wanted this lounge to be the next page of the previous bar that was here, Sona. It was pretty infamous. Sona regulars will get the new name. This is part two, the reinvention of Sona. They wanted to do something that was new and exciting for everyone. Structural changes were made; flaws of the former bar fixed. How else does Sequel stand out from other bars? Unlike other places that flicker the lights or yell, “Last call,” when it’s time for you to order your last drink, we have a gong that we hit. What is Sequel’s signature drink? The Naughty Monkey: Stoli Vanilla, Café Patron XO, Baileys and banana liqueur served as a martini or a shot. I competed in the IronTender at Twin River last year and finished in the top three with my signature drink, the Caliente Watermelon Martini. It’s made with a handful of cilantro, a pint glass of fresh watermelon juice and one jalapeño ring muddled with Bombay Sapphire, shaken and double strained. My other signature drink is the Coco Breeze: coconut vodka or rum and pineapple juice, floated with Diet Coke on top – make sure it’s diet to make up for all the calories in the pineapple juice. How did you get into bartending? I was working at Exotic Tans when I came home from college. The owner asked if I wanted to barback next door at The Grind martini bar. One night, a steaming hot dishwasher sprayed the

bartender in the face, completely immobilizing him. They asked me to jump in and take over. That was nine years ago. For my 19th birthday, my parents sent me to Boston School of Bartending. What advice can you offer to those who want to bartend? Be personable. Have a good personality on your shoulder. Keep moving. If you are a fast bartender, you can make a decent drink. Learn your drinks. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen while you were bartending? The mob scene of 2700 people that showed up at Aspire for New Year’s Eve. I’ve worked the legendary St. Mary’s Feast in Cranston and I haven’t seen anything like Aspire. My head was down for four hours, making drinks non-stop. It’s one of those parties that people still talk about. We did $12,000 in sales at my bar. It was insane. What’s the one thing they don’t teach

you in bartending school that you feel they should? How to interact with people. Each person that comes to your bar has a different personality from the next. You need to be able to read who you can joke with, who you can’t, who is looking for a shoulder to cry on. Bartending school is very by the book. What do you like most bartending? It’s a great way to network and meet people. There are so many people I met while bartending that I wouldn’t have otherwise. By the way, mention that you saw this article and I’ll buy your first drink.

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Despite my father’s staunch Catholicism, the most frequent benediction he utters is neither Sunday psalm nor Biblical passage but a quote from the very un-saintly Ben Franklin. With remarkable consistencey and a touch of whimsy, dear old dad christens his foamy pints with Franklin’s renowned axiom: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Ah, beer, sponsor of happiness and joy for centuries. Raised with such wisdom, I naively assumed that beer’s ties to happiness and joy are self-evident and unassailable. Yet in recent years, and with much chagrin, I’ve watched the craft beer boom compromise my father’s (and Ben’s) truism. Once firmly the province of loose-collared, pinkcheeked, table-thumping good fun, craft brewing has turned sober in the pursuit of elevating beer to loftier heights of respectability. Moreover, beer-drinking practices seem to have stiffened as well, now displaying some of the more sanctimonious hallmarks of Epicureanism. Perhaps borrowing a page from the local food movement’s etiquette, in its conscientious pursuit of rarified comestibles, beer-drinking patrons now volley questions that would once have been unthinkable in that millieu: Are the nine kinds of hops in this pilsner organic, heirloom grains? Were the grinds used for this coffee stout locally roasted with fair-trade beans? Did the barrels that aged this Scotch ale hail from a highland brewery? These developments are not altogether a bad thing, of course. Beer is not necessarily less happy or joyous when artfully made. Craft brewers, along with the hoards of beer geeks they inspire, are not intentional killjoys. Furthermore, not all craft beer consumption is alike: A round of pints at the irrepressibly low-key Trinity Brewhouse, which serves only house-made beers and excellent ones at that, is

quite different from a round of flights at an upscale bar, which serves more tasting notes (“oak, cherry, smugness”) than thirst-quenching volumes. Lately and distressingly, however, it seems like the latter experience is far more the rage. If so, the scientific precision and elitist aura that increasingly attend “serious” beer threatens it’s role as the ac-

cessible, companionable genus of the alcohol kingdom. I imagine that neither good-time Ben Franklin nor beer-philic fathers would find much cause for joy in this turn of events. Yet fear not, beer lovers. Hope springs conveniently in the aisles of Nikki’s Liquors in North Providence (33 Smithfield Rd.), a deceptively nondescript mecca for brew enthusiasts. Nikki’s, in turn, got their hope in a four-pack from Connecticut’s New England Brewing Company, known to avid beer groupies simply as NEBC. What is this redemptive beer, you ask? What canned liquid sends forth rays of sunshine into the furrowed-brow gravitas that has overtaken beerdom? The answer, in one bizarre, hyphenated word: Gandhi-bot.

