A Providence Attorney’s Second Life as a West End Restaurateur

Robert J. Caron can be found cooking table-side at Vino Veritas when not at the Providence Superior Court

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Attorney Robert J. Caron is hand-mixing a Caesar salad on a rolling cart to the soundtrack of Bill Withers or Nina Simone. He provides table-side service nearly every day at Vino Veritas on Broadway, his bistro that strives to bring the flavors of New Orleans to the West End. Caron’s adoration of the Big Easy is evident in the cozy decor, though the rich aubergine woven throughout has double meaning: The color is a favorite of his mother. “Growing up, we were the only house in Pawtucket with a purple foundation.”

At the age of 17, Caron became the chef of El Torito, a West Coast restaurant chain. He bounced between restaurants until deciding to go to law school, waiting tables at the Blue Grotto and Capriccio in Federal Hill until his graduation from Roger Williams University. For 25 years, Caron has built a reputation synonymous with criminal defense and civil rights litigation. From his office on 478 Broadway, he watched restaurants cycle through the neighboring 486 Broadway. Old dreams struck in April 2016 when the space was available for rent yet again. Inside, he found rough pine and exposed beams; a full renovation was needed. Here, another passion came in handy: a love of woodworking passed down from Caron’s father. So, curly maple was imported from Washington State, and cherry and Brazilian bloodwood from Sweet Lumber Company, and Caron completed all the furniture and renovations to open Vino Veritas in October of that year.

Today, Vino Veritas offers a five-course meal and wine pairing event every few months. Brunch-goers can get a taste of New Orleans with traditional beignets and dark chocolate hot cakes on the weekends, plus affordable three-course lunch menus Wednesday through Friday. Caron is thrilled to be a part of the West End, and hopes one day to expand the restaurant into the rest of the building. For now, you can find him in Providence Superior Court weekday  mornings, and pulling out chairs, retrieving coats, and making desserts en flambé Wednesday through Saturday evenings on the corner of Broadway and Harkness, a routine that Caron calls “the answer I’d been seeking for a richer life.” VinoVeritasRI.com

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