TAKE FLIGHT An array of wings at Boneheads.
Destination dining in. . . downtown West Warwick? Believe it. In just under one year, Boneheads Wing Bar has become a smash hit. The word is out, the joint is jumping and, oh yes, Boneheads is well worth the journey to Arctic Village.
The menu and layout are steeped in rock ’n’ roll — vintage concert prints, memorabilia, and gear galore. Two of the four owner/managers also play in longtime local band Run For Covers: Dave Fazzina and Cranston native Matt Corona, the gregarious, burly, and bearded host who cruises the room and works the crowd like a pro. The 23 tables are divided between a dining room section and a lounge/bar side. The fleet of servers (and lone bartender) tend to get slammed on weekends, but the staff is friendly and welcoming.
My friends Tom and Tasha live within walking distance and have been raving about Boneheads since it opened in May. There was a 30-minute wait for a table during a recent Friday night visit so we floated around the packed eight-seat bar in the back corner, watching the waitstaff dart about while eyeing the heaping platters of wings and tenders (a mountain of nachos earned a triple-take). The signature drink menu follows the musical motif (White Room Cosmo, the new birdbath-sized Budokan Bowls), and the craft beer selection has come a long way over the last few months, with a handful of excellent choices rotating on tap (including locals Foolproof, Newport Storm, and ’Gansett).
I gladly slugged my way through a large (27-ounce) Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout while scanning the 40-plus sauce options, cleverly laid out and color-coded like a Billboard Top 100 chart, featuring some of the most unique and flavorful offerings you will ever find along with the standard Buffalo-style levels. BWB’s kitchen staff are either insane or ingenious, with options like a balsamic-based chocolate cherry sauce (Cherry Bomb) or limited-run specials like salted caramel (outstanding with a basket of sweet potato fries) and a root beer-and-Jaeger-infused BBQ sauce, plus 20 or so dry rubs (all made in-house). Wings and boneless tenders are available ranging from a seven-piece order ($7/$8) to trays of 50 ($37/$40), and a fryer is designated for the gluten-free tenders ($6).
For apps, we started with the fried pickles or “Picks” (of course) and the Dutch pretzel sticks ($5). The dill chips were nicely seasoned with just enough crunch, but I would drive back here just for the pretzel sticks — oven-baked and buttery, and served with a spicy Guinness mustard. We also opted for the sour cream and onion dry rub on the fries after the waitress broke the news that the bacon rub was once again not available.
The three of us enjoy blindingly hot-and-spicy food, so I knew the diabolical Hell’s Bells would be making an appearance. Ring the alarm — my face was on fire. I couldn’t see, yet I couldn’t stop. We also dialed up the Firestarter, a mustard-based sauce laced with ghost pepper and pineapple which was tangy and more mellow. Tom and I debated between creative standbys like Pump Up the Jam (a signature PB-n-J sauce) or the strawberry-teriyaki for our wings, but stumbled upon Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it was a no-brainer. This sticky, candied bacon-and-maple sauce is culinary crack; next time I’m adding that to the Chicken & Waffles ($10).