Among those in the know, Gandhibot Double IPA has achieved mythic status for its rarity, deliciousness and delirious weirdness. Clearly conceived in some altered state by NEBC chief Rob Leonard, Gandhi-bot mixes homages to trippy rock and roll, Indian spiritual leaders, robot science, ‘80s lo-fi graphics and high-octane pale ales in one sticker-clad can. Yes, sticker-clad: Gandhibot’s tall aluminum cans are cloaked in a peel-off, neonorange label decorated with an air guitar-playing robot Gandhi. (An older, wiser friend insists this is a reference to Styx’s 1983 single, “Mr. Roboto.”) At any rate, what more effective pronouncement that fun begins with a tip of its can key could one devise? Gandhi-bot is a little too much fun, one might say, given its hefty 8.8% ABV. (Most beers, even brawny IPAs, rate about one-half to two-thirds that amount.) Gandhi-bot indeed goes big, and in a dangerously drinkable way. As an American IPA the beer is more West Coast than East Coast, with all the sunny, relaxed charm that distinction implies. Its overall character is one of citrus and pine, with a sharp, hoppy finish that tempers its borderline sweetness. It is, perhaps, the most chug-worthy IPA I’ve downed in quite awhile. Yet Ghandi-bot is also a very serious beer, as its rhapsodic reviews by self-proclaimed “ale heads” attest. “Gorgeous,” “addictive” and “transcendent” are but three of the lofty adjectives wielded in its descriptions, and trade press circuits unequivocally award it top ratings. Gandhi-bot has even achieved cult status among craft beer devotees, with waves of giddy chatter accompanying its periodic releases to store shelves. Can this be? Beer that’s both fun and serious? Don’t keep it mum: spread Gandhi-bot’s gospel far and wide, as the Mahatma (and Ben and my dear papa) surely intended. newenglandbrewing.com

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Private room available for up to 30 people Open Daily For Lunch and Dinner 245 Atwells Ave., Providence www.trattoriazooma.com 383.2002 60

Providence Monthly | April 2011


Feast | Dining Guide

Spend Your Day in Splendor

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joy classic Lebanese dishes and light cuisine with your cocktail. LD $ 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 $$ Café Paragon 234 Thayer St.; 3316200. This hip eatery serves sandwiches, pasta, and entrees at prices lower than the chic décor would have you believe. The adjoining Viva lounge is perfect for after-dinner drinks and private parties. BrLD $-$$

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 $-$$$

Providence 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 $-$$

Photography: Tom Stio

ASIAN BISTRO 123 Dorrance St.; 3833551. 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 $-$$$

ing “upscale diner food” with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrL $ 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.; 273-6363. Taste authentic North Indian 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 $-$$

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 $-$$$

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 $$-$$$

BAKER STREET RUE 75 Baker St.; 490-5025. Chef Twillia Glover expands the Rue De L’Espoir empire with this comfortable neighborhood café serv-

BYBLOS 235 Meeting St.; 453-9727. Providence’s original hookah lounge offers more than just a relaxing smoke and chic atmosphere. You can also en-

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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 $-$$ CAV 14 Imperial Pl.; 751-9164. The New York Times’ choice as one of Providence’s five best restaurants, CAV’s contemporary upscale cuisine is available al fresco for lunch and dinner daily. They also feature weekend brunch. BrLD $$-$$$ DON JOSE TEQUILAS 351 Atwells Ave.; 454-8951. Don Jose’s digs a little deeper than your average Mexican restaurant, with all the basics you love alongside more artfully composed entrees and a wonderful selection of house-made tequilas. LD $$ 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  $$-$$$ 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.; 2230332. For authentic Japanese dining, try Haruki’s large variety of sushi,

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

Convenient free parking in back

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Feast | Dining Guide TuesDay Thru sunDay 4pm – 6pm half-price Off enTire fOOD menu!

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East Greenwich’s Newest Restaurant and Martini Bar

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see the popular choral blockbuster LIVE at RI’s finest concert hall

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and music by Nancy Galbraith • Robert Page, guest conductor

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ing If you’re not e’Sa,t CASERTA you’re not eating pizza!

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

sashimi, bento boxes, soba noodles and delicious specialty entrees. Enjoy the chic atmosphere and the freshest sushi around. LD $-$$$ HEMENWAY’S 121 South Main St.; 3518570. A true Providence classic, Hemenway’s has been serving top-notch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island variety to the local favorite, Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$ HUDSON STREET DELICATESSEN 68 Hudson St.; 228-8555. For a true neighborhood deli, head to the West Side. Try one of their delicious specialty sandwiches, using only quality Boar’s Head meats, including the biggest and best grinder in town. BLD $ Kartabar 284 Thayer St.; 331-8111 This European-style restaurant and lounge offers a full menu of unique dishes such as Champagne Sea Bass and Gorgonzola-stuffed Filet Mignon. They also offer a gourmet wine list and martini menu. LD $-$$ 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 $-$$ MILLS TAVERN 101 North Main St., 2723331. The only restaurant in RI to receive The Mobile Four Star Award for five consecutive years, Mills Tavern provides traditional American cuisine in a warm, friendly setting. LD $$-$$$ MU MU CUISINE 220 Atwells Ave.; 3697040. Get a true taste of China in the heart of Federal Hill. Mu Mu mixes the best of familiar stateside favorites with a selection of authentic Chinese specialties. LD $-$$ 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 $$-$$$ NOT JUST SNACKS 833 Hope St.; 8311150. Indeed, it’s not just snacks, but rather some of the tastiest, most authentic Indian food around served in a

