The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Jamie Coelho, Gavi Klein and Lauren Poirier
JUNE AND JULY 2019
Come Clam with Me is an all-ages, family-friendly event series led by DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program. Guests will learn about Rhode Island’s role in the clamming industry and how to dig for clams. The workshops will be held on June 16 from 3–6 p.m. at Colt State Park, Bristol; July 12 from noon–3 p.m. Rocky Point State Park, Warwick; August 10 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at Colt State Park, Bristol; August 14, 3–6 p.m. at North Kingstown Town Beach, North Kingstown; August 27, 1–4 p.m at Rocky Point State Park, Warwick; September 8, 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. at Rocky Point State Park, Warwick. Tickets are $5 for those ages eight and older, and space is limited. Register at dem.ri.gov.
Head to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to enjoy some great food and drink from more than 100 restaurants at the Crave RI Food Festival June 20 and 21. Crave RI will host the two-day festival to spotlight Rhode Island’s unique culinary scene and kick off the twenty-first annual CVS Health Charity Classic, one of Rhode Island’s largest charitable event series. Returning restaurants include the Aviary, Red Fin Crudo and Kitchen and Matunuck Oyster Bar. Drinks will be provided by Narragansett Beer, Newport Vineyards, Sons of Liberty Spirits and more. Tickets can be purchased for just $23 online at ticketmaster.com, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
The Federal Hill Commerce Association’s third annual Federal Hill Summer Festival takes place June 22–23 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. along Atwells Avenue, featuring dozens of food retail vendors and entertainment. Participating Federal Hill restaurant and marketplace favorites include Siena, Roma, Zooma, Venda, Tony’s Colonial and many more. Live entertainment will take place on the main stage at DePasquale Plaza with performances by Domenic DePasquale, Steve Anthony and Persuasion and the Ambrosiani Band. The full entertainment schedule is posted on federalhillprov.com.
Join Hope’s Harvest RI on June 22 from 7 to 11 p.m. for the first annual Gleaners Getdown at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket to support food rescue in Rhode Island. Hope’s Harvest will kick off its second season with fresh beats by Elementary Music, tasty treats by 22 Bowen’s and great vibes brought to you by the fabulous folks who help Hope’s Harvest RI provide fresh, healthy, local fruits and veggies to thousands of Rhode Islanders in need. General admission is $20. Registered volunteers get in for $10. The group could also use a few helpers to get this getdown going, including before, during and after the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Chefs Collaborative and the Chefs Collaborative Rhode Island Local are putting together some summer fun with Oysters, Fish and Beer, A Celebration of Aquaculture Today on Sunday, June 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. This event will focus on the global conversation of aquaculture in our world today. Meet at American Mussel Harvesters facility for shellfish, beer and great conversation as we celebrate seafood from our community and beyond and talk about aquaculture’s role, challenges and incredible potential. The event will be both educational and recreational with bites, beers, demos and a chance to take an in-depth look at aquaculture and the work the Silkes family does at their American Mussel Harvesters facility. Tickets are $50 per person and $15 for children ages fourteen to eighteen (plus fees.)
Rose and croquet? Okay! On June 23 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Lippitt House Museum in Providence will host a Rose and Croquet garden party complete with wine tastings, music, food and sport. The rose will be curated by Nikki’s Liquors in Providence. All croquet levels are welcome, and everyone is encouraged to pick up a mallet in the name of the Lippitt family. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door.
Join Ellie’s and GraciesProv proprietor Ellen Slattery on June 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Ellie’s as she joins fellow local small business owners and leaders in the hospitality, food and beverage sector to discuss, “Growing a Food Business in Rhode Island: Lessons From the Trenches.” Other panelists include Bryan Gibb, owner of Bolt Coffee, Minnie Luong, founder of Chi Foods, Champe Speidel, owner and chef at Persimmon, Karina Wood, executive director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and Dale Venturini, president and CEO of RI Hospitality Association. Complimentary appetizers and cash bar. RSVP to email@example.com.
