The Dish: Diner's Update

The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news.

By Carly Barnhardt, Rachel Bimonte and Jamie Coelho

 

September-December 2016

9/28

Come out to the Comedy Connection from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to support ecoRI News in the greenest possible way: with a Zero-Trash Birthday Bash. Everything at this fun, ultra-green event will be eaten and imbibed ­­– or recycled, upcycled, reused or composted. The evening will feature a seasonal tasting menu from Julian’s Catering, a cash bar with local brews on tap, a silent auction, raffle and live entertainment. General admission tickets are $45 each (though there are a variety of price levels; see website) and can be purchased here.

9/28

Bring your appetite and your friends to Chapel Grille, 3000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston, on Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. for the Ferrari Carano wine dinner. The dinner consists of a five-course meal and wine pairings for each course. For tickets, see a hostess or visit the website. The price is $75 per person, which includes tax and gratuity.

9/28

Red Stripe Restaurant, 465 Angell St., Providence, hosts a Francis Ford Coppola-inspired wine dinner on Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. The meal is five courses with dishes such as: oysters, pear salad, duck breast and more. With each course is a wine pairing from famed movie director Coppola’s winery in California. Tickets for this event are $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. To purchase tickets, call 401-437-6950 or visit redstriperestaurants.com.

9/28–9/29

Warren-based Sage Cellars is hosting four women winemakers from four different vineyards in the wine region of Howell Mountain in Napa, California. A series of special events is happening across Rhode Island, including two dinners with a wine pairing featuring Howell Mountain wines. The first dinner will take place at Besos in East Greenwich on Wed., Sept. 28, starting at 7 p.m. Reservations are required by calling 401-398-8855. Simone’s in Warren hosts the second special dinner on Thurs., Sept. 29, from 6:30−10 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling Simone’s at 401-247-1200. To see details about more wine events, visit the Sage Cellars website.

9/30

It doesn’t have to be Taco Tuesday to enjoy tacos and tequila. Grab some friends and head over to Hope and Main, 691 Main St., Warren on Friday, Sept. 30 from 6-8 p.m. This event is $40 and it includes a full menu of oven braised beef tacos, chips, salsa and guacamole along with tequila and dessert — a Friday night out not to miss. Purchase tickets here.

10/1

We love our microbreweries here in the Ocean State, but sometimes beer (craft or not) just doesn’t cut it. The third annual New England Whiskey Festival showcases the latest whiskey products, trends and innovations. Discover new brands and the hottest beverage trends, along with great food, samples and entertainment at Twin River Casino in Lincoln from 2−6 p.m. Twenty-one-plus only. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Twin River or by clicking here; $5 from each ticket will benefit the Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation Association.

10/1–10/2

Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut, celebrates its bountiful harvest season by hosting a two-day, all-day Harvest Festival featuring food trucks, live music, an artisan vendor tent and free activities for adults and children. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the activities go until 6 p.m. One-day advance tickets are $25 each and include a five-sample wine tasting; tickets at the door are $35. Purchase tickets here.

10/3

If you’re ready for fall inspired meal selections, then Gracie’s, 794 Washington St., Providence, on Oct. 3. Gracie’s is hosting a seasonal, five-course meal featuring three guest chefs from New Hampshire. In addition to the five-course meal, there will be wine pairings with each course and passed hors d’oeuvres. To purchase tickets to the fall friendly dinner, click here. The tickets are $160 per person, including tax and gratuity.

10/4

Foolproof's Federal Hill Ale, a new brew made with saffron and blood oranges, is here and ready for you to try. Chef Walter Potenza and Nick Garrison of Foolproof Brewery are holding a free tasting event on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at Chef Walters Cooking School, located at 286 Atwell’s Ave., Providence. To reserve your spot at this tasting, call 401-273-2652 or email info@chefwalterscookingschool.com.

10/5

Ntsiki Biyela of South Africa is coming to Rhode Island for a private wine dinner at the Providence Art Club. Sage Cellars, a wine distributor out of Warren, is holding the winemaker’s dinner from 6–10 p.m. The Providence Art Club is located at 11 Thomas St., Providence. For reservations to this event, call 401-247-1200.

