The Dish: Diner's Update: March/April 2016
The latest Rhode Island food, dining and restaurant news.
Take Rhode Island Monthly’s Foodie Bucket List quiz and be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Pane E Vino and a pair of tickets to see Ragtime at the Providence Performing Arts Center on April 9! Winner to be randomly chosen and notified by email on March 28.
The Hotel Viking in Newport is offering a nine-week craft beer dinner series taking place every Wednesday from March 9 to May 4. The menus offer three courses paired with craft beers. The dinners start at 6 p.m. and cost $39 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 401-848-4813.
Get ready for a week’s worth of meals featuring some of the best cuisine in the East Bay during East Bay Restaurant Week. Bristol Oyster Bar, Christian’s Bar and Grille, Italian Gourmet and Simone’s, just to name a few, will be serving three-course prix fixe menus. The cost for lunch is $15 and dinner options range from $25, $30 and two-for-one deals. Reserve your spot at one of the participating restaurants here.
Now through 3/26
For RI Food Bank’s Canstruction, sculptures have been created entirely out of canned food by six leading local architectural firms. They are on display in the Concourse at Providence Place mall now through March 26. Once the exhibit is disassembled, all the food will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank for our hungry neighbors. Vote for your favorite Canstruction sculpture by liking the photo!
3/17 and 3/19
The Federal Hill Commerce Association has organized two culinary events to welcome NCAA basketball fans coming into Providence and to celebrate the feast of San Giuseppe (St Joseph’s). The events begin on Thurs., March 17 at Garibaldi Park located adjacent to the arch on Atwells Avenue. From noon−5 p.m., attendees can enjoy selections from Roma and Biergarten and music played by a deejay. On Sat., March 19 for San Giuseppe Day, Roma and Biergarten will return to Garibaldi Park with a deejay from noon−5 p.m. Acorn Street will be closed between Atwells Avenue and Spruce Street hosting a block party from noon−8 p.m. The block party will feature food including traditional zeppole, beverages and al fresco seating from Tony’s Colonial, DaVinci Ristorante, Roma, Harry’s Bar and Burger, Cafe Pazzo and Biergarten. The blessing of the zeppole will be done at noon when the block party opens. For more information, visit federalhillprov.com.
Join Cook and Brown in Providence in celebrating its sixth anniversary. The night will include beer from Bucket Brewery, cocktail/dim sum food, and in spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, plenty of Irish whiskey. For more information and contact information click here.
Spring is around the corner and wine should match the occasion. Join Easy Entertaining in Providence and the Savory Grape wine shop as they present the Rosé All Day, Rosé Wine Tasting on March 18 at 6 p.m., featuring a five-course tasting dinner. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 401-437-6090.
Hope and Main in Warren is hosting an event to share secrets about fermented foods. Susan Chiappini will teach the basic techniques of slicing, shredding, salting and packing vegetables. Vegetables from local farmers markets will be used to make sauerkraut, pickled beets and kimchi. This class starts at 1 p.m. and costs $35. Registration is required here.
Kids ages four to twelve can take creativity to the next level with Project Cupcake, a monthly themed cupcake-decorating class at the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University. This month, kiddos can enjoy spring-themed classes. Classes are directed by the museum’s student assistants in the baking and pastry and culinary programs. Kids will decorate a St. Patty’s Day-inspired cupcake on March 19. On April 9, take part in the mystical Harry Potter theme. Cupcake sessions run from 1−2 p.m. at the museum and the cost is $20 per decorator. To register your child, email Stephan Spencer at email@example.com. The cost of the program includes museum admission.
3/19, 4/9 and 5/14
Johnson and Wales University kicks 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 series is comprised of three sessions featuring lectures, demonstrations and tastings designed to help consumers understand the science, fact and fiction about food and diet. Sessions are held from 9:30–11 a.m. and cost $25 each. Registration and more information about the events can be found here.
Join many dedicated chefs as they put down their pans and take the stage. For the fourth year, Ham Jam is coming to the Met in Pawtucket. Ham Jam was created when many local chefs realized they had the same passion for cooking as they did for music. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert costs $6 per person. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets can be found here.
