The Dish: Diner's Update: July/ August 2016
The latest Rhode Island food, drink, dining and restaurant news.
Providence Restaurant Weeks is now happening over the next two weeks in July. Choose from three-course lunches at $14.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials at nearly 100 restaurants. Check the website for participating restaurants and menus. For Rhode Island Monthly staff Restaurant Week picks, click here.
You don’t have to be in France to celebrate Bastille Day this July. Head over to the Pot Au Feu in Providence from 6–9 p.m. and spend the night sipping wine and enjoying a three-course French dinner while listening to award-winning jazz singer Rose Weaver. The cost is $65 per person for one to three tickets, and $60 per person for four or more tickets. Purchase tickets here.
Bastille Day at Ellie's Bakery honors the sweet spot's French roots. Enjoy music, bubbly and Parisian-inspired treats from 6−9:30 p.m.
The Craft Brew Race is back in Newport with a five-K run or walk at noon followed by a beer festival from 12:30−4 p.m. at Fort Adams. The beer fest will feature more than thirty-five craft breweries, including thirteen breweries from Rhode Island. Local food vendors will include Mission, Winner Winner, Brick Alley Pub, Laughing Gorilla, Saugy Hot dogs and Cabot cheese, alongside live music from Jason Cardinal. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Rhode Island Brewer’s Guild. The series is owned and executed by Gray Matter Marketing, a Newport-based marketing and events agency. The cost is $55 for the five-K and brew fest or $45 for just the brew fest (through July 15), or you can purchase admission on site for $65 for the five-K and brew fest or $55 for just the brew fest. Designated driver tickets are also available. Sign up for the race here!
Henri-Marie at Mirbeau Inn and Spa at the Pinehills in Plymouth, Massachusetts, will host a five-course dinner with wine pairings featuring the highly acclaimed wines of Cakebread Cellars. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. on the Henri-Marie Terrace, overlooking the Monet gardens. The cost is $135 per person, not including tax and gratuity, and a special overnight rate for the inn is also available, with garden and golf view rooms starting at $235 for the night. For more information and to make reservations, call 877-MIRBEAU or visit the Mirbeau Inn and Spa website.
Help raise funds for the upcoming Ocean State Oyster Festival in September at the Summer Soiree on the lawn and docks of the Aspray Boathouse in Warwick. From 5:30−9 p.m., guests will slurp Salt Pond Oysters and dig into barbecue while sipping complimentary cocktails from Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails, beer from Revival and Grey Sail, wine from Campus Fine Wines and alcoholic ginger beer from Farmer Willie’s. There will be a deejay and tasty treats will be available while you enjoy the party overlooking gorgeous Pawtuxet Cove. Tickets are $50 per person.
Celebrate Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of Rhode Island awards at the Providence Performing Arts Center starting at 6:30 p.m. For only $65 per person, you will enjoy food from Chapel Grille, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Providence Coal Fired Pizza, UMelt, Basta, Willow Tree and Sin. Libations will also be on hand, including unlimited wine and Narragansett beer as well as two drinks from our martini bar. There will also be live music from Steve Smith and the Nakeds, dancing, a photo booth and a silent auction. The free pre-party kicks off in PPAC Square from 5:30−6:30 p.m. with refreshments provided by Friskie Fries, Citizen Wing and Del’s Lemonade. Be sure to check out our online auction now through July 13 to bid on restaurant gift cards, getaways, spa and family fun packages and more.
DeWolf Tavern in Bristol is hosting a festive evening of salsa dancing and sangria for your next date night out – though you don’t need a partner to attend. The evening will include one hour of Latin dance instruction by Sue Young from Dancing the Dream Productions. Complimentary sangria and light appetizers will also be served under the waterfront deck tent, as well as a cash bar. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. (so you get to catch the sunset on the harbor). Tickets are $25 per person and $40 per couple. Space is limited; buy your tickets here. More information can be found on the website.
Join Hope and Main in Warren for its Cookin’ It Old School series with Chef Tyler Demora of Local 121 in Providence. Demora will speak about French-inspired technique, snout-to-tail butchery and seasonal ingredients. Guests will see food prepared, learn professional techniques and sit down to a tasting meal with up to fifteen guests from 6−9 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person.
The Ocean House is hosting an Alpine Festival in honor of Swiss Independence Day from 6−9 p.m. The evening will be dedicated to the treats and delights of Alpine Europe with food, live music, carnival games, face painters and balloon artists. The family-friendly event is $49 per adult and $28 per child (plus tax and gratuity). Ages three and younger are complimentary.
The Farm Fresh Rhode Island Local Food Fest takes place at Castle Hill Inn in Newport with a preview hour from 4−5 p.m., followed by the event from 5−8 p.m. Local farmers, fishermen, artisans and producers will team up with chefs to create sample-sized dishes and desserts, and the proceeds will benefit the programs of Farm Fresh Rhode Island. Tickets are $100 per person, including food sampling and choice of local wine or beer. The $150 tickets include the preview hour, with Champagne and hors d'oeuvres in addition to food sampling and local wine or beer.
