Diner’s Update

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

By Jamie Coelho, Samantha Labrecque and Stephanie Morales

October-November 2017

Through 12/17

The Arcade Farmers and Artisans Market is back for a second season on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through December 17. The market is free and family-friendly, and parking is also free downtown on Sundays. The markets this season will have maple syrup, honey, produce, local eggs and meats, vintage clothing, records, books, art, soap and bath products, herbs, cocktail syrups, cotton candy, baked goods (pie!, cupcakes, donuts, rugelah, cookies, bread, flowers and plants, holiday items, jewelry, candles and more.


Join Chomp Kitchen and Drinks for thethird annual Hops for the Holidays. Chomp is partnering with Lagunitas Brewing Company and Left Hand Brewing and is encouraging those who attend to bring in a new toy donation to receive a complimentary pint of beer. Anyone wearing their ugliest holiday sweater will be entered for a chance to win great prizes. For additional information, visit chompri.com.

12/6 and 12/13

Harvest Kitchen Café and Corner Store is hosting Palm’s Catering on Dec. 6 and Mei Mei on Dec. 13 for free cooking demonstrations. Learn new recipes that use local ingredients that you can take home and cook for your family! Visit farmfreshri.org to learn more.


Join Newport Vineyards executive chef Andy Teixeira and Willa Van Nostrand from Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails on Dec. 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to make your spirits a little bit brighter this holiday season. Guests will have the opportunity to make specialty cocktails and yummy truffles and will also receive a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase in the marketplace that evening. Cap off the night dining at Brix in front of the cozy fireplace. Tickets cost $42 and can be bought here.


Sip ‘n’ shop your way around Newport’s OceanCliff Resort for a fun-filled evening of sipping cocktails, shopping local for everyone on your holiday shopping list and supporting small, local Rhode Island businesses. Shoppers can enjoy complimentary passed champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The event runs from 5–8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Click here for additional information.


Foolproof Brewing Company of Pawtucket is partnering with Mount Snow Resort in Vermont to launch a new limited edition beer called Yahd Sale India Pale Ale. The ale will be available exclusively on draft at several locations across Mount Snow, including Station Tap Room, 1900’ Burger and the Bullwheel. To launch the partnership, Foolproof and Mount Snow will be hosting a five-course beer dinner on Fri. Dec. 8 from 7–10 p.m. Foolproof will also hold a promotional event at Station Tap Room on Sat., Dec. 9, from noon–6 p.m. to officially launch the beer to the general public. For additional information, visit foolproofbrewing.com or mountsnow.com.


Warm up for the holidays at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth. Enjoy live jazz music at the last of the weekly jazz tastings of 2017, drink mulled wine and sip the recently released splits of their 2014 Chardonnay. Food trucks will be on site in the afternoon and if the weather is nice, a bonfire will be ablaze. Jazz tastings are $15 per person and include seven wine pours. To listen to the music without the wine costs $3 and case club members and children are free. Visit greenvale.com for more.


The Food Bank’s annual Holiday Open House is Dec. 9 from 9 a.m.– noon. This free, family-friendly event will include Food Bank tours, nutrition education demos and recipe samples, activities for the kids, live music and holiday refreshments. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of food or funds to feed our neighbors in need for the holiday season and winter ahead. Click here to learn more.


Visit the Hotel Viking in Newport for Brunch with Santa on Sun, Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Santa will be hosting a very special brunch in Bellevue Ballroom. The price is $16 per child, for ages six to twelve, and free for children younger than six years old. $32 per adult. Tax and gratuity is additional. For more information, visit hotelviking.com or call 401-847-3300.


XO Cafe opened in Providence in 1997 and now it’s celebrating its twentieth anniversary with a throwback anniversary menu with prices from 1997 for one week. The restaurant is bringing back the dishes that earned accolades, including the Bento Box, Duck Ménage à Trois, XO Filet and the chocolate wrapped cheesecake created by past chefs, Jules Ramos, Nick Rabar, Ben Lloyd, Eric Rolling, Rachel Klein and Marty Lyons. For more details, go to xocafe.com.