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comfortable, homey setting right in the heart of Hope Street. LD $-$$ PARKSIDE 76 South Main St.; 3310003. Chef/owner Steven Davenport’s Parkside offers innovative foods ranging from spicy crab cakes to grilled tenderloin and Portobello salad. The menu also includes creative pasta dishes and Parkside’s signature rotisserie meat. LD $-$$ 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 $-$$ Pizzico Ristorante 762 Hope St.; 421-4114. Pizzico sets the standard for Italian cuisine on the East Side, with award-winning food, a wide variety of wine and a rustic yet eclectic atmosphere. LD $$-$$$ Red Stripe 465 Angell St.; 437-6950. It’s classic comfort food with French influences. From their Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup to ten styles of Moules & Frites, Red Stripe’s menu is reasonably priced and made with passion. LD $-$$$ RUE BIS 95 South St.; 490-9966. This intimate eatery provides breakfast and lunch in a cozy, neighborhood bistro atmosphere – all with the gourmet pedigree of Hope Street fining dining staple Rue De L’Espoir behind it. BBrL $ Rue De L’espoir 99 Hope St.; 7518890. 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 $$-$$$ 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.; 8313180. 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 $

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


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 $-$$ TRATTORIA ZOOMA 245 Atwells Ave.; 383-2002. Located on historic Federal Hill, Zooma offers award winning Neapolitan cuisine in a beautiful, upscale setting, specializing in house made pasta, local fish, meats, vegetables and authentic wood fired pizza.LD $$-$$$ United BBQ 146 Ives Street, 7519000. Barbecue is an art form here. Feed the inner man with a classic rack of ribs (sold in half or whole racks) or make it light with a “Tofurkey” kielbasa sandwich from the menu’s Weird Stuff section. They deliver. LD $-$$ WALTER’S RISTORANTE D’ITALIA 286 Atwells Ave.; 273-2652. Experience the authentic flavors of Chef Walter Potenza, a name long synonymous with Italian food in Rhode Island. This is a must-stop for foodies, and caters to gluten-free diners. D $$-$$$ 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 fried clams and fish and chips, and offers takeout. LD $-$$ Ichigo Ichie 5 Catamore Blvd., East Providence; 435-5511. The name roughly translates as “one encounter in a lifetime,” but you’ll want to visit again and again for the enchanting Japanese décor, and of course, the sushi and hibachi menus. LD $$

Now OPEN Chic. Feminine. Edgy. Clothing, Beauty and accessories 349-4611 • 20 cedar swamp road, smithfield Www.Rockandroseboutiquellc.Com

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 $-$$$

“...not for the faint of heart. But it is also likely to leave the brave with tremors, followed by tears.”

- Cincinnati Post

presents the New England Premiere of

1:23

By Carson Kreitzer

South County

April 15 - May 7 Tickets on sale at www.arttixri.com

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; 7285500. 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 $-$$

or 401.621.6123 95 Empire St. Providence go to www.perishable.org for details on our shows!

ALL OF PROVIDENCE’S BEST IS JUST A CLICK AWAY Events calendar

Theatre listings

Nightlife & bars

Restaurant listings

Contests & reviews

& menus

The ultimate guide to the city

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 $$-$$$

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Prov Monthly_Apr:4.375 X 5.875

3/18/11

10:07 AM

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you might not sit on the royal throne but we can still improve your seat. Royal Wedding SALE Join now and we’ll treat you like royalty.

boston sports clubs there’s a million reasons to join.® 10 Dorrance St, Providence • 401.278.4950 131 Pitman St, Riverview Place West, Providence • 401.351.2449 MySportsClubs.com

FEATURED PROPERTIES

39 Wade St: Contemporary townhouse built in 2008. Open floor plan, beautiful hardwood floors, cook’s kitchen, master bedroom suite plus second bedroom with ensuite bath.  Sunlit spaces and a water view.  Integral garage within walking distance to Wickenden st.

124 Blackstone Blvd: Classic 1920’s brick flat renovated in 2005. 2 Br’s, gleaming hardwoods, streaming sunlight, new kitchen, 1.5 Baths, in unit laundry,new windows, freshly painted, w/storage & garage. East facing top floor unit perched above beautiful Blackstone Blvd.

320 South Main St: Picture perfect 1 bed condo offers brand new kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances. Lovely private patio just outside your living room door. Walk to great shops,restaurants and schools. Have you seen south main st lately? Wow!

