Fazzini’s Offers Fine Italian Dining Just Over the RI Border
Sep 25, 2020 06:00AM
By Pamela Johnson
Fazzini's co-owners (Above, L-R): Eric & Bethany Marsland and Olga and Dick Gariepy
In the Bellingham area, diners are blessed with lots of choices for fine dining at Italian restaurants. How to choose?
“My husband,” explained co-owner Bethany Marsland of Fazzini’s, “is the chef and an owner. So when you order a dish that you love, and then come back in a week or two to have it again, you know that it will be prepared exactly as you love it.”
“You can teach any chef the ingredients of a dish,” she continued, “but there’s always a ‘pinch’ of this or a ‘pinch’ of that which makes the dish consistent and appealing.”
Fazzini’s is located close by, on Diamond Hill Road in Woonsocket, RI. Bethany and her husband/chef/partner, Eric Marsland, own the restaurant along with newly acquired co-owners Olga and Dick Gariepy.
The Marslands also own Champs, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, in Woonsocket. They’ve owned ten different restaurants in the area since 1977.
Fazzini’s (Eric’s family name) opened in mid-August last year. It closed in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, re-opened a couple of months later for take-out and an outside barbeque, then closed again in July because of a staff shortage and re-opened September 9. “I’m finally home,” exclaimed diners who have returned since the closures, according to Bethany. Nearly 80% of the restaurant’s business comes from repeat customers.
“At our Fazzini’s,” according to the restaurant’s website, “we pride ourselves on serving authentic Italian dishes using fresh ingredients, time honored recipes and a commitment to excellence. We invite you to experience our unique dining experience and hope to see you soon.” Additionally, Diamond Hill Vineyards supplies fruit wines exclusively to Fazzini’s.
Diners will find on the menu dishes including Clams Casino, medallions of veal, homemade meatballs, Saturday night prime rib, and desserts including red velvet and eclairs. Family-friendly Fazzini’s offers spaghetti by the pound on Wednesdays and “Appy Hour” in the Pub on Fridays from 2 to 4 pm.
“There’s a lot of love that goes into the dishes we prepare,” said chef Eric. “These dishes, like people, need to be taken care of properly. We put passion, drive and a lot of hard work into everything that we serve. It all comes from the heart.”
Thirty years ago, Eric met Bethany at one of her restaurants and thought, “I want to marry her.” It was at Bethany’s on Clinton Street in Woonsocket. He started his restaurant career at age 16 at the nearby Kirkbrae Country Club.
Fazzini’s observes all the state guidelines regarding safety during the pandemic. There’s space between the tables. The restaurant, which could accommodate 275 diners during pre-pandemic times, now allows in only 175.
“I recall saying not long ago, ‘I need help,’” said Bethany, “and my longtime-friend Olga Gariepy, who was sitting next to me, said immediately, ‘We can help.’” So Olga and husband Dick have become partners at Fazzini’s and bring with them years of experience in the restaurant business.
“We’re proud to be partners,” said Dick. “It’s a great opportunity.”
In addition to fine dining, Fazzini’s offers accommodations for functions, including banquets, funerals, birthday parties, bridal showers and small weddings, all provided with adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
Fazzini’s is also currently looking for experienced help in the kitchen and for servers and bartenders.
“We’re in it to win it,” said Bethany.
Please visit www.fazzinisrestaurant.com to review menu selections and to make reservations. And check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for more information. You can also call 401-597-5095.
photo & story by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer