Food News: Second Newport Nitro Bar, Taco Trailer Opens for the Season & Italian Prepared Foods in Portsmouth

The latest in East Bay dining


Newest Nitro cafe ready for Newport nightlife

With humble origins as a coffee cart traveling the streets of Providence, The Nitro Bar now opens their third location (and second in Newport) this month on 404 Thames Street, and it’s their biggest project yet. “We will be completely revamping the menu and extending our hours to 10pm,” says owner Audrey Finocchiaro. “We will be debuting a new late-night menu that offers expressive desserts, such as Soaked Matcha Cake, a monthly rotating ice cream for affogatos, soft butterscotch cookies, panna cotta, berry oat bars, and more.” Now you can round off date night with a cappuccino or decadent dessert at this new iteration of Nitro Bar that takes cues from a Parisian cafe, but with new age details.

“Our vision behind The Nitro Bar has always been simple: to use local ingredients to make quality food and drinks. We aim to be creative, thoughtful, and most importantly, kind,” says Finocchiaro, and these sentiments remain foundational to developing their new digs. Brunchers can still grab a traditional nitro cold brew and breakfast sammie to-go, too. 


Bike Path walk-up taco stand opens for spring

A notable sight along the East Bay Bike Path, the Taco Box is the green former horse trailer slinging tacos with an almost pizza-like twist, and they’ve recently reopened for the season with fun menu additions and collaborations in the works. Owner Matthew King approaches his unique take on the taco craft by piling fresh ingredients like adobo sauce, cheese, pico de gallo, and protein on a handmade dough incorporating wheat and corn flour, and baking in their wood fired oven. The result is a large crust-like shell folded into a taco filled with smoldering ingredients. 

Watch for their invent-your-own taco option if you want to choose your toppings, or sample new specials among established favorites. With walk-up service, you can grab a taco-pizza to-go as you continue along your bike path walk, or make yourself at home eating at one of their cozy picnic tables around the trailer, open Fridays through Sundays.


Popular Italian market expands with second location

Already an established coastal Italian market along Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, Bottega Bocconi recently settled into their second home in Portsmouth at 1965 East Main Road, where they’ve been cooking up prepared foods to a new community of eaters craving Italian flavors. This second market and cafe was born out of a need for a larger kitchen to produce staples like ragu sauces, antipasto, and grilled sandwiches assembled with piadine, a traditional flatbread from northern Italian region Emilia-Romagna. 

A marriage of farm fresh and authentic Italian, Bottega Bocconi prides itself in sourcing locally for seasonal ingredients that go into a rotating selection of sauces and more. Among their prepared offerings, think easy one-pot dinners at home with house-made pasta and sauces like a pork and mushroom ragu, or take the work out of dinner completely with a White Lasagna with Shrimp and Zucchini. Meanwhile, pantry staples, jarred goods, and European candy bars fill aisles of ingredients and snacks you won’t find anywhere else. 


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