The Dish: Diner's Update: October/November 2014
The latest Rhode Island food, dining and restaurant news.
Visit Castle Hill Inn in Newport for the Relais and Chateaux Sixtieth Anniversary Dinner. A cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner from 7-11 p.m. Guest chef Pablo Montero of Spain will prepare an eclectic, Spain-meets-New England six-course meal alongside chef Karsten Hart. Fine wines from the Abadia Retuerta vineyards will be served. Reservations for the dinner cost $165 per person. Call 888-466-1355 for reservations.
Chef Maria Fe Garcia of Relais and Chateaux of Titilaka, Peru, will partner with Ocean House's chef de cuisine Jacob Jasinski to create a six-course dinner including wine pairings from 6:30–9 p.m. Dinner will include an array of seafood: halibut, scallops and mahi tartar, along with lamb and pork belly. Reservations can be made by phone for $135 per person by calling 401-584-7000.
Castle Hill Inn is hosting its First Annual Cooking School the weekend of Oct. 24-26. The event will include two cooking lessons, one with Castle Hill executive chef Karsten Hart and the second with executive pastry chef Matthew Petersen, and a wine tasting seminar with beverage director Anthony Boi. Those interested in attending can either pay $225 per person for the three classes or pay $1,322 per couple and enjoy a two-night stay in luxury accommodations, three cooking classes, a six-course dinner in celebration of the Relais and Chateaux sixtieth anniversary, and daily breakfast and afternoon tea.
Meet Ann Hood for lunch on the Hill and learn about her new book, An Italian Wife. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. at Roma and includes bread, salad, pasta, dessert and coffee, a signed copy of the book and a light conversation with the author for $50 per person. The morning of the event (9:45−11:15 a.m.), Cindy Salvato is also offering a Savoring Federal Hill tour to the first fifteen people who sign up for $25 per person. Ann Hood will join the tour through Federal Hill’s most delicious food shops. To reserve your spot for the Savoring Federal Hill tour, call Cindy at 401-934-2149. Buy tickets to the lunch online.
The third annual Newport Food Truck Festival will be held at the Newport Yachting Center from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. This is the last event at the center before it will be torn down. More than twenty of the most popular food trucks of New England will serve local seafood, barbecue, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, cupcakes, whoopie pies and more. Admission at the gate is $5 cash only and children younger than twelve are free. Food and drink purchased separately.
There will be a fun and fizzy Champagne dinner at Chez Pascal with Campus Fine Wines and winemaker David Bourdaire of Bourdaire-Gallois and Barbara and Ed from Wine Traditions. Five Champagnes from Bourdaire-Gallois will be accompanied by a four-course menu for $85 per person, not including tax, gratuity or additional beverages. Reservations are required, and there will be limited seating. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and the first champagne at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Call 401-421-4422 for reservations.
The Mooring culinary team and Nick Garrison, president and founder of Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket, will narrate an evening of creatively paired cuisine with select Foolproof brews. The dinner is $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 401-846-2260 for reservations.
Vino z Czech will host a five-course dinner at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol at 7 p.m., including wine pairings chosen by the representative from the vineyard. Both the representative and chef will speak to the guests about the meal preparation and the selection of the wines. Tickets are $55 per person. Call 401-254-2005 for reservations.
For the twenty-seventh consecutive year, the Narragansett Council and the Boy Scouts of America will ask the community to donate nutritious, non-perishable canned goods by distributing door hangers to as many nearby neighborhoods as they can for their annual food drive. Donations will be picked up on Nov. 1 starting at 9 a.m. and then delivered to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
Dinner by Dames is back with a five-course meal created by five of Rhode Island’s talented women chefs. Chefs Melissa Denmark of Gracie's and Ellie's Bakery, Jordan Goldsmith formerly of Garden Grille, Maria Meza of El Rancho Grande, Kaitlyn Roberts of Easy Entertaining and Jessica Wood of Fire and Water Restaurant Group will gather together at Gracie’s to prepare Rhode Island harvest dishes. There will be optional wine pairings selected by the Savory Grape and Wine Shop. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., and tickets are $90 per person (including tax and gratuity). Tickets are available now at eatdrinkri.com/dames.
