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Seven new restaurants to check out in R.I.

From Vietnamese dishes in Providence to an aesthetically pleasing café in Newport, here are some new places to try in Rhode Island

Dishes from Upscales, the sister upstairs restaurant to Scales & Shells, an Italian restaurant on Thames Street in Newport, R.I.Upscales

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The owners behind the popular Union & Main restaurant in East Greenwich are opening another new restaurant.

Justin Dalton-Ameen and Josh Culpo are planning to open Lake Taco on the shores of Tiogue Lake in Coventry this fall. The property at 446 Tiogue Ave., has housed a carousel of concepts over the years — Nino’s, Doherty’s Lakeside Ale House, Tiogue Tavern, and Morse Tavern, which closed in the summer of 2022 due to financial struggles.


The duo partnered with Josh Culpo’s cousin, former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, to open Union and Main last summer and Back 40 in North Kingstown in 2017. The pair also own Black Oak Kitchen & Drinks in Coventry. Each restaurant serves various iterations of American comfort food, but Lake Taco will have more of a taco-and-tequila-bar concept, and all meats will be smoked in-house.

A bowl of Chicken 'Not' Pie from Little Shop of Soups, a tiny cafe that opened in the summer of 2023 in the Arcade building in downtown Providence, R.I. Little Shop of Soups

Here are more new spots opening in Rhode Island.

Little Shop of Soups: In a tiny corner shop on the outside of the Arcade building in downtown Providence, Emily Medizza, 20, and her father, Giulio Medizza, are offering fresh soups, salads, and sandwiches for takeout Mondays through Fridays. Giulio Medizza is an artisan chef from Italy who spent the last 40 years cooking all over the world — from Tonga to St. Martin. Their soup varieties, which will include specials like Shrimp Bisque and a Moroccan Chickpea Stew, will rotate often, and will always include a vegan option.

Beaucoup: If you haven’t been to Newport in a while, you might not recognize this Thames Street storefront. The space used to be a run-down liquor store, but has been revamped by Cheryl Guibone into Beaucoup, a new cafe and boutique. Guibone, who owns the home goods store Guibone Living, has created an aesthetically pleasing café with vases of fresh cut roses, coffee table books about French cooking, turquoise-colored chairs and tables outside. Be sure to snack on a spinach and goat cheese quiche or a massive croissant.


Tracys Cream and Sugar: Tracy Woodward, who owns the Perfect Sweet Shoppe in Warren, recently opened Tracy’s Cream and Sugar on Main Street, also in Warren, where she’s selling coffee, ice cream, bagels, and doughnuts.

Pork salad, stir fried beef yellow noodle or pork vermicelli bowls from Lotus Pepper.Lotus Pepper

Lotus Pepper: Since 2013, owner Thang Huynh and his mother, Young Nguyen, have been serving Vietnamese dishes out of a food truck around College Hill. The dishes were inspired by Nguyen’s upbringing on the Mekong River in Vietnam, and now you can find them in a recently opened a brick-and-mortar on Hope Street in Providence.

Upscales: Debra and Andrew Ackerman opened Scales & Shells in 1987 to bring “delicious, yet unpretentious” Italian seafood cooking to Newport. After more than 30 years of building what has become a local institution, the husband-and-wife duo recently expanded by opening Upscales, which is a laid-back concept upstairs with views overlooking Thames Street.

Inside of Upscales in Newport, R.I.Upscales

Seoul: In Davol Square in Providence’s Jewelry District, Asian fusion restaurant Seoul recently opened in a space that has been vacant for several years (it used as the Point Street Dueling Pianos bar). Joseph Champavannarath, a first-generation American, previously worked at Seven Moons in North Kingstown, Pho Horn’s in Pawtucket, and Lim’s Fine Thai & Sushi in Providence, before opening Seoul. At night, the restaurant that largely serves Korean dishes — such as stone bibimbap, fried gyoza, and noodles — becomes a dance lounge with DJs and cocktails made with ingredients like yuzu and lychee.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at Follow her @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.