Business Spotlight: Pomodoro Is a Jewel in Nearby Woonsocket, RI
Nov 29, 2018 06:00AM
By Pamela Johnson
In front of Pomodoro's salad/soup/bread bar are (from left) Jill Savini-Moylan, Chef Alexander Golia, and Gina Savini.
Savini’s Renamed to Pomodoro
“Great atmosphere. Great prices. Great food. Great staff. A jewel in Woonsocket” is the way one Facebook poster describes Pomodoro, located just across the border in Rhode Island.
Now in its second-generation ownership, previously operated under the name Savini’s, the restaurant first appeared as the Sons of Italy in 1934. Owned by Roger and Mitch Savini, the restaurant catered to blue-collar workers in the Bellingham-Blackstone-Woonsocket area. Today, thanks to significant renovation, it has a much broader reach.
This “re-invention” to Pomodoro, Italian Kitchen Bar & Lounge, has been engineered by the senior Savini’s son-in-law Matt Moylan; his wife, Jill Savini; and the Savinis’ other daughter, Gina. It’s enough to make mom and dad proud.
One Yelp reviewer from Blackstone put it this way: “We’ve eaten at Savini’s several times before the renovation and always had a good meal... but after the renovation the food is spectacular!”
“Everything is fresh,” explained Matt. “Fresh pasta comes in multiple times a week from Lilly’s in the North End of Boston.”
“We make our own bread and pizza dough,” explained Gina. And so far, “We’ve received great feedback.”
The chefs are all new at Pomodoro, trained at the Capital Grille in Providence. Head chef Alexander Golia was at the jointly-owned Ciros also in Woonsocket; he came over to Pomodoro, and “is an amazing resource creating one-of-a-kind dishes,” according to Gina.
The menu has been completely re-done. “We offer something for everyone,” explained Matt. “We offer made-fresh-from-scratch appetizers, grilled pizza, burgers, pasta, steak and seafood. Our price point is affordable. In Boston and Providence, people pay $20 to $50 per plate—our range is $8 to $22. We’ve modernized our recipes for today’s palate.” A full salad and soup bar with fresh bread is always available.
Pomodoro is family-oriented, according to Matt. “We want to make everyone comfortable, and we strive to create an enjoyable, relaxing atmosphere.”
The physical layout is grand and has been renovated throughout both the interior and the exterior, where the frontage has been beautifully landscaped with plenty of parking. The entire building is handicapped-accessible.
Upstairs is a ballroom that will accommodate up to 300 for parties and celebrations, and it has a showcase featuring dinner shows where you can find various entertainers and singers while being served a multi-course meal. Charlene Morin, Pomodoro’s Event Coordinator, loves to entertain and bring guests new experiences. She has 12 years of experience coordinating a variety of events, including after-funeral luncheons.
“Every Sunday, you will find the area’s largest breakfast buffet serving a feast of foods from eggs-to-order and omelets, a carving station, a buffet of breakfast foods, pastas, desserts, coffee and more,” according to Matt. “It has been a hit; at Pomodoro you get all of this for $12.95 and $6.95 for kids. The goal is to enable families to gather for a Sunday treat, affordably.”
Downstairs, the lounge—which has been completely renovated—seats 130 and offers two impressive horseshoe-shaped bars. Also downstairs are two private rooms; one seats up to 40 and the other up to 20. Matt said, “Both are great for private dinner parties and corporate meetings.”
He further explained, “The overall ambiance is cozy, including the elaborate menu of comfort foods and crafted drinks and wines. It’s a great setting to relax in.”
“I host my family’s Christmas event here every year and it’s awesome. They can’t do enough to help you,” reported a Yelp reviewer from Uxbridge.
Gina Savini said, “We’re keeping the same popular vibe, updating with technology and changing with the times.” You’ll always find new items on the menu and cool new drinks from the bar. “You try not to let your emotions get the best of you,” said Gina, recalling how the restaurant was in the past. “Is it possible to care too much?”
Whatever they’re doing at Pomodoro, it’s generating a different and diverse clientele. According to Matt, “Now, 80% of our business is no longer just from local residents; we are seeing lots of folks from Bellingham and surrounding towns.”
“The Pomodoro” is on Facebook, and you can visit www.savinispomodoro.com for more information. Or call anytime: (401) 762-5114. Pomodoro is located at 476 Rathbun St. in Woonsocket.
Spotlight feature & photo by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer
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