In honor of Rhode Island Week, The Boston Accent editorial team thought it would be a neat idea to create a guide to some of the best eateries in the littlest state. We immediately hit upon the idea of sharing our favorite places to get Italian food, as our tiny state has an outsized share of such establishments. That, however, was where our progress stopped. For every suggestion we made, someone in the group had a reason to strike it from consideration. Rather than rework our veto system, we decided it would be easier to just make a list of the places you shouldn’t go.
Vanda Cucina — Warwick
We all agree that the food is to die for, especially the handmade pasta. Every course of your meal will leave you satisfied. The drinks were great, but Brian says he won’t go to a restaurant that measures its pours, so we had to cross this off of our list.
Make sure to try: The focaccia is divine.
Avoid: Volunteering to be designated driver within earshot of Brian.
Camille’s — Providence
A Rhode Island institution that has been in business for over a century, we have all had great experiences at Camille’s. We really wish we could recommend it to you. Unfortunately, this was Joe’s second wife’s favorite restaurant, so he can’t even think about it without getting sick.
Make sure to try: If they’re offering the rack of lamb, you simply must order it.
Avoid: Marrying Joe.
Sardella’s Italian Restaurant — Newport
Sardella’s is a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant featuring traditional family recipes. If you’re in Newport, we would say it’s a must — or we would, if Sandra didn’t think it got too hot because of the fireplaces. We argued that they were charming, and that they’re not even lit during the summer, but she said even knowing they’re there makes her sweat.
Make sure to try: Don’t feel too cheesy ordering the pizza — it’s delectable.
Avoid: Inhaling too deeply near Sandra when it’s warm out.
Rosalina — Providence
If you like a modern take on Italian, then Rosalina is the place for you. Unfortunately, Tony folded his arms and scowled the moment the word “modern” came up and said he wasn’t, “for that kinda thing,” whatever that means.
Make sure to try: Don’t be squeamish! Order the squid ink pasta!
Avoid: Talking politics with Tony.
Avvio Ristorante — Cranston
The excellent service and reasonable prices make Avvio a great place to host a nice family dinner. While we were discussing its convenient location in Garden City, Kathy wrinkled her nose and said she would never go to a restaurant that shared a parking lot with Applebee’s.
Make sure to try: The perfect blend of mozzarella and pecorino make Avvio’s gnocchi a stand-out dish.