The Bread Lab opens at Hope Artiste Village

The Bread Lab opens at Hope Artiste Village

Keith Martin, who owns The Bread Lab with his wife Deana, shows off the new logo behind the restaurant's bar. The bread-themed establishment is now open at 999 Main St. in the Hope Artiste Village. (Valley Breeze photos by Ethan Shorey)

PAWTUCKET - The Bread Lab, a fledgling restaurant venture by Keith and Deana Martins, is now open in the former Rosinha's Restaurant space at the Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main St.

After a week of "soft opening" events, the Martins, of Milton, Mass., say they're ready to succeed in this up-and-coming former mill building.

"Located in the very seat of the farm-to-table revolution and sharing the halls of the venerable Winter Farmers Market and Farm Fresh Rhode Island, local sourcing will be a focus," states a news release from the restaurant. "In addition to offering a menu inspired by those roots, The Bread Lab will feature an onsite bakery where, in view of the dining room, you can watch our bakers handcraft the very loaves, rolls, and treats you will be enjoying on the menu."

According to Deana Martin, The Bread Lab came about as an outgrowth of a wholesale bread company she and her husband have run for nearly 20 years, Biga Breads. The company has been "stuck in no man's land," she said, "too big to be little and too little to be big." An attempt at having some off-premise retail locations similar to a coffee shop franchise "didn't work for us," she said, so they created a bread-themed restaurant that will function as the center for their wholesale enterprise as well.

Someone had told the Martins about the former Rosinha's space, located next to the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame and The Met, but the couple was at first a bit intimidated by the restaurant's bar, said Deana Martin, having never even ventured into table service to that point.

The name for The Bread Lab is a tribute to the experimentation that the Martins have done to come up with the right mix of fresh ingredients for a bread-inspired menu. A menu of local drinks, particularly craft beers, helped resolve any mental limitations she and her husband had about a "booze and bread" theme, said Martin.

"Our first focus is bread," she said.

It was important to the Martins to respect what Pawtucket is, a place where "farm-to-table veganism and vegetarianism," as well as freshness, are extremely important, she said. Every section of the menu has a vegetarian and/or vegan option, she said.

The inspiration for the restaurant's rustic décor is the weekly farmers market next door, said Martin. As an homage to the market, the restaurant buys all products locally and nearly all items are handmade with fresh ingredients. A tart of the week, using whatever products happen to be in season, as well as cocktails with seasonal ingredients, will further tie the two together.

The Bread Lab is open at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, offering fresh-baked muffins, scones, danish, sticky buns, and other products, with Jim's Organic Coffee for early birds.

For the lunch and dinner crowds, the menu contains a selection of "creative comfort foods," including hot and cold sandwiches, "Lab Slab" burgers, flatbread pizzas, salads, and a variety of entrees like lobster mac and cheese. The Bread Lab will also offer its food and sandwiches in drop-off form for take-out and corporate catering. The phone number for orders is 401-475-6129.

The restaurant's bar specializes in craft beers, wines and cocktails focused on local brewing, fermenting, and distilling talent. Brands include Foolproof Brewing of Pawtucket, Revival, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Zarco Silver Tequila, Bulleit Bourbon and Crop Vodka.

The head chef at The Bread Lab is Allen Forte, of Scituate, the pastry chef is Rhiannon McDaniel, of Providence, and the bar manager is Mindi Bennividse, of Westport, Mass.

The Bread Lab at 999 Main St. is inspired by the Pawtucket Winter Farmers Market next door.
Some of the offerings at The Bread Lab.