Food

Southern Charm Comes to East Greenwich Dining

Dante’s Kitchen takes over former East Greenwich spot Audra’s Cafe

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For many years now, Main Street in East Greenwich has been a dining hub for southern Rhode Island. There are pubs as well as fine dining and everything in between. Recently, Lisa Altieri brought a sense of southern charm to the strip with the opening of Dante’s Kitchen, a restaurant she describes as “American cuisine with a dash of southern flair.”

Altieri grew up in Narragansett and Warwick and has been living in East Greenwich since 1995. As a transportation logistical manager for large conventions, Altieri travelled the country and experienced a multitude of culinary cultures. While travelling, she fell in love with southern cuisine so much that it “fueled [her] desire to open a restaurant.” She was a frequent customer at Audra’s Café (the former identity of Dante’s Kitchen) and always told her friends she would own it some day. On the day of the blizzard this past winter, she saw a sign go into its window advertising the space being available for sale or rent, and the rest is history. Altieri hired her good friend and fellow East Greenwich resident, Irina Ryjykh, to design the space, giving it a hip/industrial vibe.

Dante’s Kitchen has been bustling since it opened late this summer, and has many repeat customers. With a menu full of home-style, stick-to-your-ribs favorites, it is no wonder people are flocking there. Altieri hired Johnson & Wales grad Deborah Burka to run the kitchen. Chef Burka returned home to Rhode Island after cooking at the Mile North Hotel in Chicago for five years. Some of the highlights from the menu include house-made biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles, shrimp po’ boys and fried green tomato BLTs. Altieri’s favorite dish is pulled pork hash with home fries and house made habañero hot sauce, with strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Altieri is working on expanding both her breakfast and lunch menus and is planning to launch dinner service later this fall. Dinner will feature authentic Creole dishes, short ribs, grown up mac ‘n’ cheese and even beignets. If you miss Audra from Audra’s Café, don’t despair because Audra is working a few days a week at Dante’s Kitchen and loves seeing her old customers!