It has been nothing short of miraculous that so many local, independently-owned restaurants have made it through the past two years. But who can begin to explain the optimism and courage it must have taken for people to open new restaurants in this economic climate? Gail Ciampa has created a fantastic year-end restaurant roundup in the ProJo: “RI got 41 new restaurants, breweries and wineries in 2021. Check them out.”
Dozens of chefs, bakers, brewers and small business owners have opened new restaurants and other food and drink businesses in 2021. They have navigated construction, licensing, the purchasing of equipment and furniture, and the hiring of staff. Others avoided the brick and mortar and opted to open ghost kitchens that specialize in takeout and delivery.
They opened in hotels, in old, repurposed spaces and a few in brand new construction. Some replaced long-gone restaurants and bars.
Her list of ‘New restaurants in Providence’ includes several that I have been to and a few that I will be checking out, including Aguardente, a Portuguese tapas restaurant at 12 Governor Street. (Aguardente refers to a Portuguese brandy.)
I have been meaning to get over there since reading this review in RI Monthly in which food writer Jamie Coelho includes this all-important fact:
Many people know chef [Natalia] Paiva-Neves from her Portuguese family’s restaurant O Dinis in East Providence.
Another chef, Magda León, is not only responsible for the Mexican and Guatemalan menu items, but she also executed the artwork inside and out.
Aguardente is steps away from Wickenden Street next to Pizza Marvin. There is some parking and an outdoor patio with heaters.
There is flan.