Experience: Elevated Bites at Arc{hive} Book + Snackery

An art and literary space brings snacks and stacks to Warren

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Arc{hive} Book + Snackery somehow feels both cozy and regal, grand yet humble. In the northeast corner of downtown Warren, right off of Main Street between Hunky Dory and Prica Farina, sits a strikingly cool addition to this rising star “foodie town” in the Ocean State.

Sharing a space with The Collaborative, a community-driven arts nonprofit, it’s fitting that Arc{hive} is a destination designed for drinking in culture and coffee – or art and wine. (It’s also the perfect place to take in the sweet snap of a Birch Beer, from Rhode Island-based Yacht Club Soda.)

Cultivating a spot steeped in local artistry, Arc{hive} also taps into the robust regional food scene, with the vibe of a relaxed, upscale cafe. This is reflected in the decor, too, which lends itself both to an ultra hip mid-century modern library and an airy, serene mini-museum of local talent. It’s a true haven for those looking to indulge in thought, conversation, and food.

If the interior isn’t folksy and welcoming enough, the menu doubles down on this aesthetic by taking the concept of finger foods and elevating it to unexpected places. 

Though advertised as a “snackery,” I would argue they deliver much more than quick bites. Arc{hive} works with several local vendors – including Provencal Bakery and Cafe in Middletown, West Kingston-based RI Mushroom Co., Narragansett Creamery, and Proclamation Ale Company in Warwick, just to name a few – and it shows. The plates are fresh and carefully crafted. They do lean toward smaller portions, but those decisively light bites feel less like snacks and more like an excuse to sample several of the excellent dishes they’re serving.

Though a great entry point into their fare is undeniably snacky – popcorn with “nooch” (nutritional yeast) and a house spice mix offers a more eclectic flavor profile than you’d expect from popcorn. House-marinated olives with chili and citrus are another quick opening dish perfect for grazing on during dinner conversation. 

A round of dips included French onion, which was creamy, salty, and sweet. The White Bean Hummus arrived with carrots and pieces of pita. Seasoned with berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend, it’s both rich and light, a delicious right turn from your typical chickpea base. But it’s the larger plates that really left an impression.

Smoked Bluefish Pâté is served with pita chips and pickles, offering a superb juxtaposition of smoky seafood and plump half-sour pickles. It’s a bold combination, and the starchy, unassuming chips bring a satisfying crunch. A wholly different take on sweet potatoes, Arc{hive} serves theirs lightly roasted with tahini butter and black sesame, rather than as a sugary side dish. 

Arc{hive} also offers several toasts: a tapenade toast with boquerone butter and tomato, a cured meat toast with cream cheese spread, and a wild mushroom variety with whipped ricotta. Sampling the latter, I found the mushrooms to be impressively flavorful and meaty, a perfect counterbalance to the luscious, salty cheese spread. Finally, the kielbasa with seed mustard is a standout – juicy and flavorful. I experienced it paired with a unique house relish made of sweet, crisp pickled watermelon. 

With so many varied, excellent dining and lounging options in the East Bay, it’s tough to imagine a completely new concept. Arc{hive} Book + Snackery distills the best of local purveyors into page-turner small bites worth poring over. 

 

Archive Book + Snackery4 Market Street, Warren

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