Tolento's Ice House Grille opens with a Cajun flair

Tolento's Ice House Grille opens with a Cajun flair

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The owner of the new Tolento's Ice House Grille says the restaurant at 1460 Mineral Spring Ave. is a long time coming and a dream come true.

Tom Tolento spent 20 years in the food service industry, starting as a dishwasher and holding every position in both the front and back of the house over the years.

After time spent in the corporate and business world - he opened the Sherwin Williams paint store on Mineral Spring Avenue back in 1986 - Tolento is going back into food service in a big way, opening a restaurant he says anyone can enjoy.

With Tolento's son James on board, the full-service bar and restaurant will have a "Cajun flair" to go with what he calls the "best pub food in Rhode Island," said Tolento. After seven years spent in the Louisiana restaurant scene, James agreed to come back to be the chef and manager in the back of the house at Tolento's.

Tolento emphasized that the new Tolento's is a completely different entity from the former Ice House Grille that operated at the same location. Many customers have already commented that they can tell the difference, he said.

Tolento's introduced a new array of foods at its grand opening this month. Cajun dishes, many inspired by James, include shrimp Po boys, fried shrimp "grinders," as they say in the north, fried chicken, hush puppies and fried fish. Any protein can be blackened "Cajun style," he said.

"A moderately priced family restaurant in a casual upscale atmosphere," Tolento's will be known for great food and a strong attention to detail, said Tolento, from thorough daily cleanings to a keen awareness of customers' needs.

The focal point of Tolento's is its "beautiful bar," said Tolento, but he is also experimenting with a concept he saw abroad of a "chef's table," a table with special prices and menu where customers "are treated like kings" for the evening. The table is now in operation on a limited basis, he said, but he plans to ramp up concept in the coming months.

For more on Tolento's, call 401-353-3100.