Experience: Fourth-Generation Terminesi’s Cafe Draws Fans New and Old in Peace Dale

A former Narragansett mainstay keeps the tradition alive with everything from calamari to cannolis


On a chilly Sunday afternoon, my mom and I stopped by for dinner at Terminesi’s Cafe, a takeout and dine-in eatery. We were greeted by a well-rounded menu, complete with plenty of cozy comfort food options. We even had the chance to chat with owner Albert Terminesi himself, getting his recommendations on pairings for our meal, and learning about the establishment’s evolution.

“I want everyone to leave full and happy,” shared Terminesi of the fourth-generation South County cafe dating back to the 1930s in Narragansett. After a search for the perfect spot for their relocation, the restaurant found its current home on Kingstown Road in September, 2023. “We had a line out the door from the first month,” he continued. “We’ve had a great response from the community.”

We kicked off our meal with Terminesi’s take on one of the state’s most iconic appetizers: Rhode Island-style calamari. The platter arrived in a generous portion, with enough for a large party (or hungry duo). Alongside the perfectly crisp calamari, the dish featured hot banana peppers, a trademark of the Ocean State style. The acidic crunch of the peppers paired excellently with the fried squid.

For my main course, I ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap and opted for grilled over fried – the lean yet satisfying handheld featured the perfect ratio of salad to chicken, offering a well-balanced bite with the rich Caesar dressing. My mom enjoyed the small Grilled Steak and Cheese sandwich – which was still pleasingly large, yet ideal for one. The sub was brimming with thin-sliced ribeye, melty cheese, and a variety of flavorful peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

As we ate, we sipped Galvania Italian sodas, as recommended by Terminesi. The imported, organic fizzy drinks – in orange and prickly pair – are made with fresh fruit pulp and minimal added sugars, making for a refreshing complement to the savory fare.

Happily full, we may have left without dessert, but thankfully Terminesi arrived at our table with a round of house-made cannolis we couldn’t resist. He makes the filling with his own recipe, which includes ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, and candied citrus fruit. Each bite was balanced by cool sweetness and a touch of tanginess from the grapefruit.

Terminesi explained that he’s always loved creating authentic, simple meals. His family has owned four generations of restaurants across the state, and after years of watching his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents create classic, Italian cuisine, he eagerly honed the craft and is now an expert at creating dishes that rely on high-quality ingredients – such as his popular tomato sauce.

“Our meals are made with real food,” said Terminesi. “We import our tomatoes for all of our sauces, which gives it that quality flavor.” In addition to the menu’s numerous subs, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, Terminesi rotates specials throughout the month. “We have more prep people than cooks. Everything is made fresh.”


Terminesi’s Cafe

1283 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale


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