Satisfy your sweet tooth for eternity at the Chocolate Brunch offering a savory and sweet chocolate buffet. Traditional brunch fare will also be available. The event will be held from noon−3 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa to raise money for home, hospice and community health programs of Visiting Nurse Services. For more information, call 401-682-2100, ext. 1688.
Boston’s four-day cocktail event, Thirst Boston, will take place Nov. 7−10 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, and will feature seminars with industry leaders and renowned bartenders. Saturday’s event will pair up Portland, Maine, and Providence, to showcase the best creative concoctions from the neighboring cities. Cook and Brown, Aurora, the Eddy and the Grange will be participating in the event from 1–4 p.m. On Sunday, Rhode Island’s Son’s of Liberty whiskey distillery will participate in the Craft Showcase.
Newport and Bristol Restaurant Week involves three-course fixed-price meals, including lunch for $16 and dinner for $35. Beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included. Restaurants include Boat House, Castle Hill Inn, Jamestown Fish, Persimmon, Thames Street Kitchen and many more.
The Great International Beer Festival, said to be the largest international beer festival in the country, will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center for two shows from 1−4:30 p.m. and 6:30−10 p.m. The festival includes more than 250 beers from brewers from all over the world. Guests can speak to brewers over unlimited samples, enjoy pizza by Pizza Pier and listen to performances by Steve Smith and the Nakeds, and Young Neil and the Vipers. Proceeds from the event will benefit Rhode Island’s nonprofit organizations. Some of the featured Rhode Island beers will be Foolproof, Grey Sail, Narragansett and Newport Storm.
Greenvale Vineyards hosts its sixteenth annual Harvest Festival from 1−4 p.m., which includes walking tours and tractor rides around the vineyard throughout the day. Visitors will be able to sample the vineyard’s award-winning, estate grown wines as well. Nearby vendors like Dell’Orto Olive Oil Company and Aquidneck Honey will also offer samples and sell their products to the public. Admission is $3.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, McCormick and Schmick’s will offer a complimentary lunch or dinner entree for members of the armed forces. Veterans will be able to choose from choices like grilled salmon, buttermilk fried shrimp, Romano chicken chopped salad, the McCormick’s cheeseburger and more. The restaurant suggests making a reservation.
George’s of Galilee will host a food and wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. at the Narragansett Towers with food from nearby restaurants like Matunuck Oyster Bar, Coast Guard House, Crazy Burger, George’s and more. The event will raise money for the E. Richard Durfee Scholarship Fund to promote and support higher education for Narragansett High School students in math and science. Tickets are $35 per person or $70 per couple. For more information, call 401-351-8855.
Westerly’s restaurants and bartenders will compete in the Westerly-Pawcatuck Young Professionals Network’s 2014 Cocktail Challenge, held at the Knickerbocker from 4−7 p.m. Guests will vote for their favorite cocktails and three category awards will be recognized. Tickets are $30 with proceeds going to Opening Doors for Westerly Children, a United Way committee that promotes early literacy in Westerly.
Child and Family is holding its annual benefit, Taste of Newport, which is a collaborative effort by Newport Restaurant Group and the Hotel Viking. Enjoy the Taste Experience, from 5-8 p.m. in the Viking ballroom, where guests will enjoy an extended cocktail party with both savory and sweet tasting stations. This part of the event is $125 per person. The Dine Experience will take place from 7:45-10 p.m. in the Bellevue Ballroom, and it includes an elegant seated four-course meal prepared by eight of the area’s acclaimed chefs, paired with wines. The cost for both options is $225 per person. For more information, please contact Child and Family at 401-848-4150 or childandfamilyri.com
Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of New York City’s Contra will serve as guest chefs at birch on Dec. 9 from 5–9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $85 each with an additional processing fee, including tax and gratuity. An optional $45 beverage pairing will be available at the event. A portion of the proceeds from this dinner will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
How do thirteen whole pizzas and sixteen slices for only $20 sound? It's all part of RI Food Fights Lord of the Pies! You will get two pizza passports for only $20 and you can use the coupons to enjoy a slice of pizza (or a whole pizza!) from twenty spots all over the state from now through Nov. 9. The buy-one-get-one-free code is TheDishRIM. Go to rifoodfights.ticketleap.com/lord-of-the-pies.