150 Chestnut St: Striking loft in the knowledge district. 5 Units provides strong cash flow for owner occupant.  10’ Windows, 12’ ceilings, h/w floors and exposed brick walls, new windows and central air.  D2 zoning allows many uses.  Best value in the building!

Markham + DeRentis Associates - Residential Properties Ltd. Jim DeRentis | Nancy Markham | Office: 401.274.6740 www.markhamderentisassociates.com

820 Hope Street, Providence 342 Broadway, Providence Rumford Center, 20 Newman Avenue, East Providence For directions and hours, visit us at www.sevenstarsbakery.com 64

Providence Monthly | April 2011


Get Out

Events / art / music / MOVIES / theatre

The Cultural SENE April 6-10: What do you need when

A scene from the film I.M. Caravaggio

you’re an artist? Some exposure to let the world know that you’re out there would be nice. Granted, when you’re first starting out, you’ve got your mom. Yup, she’ll put your masterpiece on the fridge, show it to the mailman and send photocopies to your extended family throughout the country. Hit the big time and you’ll get the big corporate public relations and publicity machine. And for those in the middle? Praise to

the SENE Festival. The Southeast New England Film, Music and Arts Festival holds a little bit of both worlds, with an all volunteer staff, showcasing hints of the grassroots passion that’s all your mother, but with a diverse and impressive roster of film screenings, live concerts and art exhibits to bring in an active audience that goes way beyond familial relations. Locations in Pawtucket and Providence. 603-0252, senefest.com. - Dawn Keable

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Your business here! 2 Spaces Available • Prime Centerdale Village Location • Call For Details

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Wings Done Right

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The Camera Werks CUSTOM FRAMING & PHOTO BOUTIQUE

VHS to DVD Transfer Service Movies, Slides & Prints to DVD

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BEAUTIFUL PRE-OWNED JEWELRY

Empire Loan 1271 North Main Street Providence, RI 02904

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

Get Out | Calendar

by Dawn Keable

This Month April 7 Turn your favorite drink from a tooth rotting chemical bath into a healthful fizzy treat with Simple Homemade Sodas in Cranston. learnconnect.com. April 8 Groove to the eclectic international sounds of the Nicki Mathis Jazz Quartet at the Roots Cafe, presented by FirstWorks. first-works. org. April 9 Beg a Great International Beer Festival vendor to let you do a keg stand at the Convention Center. beerfestamerica.com. April 10 Grow your garden higher than the Central Library stacks, where the Southside Community Land Trust gets you started. provlib.org. April 16 Enter your kid into a Camouflaged Egg Hunt in four locations statewide, to take away some of the pressure. asri.org. April 16 Wonder, really wonder, what you’ll find during the Roger Williams Park Pond Cleanup. 331-2298. April 20 Visit Planet Taco, as A Taste of America lecture takes to Brown to track the globalization of Mexican chow. arttixri.com. April 21 Laugh At My Pain, or that of comedian Kevin Hart, as his tour hits PPAC. ppac.org. April 23 Channel those times you were in traffic and thought you could run faster, during the Jamestown Bridge 10K. trimomprod.com.

Play Ball April 7: It’s gonna be a little strange to head back to McCoy this season. Same team. Same stadium. Same popcorn. Same mascot. Same longest game in the history of baseball stats. But on this Opening Day, no owner and chief cheerleader Ben Mondor. He died last October, at the age of 85, ironically, or probably not so much, after the season had ended. Mondor’s the reason that this beautiful new park is here, spending his “retirement,” starting in 1977, on a quest to turn the franchise from bankruptcy, without a membership in professional baseball, to a team that draws over 600,000 fans per season. As the Paw Sox host the Rochester Red Wings, the AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, why don’t you tip your hat in respect, then hope his team can take care of the rest. 7:05pm. McCoy Stadium, 1 Columbus Avenue, Pawtucket. 724-7300, pawsox.com.

April 25 Rim your glass with salt at the Stadium Theatre Margarita Tasting Fiesta in Woonsocket. stadiumtheatre.com.

Got a cool upcoming event? Send the details, with plenty of advance warning, to dawn@providenceonline.com.


kyůreo

H D & D Preschool Open House Enrollment Now Open to 3-5 year-olds, full and part-time When: Saturday, April 9, 2011 Where: The Livingston Center Preschool, 30 Livingston Street, Providence, R.I. Time: 10 a.m. to noon Our staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the program. Our year-round, fully inclusive, comprehensive preschool program provides young children with a nurturing environment that promotes social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Our program includes: Structured preschool curriculum Instruction in reading and math Gym class, taught by a certified PE teacher Community outings Convenient East Side location

DESIGN THERAPY WITH JAY WAYNE LUIZ

To learn more about the Livingston Center Preschool, go to www.grodennetwork.org/children/preschool.asp or call Dr. Jane Carlson, Preschool Director, at 401-421-2062. Tours and screenings are encouraged.

