The Dish: Diner's Update: June/ July 2016

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



Blackstone Culinaria hosts a food tour today at 6 p.m. at GottaQ Smokehouse and BBQ in Cumberland. Guests will experience award-winning barbecue meats and delicious sides while learning about the food business. Tickets are $22 per person and can be purchased here.


Need a Father’s Day gift idea? Weekapaug Inn in Westerly has launched the Brewmaster's Social Series, and the third dinner in the series will take place from 6:30−9:30 p.m. It includes a casual three-course, family-style meal, where each course is paired with a local brewer’s choice of beer. For this dinner, a representative from Revival Brewing joins the restaurant for an evening of food and beer. Tickets are $75 per person for adults ages twenty-one and older. For reservations, call 888-813-7862.


Join the Olive Tap and chef Bre Goldsmith in Wayland Square in Providence at a Friday Night Tasting Event. It is just $10 for food tasting, wine and samples of more than thirty artisanal oils and vinegars on tap. The tasting takes place from 6−8 p.m., and will highlight basil with tasty bites, including butternut squash and leek soup with toasted almonds and basil oil; shiitake mushroom and cabbage slaw with basil and Persian lime oil; basil lavender ice cream and more. RSVP by emailing or by calling the store at 401-272-8200.


Do you think you know your chowder? Put your taste buds to the test at the Great Chowder Cook-Off at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. Families will enjoy chowder samples, entertainment, activities and appearances from Rhode Island’s favorite TV and radio celebrities. Guests can also vote for their favorite chowder. New to the list for 2016 is the “Best of the Best” category featuring the past Great Chowder Cook-Off Hall of Famers and award-winning recipes. Tickets can be purchased in advance here for $20 or at the door for $25. Kids younger than twelve are free.


Tee it up at Newport Storm Brewery. Play a round of mini golf next door to the brewery on the eighteen-hole, 2,000-square-foot course and enjoy beer tastings on Saturday from noon−8 p.m. and Sunday from noon−5 p.m. The Clubhouse, also known as the Visitor’s Center, will be open throughout course hours with coverage of the U.S. Open in addition to self-guided tours and tastings. Ticket options are $5 per person per round​​ (available the day of at the brewery), or for the real brew lover, go for the ​Foursome Package which includes: four rounds of golf, two growlers of Newport Storm beer and a guaranteed tee time for $40.


Enjoy Vive la Revolution, a three-course dinner, including wine, brews and rum upstairs at Pot Au Feu in Providence from 6:30−9:30 p.m., which includes a night of celebrating the French forces in the American Revolution. Expect singing and swilling, a Gaspee debate by a historic interpreter and a fife and drum parade down to WaterFire, followed by a torchlight wreath-laying at Memorial Park. Tickets are $65 per person for one to three tickets or $60 per person for four or more, plus tax and gratuity.


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, the festival admission is free and supports the March of Dimes. For more information and food and drink tickets, click here.


Enjoy the Summer Solstice Cocktail Party and Bonfire on Rose Island. Pack a picnic and celebrate the longest day of the year and a full moon. The event takes place from 5:22−8:22 p.m. The cost is $25 per person for members and $30 for non-members (includes ferry ticket).


Hope and Main’s Cookin’ It Old School series continues at 6 p.m. with Providence-based Laughing Gorilla catering, specializing in globally inspired street food prepared with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Chef Jason Timothy’s multi-course menu will be expertly paired with a craft beer lineup provided by Revival Brewing’s founder and brew master, Sean Larkin. Enjoy dinner and drinks and learn about the cuisine and beer for $100 per person. Buy tickets here.


Hola! Baked Goods chef Crystal Pereira will share the secrets of making her empanadas, starting at 6 p.m. at Hope and Main in Warren. The hands-on, vegetarian-friendly class will teach students how to make the Latin American specialty, and students will also taste empanadas served with a complimentary salad and wine pairing. Students may also choose to pre-order a dozen appetizer-sized ready-to-bake empanadas. The class is $45 with salad and wine or $70 for the class with salad, wine and twelve take-home empanadas. Buy tickets here.


