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Newport. You’d be remiss if you didn’t walk the town some, stopping to visit the 1726 Trinity Church and 1763 Touro Synagogue (America’s oldest synagogue), as well as the Newport Colony House (1739), Rhode Island’s first government building, and the Brick Market, built in 1762 and today home to the Museum of Newport History.

And speaking of museums, the perfect way for you to top off your gastronomical exploration of the Providence area is a visit to the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University, at 315 Harborside Boulevard. J&W is a preeminent culinary arts school with many well- known alumni, Chef Emeril Lagasse among them. The museum started with a collection of rare cookbooks donated in 1979 and has since grown into a beautiful and unique place that features an exhaustive collection of things related to cooking and to the hospitality industry. From a replica of an old stagecoach tavern to an exquisite exhibit of artifacts connected to the American diner (including a renovation-in-progress of the Ever Ready, a diner built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company); from cooking competitions of the state fair to today’s high-stakes celebrity chef competi- tions; this museum will delight you and make you salivate.

“All things connect with food,” is

u The Italian influence in Providence has been reinforced by Venetian-style gondolas that ply the rivers than run through the city.

layered on once the crust has been flipped. The pizza at Bob & Timmy’s, 32 Spruce Street, a block north of Atwells Avenue crowds, was named as one of the top five pizzas in the country by GQ Magazine in 2009 and was featured on the Today Show. This small, unassuming restaurant has a neighborhood atmosphere, nothing showy or overdone. The taste of the pizza is fresh and light and yet filling and satisfying, and the prices are remarkably reasonable. The clientele is loyal and local—visitors welcome of course—and regulars from near and far return often. The enjoyment of a good meal might be considered a national pastime, and the restaurants of


Providence and its nearby communi- ties encourage this pastime with a variety of delicious choices and specialties.

Near the beaches of Warwick and the West Bay area south of Providence are a number of seafood restaurants of the casual variety, serving up things caught fresh and jonnycakes (a type of flattened cornbread) and baskets of fried goodies.

In Newport, Providence’s tony island neighbor twenty-nine miles to the east, fine and casual dining establishments mix in with the boutiques, waterfront shopping areas, and very handsome colonial architec- ture. History is as thick as meat sauce on a New York System wiener in

how Richard J. S. Gutman, the museum’s curator, explains his choices for the museum. Part history, part entertainment, part culture, and part anthropology, the museum is filled with special finds. Gutman holds up a mechanical toaster from decades ago that turns the bread itself. He points out chocolate and ice cream molds. It is hard to imagine anyone who might like his job more; and as Gutman tells the story of each item, he smiles. At five p.m., the museum closes,

and you’re just a short drive back to the city. Good thing, because all those menus, cookbooks, items of culinary equipment, and conversations about food have left you hungry—again. No worries, though, because the truck has just pulled up outside of City Hall, and Haven Brothers (all of Providence’s restaurants, actually) are open for business. ■


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