Named by Bon Appetit as a Top 50 finalist for Best New Restaurant 2017, Bucktown is a no-frills joint serving up authentic Southern cooking, a complete contrast to Federal Hill’s Italian staples just a few blocks away.
We sat down with co-owner and chef Ashley Faulkner, a Bronx transplant and Johnson & Wales alum, to chat about her views on food, how Bucktown came to fruition with co-owner Adam Mir, and what finger-lickin’ items to check out on the menu.
When did you realize you wanted to be a chef?
I’ve been cooking since I was able to reach the stove (and that was pretty early because I’m tall). My mom and grandmother were constantly cooking. They would work a full day and still have the energy to make a huge meal. I didn’t want to do anything else.
How did you and Adam cook up Bucktown?
My classmates and I were doing a cleanup for the West Broadway Neighborhood Association and Adam was our cleanup captain. We have the same view on food: Food shouldn’t be a bunch of frills and a million ingredients; it should be something that’s done correctly – home cooking that’s flavorful and good. He mentioned the concept of Bucktown and I loved it.
What are the most popular items on the menu right now?
It’s the chicken and waffles, a new item. The chicken biscuit – a flaky biscuit with chicken tenders, cheddar cheese and honey butter – is definitely popular, and so are the po’ boys. We have three kinds: catfish, oyster and shrimp. My personal favorite item on the menu is the fried whole chicken with the bone-in pieces. That’s what I grew up eating. I probablyate fried chicken at least once a week growing up.
What’s different about your restaurant?
It’s nice to have the kind of environment we have. We have college students, police officers and auto mechanics from down the street all eating here. We have communal tables, so it kind of forces people to converse and be friendly. It’s also a nice, casual spot to come in and grab something quickly – I don’t think there are enough of those kinds of restaurants in Providence.
Bucktown was named a Top 50 finalist by Bon Appetit. Were you surprised?
I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t know that someone was even looking into us being on that list, so it was great to wake up to. It means that all of this – the blood, sweat, tears and hard work from me, Adam and our team – hasn’t gone to waste. We’ve definitely gotten a little busier, too. It’s been great walking in, seeing everyone enjoying the food and having fun. It’s just an amazing feeling.
471 West Fountain Street • 343-0441