Diner’s Update

The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
Ceviche Tradicional22

Ceviches by Divino.

OPENINGS

Ceviches by Divino is a new Peruvian tapas restaurant at 11 Point St. in Providence, now serving ceviches, tapas, Peruvian rolls, entrees like lomo saltado and arroz con mariscos alongside craft beer, cocktails and a full wine list.

The former Salvation Cafe in Newport is now Cabana. The menu includes fresh local seafood in creative ways like the Cabana calamari with sweet and spicy birds eye chili, scallions, ginger, sesame seeds, carrot daikon salad and pickled ginger vinaigrette, as well as linguine and clams, jambalaya and grilled local tuna. For the meat lovers, there is steak frites and street tacos.

The owners of the Wharf Southern Kitchen and Diego’s have taken over what was previously known as Fluke Wine Bar and Kitchen in Newport. Restaurant Rivalry is a popup restaurant for the summer.  The menu showcases seasonal seafood including oysters, crudo, ceviche and baked oysters, then you can order favorite menu items and cocktails from the menus of Diego’s or the Wharf. They also serve brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The plant-based upscale restaurant Foglia is now open Thursday through Saturday for dinner in Bristol. Chef Peter Carvelli started out doing popup tasting menus and catering for his plant-based traveling restaurant business 12 Plants, and now he’s opened his own bricks and mortar restaurant inside the former Statesman Tavern, which used to be Persimmon’s first location. Carvelli is known for his high-end fine dining concept, serving multi-course vegan tasting menus.

Kimi’s Bar is now open on the West End. It’s located at 373 Washington St. in Providence. See the website for hours.

Glou is a new bar at 134 Ives Street in Providence, serving cocktails, wine, beer and zero-proof drinks as well as small plates Wed.-Sun. from  5 p.m.-midnight. The bar’s owners are the same people (Emory and Alexa) who brought us Twenty Stories bookshop.

Sport and Leisure sports-bar-style restaurant settled in at 108 North Main Street in Providence in the former Olives spot.

Rise ‘n’ Shine Coffee Bar is located on Holden Street in the Smith Hill section of Providence. Owned by longtime Smith Hill resident Neal Kaplan, the coffee shop is a gathering place for the community in a historic carriage house. It’s open open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Clementine’s Ice Cream opened its new East Greenwich location. It’s open daily from noon-9 p.m. at 2934 South County Trail in East Greenwich. There’s also a location in Middletown.

Providence Oyster Bar has opened a second location in East Greenwich, serving dinner, Friday lunch and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monahan’s Clam Shack took over the Hitching Post in Charlestown at 5204 Post Road as a second location. There is plenty of outdoor seating, yard games and clam shack favorites.

Check out Mozz cheese shop in Newport, where fresh mozzarella and bread are made daily and fresh pastries and coffee are worshiped. “Mozz is the combination of Luca’s lifelong passion for the pursuit of the perfect mozzarella and the best artisanal products that he remembers from his childhood back in Italy. Named after Luca’s first love, Mozz takes you to the energetic and lively world of La Bella Vita, while maintaining quality production practices that are inherent to every local Italian product. Come visit us to experience the freshest mozzarella di Bufala, as well as the finest cheeses, breads and Italian specialty items.”

Dive Bar is a new semi-secret private cocktail bar space located just below Surf Club in Newport. To inquire about hosting a private event in the space, contact events@surfclubnewport.com.

Copper Club is a new speakeasy-style bar above Wally’s Weiners in Newport.

Mr. Chicken is finally open in Warren, serving takeout, and with limited seating in the dining room. The restaurant serves casual Portuguese cuisine with chicken as the focus (grilled chicken with secret sauce, chicken Mozambique, chicken wings, roasted chicken, chicken fingers, chicken kabob and more), plus Portuguese soups, salads, traditional Portuguese steak and pork dishes.

After being closed for two years during the pandemic, Sarto restaurant inside the Providence G building has reopened for service. Billing itself as a “fresh, new approach to Italian,” the restaurant incorporates Rhode Island-sourced ingredients into its menu. Read more here.

PiANTA plant-based cuisine opened a brick and mortar restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence. Learn more about PiANTA here.

The Bodega on Smith is now open as “an American deli and marketplace serving all nationalities with prepared foods, sandwiches, deli, produce, local products and more.” Follow @thebodegaonsmith for updates.

