Clover Desserts is a Farm Fresh RI market staple and frequent pop-up around PVD known for artfully made sweets that look almost too good to eat, but before now, owner Courtney Staiano explains she was limited in the volume of desserts she could produce. A new storefront and kitchen space slated to open this month on 52A Valley Street changes that. “I am very particular about flavors, textures, and the way items are presented,” she says. “Having our own space just opens up a bunch of possibilities for us to explore and will allow us to take on more special orders.”
Dainty turtle tarts, jars of butterscotch custard, and triple chocolate chip cookies perfected for pop-ups will appear in the bakery display case, along with a rotating menu of seasonal fare. “I am most looking forward to offering special nights where we do fancy plated desserts,” says Staiano. “I used to be a pastry chef at a restaurant in Boston and I really miss the world of plated desserts.”
Along the West End’s bustling Westminster Street, near the likes of Sin and Mi Ranchito, Lucky Enough is the newest “neighborhood hang”. Co-owner Art Chamberland describes it as “a place where you know everyone in there and the staff treats you like good friends, because in most cases you are! If we don’t know you, we will make sure we do by the time you leave.” The menu emphasizes chef-driven bar food, meaning nothing frozen tossed in a fryer and plenty of scratch-made sauces and fresh, local ingredients.
During a year when building out a new restaurant is particularly challenging, the name “Lucky Enough” feels apt – and patrons will certainly feel lucky for the chance to indulge in live music and comedy nights over cocktails or gather with friends in a booth for the big game. The rest of the time, expect vinyl tunes backdropping a steady flow of drinks and eats from the bar.
As the restaurant industry continues to pivot in the face of COVID-19, Genesis Center saw an opportunity to not only support the city’s restaurants but also to expand their longstanding culinary arts program with the Culinary Hub of Providence, opening late-winter in Providence Public Library. “CHOP is first and foremost a workforce development cafe, where students will receive paid on-the-job training,” explains advancement director Lauren Jordan. “The creation of CHOP will allow us to expand to an apprenticeship model with more participants and partner with more employers for long-term job placement.”
Adult learners – many working full-time and supporting families – who face the challenges of low income will have the opportunity to gain the occupational skills and resources they need through the Genesis Center’s new hub. This includes “hands-on experience with management, front and back of the house experience, supply ordering, menu development, etc.” says Jordan, through a combination of classroom-based learning and apprenticing in the community they live.