Remember the old Hearthstone on Route 44 in Seekonk, Mass? It was a favorite spot for many Cranston and Warwick Scouting events back in the ’60s and ’70s.
Johnson & Wales bought the hotel/restaurant complex, renamed the restaurant “Audrey’s, where it was a popular spot for years. J & W recently sold the building, and the owners hired executive chef Paul Dobish, a 2001 Johnson & Wales graduate and former employee, to develop some innovative plans for the newly named Hilltop Hotel and Conference Center.
I sat down with Paul in the former Audrey’s, now the lounge, where the place is hopping on Friday and Saturday evenings.
“Our lounge is open Friday and Saturday evenings. From 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. we offer 20 varieties of wings for 25 cents each, plus $2 draft beers,” he said.
The lounge menu includes appetizers ranging from jumbo onion rings and mozzarella sticks ($6) to chicken quesadillas ($10). Grilled pizzas are $8-$12, and sandwiches ranging from turkey clubs ($8) to hot pastrami ($12). Chef special include baby back ribs ($12) and apple wood-smoked pork BBQ ($8).
Last week, Chef Paul introduced his family-style, all-you-can-eat Sunday Dinner, served from noon to 7 p.m. The menu includes soup, salad, Italian meatballs, pasta, rotisserie chicken and Italian bread. Adults are $12.95 plus tax, children 4-10 are $6.95, and children under three are free. Reservations are required for parties of 10 or more.
A Sunday breakfast buffet will begin on Feb. 4 ($14.95/$8.95). Mother’s Day and Easter buffets are also in the works.
Chef Paul prides himself in cooking everything from extra hot voodoo chicken wings to preparing wedding banquets for up to 800 people. The facility has five banquet rooms, five conference centers and 86 hotel rooms. An upscale sports bar is also planned for the near future and will be called the Ten Mile Grill.
Currently, the Hilltop Hotel and Conference Center is already host to a number of business meetings and dinners, showers, wedding rehearsal dinners and weddings. Dobish and his wife also run a catering service called “Kiss the Chef.”
The Hillside Hotel and Conference Center is located at 213 Taunton Ave. (Route 44 off Route 195), and is less than six miles from downtown Providence. The phone number is 508-336-8700.