345 Plant City is now open across the street from Plant City. It’s Plant City’s version of a cocktail bar with crafted cocktails and mocktails, high end spirits, local beer and plant-based bar food. Find out more at @345plantcity.

Ohana Backyard BBQ is a new restaurant in Coventry that combines a local backyard vibe with just a hint of flavor from the Hawaiian Islands.

Union and Main, opened by the Culpo family of former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo fame, is now open on Main Street in East Greenwich, serving coastal comfort cuisine, including short rib ragu, sesame-crusted tuna, fish and chips, burgers and more. They also have a breakfast menu with breakfast pizza, short rib poutine the Main Street hash and Monkey Bread French toast.

Main Street Vibe is a new smoothie and juice bar located on Main Street in Wakefield near Mews Tavern and Brickley’s Ice Cream. The shop is specializing in healthy shakes, energizing teas, protein coffees and more. The shop is owned by Wakefield resident Jennifer Nerbonne, who is also a mother of three who earned degrees from both URI and Salve Regina University. She previously spent the last nearly three decades of her career working in IT for organizations including Pfizer and FM Global. She is happy to bring healthy shakes, teas and coffees to the local community at Main Street Vibes.

Bellini inside the Beatrice hotel is open for lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. The third restaurant from Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani offers upscale Italian classics, such as bucatini “Cacio e Pepe” and traditional lasagna “alla Bolognese,” as well as modern creations, including the Bellini cheeseburger and panino with Milanese di pollo. The forty-seven room hotel, set in the 1887 Exchange Building and owned by Joseph Paolino Jr., is also launching a private rooftop club. “The opening of The Beatrice is a continuation of the commitment I made to the Providence community back in 1984 to invest back in the city and spur activity in the local economy through projects that not only enhance the splendor of the city, but also revitalize our city’s tourism sector,” Paolino said during the ribbon-cutting event. “The Beatrice is a celebration of Providence’s history, culinary scene and vibrant arts community, and it also pays tribute to a woman who personified the essence of this city — my mother Beatrice Temkin.” Read more about the Beatrice and Bellini. For more information and access to the full menu, visit bellinirestaurant.com/providence.

Trafford in Warren reopened after being closed for years after a devastating hood fire followed by the pandemic. The restaurant is again serving lunch and dinner overlooking Warren’s waterfront.

 

EVENTS, SPECIALS AND MENU UPDATES

Rhode Island Red Food Tours are back. Choose from the Newport Neighborhood Food Tour and the Downcity Providence Food Tour. Tours in Newport (Thurs., Fri., Sat. and Sun.) and Providence (Fri., Sat. and Sun) begin at noon and each includes stops at a half dozen locally owned restaurants and eateries. On many days, a second afternoon tour is offered. Tours last three to three and a half hours and along the way, guests learn about the history, art, architecture, culinary culture and bonafide bragging rights of both Providence and Newport. Private tours are available for both Providence and Newport and offer a great opportunity for corporate team building or an exclusive opportunity to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, girlfriend getaways, bachelor/bachelorette parties, family reunions or other milestones. Individual tour tickets can be purchased at two price points: with or without alcohol. Tours operate rain or shine and gift certificates are available. Additional information and tickets can be found at rhodeislandredfoodtours.com.

Now-10/29

Throughout the 1.75-mile walking Newport Foodies Stroll food tour, rediscover Thames Street with the help of great meals. Wander the historic streets of the City by the Sea with tour guides Thomas and Susan Maxwell in between three-course meals and wine pairings at notable restaurants and pubs – taste the delicious cuisine from places like the Reef and Cold Fusion Gelato. Reserve your spot online. Wed., Fri. and Sat. 11:30 a.m. and noon. Adults $88, children twelve and under $37. Meeting location in front of wave statue at 337 Thames St. in Newport.

8/10 and every Wednesday

Hope and Main in Warren is bringing back its Schoolyard Market every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. Guests can shop for locally-produced food and beverage products, and contribute feedback, share in recipe development, learn about new food trends, cooking techniques and nutrition and more. Listen to live music, arrange grocery and meal pickups and visit food trucks. There is also usually a hands-on kids activity. Any child who engages with the activity will get a $5 gold coin redeemable at any market stand.

8/10 and every Wednesday

Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter is hosting a farmers market from June 8-October 12. The market will be held on Wednesday nights from 4-7  p.m. with weekly food vendors including homegrown foods and locally made products as well as music from local musicians.

