The Dish: Diner's Update: April/ May 2016

The latest Rhode Island food, dining and restaurant news.



New Harvest Coffee and Spirits in the Providence Arcade is hosting a Books and Bourbon Tasting, another installment of the free book club. Book worms will discuss A Brief History of Seven Killings, a classic by the award-winning author Marlon James. You can RSVP through Facebook and the club starts at 7 p.m.


Learn the secrets of panini-pressing at a Blackstone Culinaria Food Tour. Starting at 6 p.m. at Philanthropy Tea and Coffee Co. in Chepachet, sandwich lovers will learn culinary tips from the best. A panini will be served following the demo. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased here.


Join Matunuck Oyster Bar for its eighth annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup. Every year, volunteers meet to remove debris from Potter Pond, East Matunuck State Beach and Succotash Salt Marsh. Attendees meet at East Matunuck State Beach at 9 a.m. and should expect to be done with the cleanup at 11:30 a.m. Free refreshments and shellfish will be served after the cleanup.


Make tonight a taco night with Friday Night Tastings with the Olive Tap in Wayland Square in Providence from 6−8 p.m. For $10 per person, foodies can enjoy samples from chef Bre Goldsmith, such as, brown sugar-braised pork shoulder; bulgogi skirt steak with cider and sesame oil; jicama, mango and serrano chili salsa with Persian lime oil; and toasted corn with feta and scallion butter. You can also enjoy wine and taste more than thirty artisanal oils and vinegars on tap. No reservations are required.


The Ocean House in Watch Hill wants to put your culinary skills to the test with Culinary Boot Camp. The two-day event cost is $495 and includes a welcome reception, two days of instruction, an introductory wine pairing course, lunch for both days, plus recipes and an apron. You can purchase tickets here.


If you are preparing for your big day, join DeWolf Tavern in Bristol for a Boutique Bridal Showcase. From 1−5 p.m., brides-to-be can meet local vendors and gather ideas and tips on how to create the perfect day. Sweets, entertainment, floral arrangements, beauty experts and door prizes are just some of what brides can expect to see.


The Lady and the Tramp movie screening happens tonight, as part of the Ocean House’s monthly movie night. Fans will enjoy a dinner buffet as well as fresh popcorn and candy. Tickets for adults are $38 and $20 per child, and can be purchased here.


Join Julians in Providence as it celebrates the five-hundredth anniversary of Renheitsgetbot, also known as the “German Beer Purity Law,” with a German beer pairing. During this event, Julians will pair ten beers with seven courses of German-inspired dishes. Traditional and unfamiliar types of beer will show what can be done with water, barley and hops while proving that German cuisine is not just sausages and sauerkraut. The dinner with beer pairings costs $70 per person. For reservations, call 401-861-1770.


Eating with the Ecosystem’s “School of Fish” with chef Max Peterson will educate guests about methods for turning a fish straight from the sea into an extravagant dinner to share with family and friends. Learn about local, plentiful species like scup, herring, whiting, skate, dogfish and sea robin. This event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the demo kitchen at Hope and Main in Warren. Dinner and wine included. Purchase tickets in advance here.


The Hotel Viking in Newport will host Harpoon Brewery as part of the nine-week beer dinner series. Start the night with a charcuterie board of assorted meats, cheeses and marinated red peppers. The second course is shredded chicken stew with potato dumplings followed by a warm chocolate lava cake for dessert. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and costs $39 per person. For reservations, call 401-848-4813.


Relax and un-wine-d with Vineyard Vinyasa Yoga, a yoga class you have never seen before. Located at Newport Vineyards and presented by Thames Street Yoga and Shunya Studio, enjoy a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute yoga class, followed by an in-house wine tasting.  The yoga event runs from 5:45−7 p.m. followed by wine tasting. Tickets are $22 per person and can be purchased here.

4/28 to 5/1

The fifth annual Eat Drink RI Festival brings out the best of the Rhode Island culinary scene. This series of events showcases farmers, chefs, bartenders and food and drink producers and experts from across the region. Throughout the weekend, the festival will offer great dining experiences like Dinner by Dames, a Food Truck Stop benefiting the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, a Grand Tasting featuring food producers and culinary demonstrations and a Grand Brunch. Tickets and more information about the festival can be found here.


Head to Trattoria Zooma in Providence at 7 p.m. for the LoCascio Wine Dinner, featuring special guest Guiseppe LoCascio. Guests will enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner paired with fine wines from LoCascio. Tickets are $59 per person. For reservations, call 401-383-2002. To view the menu click here.

4/29 and 4/30

SOLD OUT! The Newport Craft Beer Festival returns for the fifth year in a row. Taste more than thirty-five different beers from our region’s craft breweries, plus some from other parts of the country. On Friday night, the VIB special session will be held from 8–10 p.m. at the Newport Storm Brewery and will include limited release and small batch beers. Saturday’s Newport Craft Beer Festival will consist of two sessions from noon–3 p.m. and 4–7 p.m. at the Great Friends Meeting House in Newport. These two sessions will feature local and regional breweries as well as craft selections from well-known American breweries and brews that have not been released yet. This event is strictly ages twenty-one and older. Tickets for the Friday event are $35 each and Saturday is $45 per person.


The South County Oyster Festival, sponsored by Matunuck Oyster Bar, is back for its second year. This event is held at the Towers in Narragansett and it benefits Dylan Murano and Childhood Apraxia. For $20 per person, enjoy live music, your choice of one beer or wine beverage and six raw oysters. Tickets can be purchased here before April 29.


Rhode Island’s Great International Beer Festival (GIBF) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Spring Beer Fest at a new location. It will move outdoors at Mulligan’s Island Golf and Entertainment Center in Cranston. Attendees can sample 250 beers from more than forty brewers, including Lagunitas, Shipyard, Woodstock and Sam Adams, and Rhode Island’s brewers will also be well represented with Narragansett, Revival, Trinity Brewhouse, Foolproof and Newport Storm, among others. Food will be available for purchase. The two sessions run from 12:30−4 p.m. and 6−9:30 p.m. All attendees must be twenty-one-plus. The event will also feature live music from Steve Smith and the Nakeds. Tickets are $35 per person, $40 at the door and $15 for designated drivers. Tickets are on sale now at


The Deejay Brunch returns to Local 121 from 10 a.m.−3 p.m. Playing 100 percent vinyl, enjoy the sounds of classic tunes and beats just two streets away from the annual InDowncity Cinco de Mayo block party. Deejay performance and drink specials, including mimosas and margaritas, will run until 4 p.m. Later in the afternoon, visit the Taproom for a Derby Days party from 4-6 p.m., and watch the 142nd Kentucky Derby. Sip mint juleps, watch “the greatest two minutes in sports,” and wear your best derby attire. A special prize will be awarded for the best hat!


InDowncity and its members are throwing the InDowncity Cinco de Mayo Block Party from 11 a.m.−6 p.m. along Westminster Street. The event is free and open to the public. Celebrate the warm weather with music, food, dancing and more! Entertainment will be provided by the Latin tunes of Deejay Studebaker Hawk, with local live acts throughout the day. Mijo’s Tacos, Tallulah’s Tacos, Poco Loco Tacos and Like No Udder are among the food vendors, and a cash bar will be provided by Trinity Brewhouse at Grant’s Block with margaritas and sangria. 


The New England Tequila and Rum Festival will allow trade professionals and guests to sample a large variety of tequilas, mezcals and spirits. This event includes live entertainment, rum and tequila seminars, creative food pairings and cooking demonstrations, national tequila competitions and so much more. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. For three days leading up to the festival, enjoy many other tequila and rum related events and competitions located at Twin River Casino. For more information about these events, click here.

5/7 to 5/14

Bakes for Breast Cancer will partner with communities across Rhode Island to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Chapel Grille, Eleven Forty Nine Restaurant, Not Your Average Joe’s and Ocean State Sandwich Company will donate the profits from one dessert on their menus to benefit breast cancer research. For other ways to donate, click here.


North Kingstown Chamber of CommerceAvPORTS and Rhode Island Airport Corporation will host Taste of the NK Chamber at the Providence Jet Center. NK Chamber member restaurants will serve food samples from land, sea and air. In addition, entertainment will be provided by TEN31 Productions and DJs from MIXX 99.3. This event will run from 5:30–8 p.m. and it costs $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information about tickets and the event, click here.


Johnson and Wales University kicked off its Eat Healthy Series, the first activity for the public that is part of the initiative Johnson and Wales University is Changing the Way the World Eats. The next session in the series is called Conscious Cuisine, taught by chef Rollie Wesen at JWU’s Harborside Campus in the Harborside Academic Center (HAC) Amphitheater. The courses are designed to help consumers understand the science, fact and fiction about food and diet. The session will be held from 9:30–11 a.m. and costs $25. Registration and more information about the events can be found here.


EcoRI News is launching an inaugural happy-hour speaker series from 5:30−8 p.m. at AS220 in Providence. Guests will nibble on local fare while listening to a panel discussion on the dark side of local food: How can consumers know that what they're buying is truly local? Are there those who misuse the “local” label? Is local food better for the environment? Tickets are $5−$10 and can be purchased at Eventbrite.


The Newport Oyster Festival at Bowen's Wharf, presented by Santa Margherita, is ready to roll with an opening night party featuring oysters and wine on the waterfront, including all-you-can-eat oysters, open bar featuring Santa Margherita wine and prosecco pairings, Bully Boy spirits, Stella Artois beers and a variety of different oyster-based delicacies. Tickets for the opening evening cost $125 each and benefit the Ocean State Aquaculture Association. The festival itself includes oyster varieties from more than thirteen growers, as well as wine and prosecco pairings. Tickets for the festival are $25 each day (Sat. and Sun.) and can be purchased here.