Celebrate the holidays in a big way with little effort at Harbor Lights annual Big Little Party at the beautiful Warwick Neck location. This annual holiday event is designed to help celebrate the holidays in a big way with little effort. “Every year we get inquires on how companies, coworkers or even friends could celebrate without breaking the holiday bank, and this is our way making that happen,” says Maggie Longo, director of operations for Harbor Lights. A cocktail hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and dancing until 11:30 p.m. Chef Ray Fiske has created a menu including a holiday buffet of Maryland blue crab ravioli, green beans with fresh herbs and butter, roasted vegetables, herb-crusted prime rib of beef and much more. A selection of holiday pastries, tea and coffee will also be available. Tickets cost $49 per guest, not including tax and gratuity. To make a reservation, call 401-737–6353 ext. 3 or click here.


Join Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket at the annual Barrel Reserve Night and fifth anniversary party. For $35 per person, guests can sample this year’s beer lineup, including Foolproof’s Fifth Anniversary Barley Wine, vanilla espresso raincloud porter, SO(u)L Fermented Russian Imperial Stout, Whiskey Barrel-Aged Braggot and Pirate’s Dream Rum Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, as well as Foolproof’s regular year-round and seasonal beer offerings. Additionally, the first 150 ticket-purchasers will receive a one-time specialty glass to commemorate the event. A selection of local food artisans will be in attendance, including Walrus and Carpenter Oysters, Rocket Street Food Truck, Narragansett Creamery and D’Licious Desserts. The event takes place from 7–10 p.m. and all attendees must be twenty-one and older. Click here to purchase tickets.


Join Hotel Viking in Newport and the award-winning Seekonk Dance Center Elite Team for the Nutcracker Tea and Night Before Christmas Reading by Mr. and Mrs. Claus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The dance team will perform original choreography and pieces from the classic Nutcracker, and an assortment of teas, cakes and treats will be served during the performance. Children will also have the opportunity to take a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and listen to them read the Night before Christmas. The event costs $50 per adult and $35 per child under the age of twelve. For more information, visit hotelviking.com or call 401-847-3300.


A special reception with complimentary beverages and snacks will be held in the Thames Ballroom at Hotel Viking in Newport. Drop off a donation between 6–8 p.m. and receive a One Bellevue dining voucher. The donations will benefit the Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties.


On Christmas Day, from 1–8 p.m., One Bellevue at the Hotel Viking will serve a flavorful four-course tasting menu blending traditional and modern dishes, including wild mushroom and leek soup, charred onion bisque, grilled filet mignon and baked stuffed lobster tail and a flourless chocolate torte for dessert. Dinner costs $79 per person. Tax and gratuity are not included. For more information, visit hotelviking.com or call 401-847-3300.


Join One Bellevue starting at 7 p.m. to ring in the New Year. A four course prix fix menu will be provided for $115 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required. Call 401-848-4824 to reserve your spot.


Looking for the perfect gift for an amateur cook? Give the gift of a day in the kitchen at Pot au Feu in Providence. The day long cooking class runs from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and is all-inclusive. The $495 class includes personal instruction, a professional chef’s coat, lunch, a wine seminar and tasting and a five-course gourmet graduation dinner for four. For more information or to register for the class, click here.


Tickets for the Rhode Island Brew Fest are now on sale. The event, held at the Pawtucket Armory, is in its sixth year and features local and regional breweries from across the northeast. More than twenty breweries have joined so far, with more signing up each week. The beer festival will have two, three-hour sampling sessions from 1 to 4 p.m and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All beer samples are included in session tickets. Each session will also feature local vendors and a food court curated by McGrath Clambakes. The Rhode Island Brew Fest supports the attending brewers by purchasing all of their product at the festival, and a portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Rhode Island Brewers Guild. Tickets are $50 per person, plus fees.