8/11, 8/18, 8/25

Order wine, beer and spirits from Troop PVD on top of the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence on Thursdays from 5–9 p.m. Lounge with your buddies while sipping great drinks and watching the sunset. In case it rains, the party continues indoors. Thurs. 5–9 p.m.

8/11, 8/15, 8/29

Aloft Providence Hotel is beginning “Yappy Hour” every other Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with Providence Animal Rescue League. PARL will have dogs to adopt onsite in the courtyard area of Aloft and attendees are urged to bring their pup friends or come to get some puppy love! “With the launch of our Backyard Yappy Hour, we are looking forward to creating beautiful human connections with our dog lover community while supporting PARL in their mission to find a forever home for a homeless animal in need,” says Damaris Messina, marketing director for Aloft Providence. Signature cocktails will be available and some proceeds from the cocktails will go to PARL.

8/11 and 8/29, 9/10

The Aquatic Resource Education program invites you to “Come Clam with Me!” Learn how to dig for clams, the equipment you need, and the management strategies that have kept Rhode Island in the quahogging industry for so long. Jody King, a longtime quahogger, will be instructing people of all ages about the ins and outs of recreational clamming. Dates and locations:

  • Thursday, Aug. 11, 12 PM-3 PM  – Colt State Park
  • Monday, Aug. 29, 2 PM-5 PM  – Rocky Point State Park
  • Saturday, Sept. 10, 12 PM-3 PM – North Kingstown Town Beach

Registration: Email kimberly.sullivan@dem.ri.gov.

Cost: $5 per person for registrants eight years of age and older.

8/12, 8/19, 8/26 and every Friday through September

Every Friday through September, visit the eighth season of Food Truck Friday at the Carousel Village at Roger Williams Park in Providence. The event, made possible by PVD Food Truck Events and FoodTrucksIn.com, kicks off at 5 p.m. with food available for purchase from more than fifteen food trucks, plus local beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse. This event series is free to attend. Just pay for what you eat and drink. Tickets are not necessary. Food trucks accept cash, credit and debit. There is live music each week from a rotation of over a dozen local musicians. Take a carousel ride, hop aboard the train, or explore Hasbro’s Boundless Playgrounds. Attractions are separate pricing. Bring a chair or blanket, and sit on the lawn. Friendly and leashed pets are permitted but not encouraged.

8/14

Mount Hope Farm in Bristol presents Cool Jazz from 4-8 p.m. under the tent with music by Mystique and food by Russell Morin Catering. The fundraiser to support Mount Hope Farm includes an open bar, hors d’oeurves, raw bar, buffet and a selection of summer pies. Tickets are $150 for members and $160 for non-members. Get more info here.

8/16

Rhody Foody is hosting its next Rhody Foody social at PiANTA on Federal Hill in Providence. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and involves a social meet and eat setting with light fare bites from the team at PiANTA, a plant-based eatery. All attendees will be entered for a chance to win raffle prizes. There is street parking and a cash bar. Ages twenty-one-plus only. Samples will be served but full menu options are available for purchase. Tickets are $12 each or get two passes for $20 (pre-sale), or nab four tickets for $30.

Lorrainemillcrawl8/18

The Lorraine Mills is hosting another Mill Crawl in Pawtucket. Buy a tasting passport at any of the participating vendors or just purchase food and drink as usual. It takes place Aug. 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. with samples from Ming’s Asian Street Food, Ja Patty, Just Like Nana’s, Cakes by Eboni, White Dog Distilling and Crooked Current Brewery. Passports are $30 each.

8/19

The Good Trade Night Mini Mart is coming to Industrious Spirit Company on August 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be fifteen different vendors, including local makers and local food businesses, for a night by ISCO’s fire pits. Enjoy shopping, cocktails and food by Ja Patty. Free and open to the public.

8/20

The Collaborative in Warren is once again hosting the Warren Folks Festival from 1-7 p.m. with live music, craft beer and cocktails, food from local restaurants, creative goods from several artisans and more. Food retailers include Basil and Bunny, Hunky Dory, Chomp Kitchen and Drinks, Dips Dips and Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea. There will also be a kids crafts table. Free but donations are encouraged. The address is 30 Cutler St. in Warren.

8/27

This year’s Brew at the Zoo from 5 to 8 p.m. at Roger Williams Park Zoo offers a variety of activities including animal encounters and live music from Farm Dog band and the Niteflies. Sample from 170 beers from more than eighty brewers, including local, regional and national, at this twenty-one-plus event.  VIP admission is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $70 for general admission and $90 for VIP. Designated driver tickets are available for $30 each.

