May 28, 2020
This is our eighth week featuring one local, Rhode Island eatery. We will share the background of each and a little bit about the owners and operators. Most importantly, we will be sharing a link to purchase their gift cards. If you are able to support these small local businesses at this time, we encourage you to purchase their gift cards online, support their fundraisers and/or order takeout or delivery.
This is a particularly difficult time for both the tourism and restaurant industry, we are seeing many of our restaurant partners and friends in these industries struggle to keep their businesses. By featuring one local eatery each week, we hope to support and uplift some of our partners and friends. No matter where you live, local eateries bring so much vibrancy to our communities.
Welcome to Ellie’s
Ellie’s first opened her doors in the winter of 2012 as Ellie’s Bakery on Washington Street. The tiny 7-seat french style bakery/cafe served fresh breads and pastries, and custom cakes for every occasion with unparalleled hospitality. Over the years, the menu and team grew. From the perfect croissant and seasonal macarons to curing their own in-house pork for tastiest ham sandwich you’ve ever had. The barista team even developed a single-origin coffee program and signature coffee blend.
The idea of expanding Ellie’s started when the demand for pastry pushed the baking operation to Hope & Main in Warren. After years of looking for a place that could bring the bakers back under the same roof, they discovered 225 Weybosset across from the Providence Performing Arts. In 2019, Ellie’s re-opened as a beautiful, full-scale Parisian Inspired Cafe offering a wonderful selection of baked goods, light breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The kitchen is led by one of the finest and most talented teams in Rhode Island. Executive Chef Matthew Vargas and Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Denmark (or Madame Sweets as she often referred to as), are highly revered having received many an award between them both as graduates of Johnson & Wales Culinary School.
Ellie’s aims to be a local eatery that serves as a gathering place for residents and a place of rest for visitors that discover them. You can start your day with freshly baked pastries and coffees, keep the day going with a wholesome lunch, and settle in for the evening with friends for a glass of wine and a slice of cake.
Ellie’s sources many of their local ingredients through Farm Fresh, a community of local farmers, growers, artisans and purveyors that teams together to offer chefs the best ingredients Southern New England has to offer. Some of these farms and purveyors include Aquidneck Honey, Four Town Farm, Narragansett Creamery and RI Mushroom Company. It is also not uncommon for a trusted local farmer to be at their back door with one of their premium unique crops or herbs and for Chef Vargas to have a special dish prepared and on the menu that night using those fresh specific ingredients. Or for a delicate edible flower of the season to turn up on top of one Chef Denmark’s specialty cakes or even in their amazing artisanal cocktails.
Ellie’s is named after Ellen Slattery, the owner and proprietor. In addition to Ellie’s, Ellen also owns and runs Gracie’s, a seasonally inspired fine dining restaurant with a reputation fueled by exceptional service and high quality local ingredients. Ellen grew up cooking in her family kitchen, where she developed a passion for feeding people. She carried this passion from her home kitchen, through a four-year psychology degree, then to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University. She opened Gracie’s on New Year’s Eve in 1998 on Federal Hill, then being one of the first to start the downtown renaissance in 2005, moving across from Trinity Repertory Company. At Gracie’s, she is known for building a team that is excited about culinary artistry, wowing guests, and championing locally sourced food. She considers her team as family, encourages and values their input, it’s not uncommon to have them go around the room at their weekly meetings and share their positive thoughts and appreciation for each other, its inspiring. Most nights, she can be found working the line, chatting with guests, or encouraging her staff to “wish it, dream it, do it.” It should be noted that in 2018 Ellen Slattery was listed in Business.org as one of 70 most inspirational women in America, along side the likes of Angela Merkel, Beyonce and Oprah. Now that is one helluva list to be included on and tells you everything you need to know about her and her charitable giving!!
In 2012, she opened Ellie’s as an extension of the bread program at Gracie’s with “Rising Star Pastry Chef” Melissa Denmark at the helm. With Ellie’s, Ellen and Chef Denmark’s team strive each day to stand out in the community as a passionate, loyal, nourishing neighborhood eatery.
At the start of the Coronavirus, Ellie’s closed for several weeks to protect their staff and prepare for a safe reopening. Now, Ellie’s is open for breakfast and lunch takeaway, Wednesday – Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm. They also offer ‘Ellie’s at home’ dinners Thursday – Saturday. Don’t forget Ellie’s gorgeous custom wedding and specialty cakes along with seasonal macarons & pastries for all those special occasions too! You can order online and the Ellie’s team will have your order ready for pickup!
Here are three items we love from Ellie’s menu:
French Onion Soup
Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
It’s that time of year — Best of RI 2020 is here!
We could use a little extra love right now as our food tours are paused. Please take the time to vote for the best team we could ask for in Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of RI!
Write us in under “Statewide Local Tour” category! Voting ends May 31.
Scenes from Ellie’s in Providence
Follow @ElliesProv on Instagram and Facebook and
@ElliesBakeryRI on Twitter to stay up to date!