Local bartenders will be mixing it up for a cocktail competition that’s open to the public for observing and tasting. Sling Cocktail Exposition and Competition takes place on June 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Skyline at Waterplace. Organizers Matt Simmons and Lupe Aguilar are enlisting some of Providence’s finest bartenders to curate cocktails for the event, and guests will get the chance to sip and savor the results. Simmons hopes to shed light on new bartending talent through the competition, which is sponsored by Horizon Beverage, Broken Shed Vodka, Anna’s Kitchen, Bank of America, Sprout Microgreens, Casamigos Tequila, Yacht Club Soda and Rhody Foody. Rhode Island Monthly‘s Jamie Coelho will be serving as a judge. Tickets are $20 each and proceeds will benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
Join the Boil Bros and Foolproof Brewing on Wednesday, June 26, from 6-9 p.m. for a good old-fashioned New Orleans-style crawfish boil. Tickets are $30 per person, which includes all you can eat crawfish and fixins, until the food runs out, plus one beer. Additional beers can be purchased via the cash bar. Here are the rules: The event runs 6-9 p.m. Please arrive as close to 6 p.m. as possible, settle in, get a beer, socialize, pick your spot at the table and get ready to eat. The crawfish get dropped at 7 p.m. sharp. Show up late, run the risk of missing the food. Please note this is a twenty-one-plus and dog-free event.
Strawberry season is short and sweet. Blink and you miss it. But you can really savor the season at New Rivers, as the restaurant is hosting an all-strawberry dinner on June 27. The special a la carte menu will feature local strawberries from Four Town Farm in many forms (they say this is the best strawberry season yet because of all the rain we’ve had!). New Rivers will also offer the full menu. Call 401-751-0350 or or email for more information and to reserve your seat.
Come watch the PawSox play on the first day of July and 50 percent from the sale of your ticket will support Farm Fresh RI! Be sure to purchase your tickets via the Farm Fresh RI website in order to support the production of locally and honestly produced foods and flavors. The game begins at 6:05 p.m., and will conclude with a fireworks show.
Providence is one of the nation’s hottest culinary destinations. Find out what the fuss is all about during Providence Restaurant Weeks. Choose from mouthwatering menus at nearly 100 restaurants. Enjoy three-course lunches for $16.95 and three-course dinners for $29.95, $34.95 or $49.95, as well as two-for-one specials.
Attend the Providence Chamber of Commerce’s Bold Voices and Brews event on Thursday, July 11 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Chamber. The free conversation will feature Ellen Slattery, owner of Ellie’s and Gracie’s restaurants in Providence. Don’t miss out on the beer samples at this one! More details and registration information coming soon.
On August 13, Farm Fresh RI is hosting the Local Food Fest at Castle Hill Inn in Newport. The event aims to pair local chefs and mixologists with local farmers and fishers to create new twists on Rhode Island cuisine made with the freshest and most local ingredients possible. Preview hour begins at 4 p.m., with tickets priced at $200, while doors open to the general public at 5 p.m. with tickets priced at $150. Space is limited, so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance.
Outstanding in the Field is hosting its first event at Wild Harmony Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. The polyculture and organic livestock farm is run by Ben Coerper and Rachael Slattery, who raised their animals as close to the “wild” as possible, letting them roam on acres of land where the fences move every day. They practice rotational grazing, which means the animals are constantly provided with highly nutritious food, while the grass is likewise fertilized by the animals. The chef on duty for the multi-course meal in the beauty of the farm’s natural surroundings is Benjamin Sukle of Oberlin and birch in Providence. Chef Sukle was a James Beard nominee for Best Chef: Northeast in 2018 and is again in 2019. Tickets are $265 per person.
Join Hotel Viking in Newport for one or all of their summer events. Have a bite to eat on the rooftop restaurant, Top of Newport, or, every Wednesday have a speciality spirit and a cigar at the Spirits and Stogies Dinners. If you prefer indoor dining, check out One Bellevue, and don’t forget to bring your pup along for Paws on the Patio on Thursdays, where a doggy-friendly menu will be available as well.