In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Easy Entertaining is donating 100 percent of proceeds from donut sales on Fridays to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as well as 5 percent of their breakfast and lunch sales.
Every Friday this month, the Vanderbilt Grace hotel’s chefs will be grilling local brats with German potato salad, sauerkraut and whole grain mustard in their outdoor garden. To accompany the dish, Newport Storm’s Oktoberfest beer will be offered. The beer and plate combination is $20.
Every first Wednesday of the month, 84 Tavern on Canal offers an educational beer tasting course. On the third Wednesday of the month, it will also hold wine tastings, both including snacks. The beer course costs $25 and the wine tasting is $30.
The limited edition Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout is back. The combination of Autocrat coffee extract and Gansett’s milk stout provides just the right amount of bitterness to balance the sweet notes of the malts and milk sugar. It will be available through the end of December 2014 in six- and twelve-packs.
Newport Vineyards has opened Brix Restaurant on the vineyard while preserving the historic space. Guests can dine with views of the barrel rooms, tank room and vineyard over dinner or Sunday brunch. The 100-seat restaurant offers an array of meat, seafood or pasta dishes. A tasting room will be opening in the future as part of the continued expansion.
Sushi Yama opened recently as a new sushi restaurant at 225a Westminster St. (the former Flan y Ajo space). The restaurant offers small plates and traditional and original sushi rolls.
Newport Storm released a new double India Pale Ale called Mass HysteRIa, a barrel aged brew with a focus on citrus hops with an oak barrel finish. Brewmaster Derek Luke hoped to emanate original hops that were cultivated with citrus, melon and tangerine notes. There are only about 100 cases that hit shelves on Oct. 20 distributed across the state.
Cool Bob's Organic Ice Creamery in East Greenwich will be shutting down for the season, but starting October 31, it will reopen as its Hot Sister, serving organic and vegan hot soups all fall and winter.
The Coast Guard House has reopened its doors and will remain open all winter long, seven days a week. Downstairs dining, which was previously closed since Hurricane Sandy, is open Mon.−Thurs. from 4−9 p.m., Fri.−Sat. from 4−10 p.m., and Sun. from 3−9 p.m.
Metacom Kitchen has opened at 322 Metacom Avenue in Warren in the former Tinkers Nest Pub. Chef Richard Allaire is known for cooking at Tucker's Bistro in Newport, L'Epicureo and more recently, Providence Coal-Fired Pizza.
Ri Ra Irish Pub in downtown Providence has closed.
Roger Williams University was listed on Thrillist, a popular lifestyle and food news site, as one of the fourteen best college dining halls in the country. Its use of local farmers, and fresh and local ingredients garnered the recognition. The dining hall’s lobster and steak dinner and Thanksgiving feast were also highlighted as delicious meals.
The recent Wall Street Journal article "The Perfect Long Weekend in Providence" highlighted Providence’s restaurants including classic cuisine at birch, Kitchen for its hearty breakfast, brunch at Nicks on Broadway, the historic Modern Diner, Three Sisters ice cream, Al Forno for its Dirty Steak, a classic on Federal Hill Marzilli’s Old Canteen and Pastiche for its extensive dessert options.
Travel and Leisure's Annual America’s Favorite Cities Poll recently acknowledged Providence as the overall top city in the country. Within the food and drink categories, Providence earned first place in bakeries and diners and it also made top five in bars, brunch, coffee, hamburgers, notable restaurants, pizza, sandwiches and street food.
Conde Nast Traveler followed the Dean Hotel’s concierge around Providence for a glimpse at his favorite places to eat, drink, shop and party. In the article "Concierge's Day Off: Insider Tips on Providence," Logan Mathew Ward raved about New Harvest Coffee Roasters for the coffee and whiskey selection, brunch at Nicks on Broadway, dinner at birch and Ellie’s for its famous French macarons.