The local nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem will host a series of workshops this spring to introduce home cooks to the joys of cooking with whole, local fish. The series, titled School of Fish, advances the organization’s mission to help New Englanders eat a more diverse and representative array of wild seafood from our local marine ecosystems. Workshops will take place in the demonstration kitchen from 6−8 p.m. at Hope and Main and will be led by well-known local chefs Joe Simone (March 21) and Max Peterson (April 25). Each class will feature one fish species prepared three ways, accompanied by instruction, conversation, tastings and wine. Tickets cost $50 and are available at eatingwiththeecosystem.org/school-of-fish.
The first annual Rhode Island Quahog Restaurant Week takes place March 21-27 to celebrate the quahog with menu selections at local restaurants and special events. The week is organized by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in partnership with the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative and local restaurants. Check out the list of participating restaurants and events at seafoodri.com.
The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University presents its newest exhibit “From Paper to Plate” by Will Brown. The exhibit will feature sketches, paintings and drawings from the artist. Refreshments will be served. Attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 401-598-2805.
As part of Quahog Week, Sarah Schumann, author and shellfish harvester for Eating with the Ecosystem, will speak about the information she obtained while writing Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History at the event Past, Present and Future of Rhode Island’s Quahog Industry. The event takes place from 5:30−7:30 p.m. at Aldrich House at 110 Benevolent St. in Providence. The book leads readers from the earliest-known human harvest of shellfish in Narragansett Bay to the relationships Rhode Islanders have with shellfish today. The presentation will also feature David Ghigliotti, who will speak about his experiences as a shellfisherman, and Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, who will speak about the state’s first celebration of Quahog Week. More information about the event can be found here. The event is free, but RSVP is required to Tracy Kennedy at 401-874-6805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newport Restaurant Week is back with ten days of three-course lunches for $16 and three-course, prix fixe dinners for $35 at dozens of restaurants across Bristol and Newport Counties. Check out the full list of restaurants and menu options at discovernewportrestaurantweek.org. There are also Special Foodie Offers on the site, including culinary-themed lodging packages and discounts on local food tours offered by Newport Food Tours and Rhode Island Red Food Tours. Special food and wine events include a wine and cheese pairing, and the Chef's Table Dinner Series at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol featuring chef Matt Gennuso of Chez Pascal and more.
4/9 and 4/10
Calling all local homebrewers, the Ocean State Homebrew Competition will be held on April 9 and 10 at Pawtucket’s Isle Brewers. For more information on competition rules and entry information, click here.
Hope and Main in Warren is hosting the next event in the Cookin’ It Old School series, an intimate chef dinner party featuring Antonio Wormsley of Milk Money. Guests will watch their meal be prepared, learn techniques from a professional chef and the best part, enjoy a meal with up to fifteen others. The dinner runs from 6–9 p.m. and costs $100 per person. Registration is required here. Read about a previous Cookin’ It Old School experience.
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.
4/29 and 4/30
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 our 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 age twenty-one and older. Tickets for the Friday event are $35 each and Saturday is $45 per person. Tickets can be found here.
In Downcity and its members are throwing the In Downcity 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 DJ 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 bar will be provided by Trinity Brewhouse at Grant’s Block with margaritas and sangria.
North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, AvPORTS 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, visit here.
The Hope and Main Meet Your Maker markets will continue in Warren throughout the spring, including Sundays March 20, April 17 and May 22. The local food marketplace is available from noon–4 p.m., and it is the newest place to eat, drink, shop and stock up on the finest local goods from area producers.
March is a time of year when local farmers need your support most of all. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is hosting a month of special events at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market called March Madness. Shop at the market every Saturday in March to enjoy fun events like cooking demos and participate in a weekly scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes valued at more than $300. March 19, there will be a beer and food pairing by Hope and Main and Bucket Brewery; and March 26, there will be a cooking demo by the African Alliance of Rhode Island. The market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. through May 14.
On Tuesday through Saturday evenings, join Eleven Forty Nine Restaurant in Warwick for its late night menu. From 8:30 p.m. until close, save 20 percent on your food and beverage bill. Reservations are required. The discount does not apply to tax and gratuity.
Chair 5 at the Break Hotel in Narragansett offers a $10 Noodle Night on Mondays. Enjoy a choice of house ramen with pulled pork, bean sprouts, scallions, slow-poached egg, chili oil and red onion or the dan dan noodles with creamy sesame sauce, napa slaw, kimchi, peanut-edamame ragout and crispy Brussel sprouts. Included in the price is a beer or housemade soda.