10/6

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State present its fundraising event The Big Toast, an evening filled with samples from more than sixty local restaurants, bars and vendors. The event begins at 5:30 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston and ends at 9:30 p.m.  VIP tickets are available for $85 each and include access to a VIP area with wine, beer and spirits from across the region, a special tasting from guest vendors and general entry into the event. Main event tickets are $60 and can be purchased here.  All proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State.

10/14

Get your tickets to Beervana Fest, Rhode Island's ultimate craft beer fest at the historic Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston. The event takes place from 6:30−10 p.m. and includes fifty-plus tables pouring more than 250 world class beers. Tickets are $55 (plus fee) per person and include one tasting glass, two-ounce pours of some of the best beers in the world, educational seminars, a fest guide and a bottle of water.

10/14

Fluke Wine, Bar and Kitchen is kicking off fall with some kicker specials. Starting Oct. 12, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, it will be offering $15 steak frites or $15 skate frites. Fluke is located at 41 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. To make a reservation, call 401-849-7778 or visit the website.

10/15–10/16

Historic Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport will host the twenty-sixth annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival. The festival offers fresh, local seafood, in addition to other special offers from local restaurants, tempting desserts, signature cocktails and cold New England beer. There will also be live music and activities for the whole family, including face-painting, interactive water and art activities, touch tanks and plenty more alongside the Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhode Island’s new 200-foot official sailing education vessel. Admission is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase. The event is rain or shine under the colorful festival tents.

10/16 – 10/22

The Savory Grape and Easy Entertaining pair up to take you on a personalized, behind-the-scenes culinary and wine trip to Tuscany, Italy. Enjoy luxury villa accommodations in a restored estate, tour vineyards as insiders and enjoy gourmet Tuscan meals and hands-on culinary lessons, olive oil tastings and wine classes. Click to download the e-brochure for complete details and pricing. For questions about the trip, please email Jessica Granatiero at jessica@thesavorygrape.com or call 401-261-4966.

10/16

Taste Spain with chef Pam Farmer at Gracie’s, 794 Washington St., Providence, on Oct. 16. Tapas, paella, churros and sangria are on the menu and inspired by chef Pam Farmers' travels through Spain. Tickets can be purchased for $50, including tax and gratuity, here.

10/21

Taste for a Cause is an evening of wine tasting and gourmet foods presented by Gasbarro’s Wines in support of the program in women’s oncology at Women and Infants Hospital. Taste from more than seventy-five varieties of wine paired with appetizers and food stations. The event takes place from 6:30−9:30 p.m. at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick and the ticket price is $100 per person.

10/22

In addition to a discussion on the different methods for cooking duck, the special dinner Duck, Duck and Duck at Ella’s will feature a creative menu with duck incorporated into each course, from foie gras to duck fat beignets. Reservations can be made by phone at 401-315-0606.

11/4–11/13

Newport’s Restaurant Week for fall 2016 will take place the week of November 4−13. Check out the amazing deals on three-course lunches and dinners and two-for-one deals offered at participating restaurants here, and start planning your reservations.

11/20

Join award-winning New York chef, Michael Ginor, at Gracie’s, 794 Washington St., Providence, for dinner to be served. The event will consist of a five-course meal, hors d’oeuvres and wine pairings to go with each course. Tickets are $192 per person, including tax and gratuity, and can be purchased here.

12/1–12/31

We can’t decide what is more important: a United States Passport or a #BestDonutsRI Passport. We’ll let you decide. Click here to get a passport for only $10; there are a limited amount of passports and each person must purchase a minimum of two passports. Grab your doughnut-loving friends and travel around Rhode Island from Dec. 1–31 to receive a complimentary doughnut from participating bakeries and doughnut shops.  

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Half price apps and pizza plus a special menu? We’re in. Trio restaurant, located at 15 Kingston Rd., Narragansett, has a treat in store for its customers. Through the fall season, Trio is bringing back their prix-fixe Pier menu. From that menu, customers can order an entree, dessert and draft beer or house wine for $24.95 on Monday through Thursday from 4–9 p.m. The full Trio menu, however, is still available during this special. Trio is also offering half price appetizers and pizza Monday through Friday from 4–6 p.m. To check out the prix-fixe Pier menu and the full menu, visit Trio’s website.

