Today is Cooking In Red Socks’ 100th post! To celebrate such a milestone I thought I would write about our favorite restaurant in the area, Avenue N American Kitchen. Avenue N is actually located in Rumford, RI right next to Seven Stars Bakery. Very convenient for a quick bite after work or a last minute dinner decision. The restaurant is owned by local celeb-chef Nick Rabar and his wife Tracy. They serve up classic American cuisine with a chic and refined twist, and support many local farms in the process. They also have an original and innovative cocktail menu that makes even the most modest drinker ready to try something. It has quickly become our favorite restaurant thanks to great service, amazing food, and an ever-changing menu.
The first time we visited, we were celebrating “my birthday”, which turned into an engagement celebration after our morning festivities in Newport. One of our favorite things to do at a new restaurant is order a bunch of appetizers and share them, so we don’t have to only pick one thing each. We were already so excited about the rest of the day that we really went to town with the menu! We ordered the corn dog and mac-and-cheese appetizer (a house specialty), the mini reuben sandwiches, the local field greens with beets and goat cheese, and their margherita pizza. The corn dog appetizer is seriously amazing; hand-battered corn dogs served with piping hot mac, that is crusted with barbeque potato chips. I am glad I got in my few bites early because Ryan crushed the rest in a matter of minutes. Order it and thank me later. The pizza is handmade with thin crust and fresh, local cheese. Just a few simple ingredients, cooked the right way, to make a delicious meal. You can easily order this as a main course or share it amongst the table for an appetizer. It was the perfect dinner to celebrate our engagement- all of our little sinful pleasure foods, bite-sized, so we could share our love of food (and each other) together. Nick even sent out champagne for us to celebrate our engagement after we were finished as a great exit dessert.
The second time we went to Avenue N we were exhausted and grumpy after a very long, Sunday day game. No messing around, no sharing, every man for himself sort of eating attitude. I ordered the mussels (my go-to most favorite menu item anywhere) and Ryan had the Avenue “N” Burger. The mussels turned my grumpy mood completely around- I fully admit to being an emotional eater- because they were exploding with flavor. The appetizer is packed with bits of chourico bacon, local kale, cherry tomatoes, and white beans in a smokey ale broth. There were so many flavors to meddle with that my mind and mouth were intrigued the entire dish. It complemented perfectly with my White Out cocktail- Allagash beer with cranberry vodka, orange juice, and lemon syrup. Ryan’s burger spoke true to Avenue N’s food philosophy- quality, local ingredients, cooked perfectly.
I love Avenue N because it’s a restaurant that is off the beaten path. It is that secret place that all of the neighbors know about, but don’t want to tell you because you might take their table one night. It’s not downtown, it’s not on the main drag of Brown University, but it is worth a drive from any of those places. Avenue N is your perfect, casual date or the place to bring all of your friends for great drinks and superb pizza. Nick and Tracy are dedicated to their business and help support dozens of local farms in the process. As a customer, you feel like part of the community after dining there.