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RHODE MAP

A delicious new offering from Globe Rhode Island

Reporter Alexa Gagosz says one interesting trend in the Rhode Island restaurant and bar scene is mocktails, like this non-alcoholic passion fruit margarita made by Kevin O’Connor of Persimmon in Providence.GLENN OSMUNDSON

Warning: You’re about to be really hungry.

That’s because the team here at Globe Rhode Island has launched the most thorough food and dining guide you could ever need - and we’re going to keep adding to it in the coming months.

Wait, there’s more: My super talented colleague Alexa Gagosz is launching a free weekly newsletter to showcase Rhode Island’s bustling restaurant scene (she’s not calling it RhodeWrap, I promise). You can sign up here.

I asked Alexa about what inspired her to lead our expanded food and dining coverage, and we’ve got links to so many stories below.

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Q: You’ve led this entire effort to expand our reach to Rhode Island’s foodies. Tell us about how you came with the idea.

Gagosz: My last day as a bartender was March 15, 2020 and I do miss it. There is no better adrenaline rush than on a Friday night when you’re in the weeds, or that feeling when you’re bonding with your coworkers over a round of shift drinks at 3 a.m.

But when I moved to Providence a few months later, I saw an eclectic dining scene that was not only delicious, but had a resilient group of chefs, bartenders, and owners behind it. I wanted to get to know them, and started writing features about the newest eateries. Then I realized there was a story everywhere I turned.

Q: You’re also launching a weekly newsletter about food and dining in Rhode Island. What should readers expect to see when they sign up (which they better do here)?

Gagosz: There’s a secret bar in an old industrial building that serves craft cocktails. I’ll tell you how to get in — because you’ll need the code. Do you know how ice wine is made? Or that the classic diner actually started in Rhode Island?

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We’ll bring you Q&As with chefs, word of new restaurants, recipes to try at home, news from the best in the business, discuss inequities and sustainability, and let you know about the weekend plans you’ll want to mark on your calendar. It’s going to be the exclusive food and dining news and perspectives of Rhode Island. So not signing up means you’ll have serious FOMO.

Q: I feel like there’s something in this guide for everyone, even if you’re not a foodie. Tell us about some of your favorite stories.

Gagosz: My favorite part is that everyone at Globe Rhode Island (and their taste buds) joined in. You wrote about how picky eaters can survive in Providence while Brian Amaral wrote about the best Portuguese restaurants and what to order (O Dinis, I’m dining with you next).

Ed Fitzpatrick tracked down where politicians are eating while they’re strategizing. Amanda Milkovits not only investigated the history of diners, but then ordered breakfast at all the best ones.

We found the best spots in Blackstone Valley and South County. I sampled dishes at the restaurants readers told me were their underrated favorites. Plus, food trucks are seriously crushing it right now, from donut trifles to Vietnamese dumplings.

A lot of our public conversations right now are pretty divisive. But everyone’s got to eat. And that’s what this dining guide is all about.

Q: Last question. We’re slowly coming out of the pandemic, and the restaurant industry was forced to change as much as anyone. What’s the No. 1 trend you’ve noticed in your reporting?

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Gagosz: Mocktails! But they shouldn’t just be a trend. Anyone should be able to go into a restaurant or bar and make a choice not to drink (ever or for that day), but still have options to not feel excluded. And there are some restaurants that are already doing that like Persimmon, Perro Salado, and 345.

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.


Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.