Beech, which opens in the old Simpatico space this month, is a homecoming for chef/owner Kevin Gaudreau, who spent five years at the helm of Simpatico’s kitchen in the early aughts. After leaving, Gaudreau opened the popular KG Kitchen on Hope Street in Providence. The born-and-raised Jamestownian waited 15 years to return to the island, naming the restaurant after the 150-year-old, 200-foot beech tree on the property. “It’s iconic on Narragansett Avenue. We wanted to pay homage.”
Gaudreau and his team made extensive renovations to the four-season property, which includes three bars and outdoor deck seating. The upscale casual menu includes fresh cut pastas and local seafood, and they are working with Jamestown’s famers for everything from fresh veg to hard cider. “We want to be a place where you can swing by and have a crispy chicken sandwich or crush some local oysters,” he says. BeechJT.com
When Boston Neck Pizza on Route 1A in North Kingstown closed last year, neighboring Plum Pt. Bistro saw an opportunity to expand their 10-year-old eatery. By removing the wall that divided the two businesses, Plum Pt. added eight additional tables and, more importantly, expanded the kitchen, giving their staff some much-needed elbow room. They also had more space to add a proper bathroom area. “No more waiting for the bathroom in our dish pit,” says co-owner Zoe Conte with a laugh.
The new dining section, affectionately called The White Room, seats eight and offers a brighter vibe while retaining the charm of Plum Pt.’s original eclectic dining room and bar. “We always talked about brightening the space,” explains Conte. “This was a way to do it without changing the existing space.” The menu also remains intact, with a few top-secret additions that Conte’s excited for diners to try. PlumRI.com
Tucked in the back of a parking lot in a historic carriage house by the Pawcatuck River, The Shallows quietly reopened in April after taking a short hiatus to renovate. “We wanted more intimate decor that reflected the new direction of the restaurant,” explains Julie Kozak, who owns The Shallows with her chef husband Dan Malecki. While the eatery, which opened in 2018, always had a chef-driven concept, the new incarnation is chef driven on steroids.
The menu consists of seven to 10 small plate items, which rotates daily. A locally sourced farm-to-table restaurant, their offerings depend on what their purveyors bring them. “I don’t think Dan’s made something twice,” says Kozak. The meal is served gradually, so each item can be properly savored. “[The dining experience] is different,” Kozak concedes. “But we like being funky and weird.” A new menu is posted daily on Instagram and Facebook. ShallowsBar.com
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