VISIT

US IN

WAYLAND SQUARE

13 South AngeLL STREET PROVIDENCE, RI 401. 437.6677 WWW.KYUREO.COM

The Livingston Center Preschool is a program of the Groden Network.

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

difference “ Thebetween the fleeting and the enduring is artistry

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

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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BRASSERIE

Bravo

BRASSERIE

ONE DAVOL SQUARE Point Street, Providence

150 - 400 SF EXECUTIVE OFFICES

A n American Bistro with a French influence. Delicious

food, great service and atmosphere. All for a great price! Downtown in the Theatre District • Complimentary Valet Parking Private Banquet Facility Overlooking the City • Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Visit our Website for Weekly Specials, Dining Room & Banquet Menus

Join us for Easter Dinner Sunday, April 24 Flowers for all the ladies on Mother’s Day Book your Graduation Party Early! 123 Empire Street • Downtown Providence 401- 490 - 5112 • www.bravobrasserie.com

Demand Authentic BBQ! All of our meats are cooked low and sloooow in our hickory smoker Succulent St. Louis cut Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork and Beef Brisket Vegetarian options too!

Open Tues thru Sun 11am – 11pm s Closed Mondays 146 Ives St. Providence 751-9000 s www.unitedbbq.com

UNITED BBQ DELIVERS! 68

Providence Monthly | April 2011

751-9000

 Available Immediately  Furnished or unfurnished  Short-term monthly lease terms available  24/7 tenant access  Building reception with phone answering service  On-site conference room  Coffee service  Easy access to I-195, I-95 and Downtown  Cost-effective customer and staff parking solutions For More Information Please Contact

Tom Donovan (401) 421-1110


Get Out | Music

by Alyssa Smith

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

Bad Bromance

On the Hunt for Good Music Judging the WBRU Rock Hunt

Photography: Timothy Siekiera

As I pulled out of my driveway and turned on the radio Saturday night, I mentally prepared myself for the BRU Rock Hunt, the station’s annual search for the area’s most radio ready local band. As I tend to be a bit of a music snob, I tried to lower the bar for what was to come by binging on bad: starting with some forgettable Sugar Ray song, following that with “Margaritaville,” and getting about one-quarter of the way through a Nickelback song before I couldn’t take it any longer. BRU deserved more credit than Chad Kroeger. I walked in to the Spot Underground, the venue for the evening, and was escorted to a white leather couch and a table with clipboards. The instructions were to score the bands according to categories like musicianship, radio readiness, vocals and lyrics. Luckily, my fellow judges seemed to have decent musical tastes, especially the very masculine drummer who knew every B-side and unreleased track from Prince. As we shared musical pref-

erences and experiences with past BRU shows, my vodka tonic started to taste better and I was ready to give this a go. At the stroke of nine, a slew of boys in tight black clothing assembled on stage. As they began twiddling their instruments, a girl catapulted herself on to the stage. The band was a fivepiece group that sounded similar to Paramore. Sienna did have the right profile for a BRU band: a cute lead singer, lots of jumping around, and more poppy alt-rock sounds than you could shake a stick at. My hopes were high for the second band Last One Out, as I was excited by the lead vocalist doubling as the keyboardist. They veered from jam band to synth pop band, which was confusing. They did seem to have more range in terms of their musical skill, though. Based solely on the last band’s name – Bad Bromance – I was ready to throw in the towel. As I ordered my last drink, however, I found myself surprisingly compelled to sit and

listen. Yes, they were slower and not as enthusiastic as their competitors, but their sound was pleasant. Not entirely unlike Phish or Dispatch, their guitars and harmonizing had a nice acoustic twang. Maybe the former hippie in me was talking, but I thought if I were at a bar with live music, they’d be a nice accompaniment to a good beer. As it turned out, the band with the worst name (ever?) turned out to be the best of the bunch. While I thought the first band’s strong audience support would secure their victory, I was surprised to learn the performance of the second group wowed my fellow judges the most. I figure a band like Bad Bromance would go on to enjoy success in coffee shops and dive bars regardless. After I was promised some choice Prince tracks from the my new drummer friend, I strolled off into the night, feeling perhaps I did some civil service for the local music scene.

April 2 Yeah, Sara Bareilles may have lost out the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammys this year to Gaga, but that egg didn’t just come off a tour opening for Maroon Five, did she? Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street. 331-5876, lupos.com.

April 2 You could sit at Fort Adams and wait for the Newport Jazz Festival, or get a small fix now with a Tribute to Louis Armstrong by Byron Stripling and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts. 222-1467, vmari.org.

April 15 Stop spreading rumors. John Oates did not have a nasty fight with his long time partner Daryl Hall. After almost 40 years together, can’t a guy get away and take a solo trip? Showcase Live, 23 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA. 888-354-7042, showcaselive.com.

April 17 We’ve got some news for you Ricky Martin. If your fans didn’t hold your Menudo outfits against you, they don’t care that you’re gay. Just sing and dance already. Mohegan Sun Arena, One Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 1-888-226-7711, mohegansun.com.

