Road Trip Guide - Page 43 - On the road in Rhode Island continued

Road Trip Guide
- Page 43
On the road in Rhode Island continued
lection of fine and decorative arts.

If you’re looking for an intriguing theatrical experience, book a performance at Trinity Rep where innovation is key. My friends and I saw a comedic take on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” where most of the actors played dual characters, and both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley were played by females, while Charlotte was played by a man (all convincingly).

Other neighborhoods of note include Federal Hill and College Hill/Benefit Street. The former, settled largely by early 20th century Italian immigrants, still evokes Italy’s La Dolce Vita, while the latter, a bastion of culture and history, is home to Brown University.

If there’s one thing Providence is known for other than architecture and neighborhoods (and donuts), it’s the sophistication of its culinary scene. Ethnic restaurants abound — from Yoleni’s, a classic combination of a Greek market and cafe (try the moussaka and the creamy yogurt) — to Rosalina’s, an Italian favorite where you can go heavy (Burrata cheese ravioli and housemade meatballs with pomodoro sauce and basil) or light (grilled swordfish with lemon, oil, oregano, cucumber/tomato salad and sauteed orzo).

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for an after-dinner drink, check out the Dorrance. It’s hard to decide which is more elegant — the ornate decor or the expertly mixed classic cocktails.

Less than an hour’s drive from Providence — through a landscape crisscrossed with salt pond marshes and salted with the scent of the sea — is South County. This is an area of classic New England beach communities, from upscale Watch Hill to working class Galilee to the quintessential fishing village of Matunuck.

It was at the latter that my friends and I arrived at Matunuck Oyster Bar, where the oysters are plucked from owner Perry Raso’s oyster farm across the road from the beach restaurant, and shucked by several young men who put on quite a show. My friend David and I lost no time in ordering a gargantuan platter of the bivalves, which are saltier and brinier than the ones I was used to on the Gulf Coast, but no less delicious.

One look at the number of cars parked outside the restaurant is proof of the popularity of this rustic homage to the best of New England seafood.

Next, it was time to check into the Weekapaug Inn, picturesquely situated on the shoreline of the unpronounceable (at least for me) Quonochontaug Pond.

A member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux, the Weekapaug is everything one imagines a New England inn should be. Luxurious without being pretentious, it’s the perfect escape—whether one wants to take a sailboat or kayak out on the pond or book a birding tour with naturalist Mark Bullinger, or just curl up before the fire with a book and a glass of hot cider.

Semi-isolated on its promontory, Weekapaug is synonymous with tranquility. After savoring the flavors of New England — from local oysters and halibut to Narragansett Bay lobster — in the inn’s dining room,