8/15, 8/22, 8/29

The Weekapaug Inn in Westerly is hosting a BBQ on the guest lawn on August 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy slow-and-low barbecue fare with classic summer sides. Chef Andrew Brooks and his team – using a custom-made smoker from Georgia – prepare succulent brisket, Carolina pulled pork, Cajun-rubbed chicken, St. Louis ribs, and more truly authentic BBQ favorites. Beer and wine will be served and live music will play. Enjoy s’mores by the fire pit. Tickets are $120 each for adults, Children four through twelve are $48 and children younger than three are free.

9/1-9/30

RI Food Fights is hosting the second annual Veg Out, an entire month of vegan eats and treats in September. Dedicated vegans and newbies alike will explore the fast-growing, plant-based food scene in Rhode Island. Participating restaurants will offer an item that showcases the wide range of vegan options, including bagels, pizza, ice cream, pastries, sandwiches and more. More than twenty restaurants will participate. Order a passport online for $30 and use your coupons for the entire month.

9/3

Shop to your heart’s content during Downcity’s breezy Open Air Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.. In between your shopping ventures, enjoy live music, outdoor games, beer gardens and food truck fare or sit down at restaurants like Durk’s Bar-B-Q, Kin and Rosalina. The streets will be shut down to traffic near Grant’s Block, Union Street and Biltmore Park, and a lively outdoor atmosphere is the reward. First Saturday of the month.

9/18

Newport is holding its first Octoberfest on September 18 at Fort Adams, sponsored by Ragged Island Brewing Co. Tickets are now available for the festival that will benefit Fort Adams Trust. Enjoy authentic German beer, wine, food and live music. The twenty-one-plus event is a fundraiser for Ford Adams Trust, the nonprofit organization that maintains the structure. The festival takes place from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and includes a refillable stein glass. General admission tickets are $65 each. Designated driver tickets are also available for $20 each and include a glass upon exit.

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Blu Violet at the Aloft Hotel in Providence is now hosting the Rum and B Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a deejay spinning ’80s and ’90s hits.

The Rooftop at the G in Providence has begun hosting its Fireside After Dark Series, including entertainment beginning at 9:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The rooftop will include entertainment from aerialists, stilt walkers, street artists and magicians, as well as drag and burlesque pop-ups, snake charmers and party bands. “With the long-awaited return of live events and experiences, we wanted to create something new and unique for Providence on weekend nights. Our Fireside After Dark series is a first for the area,” says Brendan Chipley Roane, director of marketing and communications for G Hospitality. “Through curating New England-based artists and performers, we’re bringing a little bit of Burning Man visuals, Vegas nightlife spectacles and Miami supper club vibes to the Providence night scene.”

Sarto restaurant on the street level of the Providence G is also now open during afternoon hours, starting at 3 p.m. and has a new outdoor patio that will have monthly tasting events called Spritz on the Sidewalk, as well as additional cocktail and happy hour events and specials.

Stoneacre Hospitality has expanded its partnership with the Newport Preservation Society to launch a luxurious private Gilded Age Picnic complete with lawn games at the Elms Estate to immerse guests into similar scenes from the HBO drama series, “The Gilded Age,” which filmed parts in Newport. “The Gilded Picnic” can be booked for eight to fourteen guests in one of their two, early 20th-century, marble and glass pavilions overlooking the Sunken Garden, grand allée and whimsical fountains. The Sunken Garden features marble pavilions used as teahouses by the Berwind family. These gardens were restored in 2003. The ten-acre park contains almost forty species of trees, and a variety of shrubs and bushes, many of them manicured into trim cones and cylinders. The Gilded Age Picnic includes a croquet setup and picnic with food and beverage from Stoneacre Picnics.

The Vanderbilt, owned by Auberge Resorts Collection, is hosting several food-and-drink related events. The Private Oyster Farm Tour will allow guests to spend the day with the experts at West Passage Oysters. Learn about the history of half-shells in Rhode Island, an oyster’s life cycle and how shellfish are farmed in Newport’s Narragansett Bay. Guests will be able to try their hand at harvesting, shucking and eating the fresh oysters straight from the water. (Available starting April 1; $115 per adult, $80 per child). The hotel is also hosting Oyster Happy Hour with $1 oysters offered in the Dining Room. Indulge in fresh Rhode Island oysters, shucked before your eyes at the mansion’s live shucking station on Sundays – Fridays from 4-5:30 p.m.