Calamari is the official state appetizer of Rhode Island and RI Food Fights is in search of the best for its Calamari Throwdown. Buy a "Passport" for $20 and get a coupon for a free calamari appetizer at sixteen competing restaurants. You have through Sept. 30 to use your coupons. At the end, vote online for your favorites.

Luxe Burger Bar, 5 Memorial Blvd., Providence, released its top five finalists for the sixth annual Build Your Own Burger contest. The finalists and the names of their burgers are: Emily Nicol with “Beet Don’t Kale My Vibe;” Steven Criner with “Living Fajita Loca'” Tracey Angell with “R.I.P (Rhode Island Pizza);” Michael Dexter and his burger, “The Rhode Islander” and Jack Murtagh with “The Trailer Park.” For the burgers' ingredients, click here. The burgers were submitted by combining ingredients from a list of forty-five and adding two of their own choices not on the list. Until Oct. 14, guests are welcome to try the burgers and vote for their favorite here. On Oct. 15 at 2 p.m., the burgers will be put to the ultimate test — a taste and creativity test judged by a panel.

Simone’s in Warren hosts live jazz on Thursdays from 6:30–9 p.m. with Tish Adams and Friends.

Siena in Smithfield hosts live music every Thursday from 6:30−9:30 p.m.

Every Sunday now through October 2, head to the Schoolyard Market at Hope in Main in Warren from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll meet local farmers and food makers, while shopping for local goods and enjoying breakfast or lunch from area vendors. There is always live music.

Massimo restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence is now hosting a jazz brunch with the Joe Potenza Jazz Trio every Sunday from 10:30 a.m.−2:30 p.m. There will also be a drag brunch upstairs on the first Sunday of each month. Brunch at Massimo will feature savory favorites like pork cheek carbonara, short rib hash and pork belly grilled cheese and sweets like toffee monkey bread and cinnamon buns.

The Summer Rosé Celebration continues at Chez Pascal in Providence. In celebration of the warmer months, the restaurant offers six different rosés by the glass, carafe and bottle. Flights of rosé are also available, allowing you to sample a selection of the many varieties that will be offered throughout the summer, on rotation. For more information, check out Chez Pascal’s online newsletter.

Sons of Liberty spirits distillery continues its summer sampling series, Freedom Fridays, which takes place on the last Friday of each month. Attendees can sample an assortment of award-winning spirits (including SOL’s new, limited-edition grapefruit hop flavored whiskey), enjoy food from Eddie’s BBQ, soak up live music from James and the Giants and participate in a variety of activities, including corn hole and foosball. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased upon entry. Call 401-284-4006 or visit solspirits.com for more information.

Join the effort to help victims of the earthquake that hit Amatrice, Italy, in August at Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano, 30 Memorial Blvd., Newport. Through Columbus Day, chef Kevin Fitzgerald offers bucatini all’Amatriciana, the official dish of Amatrice, as a special in honor of the country and it’s victims. When a customer orders bucatini all’Amatriciana a dish made of four key ingredients: pancetta, plum tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese and hot chili peppers  a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Italian American Relief Fund. To try the non-traditional Italian sauce and donate to the ongoing cause, stop in to Sardella’s for dinner from 5–10 p.m. or make a reservation by calling 401-849-6312.

 

LAUNCHES

PVDonuts is now open at its new location at 79 Ives Street in Providence. Now they have doubled production to make more doughnuts so you can satisfy your sweet tooth all day long. They have also partnered with the Nitro Cart to provide nitro cold brew made with locally roasted espresso beans to go along with your pastries.

Borealis Coffee Company is now open in its new location at 250 Bollocks Point in Riverside. The owner is from Alaska and the name Borealis relates to his roots. He roasts coffee beans locally and his travels have taken him all over the world, including visits to coffee farms in Indonesia, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

North Bakery is spreading its sweetness to a second location at Biltmore Park in downtown Providence (between the Biltmore hotel and Alex and Ani City Center). The bakery is not moving from its original location on 70 Battey St., Providence. Instead, it is growing. Starting next week, North Bakery in Biltmore Park will be operating full service but for now, guests are welcome to stop by for a sneak peek.

Newport Distilling Company has been on an eight-year-long journey to craft its newest product. Sea Fog: An AmeRIcan Whiskey is a mixture between American and Scottish traditions and radiates flavors of peat, vanilla, caramel and oak. Distribution of only 150 cases will be made available across many states including Rhode Island. For more information on the new item, visit the Newport Distilling Company’s website.