Taylor Hicks at the Calamari Festival in Narragansett.

Don’t miss the award-winning culinary travel series, “State Plate,” airing on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. as it features some of Rhody’s most historic, famous and tastiest foods. Hosted by entertainer Taylor Hicks, follow along as he tastes his way across the United States to the places that we call home. Hicks visits the towns of Barrington, Warren, Narragansett and West Kingston to fill his plate with delicious food. For more information, click here.


Local businesses, The Savory Grape and The Savory Affair have launched a premier Long Island Wine Country tour to cater to inspired traveling wine enthusiasts. Rhode Islanders now have the chance to partake in a personalized, behind-the-scenes gourmet wine experience in Long Island’s coveted North Fork area. Participants of the savory experience in Long Island will encounter a memorable boutique-styled tour during which they will sip, savor and socialize with the area’s elite winemakers, chefs and personal guides, with The Savory Grape and The Savory Affair’s founder and proprietor, Jessica Granatiero, and Food and Wine Educator, Tulay Lawton. This one-of a-kind trip is limited to a maximum of twelve to fourteen guests to maintain intimacy. The trip cost is $1,345 per person, double occupancy before Nov. 1. After Nov. 1, the cost is $1,395. Reservations will be accepted through January 30, 2018. To book a reservation, contact Tulay Lawton at tulay@thesavorygrape.com.



Narragansett Beer and Sons of Liberty Spirits Company are teaming up to create a hop-flavored limited edition whiskey that is made from Narragansett’s Lovecraft I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale beer. Aged in ten-gallon newly charred American Oak barrels, the whiskey presents a floral nose and mild sweetness up front followed by rich nutty caramel and subtle vanilla flavors. With only 1,400 bottles produced, the 43 percent ABV whiskey will be available for purchase from select retail locations throughout Rhode Island and the Sons of Liberty tasting room in South Kingstown. For more information about the whiskey visit narragansettbeer.com or solspirits.com.

Looking for a beautiful spot to host your holiday event? Quay, a Mediterranean small plates restaurant with full bar directly on the river at Waterplace Park, is accepting reservations for corporate and personal events for up to fifty guests. Visit quaypvd.com/events to discuss your party.

Mill’s Tavern is hosting holiday lunches for ten or more people for seatings on Monday, Dec. 11 through Friday, Dec. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. Make a reservation by calling 401-272-3331.

Ella’s in Westerly offers a two-course pre-fixe menu for $25 per person. Choose from appetizers like pate, the dynamite oyster, a mixed greens salad and cavatelli, and entrees like squid arrabiata, pan-seared flounder, shrimp tempura and momma’s chicken. For reservations, call 401-315-0606.

Help support Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria relief effort at Matunuck Oyster Bar for during Margaritas for Maria. The restaurant will donate $10 for every margarita sold now through the end of November.

Gurney’s Newport is offering a few specials for the season: Scarpetta has a pre-fixe menu for $35 that’s available from Sunday to Thursday, in addition to the a la carte menu. Choose from a primi piatti like creamy polenta or tuna ‘sushi,’ secondi like housemade tagliolini or branzino, and dolce such as warm banana bread or coconut panna cotta. Regent Cocktail Club, which boasts indoor seating in addition to a three-tiered outdoor deck with eleven fire pits, is offering $1 oysters and  50 percent off small plates/appetizers (excluding raw bar) with a drink Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy the sunset right over the famed Newport Bridge.

Join Chair 5 at the Break Hotel in Narragansett for specials all week long! Every day from 4–6 p.m., enjoy buck-a-shuck on the rooftop or enjoy appy hour, five appetizers for $5. Wine Wednesdays is available from 6–7 p.m. Enjoy three wines with a common factor (producer, varietal or region) and munch on a small bite to accompany each selected wine. Beginning Oct. 12, celebrate southern cuisine, country music and well-crafted specialty cocktails from Sons of Liberty Spirit Company every Thursday night. Visit dinechair5.com for additional information.