There’s also another special experience at the Vanderbilt. Guests can set sail on an America’s Cup sailing boat or on the beautiful “Lyra,” or take a private sailing lesson at the Newport Yacht Club. Afterward, guests can participate in The Green Hour, in which they are transported to another era back in the day where artists and poets imbibed on absinthe. Found within the Parlour at the hidden bar, guests are presented with an exclusive invitation and skeleton key to access a hidden closet, where they will find a specialty absinthe menu. The mansion’s butler will educate guests about the history behind the storied spirit and share details about the mansion’s favorite absinthe bottles.

Durk’s Bar-B-Q has several weekly specials including half-priced burgers and pulled pork sandwiches on Wednesdays and half-priced appetizers on Thursdays. They keep the bar open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with a smaller late-night food menu available at the restaurant until 12:30 a.m., and for takeout and delivery. They also host an industry night with specials on Sunday evenings.

Bayberry Garden in Providence is serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner service will begin at 5 p.m. both days with the bar remaining open and a very light snack menu between brunch and dinner. Book reservations here.

Popups at ISCO

The Industrious Spirit Company distillery in Providence opened its indoor tasting room to the public. Patio and Tasting Room are first come, first serve. The distillery is also hosting mobile food businesses and live music events on the covered outdoor patio to complement ISCO’s handcrafted spirits and cocktails, available for outdoor dining and takeout. Wednesday nights they have a PVD Live music series from 6 to 8 p.m. Garden of Eve Caribbean restaurant returns for Thirsty Thursdays (or takeout anytime) with its tableside text menu from 5-10 p.m. Dishes include rasta pasta with grilled shrimp, vegan curry chickpeas, BBQ ribs and beef and chicken quesadillas. As always, the patio is covered and has several fire pits with frequent visits from area mobile food businesses. Reserve a table on the patio or order cocktails to go. Bottles of housemade gin and vodka are available for purchase too. Tours are now available by reservation, every other Sunday at 11 a.m.

First Friday of the month

Moniker Brewery in Providence is hosting First Fridays the first Friday of every month, when the brewery will welcome RI Cruisin’ Cocktails and Anchor and Hope wine, in addition to celebrating the brewery’s latest releases.

Every Friday and Saturday evening and Monday Industry Brunch

Little Sister on the East Side of Providence is serving tapas, wine and drinks every Friday and Saturday evening from 5-9 p.m. $1.50 oysters are also available from 5-7 p.m. The cafe sources local seasonal produce and seafood for its Puerto Rican and Spanish-influenced cuisine. Close to half of the tapas menu is vegan friendly, and the portions are shareable. Guests can make reservations and they also accept walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. The cafe is also open for brunch and lunch Thurs. and Fri. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as industry brunch on Mondays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (industry folks get a free drink with a dine-in meal). The garden patio can be reserved for outdoor private parties in a little hidden oasis. Learn more at instagram.com/littlesisterpvd.

 

FUTURE OPENINGS

Sweetgreen, the first in Rhode Island, is coming soon to Garden City in Cranston.

Chef and restaurateur Ben Lloyd of the Salted Slate and Providence Wine Bar is opening a third spot. The former XO Cafe will be renovated to become the XO Bar, according to Gail Ciampa of the Providence Journal. The bar will celebrate Lloyd’s past with the restaurant, where he used to work as a chef. He met his wife Nicole there, and they are partnering with Scott Champagne, who also used to work there. It will start off with just cocktails, but food can be ordered from nearby restaurants. Follow @thexobar on Instagram for updates.

Nick and Tracy Rabar will also be opening a third spot, Honeybird Kitchen and Cocktails, which will focus on fried chicken and Southern cuisine. Stay informed on their Instagram account at instagram.com/honeybirdri.

Screen Shot 2022 03 04 At 25936 Pm

Clementine’s new location. Via Instagram.

Basil and Bunny plant-based mobile cuisine will be launching a brick and mortar storefront at the Unity Park Development on Wood Street in Bristol, near the new Pivotal Brewing Company, Borealis Coffee and Fieldstone Kombucha. They hope to open sometime in August and Libby Slader is handling the design of the space. “We are forever grateful to Hope and Main for getting us up and running and connecting us to this new beautiful location and the incredible people involved with this project,” says the Instagram post. “One main question we have gotten is ‘Will we be keeping the Bunny Mobile?’ and the answer is, of course! We love the bunny mobile and you will still see her pop up at some breweries from time to time and, of course, special events and festivals. It is a fast casual concept. So order and take out or order and hang out.”

