The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news.
By Jamie Coelho and Samantha Labrecque
On Wednesday, June 21, join Blackstone Culinaria at Monte Cara for a culinary tour to the Cape Verde islands! Leyanne Oliveira, co-owner of Monte Cara, will share information about the Cape Verde islands, and how they bring an authentic taste of Cape Verdean culture to their Rhode Island restaurant. The event will feature two Cape Verdean delicacies — a grilled chicken dinner with rice and french fries or simmered cod fish with eggs, potato and rice as well as a salad. Tickets are $22 per person. For reservations, call 401-724-2200 or book online here.
Feeling like Picasso? Pick up your paintbrush and join Nikki’s Liquors for a stroke-by-stroke painting lesson where no painting experience is necessary. The beer and fine wine and spirits store is hosting a paint and vino night where guests will paint a wine bottle to take home with them while having a tasting with light fare foods. The event starts at 7 p.m. and limited space is available. The cost for paint and vino is $35 per person and reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, visit nikkisliquors.com/index.html.
Shop at all Rhode Island Whole Foods locations today as Hope and Main will be the grateful recipient of Whole Foods’ 5% Day, during which 5 percent of the day’s net profits will be donated to the organization.
The Black Pear in Barrington is hosting a Community Wine Dinner at 6 p.m. with Grapes and Grains and service by Decadent Catering. The four-course meal includes chilled lobster served with grilled corn, cucumber and jumbo asparagus; pan-seared scallops with avocado mousse and heirloom tomato; prosciutto-encrusted lamb rack served over black truffle potato hash and pickled baby carrots and a seasonal tart for dessert. The cost is $75 per person with tax and gratuity included. Call 401-337-5895 for reservations.
Join the Ocean House in Watch Hill for a Lobster Boil and Barbecue on June 23 from 6–9 p.m. Crack open your lobster claws over a backdrop of spectacular views of the Atlantic as you have a quintessential summer evening by the ocean. This perfect New England tradition to start with your family costs $110 per adult and $55 per child. For more information and to save your seat, click here.
The Federal Hill Commerce Association is hosting the Federal Hill Summer Festival June 23–25. It has been decades since a second festival has taken place on the hill. The Summer Festival will showcase the neighborhood’s restaurants, shops and dozens of food and retail vendors, games and amusement rides. The festival begins on Fri., June 23 through Sun., June 25 from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. each day. The entertainment lineup will have four entertainment stages daily offering various performances. On Sunday, parishioners from the Catholic diocese will honor Saint Joseph with a procession at noon. Atwells Avenue will be closed from Dean to Sutton Streets for the entire festival. For more information, visit federalhillprov.com.
On Saturday, June 24, join Alex and Ani and Roger Williams Park Zoo for Feast with the Beasts! Have the wildest time dancing the night away while you listen to live music, grab a bite to eat from the area’s best restaurants, caterers and bars or watch an enchanting performance from Ten31 Productions. The event will also feature live meet-and-greets with some of the zoo’s education animals, as well as a wine and beer bottle bazaar where guests can purchase a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer for $30. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Attached to the purchase is a gift card worth $25 or more for future use at local restaurants, tickets to local attractions and spa treatments. You must be twenty-one or older to attend. This event takes place from 7–11 p.m. General admission tickets are on sale here for $125.
Bring your pooch to Providence Animal Rescue League for an afternoon of Pints for Paws! Enjoy some cold brews from several local breweries including Revival Brewing, Foolproof, Narragansett Beer, Smuttynose and more while you hang out with other beer lovers and their dogs. The event will showcase a block party with food trucks, live music, a doggie pool for your best pal and even the opportunity to microchip your pup for $20. Tickets for the event cost $25 and all proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Providence Animal Rescue League to support programs that help animals in need. To register for this event, click here.
Italian Food Artisans from Providence is hosting a presentation-tasting event of four new Italian food companies and their respective products at Chef Walter’s Cooking School on 286 Atwells Ave. on Federal Hill in Providence. The free tasting takes place from 6–8 p.m. Reserve your spot by calling 401-273-2652.
