Dante’s Kitchen, well known for breakfast and lunch is quickly becoming a Main Street “go to” for dinner. With a full bar, live music and specialty southern drinks, it is unique among Main Street restaurants.
I had the pleasure of sipping coffee at Dante’s Kitchen with the owner, Lisa Altieri. The first thing I noticed was the hand-stenciled floor. I learned that Lisa and her good friend Irina Ryiykh (a well-known interior designer) added the stenciling themselves. Irina also took the striking photographs displayed on the walls, and worked with Lisa to transform what had previously been Audra’s Café into the intriguing space it is today.
As striking as the interior is, it’s the food that sets Dante’s Kitchen apart from the pack. Too often, when we think of “Southern Cooking” it conjures up images of fried chicken, fried steak, fried pork chops and other similar fare. As Lisa explained to me, Dante’s Kitchen is far removed from the traditional southern style. Her goal is to educate and entice diners with a nouveau style of southern cuisine that is far from our perception of the norm.
I asked Lisa which dishes were customer favorites. She immediately mentioned the Pulled Pork Hash (which I had my eye on the moment I saw it on the menu). Then she mentioned the Fried Chicken and Waffles, and then the Blueberry Pancakes, and before long, she mentioned everything else on the menu.
So, I took another tact and inquired as to what was her favorite item on the menu. Without hesitating she said the Huevos Rancheros with the special Mamaita Sauce. The sauce is one of the chef’s family recipes from his native country of Guatemala.
Why southern cooking I asked? While traveling frequently for business, Lisa fell in love with the flavors and variety of the south. She was introduced to Gumbo and Po-Boys (oyster, shrimp or pork belly) while in Louisiana and couldn’t open a southern restaurant without including them on the menu. Folks in Louisiana love their oysters, and so do Rhode Islanders. So of course local oysters are part of the fare as well. (Did I mention Dante’s Fried Green Tomato BLT, the Jambalaya or their house special Dante’s Mac & Cheese with bacon, cheddar, pulled pork and jalapeno cornbread crumble?)
While having dinner, be sure to check out their specialty drink offerings such as Dante’s Inferno Bloody Mary (a meal in a glass), or the Hurricane Martini. I liked the sound of their Mississippi Martini.
In case you were wondering, Dante is Lisa’s dog; his picture is proudly displayed over the bar. Dante’s is open Tuesday & Wednesday, 8am to 2pm, Thursdays 8am to 2pm, and 5:30pm to 9pm, Fridays & Saturdays, 8am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 10pm, and Sunday, 8am to 2pm, breakfast only. Dante’s can host your private party or event too. The next time you want a great meal, and something a little different, or even a private event, let Dante’s Kitchen turn up the heat.