The Bristol Oyster Festival is a great way to celebrate Father’s Day. The family-friendly day will include a wide variety of food, food trucks and beverage vendors, as well as activities like face painting and a silent auction. Slurp six types of oysters and learn how to shuck at a demonstration. Hosted by DeWolf Tavern and Thames Street Landing, festival admission is free and supports the March of Dimes. For more information and food and drink tickets click here.

6/24 and 6/25

Rhode Island is finding its spot on the barbecue map with the first annual Ocean State BBQ Festival on June 24 from 5−10 p.m. and June 25 from noon−10 p.m. Both professional food service operators and amateur enthusiasts are invited to take part in this event. Professionals will be allowed to sell food during this event, as well as participate in the judged barbecue competition. Amateurs will participate in the competition. The festival will be held at the Steel Yard in Providence and will feature live music, family-friendly activities, barbecuing tips, crafts by local artisans and a barbecue tasting. A single ticket is $15 in advance ($20 at the door), or you can purchase a two-day pass for $25 ($30 at the door). Buy tickets here.



Eat a burger, and possibly win $1 million. As Luxe Burger Bar in Providence approaches selling its one-millionth burger, the restaurant is offering a contest for guests now through mid-May. Simply enter into the drawing by filling out an entry form at the restaurant. Individuals may enter once per day. One lucky guest will be chosen for a chance to win the million-dollar prize on Sat., May 21 at Luxe Burger Bar. The selected individual will have two chances to roll the set of four dice, and if all four dice land on the Luxe logo, then they win $1 million. Read more.

The Rhode Island Primary is just around the corner and Harry’s Bar and Burger in Providence is helping us celebrate. John Elkhay has created a specialized menu featuring a burger named after each politician, like the Donald Trump Burger, a “jerk burger topped with double arrogant cheese and narcissist sauce.” To view the whole menu, click here.

Join Hemenway’s in Providence every Friday from 4−7 p.m. for Oysters and Wine Flights. Guests will taste three oysters while sipping a wine flight. The pairing event is $15 and is only available at the raw bar.

Join XO Cafe in Providence for a pajama brunch every Sunday. When you wear your favorite jammies, you will receive a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary. Enjoy an XO burger or omelet combo with many other menu options. To view the complete menu, click here.

The Boat House in Tiverton is making the work week better by offering Half-Priced Sunsets. Guests will enjoy a house appetizer at half price at the bar from 4−6 p.m., Mon. through Fri.

Escape to the roof from 9 p.m.−1 a.m. at the Providence G every Friday and Saturday for music from a live deejay.



Humble Pie Company in Providence has introduced two new pie flavors to its collection, maple caramel cheesecake with hazelnut cocoa crust and chicken pot pie. To order these new flavors click here.

Newport Storm Brewery has launched the Smoke Ring, a barrel aged beer featuring hardwoods, smoked barley and chocolate malt blended and paired with crystal malt. The brewery is also experimenting and blending hops with spring flavors of peaches and plums into a golden-hued, double IPA called Unknown Variable, the first four-pack available for 2016.

Narragansett Beer relaunched the popular summer brew, Del’s Shandy. It is never too early for beer lovers to crack open cans of this lemony blend available in six-packs of sixteen-ounce tallboy cans or a case of twelve, twelve-ounce cans.

Kaneland, a startup founded by local entrepreneur Paul Haun, introduces Nack, a new mobile app that allows you to gift someone a cup of coffee. Nack elevates the buying of a cup of coffee to an act of social kindness. You can purchase cups of coffee for friends and colleagues or “suspend” coffees (which are left for strangers in need of a little kindness) at any coffee shop in the world. Check out the Nack app here.



Owners Matthew and Kristin Gennuso of Chez Pascal and the Wurst Kitchen in Providence have created a comfortable, functional apron, the Chezpron. The aprons are $85 and come in a variety of colors. For more information, visit the website here.

Foolproof Brewing Company has partnered up with Central Distributors of Lewiston, Maine, and has now expanded its distribution to include all of New England.

Wine business enthusiast and former Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Robert Healey died last month. The founder of the Cool Moose Party will be greatly missed.

Eight students earned graduation certificates after completing the RI Food Bank’s fourteen-week culinary training program through the Community Kitchen. The program helps train students for future employment in the food service industry.

Sons of Liberty’s True Born Gin – The Belgian Wheat Act, is the first-ever gin line distilled from craft style beers. The distillery earned the Double Gold award for its gin from a panel of judges at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The award is recognized as the competition’s highest medal honor, and it signifies an “outstanding” review, earning top marks from all judges on a blind tasting panel. 

Gambero Rosso, an Italian food magazine, chose the best Neopolitan pizzas in the United States and Pasquale's Pizzeria Napoletana in South Kingstown made the list.

Ken's Ramen, located in Providence, is on the cover of this month's Bon Appetit magazine, as part of the "Eat Like a Local" food feature!

West Kingston brewery Proclamation Ale made the Associated Press and ABC News for their push to change Rhode Island's beer laws.

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