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Avvio Ristorante to Welcome Guests in Early May

Inspired, Classic Italian-American Restaurant Opens in Garden City

Avvio's Chicken Milanese
Avvio's Chicken Milanese


Cranston, RI – April 29, 2016Newport Restaurant Group, operated by Newport Harbor Corporation, an employee-owned (ESOP) hospitality corporation based in Newport, RI, is pleased to announce that Avvio Ristorante, located at 90 Hillside Road in Garden City Center in the former Papa Razzi restaurant space, will open its doors in early May.

The entirely renovated restaurant was inspired by the warm sophistication of Italian design balanced with the simple, distinct flavors and skills beloved in authentic Italian cooking. It features an extensive, all-day menu that retains tried and true Italian classics, an abundant wine and drink list featuring traditional Italian cocktails, as well as an expanded al fresco seating area. Avvio will serve lunch and dinner Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.;  and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays until 3:00 p.m.

“We are so pleased to debut Avvio in Garden City,” said Raul Esteves, Avvio’s general manager. “We know that Papa Razzi was beloved in the Cranston area and feel that Avvio is an evolution of that brand, offering approachable, family-friendly cuisine with the culinary approach that guests have come to expect from Newport Restaurant Group.”

Avvio will embody the essence of everyday Italian dining; a place where friends and family gather, share laughs and celebrate milestones. With an open kitchen displaying a handcrafted Marra Forni wood-burning oven, guests will harken back to a simpler time where the aromas of fresh herbs, baking dough, and homemade sauce simmering on the stove mingle with the laughter and conversation of family and friends.

“Simple, fresh ingredients prepared the traditional Italian way shine throughout our menu,” said Greg Coccio, executive chef at Avvio (Coccio was also executive chef for four years in the former Papa Razzi restaurant space.) “Working alongside Chef Kevin DiLibero, our culinary arts director, we both bring enormous respect for our Italian heritage to our cooking and hope that our guests will enjoy our take on some of the classic favorites and our newly inspired dishes.”

Guests will enjoy a wide range of Italian favorites throughout Avvio’s all-day menu. Starters begin at $9.00 and include Beef Carpaccio with baby arugula, Grana Padano, truffle vinaigrette and croutons; Calamari + Shrimp Fritti, flash-fried with cherry peppers and roasted red pepper aioli; and Eggplant Parmesan with crispy fried eggplant, pomodoro sauce, house-made mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Classic Neapolitan pizzas start at $10.00 and feature the Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and basil; Black Figs with gorgonzola, prosciutto di Parma and baby arugula; and Funghi with mascarpone, mozzarella, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, spinach, ricotta and lemon zest.

An array of sandwiches and panini begin at $9.00 and include Chicken Parmesan Panini, a breaded chicken breast with pomodoro sauce, fresh mozzarella served on ciabatta; the Avvio Burger featuring caramelized onions, apple wood smoked bacon, fontina and house-made spicy ketchup served on a potato roll; the PLT, a play on the classic BLT with pancetta, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic aioli and Pullman bread; and House-roasted Turkey served with roasted tomato aioli, bacon and lettuce on multigrain bread.

Pastas are abundant on the menu and each dish is prepared with all fresh pasta cuts sourced locally from Venda Ravioli in Providence. Options begin at $14.00 and include Rigatoni con Luganega with sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms, caramelized onions in a pink pomodoro sauce; Lobster Tortelloni with limoncello cream sauce, shaved fennel, baby arugula salad and delicately poached lobster; classic Gnocchi, potato dumplings with tomato-cream sauce and mozzarella served with fresh basil; Carbonara Gemelli with pancetta, pea tendrils, black pepper and cream; Penne Con Pollo with grilled chicken, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes in a roasted-garlic white wine sauce with pecorino; and Rigatoni Bolognese of ground beef, veal and pork with mushrooms, pancetta, tomato ragu, cream and Grana Padano.  

Entrees from the wood-fired grill start at $19.00 and feature dishes from land and sea. Swordfish is prepared with pancetta, potato, onion and fennel hash served with romesco sauce and baby arugula; locally-raised Baffoni Farms Chicken, brined and grilled, and served with herbed potatoes, wilted spinach and a lemon-roasted-garlic butter sauce; Shrimp Risotto with wild-harvested white shrimp, locally farmed roasted spring vegetables, and baby arugula; and Filetto Balsamico with two 5 oz. beef filets, roasted vegetables, balsamic vinegar sauce and whipped Yukon Gold potatoes.

Beloved Italian classics begin at $16.00 and feature Veal or Chicken Parmesan with linguine; Chicken Piccata with a lemon, white wine, caper and butter sauce, herb-roasted potatoes and broccolini; Veal or Chicken Milanese with baby arugula, shaved Grana Padano and grilled-tomato lemon butter sauce; and traditional Linguine and Meatballs featuring beef and sausage meatballs served over linguine in a Pomodoro sauce with roasted-garlic ricotta.