The Courtland Club will be hosting live jazz every Sunday this summer. Stop by for smooth tunes from bands like the Leland Baker Trio and enjoy the atmosphere, food, and of course, drinks.
In an effort to merge family traditions with business, Imbriglio’s Pizzaria Napoletana Resto-Bar is offering a new year-round special; a free pizza with your purchase each time an Imbriglio family member has a birthday. On each of the seven birthdays, dine-in customers only can receive the Imbriglio family member’s favorite pizza for free in addition to their order.
This summer, visit Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown to take a tour and learn how shellfish are cultivated in local waters. During specific times which must be booked in advance, visitors will be able to see different oysters in various stages of growth. Tours are sixty minutes long, $15 per person and can be conducted both by land and boat. Book reservations for the month of June here.
Graze Burgers‘ patio is now open! Now that the nice weather is finally here to stay (knock on wood!), Graze Burgers has opened the patio and is additionally celebrating with some new menu items. Avocado lovers will have a burger of their own and the Breakfast Burger with a fried egg, crispy bacon and American cheese will be sure to please. The thing that has us running for Graze is the Cinna-Bomb – cinnamon cereal-infused soft serve ice cream topped with cinnamon sugar crunchies. Yum!
If you’re in the mood for summertime drinks, then treat yourself to something amazing at the Vanderbilt Hotel’s Garden Terrace or the rooftop deck. The brand new, expertly crafted cocktail menu includes offerings such as From the Land – a vodka-based drink with notes of strawberry, basil and balsamic – and In the Clouds – a rose-colored cocktail that puts a twist on the Negroni, with hints of grapefruit and lemongrass-citron replacing the classic vermouth.
Summertime calls for summer flavors and Yacht Club Soda has you covered. Get ready for a little Berrymelon Rebellion, a refreshing and delicious strawberry-watermelon soda. The patriotic theme of the label, designed by famed cartoonist and Rhode Island resident, Frankie Galasso, reflects summertime in the Ocean State. This may be the taste of summer, but summertime ends, just like this limited run! Make sure you taste it before the summer ends.
June is pride month, and Rhode Island has a very active LGBTQ community. Dave’s Coffee is celebrating pride month by bringing back their Big and Fruity Blend, which they started last year. The rich, Ethiopian blend will be sold at the shop, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Youth Pride, a nonprofit based in Providence that services the youth and young adults of the Ocean State impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression and reinforcing values of leadership, affirmation and community.
Evelyn’s Drive-In in Tiverton is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with great midweek deals including $10.99 fish and chips on Mondays, $10 fish tacos on Tuesdays, $10 cheeseburgers and fries on Wednesdays, and $6 chowder and clam cakes Mondays through Thursdays.
Angelo’s Restaurant in Providence is celebrating its ninety-fifth birthday by offering the special $9.50 menu, which will last all summer. The $9.50 menu will be available Monday through Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. 141 Atwells Ave., Providence, 401-621-8171, angelosri.com
Food Truck Friday returns to the Carousel Village at Roger Williams Park in Providence for its fifth season every Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. What could be better than eating out with the family on a Friday night? With local beer from Trinity Brewhouse and more than fifteen local eateries represented, there will be plenty to choose from. The carousel will be up and running, plus there will be a bounce house, train and camel rides, along with live music.
Every Monday night is burger night at Chez Pascal in Providence. The burger is offered in addition to regular menu items, while supplies last. One concoction is a grilled beef burger with cheesy herb spaetzli, crispy bacon and tomato preserve on a house-made bun, for example. Sides will also change weekly.
George’s of Galilee offers many weekly dining specials. On Monday, enjoy half-priced appetizers with the purchase of an entree; Tuesday is Buck a Shuck all day; on Wednesday get a half-priced bottle of wine with the purchase of an entree; Thursday is slow-roasted prime rib nights; Friday, get all you can eat clam cakes, chowder and fish and chips for only $16.99! Buck a Shuck is also offered on Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. And there is live music every Sunday with Second Avenue from 2 to 6 p.m.
