Your January Food News

A tiny bar's big debut, new dining in Garden City, and breakout pop-up restaurants


Tiny Bar's big debut

Looking to get cozy with some adult beverages? Say hello to Tiny Bar, the intimate, upscale jewel-box bar that opened late November, smack-dab in the middle of the Jewelry District next to Olga’s Cup & Saucer. “The little building had been used for storage…once it was empty, we decided to open a bar!” explains owner Joanne Chang. “It’s a completely separate business from Olga’s, a completely different look, feel, and vibe.”

The interior is airy and feminine, with large painted florals as an “homage to the beautiful patio we share with Olga’s” says Joanna. “We’re very grateful to have this urban oasis and wanted to hew closely to the nature we were gifted with.” They also partner with The Avenue Concept for a rotating mural on the south exterior, the current design done by artist Vespia1, and feature the handiwork of Providence Painted Signs. Tiny Bar serves classics with a twist, like an Autumn Mule, Double Oaked Sour, Black Cherry Hatten, and French Negroni. -Chuck Staton


New year, new dining in Garden City

Just 10 minutes outside of PVD, Garden City Center in Cranston has been a shopping destination for Rhode Islanders for over 70 years. While they are known for their variety of modern retail shops, the plaza has become the hub for over a dozen restaurants, from counter service to upscale dining.

Three new restaurants are set to join Garden City in the coming months, all of which draw inspiration from the Western Hemisphere. Aussie cafe Sydney will be opening their third location in addition to those in Providence and Portsmouth, bringing with them their signature avocado toast, craft beverages, and light breakfast and lunch items. Chaska – in association with Thayer Street staple Kabob & Curry – will offer Indian cuisine like spiced curry dishes as well as fresh meat and vegetarian options. Garden City also welcomes Asia Grille, located near the landmark gazebo and offering traditional Chinese cuisine to enjoy on their casual outdoor patio or to-go. -Gina Mastrostefano


Breakout pop-ups at Vinya Test Kitchen

Vinya Test Kitchen is an incubator kitchen for up-and-coming chefs in Providence and specializes in small, private dinners for unique culinary concepts. Chef Massimiliano Mariotta, culinary mastermind behind Vinya, tells us about two pop-ups that debuted in the latter half of 2019.

The first is Twelve Plants, conceptualized by Chef Peter Carvelli. Mariotta tells us that Carvelli had the idea for the entirely plant-based tasting menu, “so we took it on and gave him space.” Dishes include a chickpea panisse, a honeynut squash, sage, cranberry, and pecan tortelloni, and a barbecue maple-roasted carrot with carrot crumble, puree, and pesto.

The second pop-up is Lagotto, an “immersive truffle experience,” serving an eight-course dinner focused around black and white truffles. “Lagotto is the name of a dog breed used to find truffles,” Marriotta explains. Their dinner includes a scallop crudo with truffle celery sauces, a sous-vide cod with celery, tapioca, and truffle, and even the Italian dessert Zabaione with truffle honey-gelato.  -Chuck Staton


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