The Smokehouse Beer Dinner takes place in Newport at 6 p.m. with special guest Newport Storm Brewery. The Hail to the Pig dinner features passed appetizers and four courses paired with beers, including fried pigs’ ears, roasted pork belly, pork loin and caramelized banana, maple caramel and bacon brittle. Tickets are $49 per person. To make reservations, call 401-848-9800.


Celebrate summer and the solstice with the Fort Adams Trust Summer Solstice, an evening of revelry from 6:30−10:30 p.m. on the north lawn of Fort Adams State Park in Newport. View the sunset and enjoy food provided by Blackstone Caterers, a Champagne toast, music and dancing by the X Isles and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $85 for nonmembers, $75 for members and $750 for a table of ten. You can purchase tickets here.


Explore the fascinating origins of sushi at Hope and Main at 6 p.m. with an experienced “Itamae.” Chef Rodriques will teach students various preparations with both traditional and modern ingredients, as well as discuss sushi's evolution into a globally celebrated cuisine. Tickets are $35 person.

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. 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.


Make it a surf and turf weekend! On Saturday, the New England Quahog Festival will host a Sea Creature Parade starting at 10 a.m. through Wickford, and ending at North Kingstown Town Beach. Everyone will be dressed up as mermaids, pirates, colorful fish, sharks, octopi, jellyfish and other marine life, led by marching bands and floats. The free festival that follows the parade takes place at the beach from 11 a.m.−5 p.m., and will involve food for purchase, a beer garden, live entertainment, music and fun activities for the whole family. The festival is being produced by local community members and all proceeds will be donated to the town to make improvements to the beach, including a new playground, bike racks and landscaping. For more information, go to


Reserve your tickets for the second annual Tommy Tuesday pirate party and scavenger hunt, sponsored by Thomas Tew Rum. Head to the Goat Island Marina at 5 Marina Plaza for noon and participate in the scavenger hunt. Buy your tickets and $2 from each ticket will go to the Confetti Foundation. Be sure to don your best pirate attire. Participants will receive a T-shirt and beads and a treasure map. The ship ride is sold out, but you can still participate in the hunt.


Join celebrated fermentation revivalist and author, Sandor Katz, in this full-day Art of Fermentation workshop and lecture from 9 a.m.−5 p.m. at Hope and Main. Learn how to make fermented delicacies at home as well as the healing qualities and nutritional importance and history of live-culture ferments. Tickets are $120 per person. The following day, attend the free Fermentation Festival and taste fermented vegetables, mead and bread, which will also be available for purchase. Enjoy a mead demonstration by Rob McKim, and speak with fermentation experts from Chi Kitchen, Freedom Food Farm and Fermentation Potters. Local food scientist Susan Chiappini will also be on hand. The festival is free.


The Books and Bourbon series continues at 6 p.m. at New Harvest Coffee and Spirits inside the Providence Arcade. This month’s session will include a discussion about In the Country, stories by Filipino author Mia Alvar. The event is free and open to the public. For more info, click here to see the Facebook event.


The Fourth of July Barbecue at Rose Island Lighthouse takes place 6:30−11:30 p.m. Watch the Newport fireworks from Rose Island while enjoying a slow-cooked hardwood barbecue feast and lighthouse tours. Tickets are limited to 150 people and include boat transport.


Project Cupcake at the Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Museum returns with themed decorating classes for kids, 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 July 9 kids’ session is for ages five to twelve, and follows an Under the Sea theme from 1−2 p.m. for $20 per participant. Contact Stephen Spencer by email at to obtain a registration form. Reservations are required.


Providence Restaurant Weeks will take place for 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 soon for participating restaurants and menus.


Join Hope and Main 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 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.


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 to obtain a registration form. Reservations are required.

