Café Nuovo in Downtown Providence closed its doors two weekends ago after 26 years in business – but it hopes to reopen again next year. Sometime.
The restaurant at One Citizens Plaza is doing what more and more eating places are doing during the pandemic: taking a sabbatical while the virus rages and planning to open their doors again when it subsides.
Other restaurants hibernating for the winter include, in the Boston metro area, Orfano, Tiger Mama, Catalyst, Little Donkey and Spoke Wine Bar. You can get a complete list of temporary closings at www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/02/lifestyle/heres-running-list-boston-area-restaurants-hibernating-winter/
Other hibernators in Providence include Gracie’s, Maria’s Cucina and Nolan’s Corner Pub. And The Royal Bobcat on Federal Hill is now open weekdays and closed weekends. The list goes on.
Other restaurants are taking different steps. For example, Puritan & Company in Cambridge has converted to a pickup and delivery operation only, Wednesdays through Sundays.
And Notester favorite Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers on Dexter Street in Central Falls, which has been open since The Great Depression 88 years ago, has launched a GoFundMe crowd-funding drive to raise enough cash to forestall closure. They say they need $25,000 to keep going.
A serving of COVID vaccine, anyone?
The local scene
‘Twas the night before Christmas … Chardonnay’s on Taunton Avenue in Seekonk is serving dinner on Christmas Eve, along with sister restaurants 579 Benefit on Benefit Street in Pawtucket and Meritage on Post Road in East Greenwich. www.chardonnaysrestaurant.com
Peppermint is the flavor of the month at Bliss Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop on Park Street in Attleboro. It’s creamy peppermint ice cream loaded with peppermint candies, and served in sundaes, too. www.blissdairy.com
Back Bay’s Buttermilk & Bourbon is planning a second location in Arsenal Yards on Arsenal Yards Boulevard. www.buttermilkandbourbon.com
Know what you can get all this month from most of the restaurants on Providence’s iconic Federal Hill? Free delivery. The catch is they will deliver only in a 12-mile radius of The Hill. Do a Google mileage check — hey, South Attleboro is just over the limit — and get creative with friends and relatives who live closer.
Waterman Grille on South Main Street at Richmond Square has Cold Weather Classics at Home specials Mondays through Thursdays for 29 bucks a person. The menu features French braising dishes and you can get a bottle of wine to go with it for 15 bucks. www.watermangrille.com
They offer a selection of seafood to cook at home at Hemenway’s on South Main Street, including cod, swordfish, tuna and salmon. www.hemenwaysrestaurant.com
Nightly specials on the family-style menu is new at Avvio at Garden City Center in Cranston. www.avvioristorante.com
A variety of salads, pastas, soups and gelatos are part of Sunday Supper, a takeaway available every day at Giusto at Hammetts Hotel on Commercial Wharf in Newport. www.giustonewport.com
Tap, cask and bottle
The Rhode Island Monthly magazine readers poll says Grey Sail Brewing in Westerly is the best local brewer and brew pub, and Mews Tavern in Wakefield has the best beer on tap. Best wine list? Pane e Vino in Providence. Best bar cocktail list? The Eddy in Providence. Best place to people-watch? The Hot Club in Providence.
Portsmouth transplant to the West Coast Chris Cosentino has created a non-alcoholic IPA for Athletic Brewing in Stratford, Conn.
Rhode Island has more than 25 breweries and brewpubs and you can visit them all on a Rhode Island Brewery Passport, now a handy app on your cell phone. Start visiting and you can earn free hats and t-shirts along the way. www.ribrewersguild.org
Tree House Brewing Company in Charlton plans to open breweries in 2021 in Sandwich on the Cape and in Deerfield in Western Mass.
Monday, Jan. 11, and Tuesday, Jan. 12: Candlelight dinner series at The Coast Guard House on Ocean Road in Narragansett. They are held the second Monday and Tuesday of the month. www.thecoastguardhouse.com
Friday, Jan. 15 and Saturday, Jan. 16: Boston Wine Festival Battle of the Cabs wine dinner, Boston Harbor Hotel, 265 bucks. www.bostonwinefestival.
Friday, Jan. 22: Boston Wine Festival Old World, New World Pinor Noir wine dinner, Boston Harbor Hotel, 195 bucks. www.bostonwinefestival.
Saturday, Jan. 23: Boston Wine Festival Meritage Madness wine dinner, Boston Harbor Hotel, 275 bucks. www.bostonwinefestival
Friday, Jan. 29, and Saturday, Jan. 30: Boston Wine Festival Chateaunuef-du-Pape wine dinner, Boston Harbor Hotel, 185 bucks. www.bostonwinefestival
Chefs Joe Collins and Dave Miguel have joined the team at Sandy’s Fine Food Emporium on Post Road in Westerly. www.sandysfinefioods.com
Awards on the wall
Notester buddy Bob Burke is a finalist for a prize of $50,000 for an essay he wrote about the changes he made to keep his restaurant, Pot au Feu in Providence, alive during the pandemic. The Notester read it, liked it and voted. You can cast your vote for Bob at www.smallbizbigwins.com
A Smoking Bishop is a mulled wine punch.
Consomme comes from the French for concentrate, and is descriptive of the process of boiling a broth down to its essence.
The word crumpet comes from the Middle English “crompid,” meaning cake.
Dragon and phoenix is a Cantonese dish of lobster and chicken.
Flummery is from the Welsh and is a chiefly British soft, land pudding or other similar dish often with an oatmeal base.
Footnote: Some of The Notester’s mysteries derive from the book “The Eaten Word” by Jay Jacobs.
Psst, let’s make a deal
Oysters, little necks and shrimp cocktails are buck each weekday before 6 and all day on Thursdays at 579 Benefit Street on Benefit Street in Pawtucket. www.579benefit.com