Anyone who’s spent evenings dining along downtown Providence’s vibrant stretch of eateries is already familiar with Oberlin, the cozy mainstay known for its fresh seafood, pasta, and carefully curated drink menu. Soon, it will be joined by sister restaurant Gift Horse, a full-service raw bar, opening just a block away at 272 Westminster Street, where Oberlin will also move next door.
Led by award-winning chef and owner Ben Sukle, Oberlin will be able to stretch its legs in the larger space, and Gift Horse will showcase fresh catches from New England waters prepared with Sukle’s innovative, offbeat style. Both locations will also expand their beverage programs, with longtime general manager and now partner Bethany Caliaro at the helm.
Since culinary school, Caliaro knew she loved working in the front of the house. For her, it brought new challenges, excitement, and the welcomed opportunity to connect with guests. After years of working in kitchens as a server, Caliaro opened a restaurant with a friend where she cut her teeth running the beverage program. “It was definitely a learning curve for me,” she says, “but I loved that pathway and realized there’s no shortage of things to learn when it comes to beverages, wine especially.”
With this experience under her belt, Caliaro came to work at Oberlin as general manager and to run their beverage program, which she’s been doing for almost five years. Ahead of Gift Horse opening, Caliaro added bar manager Rachel Stone to the team, who will oversee both bar programs.
Caliaro and Stone are excited to collaborate on the new drink menus, both of which will feature wine, beer, sakè, and cider, as well as a selection of low- and no-ABV (alcohol by volume) beverages – a crucial facet of Caliaro’s vision. As she puts it, “it’s important to give
people who aren’t drinking, or are trying to drink consciously, options to still feel special, to still have fun, and to still be able to connect with the people they are dining out with.”
Caliaro is also intentional about another piece of the drink menu – selecting producers. If you chat with the team about your drinks while there, you’ll notice many beverages have a unique story stemming from those origins. Caliaro prioritizes choosing small producers who are sustainability minded, ideally offering organic or biodynamic beverages. She also seeks out women-owned companies making wine in a natural style.
While both restaurants aim to pull beverages from a more expansive list, they’ll each go in their own unique direction. Gift Horse’s beverages will focus on complementing the restaurant’s heavy Rhode Island oyster and seafood focus. At Oberlin, the core drinks customers have come to know and love will remain, but with added options, too.
Stone looks forward to embracing the New England food culture and selecting libations that pair well with oceanfare. “The drink menu will feature some local, seasonal ingredients, some low-ABV options, some classics, and some more whimsical creations,” says Stone. “There will be something for everyone on the drink list.” Customers can expect creative takes on spritzes and martinis inspired by the Italian coast.
Since coming on board, Stone has synthesized Oberlin’s menu in her own unique way. Likewise, Stone says Caliaro “has great taste and is a wealth of knowledge.” Together, this team is bound to bring a fresh beverage scene that complements downtown’s most anticipated new seafood concept.
272 Westminster Street
383-3813 • GiftHorsePVD.com
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here