Venda Ravioli has been in Providence, Rhode Island for more than 70 yearsSince its start, Venda Ravioli has been a vital part of historic Federal Hill, the "Little Italy" section of Providence. A tiny storefront -- a mere "mom and pop" operation -- Venda Ravioli was purchased in 1972 by Alan Costantino, who had great plans for the small business. Over the past three decades, Venda Ravioli has grown to be one of the most respected Italian food emporiums in the Northeast.
Venda Ravioli quadrupled in size when it moved to its current location at 265 Atwells Avenue in June 2001. Designed by Costantino, this Italian gourmet shop and caffe is very inviting with its sparkling glass counters, striking tin ceiling and visually stunning store displays. The glassed-in, state-of-the-art kitchen with its marble counter offers guests a glimpse of Chef Salvatore Cefaliello and his staff in action. The caffe offers 30 seats inside, 6 at the espresso bar, and 40 outdoors during warm weather.
More than 150 kinds of fresh and frozen pasta -- this is what Venda Ravioli is most famous for, having been in the business of making pasta in the Old World tradition since the 1930s. Jumbo stuffed shells, manicotti, tri-colored egg noodles, tortellini, tortelloni, agnolotti, angel hair and lobster ravioli are just some of the offerings.
When you stroll out of Venda Ravioli, look across the plaza, past the huge water fountain, toward Costantino's Ristorante, the restaurant counterpart to Venda. If you liked shopping at Venda Ravioli, you will love dining at Costantino's Ristorante, where Chef Alberto Lopez has been dazzling his customers with his exquisite creations in extraordinarily beautiful surroundings since the elegant restaurant opened in June 2002.
In the late spring through early fall, the outdoor cafe at Venda Ravioli is open with flowers in full bloom and umbrellas offering customers a bit of shade. On a perfect summer day, when Italian opera music fills the square, there is no better place to spend a few hours watching the world go by, as you dine on the exquisite food and marvel at the purchases you just made inside the store.
Few men are as devoted to Federal Hill as Alan Costantino, owner of Venda Ravioli. "I've been in business for more than 30 years on Federal Hill," he explains. "For all these years, it's been a mecca for Italian food, the real thing. I hope what we are trying to do here on DePasquale Plaza will help Federal Hill retain its reputation as the best place to go for an authentic Italian food and wine experience."
If you ever find yourself in Providence, Rhode Island, make sure to visit Venda Ravioli and Costantino's Ristorante. Until then, experience life Italian-style through this web site.