Amuse-Bouche: north

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Tucked away in Luongo Square, you might find yourself standing in front of a tiny restaurant with soft lights shining through the window. Inside, you can make out a backlit bar with rows of obscure liquor bottles and, almost without a doubt, a crowd of hungry hopefuls waiting for a table. On the bottom right of the facade, you can vaguely make out a neon sign that reads “north” in blue script writing. Then you will know you’re in the right place.

north (sic), an Asian Fusion restaurant located in East Providence, has food that makes up in flavor twofold what the restaurant lacks in space. It offers dishes that are both irreverent and delicious; seemingly strange, yet expectation-shattering in the best way possible. The chef, James Mark, attributes the restaurant’s success to the collaborative forces that drive the culinary team. calls Mark not a head chef, but the leader of “a collective, a group of cooks who are making great culinary and community strides in Providence.” The restaurant website features bios of every staff member from head chef to dishwasher; Mark emphasizes that a successful restaurant is only the product of its driven and talented staff members.

Chef James Mark of North – Providence, RI

The menu is small, but it changes daily based on seasonality. A slushie machine swirls behind the bar, filled with a daily alcoholic frozen concoction of the bartender’s choosing. A group of six diners sit at the bar, slurping down raw oysters served on a bed of crushed ice right in front of them. The five-or-so table restaurant is dimly lit and warm; the servers are dressed in ripped denim and clogs, undoubtedly with a facial piercing or two. Make sure you show up dressed casually – and with an appetite.

Due to the nature and size of the dishes, I have found that north is best experienced by going with a group of two or more. The plates vary in size, though most are closer to tapas-sized than full plates. That being said, the dishes also tend to be very rich, so a little often goes a long way. It is best to go with an adventurous group that also favors family-style-dining.

My most recent trip to north was no less exciting than the first meal I had there over a year ago. My two friends and I scoured the menu and, as usual, were able to identify only about half of the ingredients in each dish. (What exactly is quince jam and why do I want to eat it? Hoz-what?) Unfamiliarity aside, we had no issue choosing four dishes to share among us. In fact, the greatest challenge proved to be resisting the temptation to order everything.

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PSA: New Rivers has one-dollar oysters on Tuesdays


If you’ve ever ventured down College Hill in search of a delicious meal (definitely possibly with parents in tow, considering the pricing), then you might have found yourself at New Rivers, a cozy American Bistro on Steeple Street. My own parents came this weekend and the three of us enjoyed a delicious meal at the coziest table I’ve ever seen. It was during this meal that I discovered that New Rivers serves oysters for one dollar on Tuesday nights ($1!!!).

For all you oyster lovers out there, head to New Rivers tonight for their weekly Dollar Oyster Night. Tonight’s oysters are Warehams and Beausoleils. And it’s New England, so it’s guaranteed to be great.

If you can’t make it tonight, don’t sweat it! New Rivers has been doing Dollar Oyster Night since 2011 and they show no signs of stopping. Treat yourself Tuesday!

New Rivers is located at 9 Steeple Street and open from 5-10 p.m. Reservations can be made at (401) 751-0350.

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Ken’s Ramen grand opening


Supremely delicious noodle shop Ken’s Ramen will be celebrating its official grand opening on Halloween. Though the restaurant has been running a soft opening for a while now — to rave reviews — Friday will mark its official debut. And how should one ring in any major celebration? With champagne, of course. The restaurant is offering free champagne with the purchase of ramen/a side (for those 21 and up, obviously). No word yet, however, on how Moët pairs with Hell Paitan ramen.

In addition to the bubbly extravaganza, Ken’s Ramen promises to unveil four new dishes on Friday, according to their website. One of them is probably pumpkin spice themed. Their noodle dishes no doubt make for a great start to your Halloween partying, especially if you’re dressing up as a member of the Ramen Cartel.

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Amuse Bouche: A Family Weekend brunch guide

In a few days, hundreds of parents will descend upon Brown’s campus for Family Weekend, leaving their kids in a tizzy of where to go and what to do under all of that parental guidance again. Between the a capella concerts and campus tours, you’ll need to find a place to re-fuel – and this weekend is your chance to explore a restaurant that doesn’t accept Meal Credits, Points, or Bear Bucks as forms of acceptable payment. If they’re anything like my parents, yours will be dying to feed you (Honey, I just want to make sure you are eating enough fruits and vegetables?”) and maybe a few lucky friends whose parents don’t love them couldn’t make it this weekend. Here is a list of the best places to brunch this Family Weekend:


Loui’s Restaurant

Loui’s is a classic Brown brunch choice. Take your family here to experience the authentic hangover or post-all-nighter meal. The family-run restaurant is practically a campus monument, and its food selection ranges from eggs to pancakes to barbecue chicken ravioli. And hey, they can even say they’ve been to a Guy Fieri-approved institution!


Meeting Street Cafe

Though Meeting Street Cafe is most well known for its desserts, it’s also a great option for a local Family Weekend brunch. Conveniently located right below Pembroke Campus, Meeting Street Cafe features a menu that is almost as large as its inanely-massive cookies. Oh, and it’s BYOB if you’re tempted to explore your new “collegiate” identity with your family.


The Duck and Bunny 

This “snuggery” tucked away on Wickenden St. appears to have popped right out of Alice in Wonderland and provides a cozy respite from the hustle and bustle of College Hill. Its menu offers classic sweet and savory crepes, as well as specialty creations like their “Creperrito” and “Eggs-Bun-a-Duck.” Make sure to save room for dessert –  their cupcakes are what dreams are made of.

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Captain Seaweed’s Thursday Night Lobster Raffle: Cheap beer, cheese puffs and live lobsters


One Thursday night, these two BlogDH writers decided—like the proper seniors we are—to ignore our readings for the night and drag our housemates to Captain Seaweed’s Pub on the corner of Ives and Williams. The honeymoon period with the GCB was waning, and it was good to get out to the other bars of Providence—you can only go to Spats so many times before you feel like you should be a real adult and branch out. Meanwhile, Seaweed’s is home to good-spirited bartenders, plenty of fishing tackle and an old decrepit statue of a fisherman, whose level of creepiness is certainly up there.

But the real reason to visit Seaweed’s is for the Thursday night lobster raffle. Every Thursday, each drink comes with a raffle ticket, and then, at 11:30, winners are chosen and given a tray with two lobsters and a bag of mussels.

The success of the evening is all about strategy.

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Amuse-Bouche: Yan’s Cuisine

There’s always a sense of anticipation surrounding an empty storefront on College Hill. Sure, we might long for the days when an incredibly useful convenience store occupied the corner of Thayer and Euclid — take the hint, local entrepreneurs — but coupled with that desolation is hope for the future: someday, some new business is coming in there. Eventually.

Brunonians who frequent the eastern end of campus had become used to this feeling while staring at the façade that once was Iron Wok. Luckily, Yan’s Cuisine, a Chinese restaurant reminiscent of its predecessor, opened up a few weeks ago in the once-abandoned storefront on the corner of Brook and Benevolent. The newcomer offers a surprisingly diverse set of options. You can go for dishes typical of Americanized Chinese fare (General Tso’s chicken, steamed pork dumplings, egg rolls, etc.), or you can be brave and try one of an impressive selection of less popular items, like “House Special Neck Bone” and “Lion’s Head Meat Ball.” (Ed. – We’re taking submissions for artistic renderings of the latter dish).

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