Food News: Farm-to-table kitchen, upscale Italian, and coffee on the go join Downcity dining scene

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From Dusk to Downcity, a late-night pop-up sets up permanent digs

While the project itself isn’t new, Amaryllis’ Westminster storefront invites patrons to sit down inside this BYOB restaurant for the first time to enjoy the culinary creations of chefs Deann Marandola and Tracy DeFusco. What began as a pop-up drawing a cult following of downtown diners awaiting the next appearance at places like Dusk and the Scurvy Dog now has the consistency of a homebase. Marandola and DeFusco describe a nightlife destination that’s “hip without being pretentious... a perfect date spot to feel full and satisfied and wanting to go out dancing afterwards!”
“Our focus is on clean and vibrant food that emphasizes health and happiness, using organic and seasonal ingredients whenever possible,” explains the duo. “We are working with local farms like Big Train for vegetables as well as our own garden.” New specials follow the rapid rhythm of Rhode Island’s growing seasons, so garlic scape pesto may come and go, but you can at least count on their signature Miso Ginger Rice Noodle Bowl, a dish that put them on the map, to always satisfy those late-night cravings. 225A Westminster Street

Boutique hotel and Italian eatery opens on Westminster

In the historic 1887 Exchange Building, you’ll soon find The Beatrice: a boutique hotel with period charm developed by Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., managing partner of Paolino Properties and former Mayor of Providence, and named for his mother, philanthropist Beatrice Temkin. But you might at first be drawn inside by the smell of upscale Italian cooking coming from the culinary destination, Bellini Restaurant, debuting in New England come late summer with founder and president Ignazio Cipriani at the helm.
A modern approach will complement authentic Italian flavors, and Paolino looks forward to the partnership with Cipriani to bring the Bellini brand, named for the cocktail created by the world-class family-run hospitality group, to the city. “There is a special magic about Providence, that draws upon my own nostalgia of growing up in Italy, with canals that flow through the downtown, similar to what you would experience in Venice,” says Cipriani. “When that feeling is coupled with the charm and creative flair of this special New England community, the joy of conviviality completes the picture.” 90 Westminster Street 

Big flavors from new little cafe on Mathewson

At press time, Dave Lanning and Kelsey Garvin were in the midst of construction to open their “small community-focused grab-and-go space” with fresh roasted coffee sourced from Tandem Coffee Roaster in Portland, Maine. Just around the corner from Westminster Street, which has drawn Open Air Saturday crowds all season, Little City Coffee & Kitchen fits right into the neighborhood with a dedication to doing breakfast and snacks from scratch, whether it’s baked goods, sandwiches, or even flavored drink syrups. Desserts are designed to be portable yet enticing, like classic blueberry muffins but with tahini and sesame seeds or a Brown Butter Meyer Lemon Bar. Their Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie is a refreshing indulgence topped with zest and crunchy coconut to complement a menu of all your typical coffee offerings, plus specials like an Apricot Ginger Latte. Situated in a prime spot for city exploring, their business model is all about leveled-up grab and go. 170 Mathewson Street

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