Wednesday, October 14, 2015


The Seekonk to Fall River path is short on good dining options so when Aviary (2229 Grand Army, Swansea, MA  508-379-6007) was suggested as a new option it seemed worth a try. Hmmm. The Aviary is a seven-day-a-week lunch and dinner place with brunch on Sunday. It's not in a mall but that's the atmosphere, inside and out. Everything is perfect and the place appears to have been designed and decorated by people who design restaurants at fancy conference centers. It looks like a restaurant at a resort except it's on Route 6. There is not a thing intimate or individual about it. Cocktail too sweet, duck wings not notable, and the fish tacos poor.


david manniaux
The Providence Journal provided a public service a few weeks ago by listing dollar oyster locations in Rhode Island.( I copied the article and put it on the wall. Long a fan of Tuesday night oysters at New Rivers (7 Steeple Street, Providence  401-751-0350) I thought we should branch out. So, in that spirit of good will I decided to meet my friend at Mill's Tavern (101 North Main, Providence  401-272-3331) which has dollar oysters Monday through Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays 4:00 to 7:00. Friend was to arrive at 7:45, in time to put in the order. This plan was a big deal as my oyster-loving friend has been at odds with Mill's Tavern for at least seven years (starting during the recession when our haughty waiter neglected to present the special $30 set menu and after he finally produced it kept referring to our dinner choices as being from the "value" selections.) Anyway, this time my friend sat at the bar and asked about the dollar oysters; the barman said, just order them by 8:00 and you're all set. I arrived and soon we had a plate of twelve, three each of four varieties. Three were terrific and the the fourth type (Beavertail from Jamestown) was not so pleasing, but for $12 we were not complaining. Time passed - more eating and baseball-watching followed before the bill arrived. The charge for the oysters was $30. Friend said to barman, what's this?, we were here for dollar oysters. Oh, says the barman, only the Beavertail are $1. A lot of things wrong with this picture. So, Mill's Tavern, maybe this is why your place is half empty most nights.


Okay, another wine dinner you say. But this one promises a rich and savory presentation. And the price is right. It's a Louis Latour night at Simone's (275 Child Street, Warren  401-247-1200). Here are the wines: 2013 St. Veran, 2013 Marsannay, 2012 Pommard vs 2012 Volnay. And ever important, the menu: oyster and leek stew, house-made mushroom and mascarpone ravioli, and braised beef in burgundy. For these dishes crank your Fitbit goal for the day up to a new high and do serious atoning before dinner. Simone's is an inviting, modern venue (if he removes those ersatz flowers I'll like it even better).

Time is 6:30     Cost is $85 inclusive     Call 401-247-1200 to reserve