Diner's Update

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The latest Rhode Island food and dining news.

Compiled by Allison Palombo and Jamie Coelho

March-May 2013

Culinary Calendar

Providence is set to host Taste Trekkers, the nation’s first Culinary Tourism Conference on September 21, but the organizers need your help, as there are only ten days left to raise enough money. The goal is for food lovers to explore the world through cuisine by bringing together chefs, farmers, winemakers and other artisanal food producers from different areas. Attendees will sample foods and learn the culinary history of different regions. Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the keynote address. Please support this event by making a donation through Kickstarter, and you'll also reserve your advance tickets!


Eastside Marketplace in Providence will host research dietician and professor of medicine Mary Flynn on March 26 from 4−6 p.m. She will offer samples, information on which vegetables help reduce the risk of disease, answers to nutrition questions and preparation tips.


On Easter Sunday, March 31 from noon−3 p.m., the elegant Vanderbilt Grace in Newport will host an Easter egg hunt in the hotel’s flower garden as well as an egg decoration competition, followed by brunch on the outdoor terrace with a carving station and omelet buffet. The cost is $55 per person and $25 for kids.

The Chanler in Newport will offer a $75 three-course Easter Sunday brunch menu from noon−5 p.m., including dishes like chocolate Belgian waffles, native lobster frittata and cake shooters.


Newport Restaurant Week takes place April 5−14, serving up three-course dinners for $30 and three-course lunches for $16 at some of the best restaurants in the state. Take a look at the list and book your reservations now. 


Farmstead will hold Wine + Cheese = Love: A 101 Class on April 14 from 4−5:30 p.m. for $50 per person. Barman David Magiantine and cheesemonger Thomas Perry will teach guests the basics of wine and cheese pairing while serving up some of their favorites. To reserve a spot, call 274-7177 or purchase tickets online here.


Food trucks will congregate in the heart of downtown Providence at the Bank of America City Center on April 19 from 5:30−9 p.m. for Truck Stop: A Festival of Street Eats, a part of the Eat Drink RI Festival. Along with the trucks, Jonathan Edwards Winery and Narragansett Brewery will offer wine and beer tastings. All proceeds benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Tickets are $75 (VIP) and $50 (general admission). Other Eat Drink RI Festival events will take place April 1921, and tickets are now available for a Cocktail Couture event, Eat Local and Taste of Terroir panels, a Brewing in New England panel, a Grand Tasting and Grand Brunch.


Nemo Bolin of Cook and Brown Public House will host a Providence Heritage dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on April 20 at 7 p.m. Bolin’s menu will pay tribute to the immigrant cultures that have left an imprint on Providence with courses of duck with mint, Thai basil and lime; quail with agrodolce onions, capers, raisins and caramelo sauce; squab with fermented black beans, garlic chives, dried mushrooms and tofu; pheasant with piri-piri peppers, potatoes, garlic and smoke; and bunuelos with coconut, pineapple and dulce de leche. Call 212-627-2308 to make a reservation or click here


On April 20 at 6 p.m., the Twenty-Third Annual Game Dinner, hosted at the Italian Workingmen’s Club in Woonsocket, will feature dinner stations, a cash bar, raffles and live auctions. Proceeds from this event go to Children’s Wishes, an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of local children who are suffering from terminal or life-threatening illnesses. Tickets are $30 each.


Jake Rojas and Kelly Ann Maurice of Tallulah on Thames in Newport will cook a New England-inspired dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on April 23 at 7 p.m. The dinner includes courses like Schartner Farms spring beets; braised Hopkins Farm lamb neck; butter-poached tautog with fava beans, littleneck clams, bacon, pistou and barigoule; Pat’s Pastured pork, including pork face cake, belly and loin with fiddlehead ferns and fennel; and chocolate ganache with morels, cocoa nibs, lavender and hazelnuts. Call 212-627-2308 to make a reservation or click here


Providence Performing Arts Center presents the Good vs. Evil tour on May 2 at 7:30 p.m., including Anthony Bourdain, former host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” and Eric Ripert, renowned chef of Le Bernadin, for a night of food-centric storytelling. Tickets to this event range from $25–$150.



Chow Fun Food Group is offering Lenten specials through March 29. Participating restaurants include XO Cafe, 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, Rick’s Roadhouse, Harry’s Bar and Burger and Luxe Burger Bar, all in Providence. For a list of specials and more information, call 453-2077 or visit chowfunfoodgroup.com.



Basta Italian restaurant has reopened after an extensive renovation at 2195 Broad St. in Cranston’s Pawtuxet Village.

Pollo Campero, serving Latin American cuisine, opened at 661 Atwells Ave. in Providence’s Eagle Square.

Sprout is a new vegetarian food truck roaming the streets of Providence. Follow them on Twitter at @SproutTruck.

The owners of Flan y Ajo opened a new wine bar, Bodega Malasana, at 186 Union St. in Providence. Follow them on Twitter at @BodegaMalasana.

Half Way Tree is a new authentic Jamaican restaurant, located at 44 Hospital St. in Providence.

The Grange, an all-vegetable restaurant from the owners of Garden Grille, will open this month at 166 Broadway on Providence’s West Side. It will also have a chicory bar and cafe open mornings.

Chapel Grille in Cranston is now serving lunch every day and brunch every Sunday. They are now open every day from 11 a.m.−close.

Rue De L’Espoir on Hope Street in Providence went through a quick renovation last month to reveal an updated dining room.

Silver Spoon Bakery on Main Street in East Greenwich earned its liquor license, and will soon be serving wine and liqueurs in addition to cupcakes, coffee and macarons.

Narragansett Beer released the new Imperial Bohemian Pilsner, part of the brewer’s Private Stock series of limited-edition crafts.



Johnson and Wales University’s Culinary Arts Museum will close on May 20, 2013, so that the museum can conduct an intensive inventory of its collection, estimated to have more than 250,000 items. The Culinary Arts Museum is currently open to the public Tues.−Sun. from 10 a.m.−5 p.m., and will continue with these hours through May 19, 2013. The museum will reopen to the public for the start of the 2014-15 academic year.




Providence chefs Nemo Bolin of Cook and Brown Public House and Benjamin Sukle of the Dorrance were nominated for People's Best New Chef in Food and Wine magazine. 

The Ocean House was named Rhode Island's first and only Forbes Five-Star resort. Only seventy-six hotels on earth have earned a Forbes Five-Star rating for excellence in service.

Providence was rated the second best city for pizza in Travel and Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for Pizza poll. Bacaro’s grilled pizza and La Salle Bakery’s pizza strips were mentioned. 

City Girl Cupcake, based out of Providence, won the RI Food Fights Great Cupcake Championship held on March 10 at Fete.



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