At Red Stripe in both Providence and East Greenwich, guests save 50 percent off bottles of wine every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to close. Every day, enjoy half-price appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, only at the bar and high-tops. Appetizers include Basque calamari, street tacos, frites, parmesan truffle frites, buffalo cauliflower, mezze plate, crispy Brussels sprouts and Mediterranean broccoli rabe.
Join Jamestown Fish in Jamestown for Vintage Thursdays: a casual and affordable exploration of wine and food where the only agenda is enjoyment and education. Guests are invited to not only sample the provided offerings of the night, but to also bring their own bottles that fit the occasion to enjoy and share with others (if they wish). There is no set time to arrive. On Thursdays, enjoy a two-course dinner, paired perfectly with these wine samplings for just $25.
OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES
Knead Doughnuts, the locally-sourced and seasonally-inspired doughnut shop based in Providence, recently opened a third location at 55 Cromwell Street in Providence. The new retail spot is part of their commercial collaborative kitchen and it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. With this additional kitchen, Knead will be able to supply more farmers markets and coffee shops across the state with their tasty treats.
Warwick Ice Cream is showing its softer side this summer with the release of the new flavor “Every Child, Every Day.” The new flavor was created in partnership with Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and a portion of proceeds will help to modernize the hospital and expand its programs. The new flavor, all-natural chocolate with Anchor Toffee crunch and a ‘care’amel swirl, reached retail freezers on May 25.
Ellie’s – a Parisian-inspired neighborhood eatery from Ellen Slattery of Gracie’s and the now-closed Ellie’s Bakery – is now open at at 225 Weybosset Street in Providence, across the street from PPAC. The new, all-day cafe features French, bistro-style dinner classics, elevated by Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga, in addition to coffee, breakfast, lunch and dessert items. Gracie’s executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark puts a unique spin on Ellie’s desserts.
Hold onto your sunhats and buckle up your sandals because Sons of Liberty has something delicious in store. Launching its new flavors just in time for some summer fun, Local 9 Canned Cocktails are now available for purchase around the state. With flavors like Loyal 9 Lemonade, Loyal 9 Half and Half and Loyal 9 Mixed Berry Lemonade, there’s something for everyone. Just take it slow – these cocktails are all at least 9 percent alcohol by volume!
Providence’s Trinity Brewhouse launched a regular evening beer garden in Biltmore Park with craft brews, cocktails and wine. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday for late afternoons and evenings from late May to early October. Read more.
The owners of Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano have just opened up a new pizzeria adjacent to Sardella’s in Newport, Imbriglio’s Pizzaria Resto Bar Napoletana. Featuring a full bar and handmade Neapolitan pizza made from the finest ingredients in a wood-fired oven that’s open for customers to see, you’re definitely going to have to stop in for some real Italian pizza. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 5–10 p.m.
The Smokehouse in Newport is back and open for the season! With delicious cocktails, traditional barbecue offerings like wings, brisket and pulled pork as well as Rhode Island favorites like New England clam chowder and shrimp cocktail, there’s something for everyone here. Check out this season’s menu here.
Cork and Rye recently opened in Warwick where Fat Belly’s used to be. The modern gastropub serves scratch-made pub food in a modern setting, alongside craft cocktails and a stellar whiskey/wine program. Check out the menu here.
Narragansett Beer released the all-new Del’s Watermelon Shandy! Joining the wildly popular Del’s Lemon Shandy, this refreshingly different addition pays homage to the everlasting debate by New Englanders over which flavor is best. Read more about the watermelon shandy.
Green Line Apothecary, the pharmacy and soda fountain, opened its new Providence location on Thursday, April 11 at 905 North Main Street. Transferring prescriptions to Green Line’s pharmacy is easy – call, stop by, or submit a request online – and the pharmacy staff takes care of the rest.
