Thursday, January 11, 2007

Christmas in RI

Federal Hill - We're behind in our posts so I'm going to keep this brief. Go to Federal Hill. It's amazing. I can't believe I grew up 40 short miles away without ever really exploring this old school Italian neighborhood. We had lunch at Angelo's Civita Farnese, a neighborhood institution, where the price is right and for a little extra you can watch the model train circle the ceiling. The meal started off right with complimentary bread and roasted chestnuts, with which we proceeded to litter our booth. We shared several small plates and a carafe of the house red, sampling homemade egg noodles prepared in aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and in the house sauce (a meat-based red). But the highlight, somewhat to my chagrin, was the veal and peppers. Mmm, the cruelty tastes so good!! We finished off with espresso and a decadent tollhouse pie. Definitely worth the trip up I-95 from Newport.

Salvation Cafe - No trip back to Newport is complete without a visit to Salvation. This place took its name and much of its decor from the Salvation Army Thrift Store that used to be next door. The thrift store burned down not long after the restaurant opened, but thankfully the name stuck and the place is thriving. It's a tiny place and they don't take reservations, but there's nothing better than squeezing your party of seven into the faux cow fur booth in the back by the kitchen, ordering a pitcher of sangria and digging into the eclectic and ever changing menu. The two stalwarts, calamari and pad thai, have been around since I was in high school, and are never anything less than delicious. I'm having trouble remembering what everyone ordered, but you really can't go wrong here, I had the tuna steak and it was fantastic, I remember someone else ordering one of the tasty beef preparations with deep friend spinach. This also a great place for drinks and brunch the morning after. We did this once and had the same sleep deprived yet still remarkably professional server both times. Go, go, go . . . but don't tell too many people.

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