The Dorrance owners, Michael and Regina Lester, are moving their restaurant brand to Bellevue Avenue in Newport. They are currently renovating the vacant Griswold’s Tavern. You can learn more over at the Providence Journal (with a subscription).

Downtown Providence is finally getting a grocery store later in September. Rory’s Market and Kitchen is a Cape Cod-based independent organic grocery store that is opening its first Rhode Island location in the Nightingale Building at 113 Washington St. The building is being developed by Cornish Associates. The store will also feature prepared meals, breakfasts and sandwiches as well as a sit-down dining area.

 

NOTABLES

Wine Spectator unveiled the winners of the 2022 Restaurant Awards, which honor the world’s best restaurants for wine. Local winners include Coast, Watch Hill; the Restaurant at Weekapaug Inn, Westerly; Restaurant 1879; Tavolo Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille, Smithfield; Cara in Newport; the Dining Room at Castle Hill, Newport; Stoneacre Brasserie, Newport; White Horse Tavern, Newport; Camille’s, Providence; Capital Grille, Providence; Mill’s Tavern Restaurant, Providence; Persimmon, Providence; Sarto, Providence; Chapel Grille, Cranston; La Masseria, East Greenwich; Matunuck Oyster Bar, South Kingstown; Coast Guard House, Narragansett. The Restaurant Awards issue, which features chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer on the cover, becomes available to readers July 12.

Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana was named as a top 50 Best Pizzeria in the United States, according to 50 Top Pizza, a pizza evaluation site in Paestum, Italy. It was the only New England pizzeria to make the list, coming in at number thirty-three.

Rhode Island Spirits’ Rhodium Forager’s Gin took a gold medal from the San Fran World Spirits competition this spring. They’ve also released a small batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb Gin and their river bank seating is open again for the first time since the pandemic. Nine Newport Restaurant Group restaurants are serving Rhodium bespoke gin, which is only available at their properties and the Pawtucket distillery.

Town Made is a new shared-use commercial kitchen space in South County, located at 203 Main Street in Wakefield, Rhode Island. It used to be occupied by the very first Green Line Apothecary and the owners, Christina and Ken Procaccianti, opened the space as a “ghost kitchen” to help new small businesses get their start. “At Town Made, we are trying to lower the barriers to entrepreneurship, cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of makers, and provide a Main Street location for them to share their creations with the community,” says Ken Procaccianti. The state-of-the-art cooking facilities will be used by food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Town Made, which borrows its name from a former doughnut shop that operated in the same area over fifty years ago, features multiple full-service commercial kitchens, storage space and a Main Street storefront from which “Makers” can sell their products or easily arrange pickups by food delivery drivers. Makers, which include caterers, virtual restaurants, bakers, food truck operators and more, can reserve spaces for the days, times and frequency that meet their needs. Here’s how it works!

The Chanler at Cliff Walk and its on-site restaurant, Cara, both earned their first Forbes Five Star ranking. The twenty-room, luxury hotel sits along Newport’s Easton’s Beach. With only six tables, Cara (a blind-tasting menu-only restaurant) is now one of the region’s most desired dining destinations.

The Rhode Island Brewers Guild (RIBG), the nonprofit trade association dedicated to independent beer manufacturing in Rhode Island, now has thirty-eight member breweries.  Over the past nine years, they have have supported significant growth in the state’s brewing scene and organized events like RI Craft Beer Week. They have also added new leadership to its board of directors, including Jeremy Duffy of the Guild Pawtucket and Warren, Michelle Clark of Grey Sail Brewing of RI and Bryan Benedict of Moniker Brewery in Providence.  They join a team that includes Matthew Gray of Ragged Island Brewing Company in Portsmouth and Matthew Richardson from Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter.

Sandy’s Fine Food Emporium in Westerly is celebrating fifty years in business. It started out as a small fruit and vegetable stand in 1972 and evolved into a grocer and deli with many prepared foods.

The Ocean House‘s chef William Rietzel was the only Rhode Island chef nominated as a semifinalist for Best Chef: Northeast for the prestigious James Beard Awards.

 

CLOSINGS

North restaurant and Big King in Providence are both now closed for good. The good news is there are plans to have a new restaurant move into the Big King space, unaffiliated with James Mark.