Massimo has new beverage and menu selections on the brunch menu, which is available every Sunday from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Choices range from lobster crepes and pork belly with fontina polenta to brioche French toast with strawberries and mascarpone. Don’t miss the Drag Brunch on the first Sunday of each month in the upstairs dining room from noon–2 p.m.



Narragansett Beer released a very limited-edition Holiday Ale that will only be available in Rhode Island to celebrate the holiday season. The festive brew is a dark amber ale that blends Two-Row and Cara Bohemian malts and is balanced with an array of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and orange peel. The ale will be available only at retail stores throughout Rhode Island in four-packs priced at $10.99–$11.99. More information can be found here.

Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport is now offering a late night menu from 10:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. every night. The menu features appetizers such as cheesy garlic bread and French onion soup, main dishes including poutine, braised pork and chili Verde, moules frites and a half-dozen wood-fried shrimp dish. Desserts include artisanal cheeses and hazelnut milk chocolate mousse and salted caramel. View the menu.

Erms Cupckaes is a cupcake truck that looks like – what else? – a cupcake. Follow the Facebook page for locations and information about birthday parties and other catering needs.

Frisky Fries has opened its second storefront in downtown Providence on the corner of Washington and Mathewson streets.  Stay up to date on its Facebook page.

Dune Brothers Seafood serves clam cakes and chowder and fish and chips at a new outdoor space called the Shack. The Shack space is a partnership led by the owners of the Shop, a coffee shop and cafe in Fox Point, and team members include Dune Brothers Seafood, Design Under Sky and Stay Silent PVD. Read more here.

The Elephant Room has officially changed its name to Schasteâ. The creperie and tea room is located in Pawtuxet Village, and its name means happiness, an experience of lighthearted contentment or joy.

Narragansett Beer’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout is back and it looks a bit different this time. It’s now packaged in bright red and yellow cans inspired by Autocrat Coffee packaging, and it’s the first year that the original Hi Neighbor Mash-Up beer is brewed at the Narragansett Brewery at the Guild in Pawtucket.

Newport Storm’s annual release is finally here! Since 2000, each annual release has been a “most extreme beer” that doesn’t fit a particular style. This year’s release is inspired by German lagers and the technical traditions German brewers use to make them. After a long and cold fermentation using a Bavarian lager yeast strain, this annual release settled in at 11 percent ABV. Only 3,000 bottles have been produced and will be distributed throughout Rhode Island in the coming week ahead. For more information and details on where the 2017 release can be found, visit newportstorm.com.

The beloved north has closed its popular West Side space, and officially opened in the Dean Hotel. James Mark plans to open something new in the old space in the future. Guests can now enjoy a bigger north in downtown Providence. Read more about the transition here.

Quay, a coastal Mediterranean small-plates restaurant with a full bar and an extensive list of wines by the glass, has opened on the riverwalk at Waterplace Park at 200 Exchange Street. A sister restaurant to Sydney cafe, Quay is a beautiful setting for cocktails, dinner, weekend brunch or private events, with complimentary valet parking at the Waterplace entry plaza. Dinner and drinks Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m.; Happy Hour at the bar Tuesday through Friday 5 to 7 p.m.; brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m to 2:30 p.m.  Visit quaypvd.com and instagram.com/quaypvd.

Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer has released its first seasonal product with Farmer Willie’s Extra Ginger.  Available through the fall and winter, each batch is made with over two tons of fresh ginger for extra spice during the cool-weather months. The brand was recently selected for the acclaimed Chobani Food Incubator program, and its brewing operations were recently moved to The Guild brewery in Pawtucket. The new seasonal release is naturally gluten free with four times less sugar than other ginger beers. It is currently available in four-packs of twelve-ounce cans for $8.99 and on draft at select restaurants and bars throughout Metro Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the South and North Shores of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For more information, visit thefarmerwillies.com.


