“We wanted to open up something different,” remembers Joe Parisi, whose wife Annie helms the kitchen at Jayd Bun, the authentic Chinese restaurant that opened late October in Peace Dale. The concept was inspired by the food Annie grew up with north of Beijing, where homemade noodles, soups, and pancakes made from green mung beans are the norm.
“We make everything fresh and daily,” adds Joe, as Annie can be found making the dough and rolling out the noodles every morning. The menu is small but full of variety: pan-fried buns, wonton soup, chilled peanut butter noodles, and homemade tomato soup. Most recently, they added a “Sweet & Fun” take on their pancakes that comes with fruit and Nutella, and a spicy version of their tomato soup with jalapeños. “There is nowhere around that makes what we do and how we make it.” Stay tuned for specials and learn more about the story behind the food on Facebook and Instagram @jaydbun.
In November, Locanda opened. The restaurant is elegant but homey, with leather-lined booths, copper accents, and walls studded with Italian-inspired still lifes and plates. The menu features house-cured salami and cheeses, handcrafted pastas, fish and meat dishes, classic contorni and antipasti, plus whimsical items like whipped ricotta with honey and EVOO, Sicilian hummus, and grilled artichoke and mascarpone dip. But the most unexpected detail? This Tuscan oasis is located in the Saunderstown Holiday Inn.
Locanda is the sister to a trio Providence restaurants also paired with local lodgings: Centro in the Omni, Public Kitchen & Bar in the Renaissance, and Vig in the Hilton. It’s owned by Frank Recupero, Dino Passaretta, and Joe Delle Cave, with Chef Guy Charles at the head of the kitchen. Most appropriately, “locanda” in Italian means “small inn.”
Around the capital city, you’ll easily find an array of options if you’re craving curry, samosas, or biryani. However, as you travel into Southern Rhode Island, you’re forced to choose between driving to East Greenwich for Rasa or to Wakefield for Bombay Flame, a half-hour apart and a decent hike if you’re traveling from the southwestern-most part of the state.
Today, Westerly has its own hotspot for Indian food: Mumbai Rasoi. Find a long list of drinks from draft beer to cocktails (thanks to a full-service bar), dedicated dessert menu, ten varieties of naan, house specials like baby lamb chop and palak chaat, and even fish dishes. And while the food and drink steal the show, you’d best enjoy your meal outside when the weather warms up on the ample outdoor patio, complete with cute string lights over a pergola.