It’s a fact.
Most Rhode Islanders frequent restaurants within a short drive from their house.
When my son-in-law suggested driving “all the way to Barrington” for Mother’s Day, we discovered that it was on the way to 2nd Story Theatre in Warren and we wouldn’t have to make a “special trip.” After dining at Pizzico, we all agreed that this special restaurant merits a special trip.
Sister restaurant to Pizzico on Hope St. in Providence, the restaurant has been open for a year and is without question one of the finest in Rhode Island.
Sporting a large bar area, homey dining room and function room, the building anchors an attractive strip mall at 308 County Road as you enter Barrington center.
A large menu, featuring Italian cuisine, is enhanced with daily specials written on a large chalkboard. Fresh bread, accompanied by olive oil, hot pepper and parmesan cheese is immediately brought to the table.
The bartender passed our traditional test with a perfect gin martini and Black Russian.
Pizzico, like many fine local restaurants these days, buys as much as they can from local farms and fishermen.
The four of us all raved over the Cozze alla birra, fresh, sweet, tender, huge local mussels simmered in beer with Mello’s chourico, shallots, fresh herbs and garlic crostini to soak up the tasty broth (8 huge mussels for $14.)
Mike and Robin had been there to an open house recently and sampled many of the appetizers, recommending them all, including crab cakes, calamari, locally harvested small clams but said the mussels were to die for. And they were.
Mike and I both chose the Vitello (Veal) Saltimbocca ($27), a huge piece of tender veal sautéed with mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs in a mustard brandy cream sauce, served with generous portions of fresh string beans and roasted potatoes. You could literally cut the veal with a fork.
Joyce chose the Pappardelle Bolognese ($22), fresh pasta tossed in a slow roasted veal and beef ragu with a “touch of cream” and dusted with pecorino cheese. Heavenly!
Robin turned to the daily specials on the wall, choosing an 8-ounce filet with goat cheese, cooked just to her liking ($24).
When I mentioned Pizzico to some friends they thought it was a pizza place. They do have Tuscan grilled pizza, ranging from the traditional American style with mozzarella and marinara ($13), to their signature Italiano, with parmesan and asiago cheese, onion, artichoke, prosciutto, and tomato and then drizzled with balsamic essence ($16).
There are so many dishes we would love to try, so we’ll be back. We hear the veal shank (Osso Bucco) is excellent, and the pasta dishes, ranging from angel hair to “Priest-stranglers,” an unusual double pasta served with spicy lamb sausage are quite good.
Pizzico Ristorante is open Monday through Friday. There is a luncheon menu. Dinner is served beginning at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For reservations call 247-0303. They also have a full catering service.