Eat Drink RI is organizing a series of exclusive culinary experiences showcasing the bounty of summer in the Ocean State. Each night, from June 30 to July 3, Eat Drink RI will partner with Blackbird Farm beef and pork farm in Smithfield for open-air explorations. Relax with an adult beverage and wander the idyllic farm pastures with a personal tour by farmer/owner Ann Marie Bouthillette. After the tour, enjoy a cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a multi-course seated dinner with friends, paired with wine and beer by Jonathan Edwards Winery and Revival Brewing Company. Special guest chefs include: Antonio Franco of Basta, Chris Kleyla of Statesman Tavern, Maria Meza of El Rancho Grande, Nick Rabar of Avenue N American Kitchen, Ashley Vanasse of Easy Entertaining and Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway, with more to come. Tickets are on sale here for $139 per guest, all-inclusive. Follow Eat Drink RI on Facebook and Instagram for photos and more information.
Everyone will have a fun-filled Fourth of July at Top of Newport, Hotel Viking’s rooftop bar and kitchen. On July 4, for $149 per person, guests will enjoy a feast with New England steamed lobster and clams, slow-roasted pork shoulder, a full raw bar, live music and a view of the Fort Adams fireworks from the rooftop of Hotel Viking. The event is from 5–10 p.m. Beverages are additional. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 401-848-4874, or book online.
Blackstone Culinaria and the Pawtucket Red Sox are hosting a behind the scenes tour of McCoy Stadium on Sat., July 8. Guests will meet executive chef Robert Gemma for an insider’s look at the PawSox players’ favorite meals, and they will also have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session about food service at the ballpark. The tour will conclude with a ball park lunch. Tickets are $22 per person. For reservations, call 401-724-2200 or book online here.
Providence is one of the nation’s hottest culinary destinations. Find out what the fuss is all about during Providence Restaurant Weeks. Choose from mouthwatering menus at nearly 100 restaurants. Enjoy three-course lunches at $16.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials. Take a peek at the menus.
Throughout July and August, experience Cocktail Wars at various locations in Newport. Sip your way around the city at competitions every Sunday from noon to 2 p.m., at locations like Christie’s, Hotel Viking, the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel and more. For additional information, visit cocktailwarsnewport.com.
The biggest ice cream celebration is back, RI Food Fight’s sixth annual Ice Cream Throwdown. For $20, guests can sample from the best ice cream vendors in Rhode Island and enjoy Yacht Club Soda and New Harvest Coffee Roasters iced coffee. The sell-out event will be held outdoors, rain or shine, at the Rhode Island Eye Institute at 150 East Manning St. in Providence from 1–4 p.m. Competitors include Lincoln Creamery, Warwick Ice Cream Co., Julians, Frosty Freez, SUNDAES, Mike’s Ice, Pompelmo Gelato, Rogue Island Local Kitchen and Bar, Newport Creamery and more. Buy tickets here.
Blackstone Culinaria is partnering with Crepe Corner, a new European-style cafe in Greenville for a presentation of crepe-making by owner Natacha Legein. The food served will consist of “Vol Au Vent,” a crepe stuffed with chicken, mushrooms and a special sauce, as well as the house special, “the Corner Crepe,” a sweet treat that is filled with a gingerbread paste and topped with salted caramel. Tickets for this event are $22 per person. For reservations, call 401-724-2200 or book online here.
7/24 and 7/25 and 8/21 and 8/22
Join Eat Drink RI for the pond-to-plate Matunuck Oyster Farm dinner series in South Kingstown. This experience begins with a personalized boat tour of the seven-acre shellfish farm in breathtaking Potter Pond with owner Perry Raso and an on-the-water raw bar with fresh oysters harvested directly from the pond. After the tour, enjoy dinner paired with wines by The Wine Bros. in Matunuck’s lush, organic vegetable farm, overlooking the coastal lagoon. Tickets are on sale here for $189 per guest, all-inclusive. Follow Eat Drink RI on Facebook and Instagram for photos and more information.
