Jade Yu, who launched her custom bakery Less Is More on Instagram in October, goes by the motto “less sugars, more flavors.” The pâtissier, who’s called Rhody home since 2021, began baking her own morsels because, while she has a sweet tooth, she was unable to finish a whole dessert. “If it’s overly sweet, I can’t eat more than a bite,” she confides. Creating more healthful desserts is a bonus.
Yu says it’s about balancing flavor: too much sugar in a recipe can mask the other ingredients. Her specialty is a Basque cheesecake, which, unlike traditional cheesecake, is baked at a high temperature. This chars the outside, creating a delicious caramelized outer crust while retaining a creamy, decadent middle. Also on the menu are mini poundcakes in eight different flavors, and she custom makes minimalist cakes to order. While she bakes in Johnston, she has a pick-up location on Federal Hill. @LessIsMore.RI_
Providence became a little bit country with the recent opening of Moonshine Alley. Proprietor Tyler Almeida’s eatery features American cuisine with a Southern twang, with farm-to-table menu items like Nashville hot chicken and Jack Daniel’s lacquered BBQ ribs plated next to fish and chips and grilled Atlantic salmon.
Live music – from modern country to local cover bands – is expected to be a draw, but Almeida is quick to point out, Moonshine Alley is not a club. “We wanted to do fun, country pop with a modern twist,” he explains, citing Nashville’s lively restaurant scene, which features live music to go with the eats. Along with a hearty dose of Southern hospitality is a strong bar service, including 10 draft lines of local and regional craft brews. Moonshine features prominently with Moonshine Sangria on tap; or chose a flight from 12 different flavors, including Pumpkin Spice, Banana Pudding, and Apple Pie. MoonshineAlley.com
Twelve 21 chef Jason Amott was a wunderkind. After graduating early from high school, he attended Johnson and Wales’ culinary program, returning to his native Salt Lake at 19. He immediately opened an Italian restaurant that received accolades, landing on a Ski Magazine Top 25 list and winning a coveted Wine Spectator award. After getting a bachelor’s from Le Cordon Bleu, he transitioned to ultra high-end corporate work. But with both his kids attending JWU, he returned to Rhody and is now at the helm of Federal Hill’s newest eatery.
Amott brings fine dining flair to Twelve 21’s festive atmosphere: the restaurant transitions to a hookah bar with live entertainment after 9:30pm. Small plates reign, with everything crafted in-house, from their hand-cut shoestring potatoes to elevated condiments and fried-to-order tortilla chips. “Fine dining doesn’t need to feel stuffy,” he says. “You should have fun with your food.” Twelve21RI.com
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