The best chefs in Providence are quick to credit the area’s wealth of great food sources as the key to their success, said Tom Sietsema in The Washington Post. And it’s true: Rhode Island’s capital sits close to the seacoast as well as to small farms that still produce top-notch meat and produce. But another secret of dining well in Providence seems to be finding chefs who are married to their co-owners. During a recent road trip to investigate the area’s dining scene, “the restaurants that left the best impressions were all headed by couples.”
Cook & Brown Public House
Chef Adam Bolin and wife Jenny apply a “less-is-more philosophy” at this spirited 50-seat gastropub. Though a typical menu might be only nine dishes long, it could easily feature “smoked bluefish rillettes and crisp fritters with a horseradish-ignited mayonnaise.” 959 Hope St., (401) 273-7275
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The menu at this outstanding cheese shop “consists mainly of sandwiches, and they’re all terrific.” Matt and Kate Jennings make inventive use of their artisan cheeses and serve a sandwich of fava bean hummus and feta cheese that even carnivores may find addictive. La Laiterie, the Jennings’ adjoining restaurant, qualifies as “a delicious excuse to return for dinner.” 186 Wayland Ave., (401) 274-7177
Champe Speidel and his wife, Lisa, have created a restaurant in nearby Bristol that’s worth the “easy 30-minute drive.” Chef Speidel has perfected a sweet corn and chanterelle risotto, and the candlelit setting “appears to have been carved from someone’s home.” 31 State St., Bristol, R.I., (401) 254-7474
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