Siena on Providence’s Federal Hill has permanently closed after seventeen years, announced Siena owner and president Anthony Tarro. “This, in no way, was an easy decision – Providence is where it all began for Siena, and I hope one day there is an opportunity to return,” he says in a news release. “We absolutely tried our best to reopen Providence, but in the end, it was not feasible. And although painful, it is a necessary transition to growing Siena again in the future.” Both Siena East Greenwich and Siena Smithfield will remain open, and all Siena gift certificates will be honored at both the East Greenwich and Smithfield locations.

JP Spoonem’s owners Joe and Pat Mangione have closed their beloved Cranston breakfast nook, but in its place is All Favorites Cafe, lead by the former executive chef at Winfield’s on Block Island.

The owners of Chez Pascal in Providence, Matt and Kristin Gennuso, officially closed the restaurant. Matt accepted a culinary opportunity abroad as a chef faculty member and expert in charcuterie in Singapore. From their blog: “We do not at this time know what form this little space that has held so much of our lives will become in the future. There is a peace and joy that we hold for the prospect of someone new to be able to follow their dream, pour their passion into this space, and find out just how incredibly lucky and special this corner of Rhode Island is. It gave us our start, taught us so many lessons, and we grew in the care of such an incredible community.  The friendships and the memories that we have made we will forever carry with us regardless of where we are.” Read more about the details here.

The renowned neighborhood restaurant Kip’s in Pawtucket has closed, as reported by Ethan Shorey in the Valley Breeze. The “owners of the property at the corner of Newport Avenue and Armistice Boulevard informed them that they had forty-five days to be out as they plan to level the building to make way for a new Chase Bank and drive-thru,” said the couple in Shorey’s article. A GoFundMe has been set up to help keep the owners, Heather and Hank Macomber, in their nearby home as they face losing the restaurant.

 

HIRING

RI Hospitality Association launched the new Rhode Island Hospitality Jobs Website: a convenient resource for its hospitality members to post job openings and for job seekers to easily identify local opportunities in the industry through the use of a simple search tool.

The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) also recently introduced the RI Hospitality Association Group 401(k) Plan, established in partnership with U.S. Wealth Management. For RIHA’s members, the RI Hospitality Association Group 401(k) Plan aims to reduce the administrative workload that comes with sponsoring a retirement plan for employees, lower administration expenses, and help industry businesses to attract and retain talented workers who seek valuable retirement benefits. RIHA members who would like more information about the program can contact Retirement Planning Specialist Adam Dani, RIHA’s liaison at U.S. Wealth Management, by email at adani@uswealthmanagement.com, or by phone at 781-884-2354. “We are all fighting to attract and retain quality talent in a dwindling pool, and to do so, we need to focus on improving employee satisfaction,” says Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO of the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF). “By offering retirement benefits, you are making an investment in your employees’ future, and that is an investment that begins paying dividends today. Showing your staff that their well-being matters to you reinforces their commitment to you and your business.”

 

SEAFOOD

Download the  FishLine app, a smartphone application that bridges the gap between the fishermen and potential customers, thanks to a partnership between the University of Rhode Island Fisheries Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, Eating with the Ecosystem, the Commercial Fisheries Research Center and the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative. The FishLine app is a central marketplace for seafood being sold by local fishermen to consumers in the area. It allows fishermen to post what species they caught each day, their prices and their sales location and hours. It also provides recipes and information about each species and how they are caught, as well as stories and photos from the fishermen.

 

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Granny Squibb’s Organic Iced Tea has released a new flavor, Porter’s Peach. They are teaming up with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund to donate a portion of proceeds from sales to the organizations. “It was created from a beautiful story, which continues our passion for storytelling and philanthropy,” says Kelley McShane, partner and owner of Granny Squibb’s. Porter’s Peach was the brainchild of a twelve-year-old named Porter from Aquidneck Island. Porter sent a drawing of his idea for the “best Granny Squibb’s flavor, Porter’s Peach.” During the same year, Porter and his family faced multiple losses to cancer, which inspired Porter to raise $10,000 for cancer research, and in turn, also inspired this new iced tea flavor for a good cause.

Foodlove Market, an upscale specialty market from Newport Restaurant Group located at 1037 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, is adding catering services for corporate and at-home gatherings, as well as for provisioning spring and summer beach and boating events. The service provides guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of chef-driven items at home for any size gathering. All menu items serve six-to-eight guests and are available to be pre-ordered and picked up at Foodlove. Delivery is not available at this time. Foodlove is also offering an enhanced cafe experience with a selection of freshly prepared salads, warm grain bowls and crafted sandwiches. For more information, visit foodlovemarket.com.

