RI Chefs’ Favorite Food Spots For Out-Of-Town Guests

Thursday, February 14, 2013


It's no longer a secret -- people everywhere know that Providence is a food-worthy town. So when the out-of-towners come visiting, they expect a sublime eats experience. We wondered where some of the top food pros take friends and colleagues when they come to our fair state and got a real diverse group of responses--you know...kind of like Rhode Island itself...


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Let's start with some high profile guests...Chef Matthew Jennings of Farmstead/La Laiterie is one and has some big-deal friends that have graced our borders. This fall he had both Chef Tyler Florence--a J+W grad-- and "Bizarre Foods" Andrew Zimmern in town and ran the food gamut with them. Visits were made to Jake Rojas' Tallulah on Thames for his inspired food, the oft-overwhelming Pawtucket Wintertime Farmer's Market to check out where the ingredients are coming from, and finished with -- natch -- gaggers in Olneyville. Our wieners were scarfed down and loved by these celeb visitors who did 'em just like we do--late at night, after one or too many cocktails and a good meal somewhere earlier. Of course Farmstead was also on the menu--what's the sense of dedicating yourself to excellence if you can't show off for your buddies!

We have previously mentioned the tacoliciousness made by Peter Gobin and his tasty truck, Mijo's Tacos. When you follow this one on Twitter, do it in the car so you can follow him from Thayer Street to the aforementioned Wintertime Farmer's Market and enjoy the tastes and aromas. He's all about "authentic" so it came as no surprise that he was the first of many to laud newcomer North. This spot on the West Side in Luongo Square is setting a pretty high bar for the next generation of Downcity restos. And we dare say it's the only spot to get incredible ham from the master Alan Benton and others, fresh oysters in different preparations, incredible brown liquor and authentic noodle bowls with--we believe--the only fresh Ramen being made in our fair city.

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Authentic is also the name of the game at Pawtucket's La Arepa, another of Gobin's favorites. This is Venezuelan food as good as you'll find it in these parts.The arepas rellenas are definitely worth the stop. These authentic corn cake sandwiches are delicious. Gobin's finale to authenticity is one we don't really like sharing...New Wing Kee BBQ. As far as you know, you have to drive to Boston's Chinatown for authentic Chinese BBQ. There is definitely no place in the West End to get it. Forget we even said anything!

For classic Rhode Island, Chef Rich Silvia, at the White Horse Tavern, chooses true Rhody faves for when relatives visit. Doughboys at Iggy's are a must. Light and airy at the same time that they're dense--if that makes any sense--makes these a perfect representation of the summer fair classic. When he is in a more formal mood, he loves to take friends to Venda Ravioli and Constantino's Ristorante for perfect pasta and consistently good Italian food. Silvia didn't need to include his own property because fellow Newport chef Kevin Thiele from The Viking includes the White Horse on his list. And of course...One Bellevue at the Viking was on Silvia's list. Chef Thiele is one of many who included the Mooring on his list. For the combination of food, drink and views, it's tough to beat. They also point out the cool Broadway spots Pour Judgement and the Fifth Element. Pour Judgement features great local color and an extensive selection of craft beer and the Fifth Element will give anyone a run for their money when it comes to creative grilled pizzas and fresh, local food.

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GoLocal's own Sean Debobes would strangle you with his fashionable, pink necktie to get to one of our most popular--and specific--responses: the ceviche at Los Andes on Chalkstone. Some of the top chefs in the city make amazing ceviche every day but it would pale against this near-perfect version. A constantly changing selection of fresh fish prepared so simply.... Really. Good. Stuff. Another favorite that we and Mr. Debobes agree on is the nime chow from Apsara in South Providence. This rice paper roll classic is a fresh as can be. For more suggestions also follow us on Twitter at Newporttours.


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