Just as the summer weather kicks off, al fresco dining is finally returning to Federal Hill this Saturday.
One of Rhode Island’s most concentrated dining districts has been shutting down its main stretch of Atwells Avenue for the last few years. If you haven’t made it yet, mark it down for a Saturday this summer on your calendar — al fresco lasts through Labor Day weekend. They’ll have two stages of music this year in addition to performances from aerial artist group The Dancing Loon.
Rick Simone, the president of the Federal Hill Commerce Association said more than 30 restaurants and retail shops are participating in “Al Fresco on the Hill” this year. But if you’re traveling to the Hill for the first time in a while, you might not recognize some of the newest restaurants — here are a few.
The Patio on Broadway: From crispy duck meatballs with spicy chili jam to cocktails like the “Bee Sting” with jalapeño-infused honey, The Patio is now open in the old Grange restaurant space. It’s owned by Jason Winpenny, who operates The Patio on Main in East Greenwich. Here are the food and drink menus. 166 Broadway, 401-227-9366, thepatiori.com.
Saint: Tavolo Wine Bar & Tuscan Grille closed its Federal Hill location earlier this year, leaving a large restaurant and bar space vacant. Alex Tomasso, a former nightclub owner who currently owns The George on Washington Street in downtown, is opening Saint on Friday. They have two concepts in one: Heaven and Hell. “Heaven” has all the classics — from beef tenderloin to cioppino with octopus and blue crab. The “Hell” menu is meant to excite your palate with items like a pickled peach salad, muscovy duck breast with maple chili butter, and blue crab risotto with a Cajun wine butter. 289 Atwells Ave., 401-423-4911, saintfederalhill.com.
Island House Grille & Bar: On Broad Street, the Island House Restaurant is known for preparing Jamaican plates like jerk chicken, patties, and oxtail, for diners and catering orders. On Thursday, Island House Grille & Bar will open on Federal Hill serving a variety of Caribbean and soul food classics. 32 Spruce St., islandhouserestaurantri.com.
Two other restaurants are opening on the Hill in the next month, Simone said, bringing the number of empty storefronts directly on the Avenue to just two locations. Mona Lisa Restaurant at 145 Spruce St. is scheduled to open June 16 and Federal Hill Cafe at 226 Atwells Ave. is scheduled to open June 20.
Alexa Gagosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.