You’re gonna love ‘Mama’s Meatloaf’ ...and more
New downtown eatery, The Red Brick Grill, to offer plenty of comfort foods on the menu
WOONSOCKET — If you grew up French-Canadian, they’re the dishes your mom made for dinner, but now Eva Lanoue is hoping you’ll try them at her new downtown restaurant.
The Red Brick Grill, 83 Main St. – home of the old Vino’s Bistro – is set to open its doors for the first time on June 23, says Lanoue, a passionate home cook who learned the old-fashioned way: from family members.
“My husband’s late grandmother taught me how to cook everything before she passed away and she gave me all her recipes,” she says. And so shepherd’s pie, homemade meat pies and “Mama’s Meatloaf” will be among the items to be found on the menu of The Red Brick Grill – a spot that aims to serve dinner for two for around $20 – maybe $25 with drinks, says Lanoue. The plan is to dish up traditional comfort food at reasonable prices, with live musical performances featuring local talent on the weekends. A Narragansett native who previously lived in Louisiana before moving to the city about seven years ago, Lanoue has never run a restaurant before – far from it. Her most recent job was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners doorto-door, which is how she met her husband, Michael Lanoue – still a Kirby man. Not so long ago, her husband asked her what she’d really like to do for a living and she told him: open a restaurant. He told her to go for it, and the two began looking for a location. “I love to cook,” she says. “I was always around cooking. And when I cook, I don’t just cook for one or two people. It’s always for a mass.” Though she’s a relative newcomer to the city, Lanoue is charmed by Main Street’s quaint, historical feel and she’s pleased to become a stakeholder in what she views as a highly underappreciated corner of Little Rhody. If The Red Brick Grill can draw in a few outof-towners to see what she sees – and enjoy a homecooked meal at the same time – well, that would suit her just fine. “It’s an awesome city,” she says. “And I love it.” For the last several weeks, remodeling contractors have been at work inside 83 Main St., changing the look of the old Vino’s from top to bottom. They’ve installed a kitchen, floors and built a new bar for The Red Brick Grill, whose application for a full-privilege liquor license is pending. “We’ve repainted, put in new floors, new siding – it looks a lot different than it did when we got in there,” says Lanoue. She’s still putting a few finishing touches on the interior to give the restaurant a look worthy of its motto, “We may not be related, but you’re family to us.” In addition to the old French-Canadian favorites, the menu will feature an assortment of appetizers, including “Firecracker Chicken Meatballs” (an original Lanoue recipe, $7.85) and fried pickles ($8.50); soups and salads; sandwiches and burgers; a “dynamite plate;” fish and chips ($10.95); and various dinner entrees – among them, baked lasagna ($8.95), smothered pork chops ($9.95) and baked macaroni and cheese ($7.85). The Red Brick Grill enters the food fray with several other well-established competi- tors – among them River Falls Restaurant, Main Street Cafe and Ocean Cafe Restaurant – and those are just the ones within walking distance. But Lanoue is undaunted by the competition. She thinks The Red Brick Grill will be filling a niche in the restaurant scene that has been overlooked by others. “This is something different,” she says. “There’s not too much of what I’m doing in the city.”