Get ready for a fun-filled weekend with Charlestown’s Seafood Festival. The festival will showcase continuous entertainment and events all weekend long with an array of arts and crafts available for purchase, amusement park rides the whole family will love and even a rock climbing wall, if you are feeling adventurous! Several types of food will be provided, including a multitude of Rhode Island’s best seafood such as lobster, chowder, fish and chips and a raw bar. Live music and bands will perform daily and a car show will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m. Admission to the seafood festival is $9 for adults, and children ages ten and younger are free. This event will take place rain or shine. For hours and more information click here.
Join Blackstone Culinaria on Wed., August 9, at Festival Pier at 100 Tim Healey Way in Pawtucket to enjoy some of Mickey G’s clam cakes and chowder. After lunch and a cold drink, hop aboard the Explorer riverboat for both a scenic and informative tour along the Pawtucket River. Tickets for this event are $22 per person. For reservations, call 401-724-2200 or book online here.
Join Farm Fresh Rhode Island at Castle Hill Inn for the Local Food Fest, a night celebrating Rhode Island fishermen, farmers, chefs and food artisans. This tasting event will feature local growers paired with chefs from the best restaurants all around Rhode Island outdoors under a tent at Castle Hill Inn. Try delicious dishes while listening to live music as you overlook the breathtaking water views of Newport. Tickets start at $125 per person and include food and a choice of either local beer or wine. Children younger than twelve are free. The event benefits the programs of Farm Fresh Rhode Island through a silent auction and raffle and will start at 5 p.m. for regular admission. For more information, visit farmfreshri.org/about/localfoodfest.php.
Have you ever wanted to travel to the Mediterranean to experience Greek culture and its history? Or have you ever drooled over the thought of being served authentic Greek cuisine? Well Pawtucket’s annual Grecian festival is serving up some delicious dishes such as roasted lamb, gyros, kabobs and much more. The event will feature Greek Pride dancers as well as an indoor and outdoor Greek Agora, or marketplace. Greek pastries will also be available for purchase, so grab some baklava and enjoy the Grecian atmosphere at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. Opa! For festival hours and more information click here.
Looking for a restaurant with a view? Well look no further — Blackstone Culinaria and Tavern on the Water in Smithfield are partnering together on Wed.y, August 23, to offer a delicious meal prepared tableside by the Reservoir. This new American restaurant will be serving its most popular dish, pasta jambalaya with penne pasta, shrimp, chourico and chicken in a Cajun cream sauce. Tickets for this event are $22 per person. For reservations, call 401-724-2200 or book online here.
Eating with the Ecosystem is partnering with Eat Drink RI to present a series of educational dinners at local restaurants to promote their mission of creating a place based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood. These upscale, seasonal dinners will be fundraisers for their Scales and Tales Mobile Food Boat program. The second dinner takes place August 29 with chef Derek Wagner at Nicks on Broadway in Providence. The menu includes seasonal and abundant local seafood, followed by an educational component. Each dinner is $90 per guest, all inclusive, and begins at 6 p.m. with a welcome cocktail reception, followed by a multi-course seated dinner with drinks. To purchase tickets, visit eatdrinkri.com/scalesandtales. The Scales and Tales Mobile Food Boat is a skiff (a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat) that the team is converting into a mobile education platform, complete with a cooking demo station to inform consumers about local seafood, fisheries and ecosystems.
Eating with the Ecosystem is partnering with Eat Drink RI to present a series of educational dinners at local restaurants to promote their mission of creating a place based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood. These upscale, seasonal dinners will be fundraisers for their Scales and Tales Mobile Food Boat program. The third dinner takes place on Monday, October 23 with chef Ashley Vanasse at Easy Entertaining in Providence. The menu includes seasonal and abundant local seafood, followed by an educational component. Each dinner is $90 per guest, all inclusive, and begins at 6 p.m. with a welcome cocktail reception, followed by a multi-course seated dinner with drinks. To purchase tickets, visit eatdrinkri.com/scalesandtales. The Scales and Tales Mobile Food Boat is a skiff (a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat) that the team is converting into a mobile education platform, complete with a cooking demo station to inform consumers about local seafood, fisheries and ecosystems.
Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga will lead a group of guests on an adventure for the appetite on the third culinary cruise, On this ten-day voyage, there will be stops in the Greek Islands, Croatia and coastal cities in Italy. There is also the option of a three-night stay in Sicily, where chef Varga will craft a culinary history lesson about one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. For more information, click here or contact Lori Seeley of Innovative Travel Concepts at 941-312-2584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chomp Kitchen and Drinks in Warren and Statesman Tavern in Bristol are both participating in the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project that runs through the end of July. Chomp is serving the High Morels Burger with a blended mushroom and brisket patty, maple peppercorn bacon, smoked garlic aioli, cured tomato, beach mushrooms and red oak lettuce. Statesman is doing the double mushroom cheeseburger with a blended mushroom and beef patty, Grafton truffle cheddar cheese, pickled green tomatoes, hot sauce aioli, pickled mustard seeds and baby scallions on a homemade toasted brioche bun.
Blackbird Farm in Smithfield hosts a local farmers market at its farm stand every Friday evening from 4−7 p.m. where you can purchase local foods, all while supporting the local food economy. The market will run every week through October 27, weather permitting. Vendors in attendance include Blackbird Farm, Harris Farm, Hickory Hill Farm, Open Season, Providence Kettle Corn, Rachyl’s Goat Milk Soap, the Farm in Rhode Island and We Be Jammin’ and Blooming Buddies. A variety of products will also be offered, which in include, but are not limited to, beef, pork, eggs, jams and jellies, herbs and plants. Call 401-232-2495 for more information.
The Hotel Viking‘s Top Newport and One Bellevue’s patios are now open for the season with tons of dining specials available each day of the week. Top of Newport is an al fresco rooftop restaurant and bar with views of Newport Harbor. Weekly specials include craft beer and burger night on Mondays for $11.99, Taco-Rita Tuesday (tacos paired with a margarita for $11.99), Wednesday’s Spirits and Stogies three-course dinner, Half-Price Raw Bar on Fridays from 2-6 p.m. and a Sunday Bloody Mary Bar. For details on all of these specials and more info about One Bellevue, click here.
PVD Food Truck events welcomes the return of the signature event, Food Truck Fridays at Roger Williams Park Carousel Village in Providence. This weekly occurrence is every Friday from 5–8 p.m., and it has become uber popular for families and foodies alike who enjoy ordering fare from more than a dozen area food trucks and food carts. Food Truck Fridays are hosted by Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village.
The owners of Evelyn’s Drive-In in Tiverton are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary running the iconic Tiverton seafood restaurant. Now that they are open for the season, they will run special prices on classic shore dishes. All summer long, you can order fish and chips for $10.99 on Mondays, $5 chowder and clam cakes Monday through Thursday and $30 dinners for two on Wednesdays. There will also be an anniversary bash in June. You can even dock your boat there for a bite to eat. Call 401-624-3100 for more information.
Chapel Grille in Cranston brought back its Hometown Advantage promotion. Each week, they are promoting three to four of Rhode Island’s cities and towns through September. For up to four guests, a resident of that week’s city or town will save 25 percent on their food bill. This week, they’re celebrating Woonsocket, Cumberland and Smithfield. The full schedule is available on Chapel Grille’s website.
Trattoria Zooma in Providence is offering affordable lunch and dinner specials during the week. For lunch, enjoy three “fresh and fast” courses for $15.95 from 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Later in the evening, enjoy dinner for two and a bottle of wine for $35. The dinner special is available Monday through Thursday from 4–7 p.m. Call 401-383-2002 for reservations.
Narragansett Cafe in Jamestown hosts Italian Night every Wednesday from 5–9 p.m. when you can enjoy dinner for two with a bottle of wine for only $24.95. Don’t miss the Blues, Bloodies and Brunch series every Sunday from 1–4 p.m.
Tio Mateo’s in East Greenwich is offering several weekday dining deals, including three tacos and a craft beer for $13 on Taco Tuesdays, and a bottle of wine and fajitas for two for $30 on Wine and Dine Wednesdays.
