This spring, Safehouse took the place of Chianti’s in East Greenwich. On a recent Saturday night, my cousin, my friend and I took refuge there to try it out. Still owned by the Martucci Group (which also owns the attached Trap Pub & Grill), the restaurant is designed to evoke the upscale ski lodge feeling of Jackson Hole. The night we were there, the restaurant and bar area seemed to be wall-to-wall people (we were glad to have made an online reservation).
Safehouse’s cocktail list is creative without being too weird. I tried the Main Street Margarita ($12) with Sauza Blue Tequila, triple sec, blueberries, fresh sage and lime juice, finished with a salted rim – excellent, although the blueberry and sage flavors didn’t come through as much as I had hoped. My cousin got the North Kingstini ($10) with banana rum and orange juice and finished with sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg. The restaurant offers a variety of beers, including several local options, and a small but interesting wine list. With our cocktails, we enjoyed the house-made focaccia bread, baked fresh every day and accompanied by garlicky sundried tomato butter.
From the list of delicious-sounding appetizers, we chose the Stuffed Mozzarella ($10) – fresh mozzarella rolled with thin slices of prosciutto and topped with diced tomatoes, basil oil, pesto and a sweet balsamic reduction – and the Potato and Red Quinoa Tater Tots ($9). Both were outstanding – and you know it’s a good restaurant if they can make quinoa taste good. The mashed potato filling in the tots was rich and buttery, and they were served with a tasty cheddar cheese dipping sauce.
The dinner menu is varied and includes many of the most popular entrées from Chianti’s. My friend ordered the Seasonal Pasta Envelopes ($28) – on this night, stuffed and topped with tender lobster meat, with a tasty pink vodka sauce. My cousin ordered the Butternut Squash Pappardelle ($11), thinking it was pasta – it was actually a salad, with butternut squash shaved into pasta-like ribbons and mixed with arugula, gorgonzola cheese, candied pecans, focaccia croutons, jasmine rice and apple vinaigrette. The salad was large enough to serve as an entrée or to be shared as an appetizer, and she loved it. I decided on the Center Cut Rib Eye ($29) because it came with potato bacon hash. The steak had been rubbed with espresso before being cooked, which gave it a nice crust, and it was nicely marbled. The dish was topped with a roasted shallot compound butter, which was just as good as it sounds, with some crispy fried shallots sprinkled on top for good measure. The potato bacon hash was decadent in all of the right ways. To sop up some of the fat from the steak, butter and hash, this dish came with a small arugula salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette.
We decided to forget our diets and ordered the Fried Dough Buttons ($7) for dessert. The fried dough balls were stuffed with Nutella and mascarpone and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar – a sweet way to end our night.
Whether you’re trying to forget a bad day or take shelter from the news, you can retreat to Safehouse for a delicious meal, a strong cocktail and a night away from the world.
195 Old Forge Road, East Greenwich