Would you believe me if I told you that you need to go to Federal Hill for some Swedish meatballs? Believe it or not, this is a real thing. Swedish comfort food has come to DePasquale Square, and it’s under the umbrella of the new Mediterranean restaurant Capri. Owner Claudia Nuay was born and raised in Sweden, and she wanted to bring the taste of her favorite Swedish dishes to Rhode Island. “We carefully crafted a menu that combines my Swedish influence with the more traditional Mediterranean dishes you would find on Federal Hill,” Claudia says. Dishes like Boursin stuffed artichokes would seem to fit that bill. More creative dishes like the pistachio encrusted sea scallops come served over a potato hash drizzled with orange aioli are also a must try. “It is a light and flavorful dish and the scallops practically melt in your mouth,” she explains. Then there’s the cedar sirloin plank with mashed potatoes, grilled tomato and bacon wrapped asparagus topped with béarnaise sauce.
But what about the Swedish meatballs? They come served with golden whipped potatoes, brown gravy and lingonberry jam. A lingonberry is a mountain cranberry, and lingonberry jam is a staple of Scandinavian cuisine. (Sounds like it’s time to try some Swedish comfort food.)
Although the menu focuses on fusion, the restaurant has a very European feel, complete with plenty of outdoor seating and an elegant lounge area – it is DePasquale Square after all. And as the warm days turn into cool and crisp nights, that outdoor seating will remain a viable option as Capri has a weather-protected patio and individual heaters.
But what to drink while people watching with real-time commentary? How about their High Roller Sangria featuring a blend of chardonnay, dragonberry, grape and lemon Bacardi and fresh squeezed lemonade all topped off with sparkling wine. For Claudia, “it’s the perfect drink to sip on our patio at sunset and is available by the glass or the pitcher.”
And what about the kids? I suppose there are those who would like to bring the progeny along for some culture. Well, guess what, Capri offers a kid’s menu complete with a complimentary ice cream sundae. Looks like you can have your Swedish meatballs and eat them too. 58 DePasquale Plaza, Providence. 274-2107
East Side Dining Deals
As if you needed a reason to dine out in the neighborhood, area restaurants have plenty of dining deals to whet your appetite. Here are just a few:
At Hemenway’s, Monday through Saturday, from 11:30am-3pm, enjoy and appetizer, entrée, cookie and coffee for $22. 121 South Main Street, Providence. 351-8570
At India on Tuesday nights from 4-10pm, get 1/3 off any entrée. They also have an express lunch buffet for just $9.95. 1060 Hope Street, Providence. 421-2600
Pizzico is taking care of the whole family: On Sundays, children 12 and under eat free. On Monday nights any chicken or pasta entrée is just $15, plus 25% off all bottles of wine. Tuesday nights men get their entrees for 1/2 off as well as 25% off of their bottle of wine, and women get their entrees for 1/2 off on Wednesday nights with, of course, 25% off of their bottle of wine. 762 Hope Street, Providence. 421-4114
Rasoi is where it’s at for your weekend healthy brunch with an all vegan spread on Saturdays for a whopping $12.50 and an all-you-can-eat brunch on Sunday for $14.95. 727 East Avenue, Pawtucket. 728-5500
Round out the weekend at Cafe Paragon and Viva for their 1/2 priced sangria and eljimador tubes every Sunday. 234 Thayer Street, Providence. 331.6200
The 7th Annual Beervana is upon us, and it’s time to hop over to it. On October 16 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, over 200 beers will be on display for responsible consumption. Among the represented breweries are local big boys Foolproof, The Bucket, Newport Storm, Grey Sail, Revival, Proclamation and Tilted Barn. Visiting heavy weights include Sam Adams, Lagunitas, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada, Otter Creek and Long Trail, just to name a few.
A beer tasting wouldn’t be complete without food and live music. These are provided by Julian’s and Waffle House, and The Tropigals and The Kickin Brass Band, respectively. If you’d like to take beermanship to the next level, sit in on educational seminars hosted by Sam Calgione, founder of Dogfish Head, and Mike Gerhart, head brewer of Otter Creek. Otherwise, take the opportunity to stroll and sip your way to malty bliss. October 16. 6:30-10pm. 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston.
New Location, Same Signature Dish
‘Tis the season for pumpkin pie martinis. And the one at Aquilante’s Bistro and Tavern is made with Hiram Walker, pumpkin schnapps, vanilla vodka and a splash of cream sprinkled with nutmeg. This is just one thing – among many – to look forward to at Aquilante’s new location. They also started serving lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30am-2pm and can accommodate parties up to 50 people. But you know what hasn’t changed? Their signature dish Pork Napoleon. It’s a lightly breaded pork cutlet topped with eggplant, fresh tomato, house made mozzarella in a pink vodka cream sauce. Mary and John Aquilante are a husband and wife duo that are living the American dream, one delicious entrée at a time. 701 Quaker Lane, West Warwick. 821-7700
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