April 26 Embrace the opportunity to discover a band or two who hasn’t been mass marketed to death, like Kasey Smith of Romance On A Rocket Ship, with his super catchy tune, “Skin and Bones,” and fantastic ‘80s locks. Firehouse No. 13, 41 Central Street. 270-1801, firehouse13.org.

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

69


Get Out | Art

by Vikki Warner

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

April and May For all the time you don’t spend thinking about what goes on behind the bars, The ACI Show gives you another perspective. Atrium Gallery, Department of Administration Building, One Capitol Hill, Third Floor. arts.ri.gov/projects/atrium.php.

Pinwheel at the Magic Child Repository

By the Book The art of the small press comes to Craftland Let’s not forget that

books are magical objects. Although a transformation is afoot in publishing, by which the paper-thread-and-board book is being eclipsed by its hotshot cousin, the eBook, the physical properties of books are still vastly appealing and innately emotional, often tied in our minds to the content within. From April 7 to May 7, The Magic Child Repository at the Craftland Gallery will help us to remember what we love about books. It’s a month-long group show of small, handmade books, ranging from scrappy ‘zines to high-end book objects, straddling the realms of literature, craft and art. The show’s curator, Art Middleton, says he chose to highlight works that exhibit what he calls “handedness”: evidence of skilled human hands being involved in the creation of objects that have compelling personal meaning. There’s a thriving local and national community of independent artists and presses that remain dedicated to exactly this concept, and about a dozen will participate in the show. The specific pieces in the show are a secret until the opening, but some of the participants include Greying Ghost Press (Salem, MA), publishers of design-forward chapbooks; Kidney Press (Tuscaloosa, AL), whose astonishing books span a range of binding techniques; and Rope-a-Dope Press (Boston, MA), publishers of letterpress-printed broadsides and chapbooks that integrate art seamlessly with poetry and prose. Middleton has chosen pieces in which design and construction of the

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

tangible book interplay with the writing within, fostering a deeper personal reaction on the part of the reader. For Middleton, though, the show is not just about the beauty and personal meaning of books – it’s a chance to make some rare works more accessible. The work in the show is produced by hand, in small runs or even single editions, and it often sells out quickly, so it exists largely in private collections. Much of it can’t be seen anywhere else. Middleton hopes to bring together a group of artists, writers, bookbinders, printers, booksellers, readers and others who play roles in the small press industry, introduce them to each other, and let connections and collaborations be created. As for those who are less invested in the industry, just dropping by to check out the show, Middleton hopes they’ll be surprised and inspired that the small press community is alive and well, and flourishing in the Internet Age. So, while we embrace the future of books, in whatever form they take, let us also love and value the combination of the paper, the ink, the type, the art and the ideas physical books contain. They are the magic children of many minds. The Magic Child Repository will be open from April 7 to May 7 at the Craftland Gallery, 235 Westminster Street. An opening reception and reading hosted by curator Art Middleton and writer/performer Walker Mettling will take place Saturday, April 9 at 7:30pm. For more information, visit www.craftlandshop.com or call 272-4285.

Through April 6 The invention of floor cloths, in 14th century France, gave housewives a handy spot to hide the crumbs. Painter Carol Scavotto makes you wonder how you’ve gone without. BankRI, Turks Head Gallery, One Turks Head Place. 456-5015, bankri.com.

April 3-29 On April 7 at 6:30pm, students from the Jacqueline M. Walsh School talk up their pieces in the Pawtucket School Art Show, which are a world away from your popsicle napkin holder. Pawtucket Arts Collaborative Gallery, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. pawtucketartscollaborative.org.

April 27 Enough of this intimidating avant-garde stuff that you can’t understand. Aszure Barton and Artists puts the joy back into modern dance with a funky, fun vocab. Rhode Island College, Roberts Hall Auditorium, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 4568144, ric.edu.

April 30 Make your mark on Free Community Day: The Big Draw, with the dual purpose of promoting the value of sketching as a creative tool, and allowing your stick figures to live in a mock-free zone. RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street. 454-6500, risdmuseum.org.


Get Out | Calendar

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Providence Monthly | April 2011


Get Out | Theatre

by Molly Lederer

Murder! Mystery! Jazz Hands!

