RI Restaurant Stories: Italian Style

My mom's Italian. 100%. My father was Irish and English. Whenever my mom wanted to annoy or tease my father, she would always say something like "Do you ever see any Irish restaurants?"

True Story: A few years ago, I tried to get my mom to go to an actual Irish restaurant downcity (Providence)  - that has since been shuttered - and she flat out refused. 

Well, the other night, I went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant, Rosalina, downcity that my mom would definitely approve of. (Btw, I used to work with a girl who liked to mock us Providence natives for referring to Downtown PVD as 'Downcity'...Yeah, she was that annoying, with her faux sense of superiority and too tight clothing. My friend A. went and nicknamed her 'the Sausage' because of her affinity for too tight clothing. Even funnier now because we're talking about Italian food, right?)

We kicked things off with fresh bread and some of Rosalina's famous olive oil - It's organic and shipped right from the owner's cousin's place in Kalamata, Greece. How cool is that? (And, for the record, they had me at organic.)

As a vegetarian, my go-to order at most restaurants is usually a Caprese salad and pizza, but we were in a big rush to make it to The Dunk to see Fleetwood Mac (Did I mention we had front row seats? Click here to see the blog about that.), so I skipped a few courses and went straight to the Gnocchi. Now, I was raised on homemade handmade pasta (My grandmother came over from Naples, Italy when she was 13. Need I say more?), so I'm a tough critic when it comes to pasta and any kind of Italian food really. (I was tempted to say cuisine here, but that would only make me sound like a bougie poseur, which I swear I am not. It also kills me to use the word pasta because I was raised in a house where we referred to everything as macaroni.)

 Can you tell that I LOVED the Gnocchi?

Can you tell that I LOVED the Gnocchi?

So, long story short, I inhaled the gnocchi. My one regret? I probably should've ordered a nice glass of red wine (like my brother did) to go along with it, but I know my limits. What I mean is that I knew that if I didn't drink at least one cup of coffee with dinner, I would NOT have the energy to stand on my tip toes and scream for hours at the concert. Next time, the wine'll be flowing. For sure.

Oh yeah, I had to talk my brother down from ordering the cheesecake for dessert. I'm sure it would've been out of this world, but I have at least a dozen pairs of skinny jeans at home that I need to be able to get into without injuring myself, ya know? 

A few more things you need to know about Rosalina's:

 The vintage looking portraits (like this one) that line the walls were done by a local artist who takes old time-y photos and turns them into paintings. 

The vintage looking portraits (like this one) that line the walls were done by a local artist who takes old time-y photos and turns them into paintings. 

  • They have lots of vegetarian options. People rave about their polenta and their cheesecake. After all, cheesecake is vegetarian. #NextTime
  • There's a Kid's Menu...But remember parents: Everyone loves cute kids, except for when they're screaming and throwing fits while we're trying to enjoy our lunch or dinner. Just sayin.
  • It's open 7 days. More chances to enjoy gnocchi and red wine or cheesecake.
  • Two Words - Valet Parking. As someone who hates, loathes and detests parking Downcity (as well as anywhere on The East Side of PVD), this is outstanding. No valet? That's definitely a deal breaker for me. 

Ciao For Now, 

Patty J


Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of #PattyJDotCom, except for exterior of Rosalina's and booth with overhead lights. Those were from their website. Xo