22 Bowen’s Wine Bar and Grille in Newport is offering a three-course prix fixe Tavern Tasting Menu for $35 per person, available Sun.–Fri. Options include a field greens salad, Caesar salad or clam chowder for a starter; redfish, tagliatelle Bolognese, pork tenderloin or New York sirloin ($15 extra) for an entree; and apple spice cake or German chocolate cake for dessert. Add a bottle of wine for $25. For more information or reservations, call 401-841-8884 or visit 22bowens.com.
Join Ella’s Fine Food and Drink for Whimsical Weekdays. Tues.–Fri. from 4–6 p.m. in the lounge and 5–6 p.m. in the dining room, guests can enjoy Ella’s entire menu for half off. Head over to Ella’s, located at 2 Tower St., Westerly, for this special deal.
Back by popular demand, Fluke Wine, Bar and Kitchen in Newport is offering the Cheap Skate deal. Enjoy fresh, local skate prepared as fish and chips or steak frites every Monday and Tuesday for just $15.
OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES
The owner of Bottles Fine Wine has soft-opened a new restaurant and whiskey bar in Fox Point called the East End. It is located in the former Z Bar and Grille space on the corner of Wickenden and Brook streets, and it serves tiki drinks and bistro fare, and has wonderful whiskey and wine lists and an outdoor patio.
Vanuatu Coffee Roasters has re-opened on Federal Hill under a new management team. It will serve the same great coffee and an expanded menu including pastries, waffles, sandwiches and wraps. Check out the Facebook page for hours.
Harry’s Bar and Burger opened its fourth location in Newport. Taking over the former Tallulah on Thames space at 464 Thames St., the restaurant will serve its sliders made from freshly ground certified Hereford beef and its extensive craft beer list. The Newport location will host its popular “Hoppy Hour,” which is also a staple of the Providence locations. Every day, from 3-5 p.m., all burgers are half-off with the purchase of a drink, dine-in only.
Merienda Tapas, Cicchetti and Wine Bar is a new restaurant in Warren’s waterfront district, serving a Spanish-centered selection of small plates and an international wine list.
Pastaio Italian restaurant is now open at 9 Parade Street in Providence, serving housemade pastas, Italian small plates and larger entrees.
Check out Thailand Modern Eatery at 292 Atwells Ave. on Federal Hill, a BYOB restaurant serving Thai food for lunch and dinner. Every Monday in June, the restaurant will also be doing popup dinners at Vinya Test Kitchen on Westminster Street. Cash only. See the menu here.
Jahunger is a new restaurant at 333 Wickenden St., where Abyssinia used to be. The restaurant serves hand-pulled noodles and Uighur Cuisine .
Sin Bakery has opened on the West Side of Providence at 1413 Westminster St., serving desserts, pastries, sticky buns, a full coffee menu and more.
Providence Pie Company has launched a business selling mini and large handcrafted pies made from scratch using the freshest, local ingredients. Varieties include key lime, strawberry rhubarb crumble, chocolate cherry, s’mores and many more. Find them at the Saturday farmers market at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley in Woonsocket from noon-4 p.m.
Anchor Toffee now has a storefront at 8 Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. The shop is selling almond butter toffee made with almonds, sweet cream butter, pure sugar, salt and dark chocolate.
4Corners Coffee opened at 63 Airport Rd. in Warwick, serving square donuts, nitro coffee, pastries and breakfast all day until 6 p.m.
The Black Sheep opened at 397 Westminster St. in Providence at the former Celtic Lounge and Finnegan’s location. It is from the same owners as the Brass Monkey and the menu includes great cocktails and craft beers.
Harbor Lights opened its al fresco restaurant, Par and Tackle, on scenic Warwick Neck. The spring season kicks off Tues.–Sun. for lunch and dinner. In the coming weeks, brunch will be launched as well as a weekly entertainment schedule.
