Like many American Chefs Phyllis Arffa, is concerned about what we are eating in this country. The industrialization of our food supply is a topic that Phyllis is passionate about. This passion is reflected in the thoughtful food she creates at Blaze Restaurant. Phyllis and her partner, Christine Edmonds, opened Blaze on Hope Street in Providence in 2005. Since then a lot has changed, most notably our economy and an increasing awareness of the origins of the food we are eating. Unfortunately these can be opposing forces! With the economic decline consumers are spending less in restaurants, but they are paying more attention to where their food is coming from. The cost of mindfully harvested, local food products is considerably higher than mass produced goods. This leaves restaurateurs’ in a quandary…raise prices? Not in this economy…purchase lower quality imported ingredients? Not at Blaze, there is no compromising on quality here! Phyllis Arffa works diligently to overcome this challenge. She “sucks it up” and pays the premium to support our local economy by procuring ingredients that are harvested here while keeping her menu prices fair. Since her loyal customers would be disappointed to find mainstay menu items like jerk chicken or wasabi tuna missing from the menu Phyllis keeps these entrees but updates them by using Rhode Island caught tuna, when possible, and local produce on the side.
Chef Arffa has been working in restaurants in Rhode Island and around the country for over twenty five years, embracing big flavors from many different regions and bringing them home to Blaze. When they aren’t at the restaurant Phyllis and Chris pop in to Haruki for sushi or head down to the Parkside Rotisserie for a great meal. That is, when there is not a family gathering. When the clan is getting together Phyllis is in charge of the menu; her love of food and family create a magical combination. If you’re looking for something different and delicious for lunch or dinner go see Phyllis and Chris at Blaze. You will feel right at home in this cozy East Side restaurant, the décor and the staff will welcome you, as they would welcome their own family, and the food will certainly keep you coming back. Don’t forget to order the mussels!
Blaze Restaurant, 776 Hope Street, Providence, RI, 401.277.2529
Lunch Tuesday – Saturday 12-4; Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 4 – close, Sunday 4-8