Join Red Sox legend Luis Tiant from 6:30−10 p.m. for a four-course dinner at Terrazza restaurant in Smithfield and cocktails provided by Papa’s Pilar. The Cuban dinner wouldn’t be complete without a special live cigar roller, who will be rolling cigars for guests throughout the evening. Guests can also listen to live music by a seven-piece Latin band while sipping cocktails and smoking cigars. Tickets are $125 per person.
Project Cupcake at the Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Museum returns with a Happy Hour session for twenty-one-plus followers. The series features themed decorating classes, led by CAM student assistants in the baking and pastry and culinary programs. Classes include demonstrations, hands-on learning and cupcakes to go. The cost of the program includes the price of museum admission. The August 4 adult session takes place 5:30−7 p.m. for $25 per participant. Contact Stephen Spencer by email at email@example.com to obtain a registration form. Reservations are required.
The Charlestown Seafood Festival takes place on Friday from Noon−11 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m.−11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m.−10 p.m. Feast on Rhode Island's best seafood, lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, lobster rolls, clam cakes and more. Work off the calories by riding amusement rides and climbing the rock wall, or stroll around the car show and other entertainment. $9; free for ages ten and younger.
Foolproof Brewery and the Pawtucket Foundation are hosting the fourth annual Augtoberfest with sessions from 1:30−4 p.m. and 5−7:30 p.m. The event features live music, food trucks, games, a dunk tank and plenty of beer. It's a twenty-one-plus event and there are various ticket levels. The $25 Jester ticket includes two drink tickets, the $35 Prince ticket includes three drink tickets and a glass stein and the $45 King ticket includes three drink tickets, a glass stein, a four-pack of Augtoberfest to take home and a $5 food voucher (not available at the door). Click here for more details.
The second annual Providence Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will feature more than twenty-five trucks and fifty-plus craft brews from noon−6 p.m. at India Point Park in Providence. Tickets are $5 for entry just to experience the food; $30 gets you a Sampler Ticket which includes entry and allows unlimited two-ounce samples from all the craft breweries. These prices are online-exclusive and will go up to $10 and $40, respectively, on the day of the festival. You can also buy a beer lovers' package for $18.50, which includes festival entry and three beer tickets.
8/12 and 8/13
Rhode Island native chef Sonya Cote returns to Horseshoe Farm in Westerly to work with Eat Drink RI on the second annual Rhode Island Round-Up. Cote is from Austin's acclaimed Eden East restaurant, and for this dinner, Chris Kleyla from Bristol's newest eatery, the Statesman Tavern, will join her. Horseshoe Farm is surrounded by miles of fences along the coastal countryside. The reception starts at 6 p.m. followed by a seated dinner, paired with seasonal cocktails. Tickets are $135 per guest, all-inclusive, and are non-refundable, but are transferable. The event is tented and will be held rain or shine. Tickets are now on sale at eatdrinkri.com/riroundup.
9/10 and 9/11
The Rhode Island Seafood Festival takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at India Point Park in Providence. Experience everything from the perfect lobster roll from Matunuck Oyster Bar to freshly shucked Salt Pond oysters off the Shuckin’ Truck. There’s beer from Newport Storm and Gansett for purchase and live bands jamming out by the water in India Point Park. Admission is $5 for adults, with free entry for children younger than twelve. The ticket price includes entry for one day of the festival, with several hours of live music and entertainment for all ages. Food is not included in the ticket price, but is for sale separately at various restaurant vendors. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on the day of the festival, or in advance on the Tickets page.
The Ocean State Oyster Festival takes place from Noon−5 p.m. at Riverwalk Park on South Water Street in Providence. Experience oysters from twenty of Southern New England’s oyster farms, enjoy your favorite local beverages and jam out to local musical acts. There will also be activities for kids, educational exhibits, a shucking contest and you can even hang out with the mascot, Oscar the giant oyster! Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and include a beverage of your choosing and six oysters.
The Coastal Table is hosting an Oyster Social at Matunuck Oyster Bar's organic vegetable farm (2236 Commodore Perry Highway in South Kingstown) on Sept. 18 from 3−7 p.m. The afternoon will include a tour of the Matunuck Oyster Farm, followed by a cocktail hour with an open bar featuring wines from Jonathan Edwards Winery and beer from Revival Brewing Co. An intimate dinner prepared by Matunuck Oyster Bar showcasing the restaurant’s seasonal vegetables and oysters will follow. Live music and valet parking will be provided. Tickets are $165 each (plus fee) for the oyster farm tour and dinner, or $150 (plus fee) each for the dinner at 4 p.m. The price includes tax and gratuity. Buy yours here. All sales are final, and the event will be held rain or shine.
