On Saturday afternoon, my aunt and uncle came to visit Rhode Island! Frank and I quickly showered once we got home from the race and excitedly awaited their arrival. We had plans to take them to Providence, the renaissance city, for a stroll through Federal Hill and a delicious seafood meal!
After a smooth ride north, we parked on a side street overlooking the highway and walked towards the main road called Atwells Avenue. This road features a long strip of restaurants, boutiques and bakeries. Our first stop was Venda Ravioli grocery market. We have seen this on the TV Matridee numerous times as it’s a local show on a local channel that highlights some of the many delicious spots on Federal Hill. I was so excited we were actually going to walk inside! The minute we walked in the door we were greeted by the fresh smell of italian cuisine; homemade pasta, fresh salads, just baked bread, an amazing assortment of italian cheeses and deli meats! They also had a small grocery aisle area as well as a full bakery and frozen foods section. I was in heaven and will definitely be going back for lunch and a baked treat next time. You could tell there were many locals who were enjoying their lunch which is always a great sign!
After strolling through Venda Ravioli, we headed right outside the door to DePasquale Square; a quaint, cobble stone area located in the heart of Federal Hill. Right in between two buildings, the square features a number of restaurants along each side as well as a beautiful stone fountain in the middle. Though no one was performing on Saturday afternoon, we’ve been to the square when bands and performers have entertained guests as they enjoyed their meals at each restaurant’s patio. It’s a very romantic spot and if you ever have the chance to visit Federal Hill, this is a must see!
Around 2pm, we headed over to the delicious Providence Oyster Bar restaurant. The ultimate seafood spot on the hill and let me tell you, they did not disappoint! The oyster bar is known for their fresh seafood selection and their unique asian twist on a number of their dishes. They even have sushi!
It’s important to note that the Oyster Bar also gets packed the moment the clock hits 4pm on a weekday. They have a great happy hour with amazing deals on freshly shucked oysters (though I’m not the biggest oyster fan – just leave it to Frank and our dads, they will devour dozens of oysters in one sitting!). Again, we were there on a Saturday, but the bar area was still pretty busy considering it was lunch time.
We sat in a cute booth and immediately ordered some refreshing beverages. The men ordered some beers while the ladies enjoyed a light and crisp italian Pinot Grigio, just what the doctor ordered!
There was a special scallop appetizer on the menu which we ordered along with some fried calamari. The scallops were sauteed in an amazing herb sauce with crispy pancetta. The fried calamari was unbelievably delicious and I’m not even a fan of wasabi which was the star of this dish! These deep-fried bad boys were served up with a creamy, light wasabi sauce and perfectly pickled cucumbers. So good!
For our entree’s, Frank ordered the fish tacos, my uncle had a dish featuring scallops wrapped in bacon with a maple glaze sauce and my aunt and I ordered the same thing! Deliciously seasoned miso-glazed cod over a bed of creamy risotto and topped with a spaghetti styled carrot salad with a ginger dressing. My mouth is watering just typing it and the foodie in me needs to either go back for more or re-create it myself!
Our lunch was just delicious, the drinks were refreshing and the company was just perfect.