There are two new restaurants in our dining-destination state that are each in the early stages of opening. Both are located in the midst of established restaurant rows in cities at opposite ends of Rhode Island.
Both occupy spaces in which other restaurants had been located. Neither one, however, is located in one of those so-called “cursed” locations in which multiple restaurants had tried and failed. Both are owner-operated – meaning that the proprietor is on the premises every day. Both are unique, one-of-a-kind eateries. One serves, for the most part, one style of food while the other is featuring a menu that encompasses dishes from a variety of disciplines. And both have names with stories sure to inspire table talk among each establishment’s customers.
Naming restaurants is big business in the food-service industry. Owners can and sometimes do spend large sums of money to pay marketing research firms to come up with just the right moniker. Others will pester family members and friends endlessly with combinations of names, words or phrases in an effort to hit on the one that will “click” with guests.
Rosalina is the appealing, ear-catching name of a new Italian spot in Providence opened earlier this spring in the former Cuban Revolution space on Aborn Street by two newcomers to the business. Described by its designer as an Italian “taverna” – derived from a Latin word which means a small restaurant, Rosalina is named after the young daughter of one of its two owners. Chef-owner Lauren Lynch said in a response to an online review that she “specifically created a menu of Italian dishes that reflected what I grew up eating.” Rosalina’s menu features traditional favorites such as pastas, as well as dishes designed for sharing. These are popular, especially at the convivial bar that has begun to be a regular stop by the downtown professional crowd that has discovered Rosalina during what used to be called “happy hour.”
Caleb & Broad opened its doors in May in Newport. Owned by Rich Willis, who has more than a decade of restaurant experience under his belt, this new spot is located in the midst of the burgeoning restaurant row that Broadway has become in the City by the Sea. The name comes from the side street next to the restaurant – Caleb Earl Street – which intersects with Broadway.