Formerly known as Fountain and Co., Vic’s Craft Ice Cream opened up shop in Barrington. Owned and operated by Victoria Young, Vic’s features small batches of unusual craft ice cream flavors including toasty vanilla made from coconut palm sugar, matcha, sour watermelon sorbet and more. In addition to the East Bay storefront, Vic’s will continue to pop up at Stock Culinary Goods throughout the summer. Read more about Vic’s Craft Ice Cream.
Newport Restaurant Group, operated by Newport Harbor Corporation, has reopened Iron Works, located at 697 Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick. The space has been renovated and it serves lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; and dinner only on Sundays 3–10 p.m. Executive chef Joe Caldarone, a native of Cranston, has created the menu, which includes appetizers like Moroccan salt-cured Shake-n-Bake wings with yogurt mint sauce and Point Judith calamari with cherry peppers, watercress and peppadew aioli; get a wood-grilled burger on freshly baked bread from Iggy’s or go for an entree, such as pan-seared, locally-caught sole or the Steak Board: wood-grilled, bone-in ribeye with seasonal roasted vegetables, roasted potatoes, house steak sauce, chimichurri and horseradish gremolata. For more information, visit ironworkswarwick.com or call 401-739-5111.
Long Live Beerworks opened its new location at 40R Sprague Street in Providence, and the old location at 425 West Fountain Street is reopening as Beer on Earth brewery on Thursday, June 6 from 4 to 9 p.m. The hours for Long Live’s new space are Wednesday through Monday. Beer on Earth will be open Thursday through Sunday. Check Beer on Earth’s Facebook page for updates. Read more about Long Live’s move here.
Daisy Jo’s Fried Chicken and Biscuits is now open at 63 Airport Road in Warwick, which is the former location of Four Corners Coffee and Pink Pig BBQ.
The Punjab is a new Indian restaurant offering both dining in and takeout to Johnston.
Nicks on Broadway’s owner and executive chef Derek Wagner will open a second location, Nicks on Westminster, in June in Providence’s Financial District.
Bristol Oyster Bar reopened under new ownership last month, but it’s still the same restaurant we know and love with local oysters and great seafood. From owner Peter Sebring on its Facebook page: “It’s with mixed emotion that I announce the sale of my restaurant and oyster farm. I’ve been able to fulfill a lifelong dream to own and operate a restaurant and raw bar. Building from the ground up has been the challenge and ultimately the success for which I am most proud. A huge thank you to so many people integral to my restaurant’s success; my committed family, my second-to-none staff, my supportive friends and my loyal customers…all key players in the success of my businesses. It’s been an experience I’m so grateful for. Thank you all for making this possible!”
Mercer’s Delicatessen is no longer. Salted Slate chef Ben Lloyd transformed the space into Providence Wine Bar, serving some of the best bottles of wine in town with a thoughtful menu to match, including Argentine prawns, tuna carpaccio, gnocchi and whipped feta on focaccia.
After more than ten years at the White Horse Tavern, executive chef Richard Silvia has moved on to Newport Vineyards to work with chef Andy Teixeira as his chef responsible for catering. Silvia posted an announcement on Facebook: “I am saddened to announce that after 10 years, I am leaving my home at the White Horse Tavern. So many years and so many great memories and challenges,” he wrote. “Looking forward to a stellar farm to table experience and a focus on 100 percent from scratch cuisine. I am excited for the opportunity chef and the Nunes family has extended to me.”
Ragged Island Brewing Company received unanimous approval from the Portsmouth Zoning Board for its plans to build a farm brewery at the former Van Hof Nursery property at 54 Bristol Ferry Road in Portsmouth. Read more here.
Newport Restaurant Group is opening a new restaurant this month in downtown Newport at the corner of Washington Square and Charles Street. Bar Cino will have a menu focused on Italian cuisine and a full liquor license.