After an extensive renovation, Tel Aviv has opened with al fresco dining in the courtyard and on the patio, as well a brand-new deck on the second floor of the building at 25 Bridge St. in Providence. The restaurant and bar offers views of the Providence skyline as well as the Providence River, and the menu features seafood with some Mediterranean influences. Tel Aviv serves lunch and dinner seven days a week as well as Sunday brunch. Valet parking is available for dinner and brunch, and live entertainment will be announced soon. Tel Aviv also offers a stocked humidor and cigar lounge.
GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ, based in Cumberland, is poised to take home yet another award in Mobile Cuisine’s national Best Food Truck BBQ contest. Their authentic wood-smoked barbecue is served up on two food trucks, a BBQ trailer and a mobile smoker, as well as two brick and mortar locations, and a successful catering business. After placing third in the annual contest three years in a row, GottaQ is ready to bring the top prize home to Little Rhody. The gang kindly asks for your support! This poll will wrap up on Fri., June 16, 2017 at 9:59 p.m. Fans can vote daily here.
Laughing Gorilla Catering has a new bricks and mortar home for its restaurant. After temporarily taking over the Kitchen space while its owner recovered from illness, chef Jason Timothy, partner Sean Larkin and crew will be moving into the former Bocado space in Olneyville. While they renovate the place, they will launch popup patio events at the location, and cover festivals and other events around town. (Photo at right by Sean Larkin).
VURRITO is coming soon to Rhode Island! The business will be Rhode Island’s first Mexican-inspired, whole-food, plant-based, food truck sourcing fresh, local and 100 percent vegan ingredients. VURRITO will be launching a crowdfunding campaign via INDIEGOGO on June 20, 2017 to help raise $10,000 for the down payment on a food truck. It intends to be up and running by August 2017.
Frisky Fries will soon open a second storefront in downtown Providence on the corner of Washington and Mathewson streets.
Bayberry Beer Hall is coming soon to the West Side of Providence. The focus is on American craft beer, locally sourced casual dining and a warm, welcoming communal atmosphere. The menu will change frequently, but there will be shared charcuterie boards, sausage sandwiches, housemade pretzels and mussels with crusty bread. Read all about it here.
The plant-based, fast-casual brand by Chloe. will open its first Rhode Island location by summer of 2017 at 223 Thayer St. in Providence. The menu is free of meat, dairy and egg products, as well as of saturated animal fat, added preservatives and artificial flavors. Visit eatbychloe.com or follow @eatbychloe for more information.
Sydney Providence has broken ground on a sister restaurant called Quay, which will open this summer on the Riverwalk. Follow it on Facebook for details.
Johnny Rockets diner on Thayer Street has closed.
Nice Slice Pizzeria, which was located on Thayer Street since 2005, has moved to the West Side of Providence at 767 Westminster St. Read more about the move here.
The Food4Good food truck provides free, healthy meals to those in need from its mobile soup kitchen. One of the ways they fundraise is by using the truck to sell menu items to the public at food truck events around Rhode Island and at private events (hire them!). Follow Food4Good on Facebook to see where the F4G food truck will be since the schedule changes when new opportunities pop up.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced access to prime shellfishing areas has been expanded under the Department’s annual shellfish harvesting reclassification. Among the changes, restrictions on portions of Upper Narragansett Bay – in place for the last seventy years – will be lifted; all of Cormorant Cove on Block Island will be open to shellfishing for the first time in a decade; and the seasonal closure of Greenwich Bay will be eliminated.
Executive chef Rachel Klein is joining Red Stripe. Her accolades include two Esquire “Best New Restaurants in America” awards for Lot 401 and Om, Boston’s “Best New Chef” awards from Boston Globe and Boston magazine, as well as an appearance on the TV Food Network’s “Chopped.” Chef Klein’s ties to Encore Hospitality go back fifteen years, when she was the chef de cuisine at XO Cafe as Mill’s Tavern was opening next door.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), along with its partners awarded more than $200,000 to twenty-one local food businesses as part of its annual Agriculture “Ag” Day celebration at the State House. The awards, funded under the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grant program, help new and existing small businesses and food initiatives prosper in Rhode Island.