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 will go on sale Monday, June 20, at 9 a.m. at



Every Sunday from June 19 to 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.

Awful Awful Mondays have kicked off at Newport Creamery. Every Monday through Labor Day, September 5, Awful Awfuls are buy one, get one free at all Newport Creamery locations. Newport Creamery has also launched waffled grilled cheese sandwiches made in special custom waffle makers. The sandwiches come in seven varieties, including classic, sweet cheese, buffalo, Vermonster, spinach pie, Cubano and the special dessert s’mores version.



Joseph and Esther DeQuattro, owners of Pane e Vino, opened their new restaurant, Massimo, in the space formerly known as Mediterraneo on Federal Hill. Pane e Vino and Massimo are now part of the DeQuattro Restaurant Group. The menu is contemporary Italian inspired by the regional cuisines of Italy. 

North bakery is now open at nighttime for drinks and it’s serving a small dinner menu. It is open at night Thurs.−Sun. from 5−11 p.m. (normal daytime hours of 7 a.m.−6 p.m. daily are still in effect). See the menu here.

On June 22, the RISD Museum will open Cafe Pearl, a partnership with Rhode Island-based Bolt Coffee. The cafe is named in honor of one of the museum's first and longest-serving volunteer docents, Pearl Nathan. Located near the Benefit Street entrance, it will be operated by Bolt, serving coffee-based beverages and light fare from Providence-based bakeries.

Meg’s Aussie Milk Bar has opened in Newport. The Australian-style milk bar is a snack bar serving coffee, fresh sandwiches, hamburgers, milkshakes, smoothies, various meat pies, sausage rolls and sweets.

Newport Storm has brought back the SheRIff of Rock Ridge, a recipe of chocolate wheat, North American oats, pale malt and wheat malt aged in rum barrels. The beer tastes similar to that of a rich coffee roast and baker’s chocolate with flavors of caramel, toffee, oak and aged rum gently seeped into the brew. Find a bottle near you.

Green Line Apothecary is an old-fashioned soda fountain and pharmacy in Wakefield, serving made-to-order fountain sodas, organic ice cream, shakes and floats and organic coffee and tea.

Cavalry Bar and Lounge in Providence introduced a new menu featuring small plates, and a new chef, Elijah Rumbarger, a Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts graduate who spent the last two years at New Rivers in Providence.

Spicer Mansion in Mystic, Connecticut, is the latest inn to be renovated by Ocean House properties. The inn’s exclusive restaurant is helmed by chef Jennifer Backman, formerly of the Weekapaug Inn, and she will offer a seasonal six-course tasting menu that changes nightly.



Rosmarin, the new restaurant inside the Hotel Providence, is one of the first establishments in the city to adopt a no-tipping policy. Gratuities are included as part of the entree prices. Learn how it works in this article. 

Brutopia in Cranston is ready to take on your summer party needs with a beautiful patio that can be used by private and large groups.

South Kingstown's Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. won the prestigious Double-Gold award at the Fifty Best's recent gin tasting in New York City for the 2016 Best Gin Awards. Only thirty-nine of the world's best gins were invited to the exclusive tasting and Sons of Liberty was one of only eight distilleries to be awarded Double-Gold, the competition’s highest honor. In the 2016 International Whisky Competition, Sons of Liberty’s Battle Cry Oloroso Sherry Finish was also awarded first place for the American Single Malt category, and the not yet released Uprising Pedro Ximénez Sherry Finish earned the sole silver medal.

The Washington Trust Company collected approximately 9,500 pounds of peanut butter during the sixteenth annual Washington Trust Peanut Butter Drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and fifteen local food pantries across Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut.

Luxe Burger Bar in Providence, held the “Road to the One Millionth Burger” celebration, and Ryan Morales was chosen at random from more than 2,000 entrants for the opportunity to try his luck at the million-dollar prize.  While he didn’t win the million dollars, Ryan earned $250 in Chow Fun gift cards. Michele Angell also won Burgers for a Year at Luxe.

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