July 24, 2024


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Recipes from long gone favorite restaurants around RI

The Journal archives are full of recipes from long-gone restaurants. Here are just a few from those restaurants and chefs featured in today’s stories. 

a plate of food on a table: Swordfish with tarragon butter from the former chef/owner at the Bluepoint in Providence.

© The Providence Journal, file
Swordfish with tarragon butter from the former chef/owner at the Bluepoint in Providence.



  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 swordfish steaks
  • Tarragon butter:
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup fish stock
  • 6 stems fresh tarragon stems, chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf, crushed
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • ½ ounces fresh tarragon leaves (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste, if desired

For marinade, place wine in non-corrosive saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Cool. Whisk in vinegar, lemon, chopped tarragon, cayenne, pepper and olive oil. Place swordfish in marinade in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

For herb butter, place wine, fish stock, tarragon stems, bay leaf and peppercorns in non-corrosive saucepan and simmer until reduced to about ⅓ cup. Cool.

Process tarragon leaves in food processor or blender for a few minutes. Cut butter into pieces. With processor running, add butter piece by piece until all has been added and butter is smooth, not melted. Scrape sides often. With processor still running, add cooled wine and stock reduction in a thin steady stream. Add pepper and salt. Scrape sides; process once more to be sure that all ingredients are well mixed. Keep at cool room temperature.

When ready to serve, grill swordfish on very hot grill. Sear on each side first, then continue to cook to medium-rare. Remove steaks from grill; top with tarragon butter. Serve on warm platter garnished with fresh tarragon sprigs and lemon wedges.

Note: Be sure your swordfish is extremely fresh. Throw a generous handful of dried tarragon on the coals just before putting the fish on. If grilling over wood, use one that is not too aromatic or you will lose the delicate flavors of the fish and tarragon.

Makes 4 servings.

Maureen Pothier cooked at her Bluepoint restaurant

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More: Food for Thought: Getting lost in food memories is easy this Rhode Island food editor


Your favorite pizza dough 

  • 2 tablespoons seasoned tomato sauce 
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic 
  • ½ teaspoon oregano 
  • 4 ounces whole milk mozzarella, grated 
  • Slices of ¼-inch thick sautéed eggplant 
  • Fresh tomato, chopped 
  • Fresh basil, chopped 
  • Red onion rings 
  • Parmigiano cheese 
  • Additional mozzarella 

Stretch your favorite pizza dough to the desired size. We stretch it to 10 inches. (Dough may be purchased at a bakery.) If using a home oven, place on cookie sheet. Spread with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, mozzarella and eggplant. Sprinkle with fresh tomato, basil, onion rings and cheese. Bake in preheated 450 to 500 degree oven until crust is crisp, about 10 minutes. (Adesso bakes theirs on a stone in their wood-fired brick oven.) Sprinkle with fresh basil. 

From chef Joe Wilson at Adesso California Cafe

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  • 4 sheets (10-by-8 inches) fresh egg pasta 
  • 1 pound baby bay scallops 
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • ½ cup brandy 
  • 6 tablespoons flour 
  • 1 quart half and half (light cream) 
  • 2 teaspoons lobster base
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper 
  • 1 small red sweet onion, cut in big pieces 
  • 5 fresh basil leaves 
  • 6 thin slices mozzarella, cut into little cubes 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Cook pasta in salted boiling water with a drop of oil to keep sheets from sticking together. Cook 4 minutes, then drain and cool in cold water. Spread on a cloth to dry. Sauté scallops with 6 tablespoons of the butter and with the brandy for 2 minutes. Drain and save the juice. 

For sauce, melt remaining butter in a heavy pan. Add flour and stir over very low heat; cook a little. Boil the half and half, the juice of the scallops, lobster base, white pepper and the red onion together. Discard the onion and add the butter and flour. 

Return pan to low heat and stir the sauce until it comes to a boil. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine chinois (sieve) and finally stir the chopped fresh basil into the sauce. 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Layer ingredients in a baking dish, starting with the sauce. Follow with the pasta layer, then sprinkle liberally with the scallops, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with more sauce and another layer of pasta and so on. Bake for 45 minutes. 

a plate of food and a glass of wine: Downcity's meatloaf recipe share by Paul Shire and Anthony Salemme.

© The Providence Journal, file
Downcity’s meatloaf recipe share by Paul Shire and Anthony Salemme.

More: Local restaurant chain is not as old as you think


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan.

Mix all ingredients together. Form into a football shape. Place in baking pan. Pour ½ cup water around the meat.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

Top with your favorite brown gravy.

From 2002 archives

text, letter: Don Bianco was the manager of Shepard's Tea Room from 1965 to 1973 and shared recipes.

© The Providence Journal, file
Don Bianco was the manager of Shepard’s Tea Room from 1965 to 1973 and shared recipes.


  • 21 ounces sugar 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 6½ ounces cake flour 
  • 8 ounces chopped walnuts 
  • 12 ounces Crisco shortening 
  • 6½ ounces dark chocolate (unsweetened) 

Mix sugar and eggs on low to medium speed for one or two minutes in large mixing bowl. Add flour and walnuts. Mix well. 

Melt chocolate with shortening in double boiler until very hot but not burned. Add to mixture above and blend in well. Pour quickly into sheet pan, greased on edges and lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake, as it will dry out. Bake only until firm. 

Makes 35 brownies 

From Donald Bianco, shared with The Journal in 2011

a plate of food on a table: Dynamites have been described as a sloppy Joe sandwich in a torpedo roll.

© The Providence Journal, file
Dynamites have been described as a sloppy Joe sandwich in a torpedo roll.


  • 3 pounds freshly ground beef (see Note 1)
  • 1 large green pepper, diced, no seeds
  • 1 large red pepper, diced, no seeds
  • 2 medium onions, diced (or 1 Vidalia onion)
  • 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter to sauté (see Note 2)
  • 1 cup water (1½ cups if using 5 pounds of beef)
  • 2 to 3 small cans tomato paste (or your own sauce from fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

In a large saucepan, sauté diced peppers, onions and tomatoes in butter until soft. Add the water. Cook for a minute or two until the vegetables are blended. In same pot, add ground hamburger and cook until evenly browned and most of the water dissipates. Using a ladle, spoon off grease from top of the meat. A little bit left is fine but you do not want a lot. Then, add the tomato paste or homemade sauce and seasonings. The consistency should not be too loose or mushy. Add just enough paste to coat the meat. Sample the dynamite. You may want to add a bit more seasonings to desired taste. The dynamite will be stronger if left to mesh overnight, so keep this in mind when adding more seasonings.

The dynamite must sit in the fridge (covered, in the same pot) for a day so that all of the spices blend. It tastes much better when this step is taken. The dynamite can be reheated in the same pot on the stove or on the side burner of a grill. Serve on torpedo rolls.

Note 1: You can use up to 5 pounds of meat without the need to double ingredients.

Note 2: We also use 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.

The dynamite recipe can also be used as a topping on hot dogs.

Yield: Feeds a crowd.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Recipes from long gone favorite restaurants around RI

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