- The Shanty
- Top of the Bay
- Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana
- Vanda Cucina Di Casa
- The Tree House Tavern & Bistro
Heading South on RT. 1 (Post Road) just before the East Greenwich line sits an unassuming blue rectangular building with a large brick chimney. Don’t be fooled by its humble exterior, inside executive chef Sean McDermott and the team are serving up some of the most fun, filling and signature dishes in the entire state.
Pitched as a haven for locavores, the packed Shanty combines local ingredients into dishes that are familiar and surprising at the same time. The menu is simple, yet multifaceted, and presented cleanly on a clipboard. What at first glance might seem limited, the choice of a final entre can be a difficult decision, and on that might not get to be repeated until next season! Do I pick the T.V. Dinner—a combination centered around a deep-fried game hen—or the delicious Bacon and Brussels salad or a special featuring local protein like Pappardelle and Clams? This is where it gets tough!
The taco appetizer changes seasonally and for the summer features Swordfish. The slaw is hand-tossed and delicious, the taco well-balanced and tangy. Big win for the Shanty, everyone rocks fish tacos these days, but The Shanty’s are heads and shoulders above the rest. The finishers of mixed drink and desserts are just as good (and strong!) as the starters, and the atmosphere is always electric. Locals line the bar telling fishing stories or reminiscing of past wild nights out on the town. The booths that line the sides are a fun and comfortable place to spend an evening, and the tables in the back around the large fireplace are perfect for the crisp fall days ahead. Go early, go hungry, leave content and well taken care of.
3854 Post Road
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
Phone: (401) 884-7008
TOP OF THE BAY
If classic, done well, New England seafood with a great supporting cast is what you are looking for, then Top of the Bay proffers that with a rooftop deck and view to boot! The Oakland Beach location boasts waterfront views and a modern, sleek interior that has a sophisticated flair. The menu is robust and features seafood, steaks, pasta dishes and all the New England favorites for which our little state is famous.
Clam cakes, bam! Chowders, double bam! Haddock, Surf & Turf, the list goes on—BAM BAM! Plus, all the Italian favorites that put a smile on any non-seafood lover’s face. Did we mention fried clams, all deliciously fried and cooked to order, so they come out fresh and crispy?. Oh, and a dedicated, quick-moving wait staff that makes sure your dining experience is as good as the views of Narragansett Bay.
All this is loving paired with a fresh selection of wines, beers, and cocktails. Summers are busy, so Top of the Bay offers customers the ability to order online, and a convenient mobile app will get you on the list while strolling the beach! Oh, and the dessert menu will have you wishing you had left some room, so do yourself a favor and look at it first. The portions are generous and the preparation of special occasion staples like Baked Stuffed Lobster are certain to satisfy, helping you hold onto summer ‘till the very end of September.
898 Oakland Beach Ave.
Warwick RI, 02889
FRANK PEPE’S PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA
If you can imagine a Hall of Fame for New World Pizza and are about to read the plaque of the very first inductee, then you’re reading about Frank Pepe’s. Why? Because Pepe’s pizza is an inspired, crispy, hot pie that pleases every pizza-craving taste bud you can place in front of a roughly cut slice. Let’s cover the back story, Frank Pepe (born in 1893) started FPP in 1925 in New Haven. It became legendary. Fast forward to 2018, almost 100 years later. Pepe’s opens in Warwick, BOOM! Total game changer.
The interior follows an authentic pattern of beautiful white glazed bricks, which surround the glorious coal-fired ovens. The pizzeria has two food items—pizza and salads. Focusing on making those two items the absolute best, without distractions.
Now, about the pizza, the pizza…oh the pizza. Famous for the White Clam Pizza, the story goes that a nephew of the building owner used to shuck littlenecks in the ally and sell them on the street. Eventually, the clams made the bar menu and evolved onto a pizza. Read more at Wikipedia. The clam pizza is bangin’ and still made from freshly shucked clams, served on a homemade crust with olive oil, oregano, grated cheese, and chopped garlic. It’s the holy grail of east coast pizza cuisine. However, don’t let the other pies slip you by, especially the Quattro Formaggi, which is a magical amalgamation of Mozzarella, Asiago, Pecorino & Goat Cheese with olive oil and basil. The right texture, the right amount, and placed lovingly on a tomato sauce that will bring you all the way to the hills of Mt. Vesuvius where the tomatoes are fertilized by centuries-old volcanic ash.