Narragansett Beer and Del’s Frozen Lemonade have teamed up once again to release the new Del’s Variety Pack. The limited edition twelve-pack features the long-awaited return of fan favorite Del’s Black Cherry Shandy alongside summertime classics Del’s Lemon Shandy and Del’s Watermelon Shandy.

Tacofied Drivers Side PhotoHG80 food truck has changed its name to Tacofied. The business has been operating since 2018, and recently revealed a new design for the truck, logo and tagline “World Cuisine in a Tortilla.” The design was created by Boston-based Garfinkle Design, as well as a new website tacofiedtruck.com. The ownership and concept have not changed, and the truck will continue serving fan-favorite tacofieds like fish ‘n’ fhips, BBQ, Greek chicken gyro and spring roll, as well as its popular housemade chips, sodas and housemade seltzers. The truck uses local ingredients and makes nearly everything from scratch. Tacofied serves Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts and is available for public events as well as private occasions and parties.

The Industrious Spirit Company (ISCO) recently released Ostreida, the first vodka distilled with oysters in the United States. “Our vision for our newest product was to create a perfect blend of land and sea, to capture the spirit of where we draw our energy from as a company operating out of the Ocean State. We have always had a focus on sustainability, and work with a regional regenerative farm to grow the organic corn we use for the base of our spirits—so it just made sense for us to work with oysters, one of the most sustainably farmed foods from the sea, known for their positive environmental impact (and of course their incredible flavor!)” said Manya K. Rubinstein, CEO of ISCO. The Industrious Spirit Company is donating a portion of all bottle sales of Ostreida at bars, restaurants and liquor stores to GreenWave, an organization that trains and supports ocean farmers in the era of climate change by working with coastal communities to create a blue economy.

Island Time Catering Company is a new catering company based on Aquidneck Island from the owners of Flat Waves Food Shack, located on Aquidneck Avenue. The restaurant has catered for nearly ten years and just recently launched its new independent catering company to better serve the needs of Newport, and greater Southern New England. Owner Will Burgess explains: “Island Time Catering Co. is a fresh look at our catering division with expanded service offerings and fresh menus inspired by coastal towns and communities around the world including: Tacos Bars, BBQ Buets, and Boxed Meals for any occasion.”

 

FARMERS MARKETS, GROCERIES AND DELIVERY

The Farm Fresh RI Farmers Market is open year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at 10 Sims Avenue in Providence. The new building has a premium ventilation system (Merv13), wide hallways that ensure COVID-19 distancing and convenient parking.

The Aquidneck Growers Market takes place at Embrace Home Loans Campus at 25 Enterprise Drive in Middletown on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Mount Hope Farm farmers market continues from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol each Saturday. There are pre-ordering options as well as the ability to buy on site.

The Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market is one of the oldest farmer’s markets in Rhode Island. Visit us every Saturday morning, May 7–Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston. Learn more here.

You can now use Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile wholesale service to get fresh food from local farms delivered right to your home. The farming community needs outlets for food that is being grown, so they decided to open up this way for local people to purchase food. The first thing to do is to create an account. You can return to this same page to log in for future orders. Once logged in, click the “Market Mobile” link. This will take you to the online order form, where you can choose food from the local farmers and food makers who have listed their items for sale. Think of it as an online farmers market! To order an item, add the quantity of what you’d like in the field next to the item. Please only order whole number values, not partial or half orders (e.g., 1 or 2, not 0.5). This platform is traditionally used for wholesale orders, so quantities may be larger than you’re used to seeing. Be sure to click the Update Order button, found at the bottom of every farm/producer’s list. Once you’ve completed your order, click the Buy Now button to enter payment information. Your order must be paid for via PayPal. Or to use SNAP/EBT, please email lexi@farmfreshri.org. If you have questions about sizing, please email marketmobile@farmfreshri.org. They are making home deliveries with hopes of increasing food access. Although they have no delivery fee, they do have a $60 minimum order size for the greater Providence/Pawtucket area. They are willing to accommodate other delivery areas, but a larger minimum order may be required.

The locally produced mobile app WhatsGood is also delivering food to homes from local farms and food producers. You can order delivery from local businesses as well as fresh produce, meat, dairy, breads, pantry items and even prepared foods, delivered right to your door.