For the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival, Food and Wine magazine joins the Preservation Society of Newport County for the eleventh annual, four-day schedule of events held at the Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House in Newport. Sample cuisine from local restaurants and hundreds of wines from around the world at the Grand Tasting on Saturday or Sunday from 12:30-4 p.m. (or noon for VIP guests), then meet celebrity chefs, like Jacques and Claudine Pepin, who are the featured guests. Ticket prices vary.
The Summer Rosé Celebration continues at Chez Pascal in Providence. In celebration of the warmer months, the restaurant now 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.
Evelyn’s Drive-In, known for its clam cakes, lobster rolls and waterside location, will host a summer concert series to benefit Singing Out Against Hunger, a charity that provides food to East Bay residents in need. The shows will take place at the restaurant in Tiverton on one Friday night each month of the summer (July 15, Aug. 18 and Sept. 9) at 5 p.m. Contact the owner, Jane Bitto, by phone at 401-265-2146 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sons of Liberty spirits distillery continues its summer sampling series, Freedom Fridays, which will take 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.
Summer means school’s out, and for some children, that means losing access to regular, healthy meals they normally receive at school. To help fill this gap throughout the summer months, the RI Community Food Bank is asking for community support for its Summer Food Drive through donations of non-perishable food, enrolling children in an activity to benefit the food bank or through financial donations to help end hunger in Rhode Island.
Picnic Gourmet and Cafe is a new bakery and cafe on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, offering picnic provisions, catering and takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy international cheeses, cured meats and a European-style coffee menu.
The Rooftop at the ProvidenceG is now open seven days a week. In addition to the expanded summer hours and offerings, it has also added an extended lineup of live entertainment and a refreshed menu for the summer, featuring seasonal ingredients and cocktails. The extended summer hours are as follows: Mon.−Thurs. from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Fri. from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat. from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sun. from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Visit rooftopattheg.com for more information.
The Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel has unveiled its multimillion-dollar renovations, including a new lobby that draws on a “water and industry” theme, incorporating elements of Masonic architecture and the local environment, as well as newly renovated guestrooms and lounges.
Chef Robert Sisca of Garde de la Mer in Providence celebrates his inaugural restaurant concept since joining G Hospitality restaurant group with the launch of Garde East on Martha’s Vineyard. The restaurant features local and seasonal ingredients and a frequently changing menu. Dinner is served nightly as well as a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations may be made on OpenTable or by phone at 508-687-9926.
New Harvest Coffee and Spirits in Providence has launched a series of frozen, boozy drinks – just in time for summer. The menu changes often, but watch out for specials like Adele Lemonade and Frosé.
Narragansett Brewery has re-released its Town Beach IPA for the summer. The balance of bitterness and fruitiness makes this seasonal brew the perfect choice for a hot summer beach day or backyard barbecue. Narragansett Town Beach IPA is available in six-packs of sixteen-ounce tallboy cans ($8.99–$9.99) and will be available through mid-October. Read more here.
The Keep is a new castle-themed ice cream shop coming soon to Cumberland Plaza. The Valley Breeze reports that Cumberland House of Pizza owner Tina Lambrou hired renowned Rhode Island designer hired Kyla Coburn to plan the spot, and Lambrou will serve homemade ice cream and desserts.
Newport Storm Brewery released a new beer called foRIster, a barrel aged double IPA. The collaboration beer is inspired by and brewed for Newporter Bobby Forster (pictured). A former employee of Newport Storm, Bobby was diagnosed with A.L.S. in December of 2014. The beer represents a celebration of his life and a chance to raise A.L.S. awareness in his local community and beyond. On Sun., July 17, Newport Storm Brewery, along with the Forster family, will host a launch party for foRIster at the brewery. The event is from 5:30–9 p.m. and a $20 door fee includes beer samples, light food and a koozie. The beer will be available for purchase that evening, and bottles will be on sale throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania starting the week of July 18. A part of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will go to funding A.L.S research and Bobby’s journey.
A number of Rhode Island restaurants were featured in Yankee Magazine’s 2016 Editor’s Choice Awards naming the best places to dine in Rhode Island.
BuzzFeed cited the “Most Popular Ice Cream Shop in Every State,” and Brickley’s in Narragansett represents Rhode Island.
Parade Magazine named Providence and Rhode Island the "best kept secret on the east coast." Johnson and Wales University’s Culinary Museum, Ellie’s Bakery, Gracie’s, the White Horse Tavern, Allie’s Donuts, Walrus and Carpenter Oysters and Blackbird Farm all earned mentions in the article.
Forbes highlighted “6 Must-Eat Places in Providence,” including birch, Al Forno, Nicks on Broadway, the Malted Barley, Persimmon and Seven Stars Bakery.
Rhode Island has been honored in Wine Spectator’s 2016 Restaurant Awards, which highlight restaurants around the world that offer the best wine selections. Twenty Rhode Island restaurants earned spots on the list, including Chapel Grille, the Coast Guard House, Castle Hill, Jamestown FiSH, Mill’s Tavern, the Mooring, Spiced Pear, 22 Bowen’s and White Horse Tavern among others. The complete list of winners is featured in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 19.