In addition to its all-day menu, Avvio will also offer a selection of nightly specials which begin at $18.00 and include: Monday: Chicken Potentina with red bell peppers, red onion, rosemary and creamy polenta; Tuesday: Pesce all’acqua Pazza featuring pan-roasted cod, garlic, grape tomatoes, asparagus, sea salt and ocean broth; Wednesday: Veal Saltimbocca of pan-sautéed veal scaloppini with prosciutto, sage, house-made mozzarella, whipped Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and broccolini; Thursday: Vongole & Beans with local littleneck clams, hot Italian sausage, garlic, cannellini beans, and a white-wine tomato broth; Friday: Lobster Fra Diavolo featuring a 1 ¼ lb. cold-water lobster, linguine, garlic, red chilies, parsley and pomodoro sauce; Saturday: Porterhouse Steak for Two featuring a wood-grilled 24 oz. steak with wilted spinach, herb-roasted potatoes, EVOO & sea salt; and Sunday: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp served with cannellini beans, pancetta, escarole in a tomato-vinegar sauce.

For guests who prefer dining without gluten, Avvio keeps it simple with an ample gluten-free menu that highlights GF selections from its all-day menu in addition to options made with gluten-free ingredients. The menu offers Classic Minestrone soup and a variety of salad selections, starters such as Shrimp Bruchetta and Avvio’s Antipasto served with gluten-free bread, and pizzas prepared with gluten-free dough.  Samples of pasta options (served with fresh, gluten-free penne) include Carbonara, Lunganega, Funghi, or Bolognese. Composed entrees include a 14-oz. NY Sirloin, Chicken Piccata and a gluten-free version of the classic Parmesan with either chicken or veal.

Avvio’s children’s menu features kid-friendly, yummy Italian and American classics including Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza; a Cheeseburger with French fries; Fusilli & Meatballs; Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with assorted vegetables; Grilled Chicken with broccolini and whipped Yukon Gold mashed potatoes; Cheese Ravioli in butter or pomodoro sauce; and Chicken Parmesan with penne.   Prices for the children’s menu range from $6.00 to $8.00, and each selection includes a choice of drink and dessert.

Avvio will also feature an array of freshly-made, inspired Italian desserts from Executive Pastry Chef Matthew Petersen including Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with passion fruit syrup and lime zest; Tiramisu featuring espresso-soaked ladyfingers, amaretto-mascarpone mousse and raspberry jam; Olive Oil Cake with Amarena cherries and vanilla crema; and a dessert Neapolitan Pizza with Nutella, vanilla fluff, hazelnuts, orange and honey.  Dessert prices range from $1.50 to $6.00.

Avvio’s extensive wine list includes an array of domestic and Italian beer, and wines by the bottle and glass starting at $5.00. Creative cocktails are $10.00 and include The Americano featuring Contratto Americano vermouth, Campari and soda; Negroni featuring Sons of Liberty gin, Campari and Antico vermouth; Aperol Spritzer featuring Aperol, prosecco and soda; and Tempo Triplo featuring Contratto Bianco, Rosso and Americano vermouths.  

About Avvio:  

Avvio embodies the essence of everyday Italian dining; a place where friends and family gather, share laughs and celebrate milestones. With an open kitchen featuring a handcrafted Marra Forni wood-burning oven, guests are invited to harken back to a simpler time where the aromas of fresh herbs, baking dough, and homemade sauce simmering on the stove mingle with the laughter and conversation of family and friends.

As always, the Newport Restaurant Group’s focus on simple ingredients will be on display, sourced both locally and directly from Italy. Prepared with distinct, yet traditional cooking techniques, Avvio’s menu features inspired Italian classic dishes along with Neapolitan pizzas and wood-fire grilled entrees. For more information about the restaurant visit www.avvioristorante.com.

About Newport Restaurant Group

The Newport Restaurant Group creates memorable experiences for guests by blending thoughtful food with world-class hospitality in striking locations. There is a palpable energy at every restaurant; each environment fosters strong bonds among its team members, sparks a genuine connection with guests, and celebrates a love of food. As one of the largest supporters of local food in the state, Newport Restaurant Group strives to use the highest-quality ingredients available. The talented chefs craft menus based on in-season produce and sustainable farming and fishing methods. Each restaurant is a unique reflection of its spectacular surroundings, and the team is dedicated to making every experience warm and memorable for both loyal guests and first-time visitors. The result is a vibrant, energetic atmosphere that encourages laughter, conversation, relaxation and celebration. Newport Restaurant Group’s award-winning portfolio of restaurants includes Castle Hill Inn, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, Boat House, Hemenway’s, Waterman Grille, Trio, Smoke House and Avvio Ristorante.

Newport Restaurant Group is operated by Newport Harbor Corporation, an employee-owned (ESOP) hospitality corporation based in Newport, RI. For more information on Newport Harbor Corporation, please visit www.newportharbor.com. For more information about Newport Restaurant Group, please visit www.newportrestaurantgroup.com.


Media Contacts

Jocelyn Emory
401.848.7010 ext.102

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