The Duck and Bunny, a bakery, creperie and restaurant located on Wickenden Street in Providence, closed in March for major renovations. The bakery part of the business temporarily moved to a new location, Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket, during the renovations. This smaller sweetery is a full-service bakery and tea shop. The Snuggery will reopen later this year with a full liquor license, upstairs party space, separate bakery area and library bar. Read more about the renovations here.
Sweet Indulgence bought a building, which will be a restaurant, bakery and bar all in one in Warwick Conimicut Village. Stay tuned to its Facebook page for updates.
Chez Pascal in Providence has completed its renovations, and the place looks beautiful. Both menus, Chez Pascal and the Wurst Kitchen are available to all in the Chez Pascal dining room.
McCormick and Schmick’s is now closed at the former Biltmore Hotel, which is now named Graduate Providence, NBC 10 reports. Chief Operating Officer Howard Cole issued a statement: “Due to our natural lease expiration, McCormick & Schmick’s located at 11 Dorrance Street in Providence, RI closed its doors at end of business on Saturday, June 15. We are grateful for the support of the local community and loyal patrons. We value our employees, their dedication to our company and are working to relocate them. The employees that made the decision not to relocate will receive a severance check,” the statement said.
Charlie O’s in Narragansett abruptly closed last week, according to the Providence Journal. A spokeswoman from the Narragansett Town Manager’s office did not know the reason, but in the article, she says it looks like it is closed permanently.
Stoneacre Tapas announced the sale of its restaurant. From its Facebook page: “We are happy to be able to fully concentrate our efforts at Stoneacre Brasserie in Washington Square, what we consider to be the ‘hearth of the Newport community.’ Thanks to everyone who’s supported us over the years down on lower Thames, from our humble beginnings as Stoneacre Pantry through the present day. We wouldn’t be here without the love and encouragement of our loyal guests, local farmers and fellow wine enthusiasts. The future is bright, and we’re ready! See you in Washington Square!”
After eighteen years in business, Thee Red Fez in Providence has closed. From the Facebook page: “18 years! It’s been a crazy ride. It’s been an honor to be a part of the Providence dining and drinking scene. But all good things must end some day. We (Ed, Sara and Kevin) have decided it’s time. So much craziness, so much Mac and cheese, All those memories will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to move on. The building is sold, the heart of the historic parking lot district shall beat no more. New adventures await for us, and we hope you remember the fez fondly. Come by the next couple weeks as we wrap things up. Enjoy a drink or meal or memories.”
Warren’s the Restaurant and Cafe on Main Street closed on March 30 after nineteen years in business. The restaurant’s lease was not renewed and the restaurant owners, Jeff and Michele Zeller, were reluctant to close, but will not relocate. Read more from turnto10.com.
Ellie’s Bakery at 61 Washington Street in Providence is now closed, and bakery operations have moved to the newly opened Ellie’s at 225 Weybossett Street.
Ballard’s of Block Island was recently crowned the winner of the 2019 BIMI (Block Island Maritime Institute) ChowdaFest. They beat out numerous other restaurants on the island, such as the National Hotel and Block Island Oyster Bar and Grill.
Chef-owner Ben Sukle of Oberlin and birch, and chef-owner James Mark of north headed to the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago this past May. Both Providence chefs earned finalist nominations in the James Beard Awards for Best Chef: Northeast. They didn’t win this year, but we hope they will return again next year!
James Mark’s Big King was featured in a Boston Globe review by Devra First. Big King also recently landed a small review in The New York Times and earned a spot in “GQ’s Best New Restaurants in America, 2019.”
AAA Northeast, which conducts on-site hotel and restaurant evaluations, has recognized COAST at the Ocean House in Watch Hill with its prestigious Five Diamond award for the first time. The Watch Hill restaurant uses local, farm-to-table ingredients and changes the menu daily to include the freshest items. Three Newport restaurants, Cara at the Chanler, the Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn and the Vanderbilt Grill at the Grace Vanderbilt Hotel, as well as and Gracie’s in Providence have been honored as Four Diamond Award recipients.