Head down to Matunuck Oyster Bar for its annual Marsh Madness. Every Mon.−Thurs., throughout the month of March, enjoy Matunuck’s own oysters for $1 each from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Malted Barley’s second location is now open in Providence inside the Kinsley Building at 334 Westminster St. in Providence. The restaurant serves craft beer, housemade pretzels, sandwiches and more.
Diners can now experience chef Robert Sisca’s special culinary touch at the ProvidenceG restaurants, including Garde de la Mer, the GPub and the Rooftop, where menus have been refreshed and infused with his concepts. Garde de la Mer is also launching a weekend brunch, starting on Easter Sunday and continuing every Saturday and Sunday, beginning on April 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about Chef Sisca.
Owner Jeffrey Butler of the popular ice cream shops Dear Heart's Ice Cream in Pawtuxet Village and Warwick will open a new location in East Greenwich. Dear Hearts will be moving in to the former Drizzle Pizza location at 1855 South County Trail.
The former Thames Street Kitchen owners have announced they plan to open a fried chicken joint called Winner Winner, in collaboration with Steve Yerger, sometime in April in the same spot as TSK. Follow on Instagram at @winnerwinnernpt.
Laughing Gorilla Catering has launched! It’s a Providence-based caterer serving global street food and craft beer with food from chef Jason Timothy and beer from Revival Brewing. Find out where they are serving on its Facebook page.
Like No Udder is expanding to include a storefront on the East Side of Providence this spring. It will be an all-vegan, all-dairy-free shop offering twelve flavors of house-made hard ice cream, along with the old favorites you have come to love (soft serve, shakes, floats and more). Follow along on its Facebook page.
Ross DiSegna, owner of Tio Mateo’s and Greenwich Bay Gourmet is excited to announce the opening of its new location at 70 Cliff St. in East Greenwich. From a Mexican menu offering specialties such as burritos, tacos and enchiladas to comfort foods ranging from salads to signature sandwiches, there is sure to be something for everyone. Tio Mateo’s and Greenwich Bay Gourmet will be open Mon.−Sat. for lunch and dinner.
ProvidenceG has named nineteen-year industry expert, Jeffrey Mancinho, as its director of operations. Manicinho brings a broad hospitality background to his position and will have many roles between all three ProvidenceG restaurants.
Mill’s Tavern in Providence is celebrating its fourteenth anniversary. Stop in to try favorite menu selections including Long Island duck breast, confit of wild boar risotto, New Zealand rack of lamb, wild Alaskan King salmon and pistachio cocoa nib encrusted venison loin wrapped in bacon. And don’t forget the $29.95 prix fixe menu (not available on Saturdays).
This is the last week to dine at Persimmon’s Bristol location before the keys are turned over to Statesman Tavern. Persimmon will make the transition to the former Rue de L’Espoir location at 99 Hope St. in Providence sometime in May.
Hotel Viking in Newport will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary this May. The hotel is undergoing renovations to the public spaces including the restaurant, bar, lobby, meeting rooms and event spaces. The renovations will be completed this month.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation has awarded its 2016 Restaurant Neighbor Award to Gregg’s Restaurants, headquartered in East Greenwich. Gregg’s has worked with nonprofit groups to support families, the homeless and the elderly for more than twenty years. Through Gregg’s annual holiday Giving Tree, more than 325,000 Christmas gifts have been distributed by employees, customers, friends, family and vendors. Gregg’s was the only winner from the Northeast. The winners will be honored at a gala in April during the National Restaurant Association’s annual Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
The Coast Guard House’s wine director, Elisa Wybraniec, has earned the coveted DWS, or a Diploma of Wine and Spirits, from the London-based Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She is now a certified sommelier after passing a rigorous course of study and a three-part exam by the Court of Master Sommeliers, the leading authority on wine service.
The National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program’s Rhode Island State Winner is Boone Bessette from Dunn’s Corners Elementary School in Westerly. He grew a beautiful, twenty-six-pound cabbage and was randomly selected by the Rhode Island Agriculture Department. Boone will receive a $1,000 saving bond towards education from Bonnie Plants. He was chosen from 2,523 kids who participated in Rhode Island.