Laughing Gorilla Catering’s new bricks and mortar home, Troop, has soft-opened in the Olneyville section of Providence. Chef Jason Timothy and Revival brewer Sean Larkin and crew have moved into the former Bocado space, serving tacos, banh mi, comfort food and more in a casual chill atmosphere with a skater vibe. Keep tabs on its Facebook page.



Aurora in downtown Providence has closed its doors. From the Facebook page: “This wonderful space that has previously housed The Black Rep and Roots Cafe has under Aurora’s tenure been a vibrant venue for creative expression and community interactions. It’s provided a destination for live music, DJ’s, up and coming music producers, hip hop, rock n roll, salsa and Latin dance, jazz, film screenings, analytical discussions and panels, a bona fide independent theater company, community organizations, delicious craft cocktails, and even the occasional wedding! We’ve seen Aurora flourish over these past three and a half years because of those who came to share their experiences and talents in the space. We would like to thank all of our incredible patrons, performers and staff for the great energy that they brought into this space. We plan to celebrate each remaining day with our programming partners, friends and family.”




Eat Drink RI surpassed its $119,000 funding goal for its Kickstarter campaign to open Providence’s first communal dining space and food hall, the West Park Food Hall. The future food hall’s location is at 235 West Park Street in the Smith Hill neighborhood of Providence, and it will be the future home of small restaurants, an expansive bar, rooftop deck, a brewery, a coffee roastery and other food and beverage production. Congratulations David Dadekian, Katie Kleyla and team.

For over a decade, Newport restaurateur Richard Sardella has donated 170 turkeys to the MLK Community Center in Newport for its holiday food drive. This is the eleventh year that Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano has provided turkeys so that all Newport families can enjoy Thanksgiving.

The Break Hotel in Narragansett was recently was recognized with Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Award, earning the number eight spot on the list of Top Hotels In New England.

Urban Greens Food Co-op has received a $300,000 investment from the Rhode Island Foundation as part of the Urban Greens Community Investment Campaign. With more than 800 members and a general manager hired and a previous $200,000 raised, the Co-op op is making great strides towards opening a full-service, member-owned supermarket in the summer of 2018. These critical funds will help ensure an especially strong footing for the start-up co-op in which they plan to raise an additional $200,000 in investments. For more information, click here.

If you’re looking to munch on a waff-ly good treat, we’ve got another one for you. A new Kickstarter campaign aims to bring Waffle to Providence with your help at the start of the New Year. With a goal of raising $10,000, entrepreneurs Matt and Tara Celeste have big dreams for their waffle machines. They are bringing Little Rhody a big treat: Liege waffles on Weybosset Street. Read more here.

Eater released its first Providence heat map, featuring the “The 9 Hottest New Restaurants in Providence, Rhode Island.” New favorites, including Rebelle Artisan Bagels, Durk’s Bar-B-Q, Den Den Korean Fried Chicken, Knead Doughnuts, Kleos, The East End, Jahunger, Bayberry Beer Hall and Pastaio were all mentioned.

Ben and Heidi Sukle’s Oberlin restaurant earned a glowing review from New York Times critic Pete Wells. Read “A Providence Chef Has Connections at the Docks.”

The Washington Post Food and Dining editor Joe Yonan’s America The Great Cookbook celebrates our country’s diverse food scene. The cookbook includes a recipe by Al Forno‘s Johanne Killeen for spaghetti al sugo finto, and it offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of over 100 top food personalities like her, including recipes and heartwarming stories. America The Great Cookbook also fights childhood hunger by supporting No Kid Hungry.

Yankee magazine has honored Johnston’s Sama Confections in the fifth annual Yankee Editors’ Choice Food Awards 2017. The winning product is the crème brûlée.



Leave a reply