Photo: Robert Emerson

The Community Players stages RI premiere of Curtains An underpaid cast. An overworked crew. A plodding script. A sloppy score. The production problems facing Robbin’ Hood of the Old West are hardly uncommon in show business. But the murder of the leading lady at curtain call on opening night? Now, there’s a pickle. Enter a dedicated detective with a passion for drama working feverishly to solve the mystery – and improve the show – before the next performance. Naturally, singing, dancing and hilarity ensue. The Community Players present the Rhode Island premiere of Curtains this month, as part of their 90th anniversary season. Set in Boston in 1959, the show combines screwball comedy and murder mystery with tongue-incheek homage to musical theatre. Director Sandy Cerel thinks audiences are in for a treat, explaining, “This is a big, traditional Broadway-style musical, complete with highenergy dancing, colorful costumes (and characters), wonderful music, love stories and witty dialogue.” Curtains premiered on Broadway back in 2007. For the Community Players, staging the production at Jenks Auditorium in Pawtucket presents its own set of challenges. The ensemble show involves a 25-member cast, splashy song and dance numbers, and increasingly elaborate, murderous schemes. Cerel notes, “Because we do not have the wing space, fly space or budget of a Broadway production, ingenuity and flexibility have to come into play.” Greg Geer stars as Lt. Frank Cioffi, the detective who investigates the backstage crime and inadvertently falls in love with one of the suspects. A theatre fan and amateur performer himself, Cioffi stands in awe of the actors in Robbin’ Hood of the Old West (Curtains’ show-within-ashow). As Geer puts it, “He’s star-struck and he’s also lovestruck!” But he’s not too intimidated to offer unsolicited advice for fixing problems in the critically panned production – or to do his best to catch the killer. When the leading lady turns out to be but the first victim of someone’s sinister plan, the plot thickens. Geer reveals, “Sometimes when you do a murder mystery like this, the comedy is primary and the mystery is kind of an afterthought. There really is a decent mystery there.” If au-

dience members pay attention, he thinks they might be able to solve the case. The clues are there, but so are red herrings and heaps of misdirection. After all, as he points out, “There’s a whole lot of singing and dancing going on.” The snappy score of Curtains marks the last collaboration of masterful songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb, known for such Broadway hits as Cabaret and Chicago. Ebb passed away during the development of the musical, as did Peter Stone, the creator of the original book and concept. Director Cerel reports, “For a while, the future of Curtains seemed uncertain. Eventually, it was decided that everyone involved should, indeed, complete the work.” Ultimately, Rupert Holmes provided the book and additional lyrics. But Cerel calls attention to one of the show’s ballads, entitled “I Miss the Music,” in which a composer sings of sadness over separation from his lyricist. Kander reportedly intended it to be a tribute to Ebb. “Our days are tied to curtains/ They rise and they fall/ We’re born every night/ at half-hour call,” sing the characters of life upon the stage. Trouble plagues their production of Robbin’ Hood of the Old West, and their cast and crew risk life and limb. But the sunnier side of show business can be seen at the Community Players, the state’s oldest community theatre. Fly space or no, the company always rises to the occasion with enthusiasm, polish and high quality production values. Notes Cerel, “Since virtually all participants are volunteers, everything that the group accomplishes is a true labor of love.”

Curtains April 1 – 17 The Community Players Jenks Auditorium 350 Division Street, Pawtucket 726-6860 thecommunityplayers.org

On Stage See what’s going up this month by Dawn Keable

Through April 17 Roll out the red carpet for Paul, ‘cause he’s gonna work it during this North American premiere – although on the road to Damascus A.D. 34, the fashions might be a wee bit somber. The Gamm Theatre, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266, gammtheatre.org.

April 1-2 and 8-10 Whatever you do, just don’t take any tips from the parenting playbook of Gypsy’s Mama Rose, measuring her worth through the vaudeville careers of her daughters. Angell Blackfriars Theatre, Providence College, 549 River Avenue. 865-2218, providence.edu.

April 14-17 You might think Fame showcases the persistence of a group of performing arts high school students, but the true message is the power of leg warmers. Rhode Island College, Roberts Hall Auditorium, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 456-8144, ric.edu.

April 26-May 1 Enjoy West Side Story for the tunes and 1950s NYC nostalgia, but not as a primer on how to fight yourself out of a dark ally gang style and expect to live to tell about it. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2997, ppac.org.

April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Get Out | Movies

by Scott Duhamel

Drive Angry

Three Dimensions of Awful Wherefore art thou, Nicky Baby? While observing Charlie Sheen’s damn-the-torpedoes meltdown, I can’t help but reflect upon the vast and often galvanizing history of Hollywood bad behavior, engagements with law enforcement, and just plain public burnouts. Case in point is one Nicolas Cage, our long time fave-rave Nicky Baby, harbinger of big screen noxiousness. He is once again delivering the damaged goods with Drive Angry, a wacky throwback that might even be seen as a high spirited homage to ‘70s drive-in movies if it weren’t so virulently dreadful. Nicky Baby is seemingly hell-bent on forging one of the most implosive and corrosive career paths of anyone regularly working in today’s movies with his name above the title. If a movie stars Nic Cage, you can be assured that it will be filled to the brim with creaky plot framework, misspent and unfulfilled ambitions, and (best of all) full-scale glazed ham acting. To his everlasting credit, Nicky Baby seems to sign on these projects with an undeniable (and possibly fevered) work ethic, and then goes full bore with a ravenous on-screen style that resembles nothing more than an ember-eyed fox circling the open gate of a well-populated chicken coop. Nicky Baby always commits. The question becomes: how low can he go? Let us not forget that once upon a time, Cage was considered a committed and highly quirky player, displaying a consistent versatility and