Other combinations are just as sumptuous and include mushrooms, local sausage, and other familiar toppings. It is all fresh, done right, and presented atop a gloriously crisp pizza crust. I’m a fan; you’ll be one, too.
21 Universal Blvd
Warwick, RI 02886
VANDA CUCINA DI CASA
Local restaurateur Dino Passaretta has moved a taste of home into Apponaug center. The delightful location servers regionally-diverse, Italian fare with a modern feel and stands as a tribute to his mother, Teresa, as well as a long-time vision of Passaretta’s finally brought to fruition. Executive chef Gina Pezza and bartender/farmer Brittany Berry bring fresh, locally cultivated ingredients into creative dishes and drinks that pay homage to the long tradition of Italian cuisine in Rhode Island.
Some of the signature recipes and touches—you’ll rarely find raw garlic in the dishes. Vanda chefs use roasted garlic in their bread dip, sauces, and garnishes. It works to create a deeply rich and earthy tone to the plates, broadens the intense flavor of garlic, and finishes smooth. YUM! The next hallmark of the new venture is that Brittany runs a local farm situated on 1/3rd of an acre right in Warwick. The farm provides fresh herbs that are dried and used throughout the kitchen and seasonal vegetables featured in special dishes. For instance, we sampled the favorite stuffed zucchini flowers sourced from the local farm.
Let’s talk about the menu. It’s robust with plenty to choose from. Some familiar favorites, other inspired family recipes featuring wild game, and thoughtful combinations that make each dish a path to Italian culinary discovery. The selections are set up in the authentic Italian fashion of separate courses and it’s advisable to choose from each. For antipasti, the clams in white wine sauce were stellar; insalate, the grilled escarole salad, excellent. Then, per primo, a pasta course of hand-cut fettuccine which lead to an epiphany. Never had I had pasta that was better than what I make at home (occasionally). Vanda’s pasta light, just a bit al dente, held the sauce; it was simply perfect. The secondi of Prime Bistro Bavette Steak was equally well done and dessert’s Venetian-Style Tiramisu was exceptional. Vanda delivers an exceptional dining experience for Warwick, with an attention to detail this smart and cheery restaurant you’re sure to love.
1 Centerville Road
Warwick, RI 02886
THE TREE HOUSE TAVERN & BISTRO
History runs deep at the Tree House Tavern. For 38 years mother Aline and son Michael have been in business, starting out as florists and slowly evolving into the culinary phenomenon that is the modern-day bistro. People come for the ambiance; people come for the food. Everyone who visits is impressed with both. First, the interior décor, blends modern art, lighting, and floral arrangements into a farmhouse that dates back to the 1850s. The wood floors are original, the table tops, bar, and accent pieces all sourced from local Rhode Island hardwoods and custom built. Guest weave through multiple dining rooms, a piano room, and then out to the award-winning grounds. Set back is the mighty woodshed, which houses a bar and tables, perfect for an evening savoring unique cocktails and a wide assortment of beer and wine. Enshrined with impeccable gardens, this Eden in the heart of Warwick is absolutely worth the visit.
The Tree House Tavern has convenient hours serving Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner with menus that are creative, seasonal, and exciting. Small plates include bar food favorites with a local flare including pizza, pulled pork nachos, and a smoked salmon board highlight some of the many selections. There are also inventive salads, hearty large plates, and an assortment of sandwiches and chowders that are, well, marvelous! First off, they serve Rhode Island clear chowder, which in my opinion is the king of the chowders. Done flawlessly with bacon, broth, herbs and plenty of clams, this dish is everything right about ’Lil Rhody summers. Two highlights from the sandwich menu were the Tuffalo Burger, a grass-fed Buffalo burger topped with aged, sharp provolone, a soft, sunny fried egg, truffle aioli, and arugula. And the Lobster BLT, a cold whole lobster salad, thick-sliced bacon, romaine, and fresh tomato on butter-grilled brioche. Both sandwiches were excellent. Awesome lunch or dinner items that are both filling while the preparation is delicate, intricate, and fresh.
Disclaimer: A whole review could be written about the deserts. Handmade with frequent renditions, the deserts will blow your mind. The ample space is available for weddings, parties, High Tea, and other events. The Tree House offers buffet and table served options for guests. A visit is an adventure and will transport any guest into a relaxed state, a stone’s throw from home on Route 2!
Come relax and enjoy food for your body and soul.
1094 Centerville Rd
Warwick RI 02886