Willow Tree has launched two new flavors of its chicken salad, including avocado and cranberry and sriracha. Rhode Island Monthly writer Holly Vine posted some recipe ideas on her blog Holly Likes to Cook. Learn how to make two recipes: Willow Tree Avocado Chicken Salad on tarragon and tomato roll with crispy bacon and Willow Tree Sriracha Chicken Salad on bibimbap style spinach flatbread with 'slaw and egg. Photo by Holly Vine.

Red's Food Truck is a new Hope and Main partner that supports the farm-to-table movement through local sourcing and natural, unprocessed ingredients. Chefs and co-owners Max Reeves and Ryan Connors met while working at Michael Schlow's Radius restaurant in Boston, and they offer catering, personal chef and mobile food services throughout Rhode Island as well as parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. They plan to visit Grape and Grains in Barrington every other Friday from 5-7 p.m.

Enjoy food from Ella’s Fine Food and Drink anytime with Ella’s @ Home. The menu features a variety of options, including Asian-French-inspired restaurant favorites made with the same local, fresh ingredients, for individual or family-style meals. Each item comes ready to heat and serve and includes an instructional card so that your meal will be ready in twenty minutes or less. Order by phone at 401-315-0606 or by email at enjoydining@ellasfinefoodanddrink.com.

The new Hilton Garden Inn Providence is celebrating its newly renovated space, including the Garden Grille and Bar. The interactive chef provides cooked-to-order breakfasts and full dinner selections, while the bright new bar invites guests to sip a beverage while taking in the water view from the outdoor patio. The city's only waterfront hotel boasts seventy-fours guest rooms with views of the Providence Harbor.

 

NOTABLES

For two weeks up until Sept. 11, Avvio Ristorante, 90 Hillside Rd., Cranston donated $3 for every dish of buacatini all’Amatriciana to the Italian Red Cross in efforts to help those who were affected by the earthquake in Amatrice, Italy. During the two weeks, Avvio and Papa Razzi of Massachusetts raised a total of $1,887 to donate to the Italian Red Cross. The restaurants are thankful for those willing to help the cause.

In early September, both the East Greenwich and Providence locations of Red Stripe restaurant welcomed new chef de cuisines. Chef Jon Shumate of Rhode Island was promoted to chef de cuisine at the East Greenwich branch and Jason Rodriguez of the Bronx, New York, was promoted to the same position at the Providence location. Both chefs have a passion for cooking and customer service and both plan to add their own small touches to the restaurant while keeping the Red Stripe tradition alive.

Congrats to co-owners Benjamin and Heidi Sukle, chef de cuisine Ed Davis and team for Oberlin’s inclusion in Bon Appetit’s "America's Best New Restaurants 2016."

Oberlin was also named Bon Appetit's number seven Best New Restaurant for 2016.

Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Your Yacht Club soda choice says a lot about you! Pop a bottle during Yacht Club’s “Soda Pop Poll” to cast your vote.

 

TRANSITIONS

Bob and Timmy's Grilled Pizza on Federal Hill has been a landmark in Providence since Tim Doyle, the original owner, opened its doors in 1993, but he sold the restaurant in 2007. When he recently learned the pizza place closed its doors, he quickly took repossession. The restaurant will reopen in November, or sooner, after a remodel, serving the same customer favorites.

Friskie Fries food truck is opening a new storefront this fall at 751 Hartford Ave. in Johnston.

Laughing Gorilla Catering will be taking over the popular breakfast spot Kitchen's space in Providence for the winter, starting in October. Lunch and dinner will be served inside the intimate restaurant.

The Humble Pie Company is for sale. Started in 2013 by baker Daniel Sheehan, Humble Pie sells its pastries at seven farmers markets around the state and six cafes in Providence. The sweet and savory pies are made with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers. Sheehan and his partner, Alex Braunstein, plan to move out of the state this fall, and in order for the bakery to stay in Rhode Island, Sheehan needs to find the right buyer. Criteria include upholding the company’s values through high-quality products, relationships with customers and participation in the state’s food economy. Send inquiries to daniel@humblepiepvd.com.