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

continually demonstrating a robust sense of adventure. His early and middle work was characterized by cool projects and memorable impartment: Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Wild at Heart, Leaving Las Vegas, Bringing Out the Dead, all capped off by the wonderful double turn in Adaptation in 2002. Since then, what hath Nicky Baby wrought? The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, Bangkok Dangerous, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, and of course the captivatingly gonzo Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans, a non-sequel/sequel with a title as offputting as its star’s mesmerizingly off-kilter performance. One of the essential elements of a Nic Cage performance is the choice of hair. To Nicky Baby, it always seems to begin with the hair, and in Drive Angry it’s blond and spindly, the better to accent his character’s grim (and angry) countenance. He is one John Milton (yet another nod to the movie’s subversively high intentions), and he’s an angry granddad in hot pursuit of his grandchild, who has been kidnapped by a satanic cult led by a punkabilly ringleader named Jonah King (Billy Burke). Nicky Baby is soon joined by that drive-in staple, a comely young waitress (Amber Heard), who sports two eye-raising attributes: denim short-shorts and a cherry 1969 Dodge Charger. They are in turn pursued by cooler-than-thou professional known as “The Accountant” (William Fich-

tner), a guy seemingly invulnerable to every sort of weapon of mass or minor destruction with the exception of an antique gun that Nicky Baby stows alongside his changes of underwear and comb collection. Drive Angry boasts one of the greatest scenes in recent Cage cinematography, wherein he puffs on a cigar and swallows gulps of whiskey, while picking off a pack of cultists armed with gardening tools and having sex. Trust me, that’s a cinematic conception that needs no such frothy underlining like special effects or effective acting. I’d personally like to see Nicky Baby reunited with his equally downward spiraling uncle, Mad Francis Ford Coppola, to add to the legacy that they have already begun, collaborating before on Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, and greatest of all, Peggy Sue Got Married. With their potent mix of deteriorating taste, talent and all-out chutzpah, they may indeed be capable of carving out a spot in the annals of iconic director-actor partnerships, joining such luminaries as John Ford and John Wayne, Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock, or Marty Scorsese and Robert DeNiro. For now we simply have Nicky Baby in all his glorious and unabashed badness, keeping it unreal in Drive Angry, a movie so overtly dumb, so inscrutably wacky, so blithely idiotic that it’s virtually bad cinema nirvana – in 3-D, no less.

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

April 19 What cha’ been doing over there on the other side of town? The Providence College Student Film Festival shows a life of more than basketball and parties. Angell Blackfriars Theatre, Providence College, 549 River Avenue. 865-2424, providence.edu.

April 20 It’s the return of the Grateful Dead! Compiled from footage of several concerts in 1974, The Grateful Dead Movie, will be returning to the big screen across the nation for the first time in almost 40 years. Warwick Showcase Cinemas, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick. 401-885-4793.

April 27 Weren’t able to make it to the Rhode Island International Film Festival last year? You’re in luck. RIIFF will be showcasing encore presentations of films from the 2010 festival at their Best of Fest, showing at Bell Street Chapel. 5 Bell Street. film-festival.org.

April 30 Sure the popcorn’s a plus, but when Verdi’s Il Trovatore by The Metropolitan Opera comes to you live in HD, you don’t have to figure out where to look next on the stage. Showcase Cinemas Warwick, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick. 885-1621, nationalamusements.com.


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April 2011 | Providence Monthly

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The Last Detail

Science and Art Pop Up Photography: Laurel Mulherin

The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art

(RIMOSA) isn’t actually a museum – not yet, at least. It is, however, several things: a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization; a belief that science and art matter and that Rhode Island is rich with both; a group of motivated, innovative people who want to create “a distinctive, highly interactive, informal learning center;” and most tangibly, at least for the moment, a pop-up installation at Slater Mill. As the RIMOSA team works toward the establishment of an actual bricksand-mortar (or probably some more innovative, sustainable material) museum, they are periodically launching these temporary, site specific installations as a way of generating interest and awareness. “The pop-ups allow us to introduce ourselves to as many Rhode Is-

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Providence Monthly | April 2011

landers as possible, see if RIMOSA is something that resonates with them, and test drive some of our exhibit ideas,” explains founding board member Bonnie Epstein. “They also allow us to work with other Rhode Island organizations – hopefully to the benefit of both of us.” Such is the case with Metamorphosis: Transfer of Energy, which interprets Slater Mill’s energy flow from its source – the Blackstone River flowing right outside – up through the wheels and machinery and eventually into people and textiles. It’s fun, educational and free. Let’s hope that energy flows back into RIMOSA and helps them build a real museum. Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-2pm through April 15. Slater Mill, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. rimosa.org -John Taraborelli


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Providence Monthly April 2011  

Drinking with Style: A taste of cocktail culture in the city; A lesson in local DIY television; Putting Down Roots on Westminster; Art & Sci...

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