The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Kendall Cairoli, Jamie Coelho, Courtney Dell’Agnese and April Federico
OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2018
Join the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser hosted by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. From 5:30–8 p.m., guests will use a handcrafted bowl to enjoy the tastings from more than thirty restaurants, bakeries and caterers. Some of the restaurants attending include Persimmon, Tallulah’s Taqueria and Seven Stars Bakery. Buy tickets in advance here for $50 or at the door for $60.
Add a little surprise to your taste buds with a Pop- Up Mystery meal hosted by Chef Challenge in Warwick. This unique dinner is made from locally and ethically sourced ingredients that chefs Kevin Matos and Alex Dill will transform into a four-course meal using their Portuguese and Spanish culinary influences. Dinner prices range from $55–$65 and $10 from every ticket sold goes towards Farm Fresh Rhode Island. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. sharp, as dinner is served exactly at 6:40 p.m.. Make sure to book your reservation for the dinner here.
Food Truck Night is happening for the first time at Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling Co., in partnership with PVD Food Truck Events. The trucks will be visiting from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to the event is free. Food for purchase. Children younger than twenty-one are permitted with responsible adults. Pets are not permitted. Enjoy your food and beverages outside with the food trucks or around back on the scenic patio or head inside and explore the tasting room.
Go to the Blackbird Farm farmstand in Smithfield for an for an autumn festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring Grandpa Ted’s oxen Sugar and Maple and his two new oxen calves! The farm held a contest with Eat Drink RI and The Smithfield Times to name the new oxen and the winner will be revealed around noon. The Moo Moo Ice Cream trailer will be open with special treats like candied apples and bacon crumble. There’ll be pony rides, popcorn, cornhole and samples of Blackbird Farm meat prepared by Durk’s Bar • B • Q! Plus there will be local vendors for some fun shopping.
Get the chance to experience Moonrose Farm in Cranston at the Burger Night and Beer Tasting. Guests will sip unique beers, learn about the beer-making process and enjoy locally raised beef burgers. The event is happening from 4 to 6 p.m. and the cost is $60 per person. Taste beers made using local ingredients and natural fermentation processes with sommelier Derek Jakoboski. Enjoy tasty Blackbird Farm beef burgers grilled over a wood fire prepared by farmer/chef Jordan Goldsmith & farmer/pastry chef Melissa Denmark using ingredients from Moonrose Farm. Price includes beer, dinner and dessert. Dinner will include a beef burger or a vegetarian grilled veggie sandwich with various side dishes and snacks followed by dessert.
The Warren Walkabout is a fun town-wide event on Sunday, October 21 from noon to 5 p.m. Enjoy this community and small business event that shares the delights Warren has to offer. Experience good food from local restaurants, open artist studios, a free trolley, live music from local musicians, sidewalk sales and more. Enjoy the fall weather before winter arrives!
Revival Brewing in Cranston will host author Rebecca Keister for a book signing of her recently published travel book, 100 Things to Do in Providence Before You Die, Second Edition. The event is free and open to the public from 2–5 p.m.
Join Ella’s Food and Drink in Westerly for its special event, A Day with D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan owner Ariane Daguin and chef/owner Jeanie Roland will dazzle guests with an afternoon cooking class. The class starts at noon with a four-course dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $90 for the cooking class and $125 for the dinner, but you can join both events for $200. Reserve your spot now by calling 401-315-0606.
Sip, savor and toast to the season’s crush at Newport Vineyards’ third annual Harvest Celebration from noon to 5 p.m. It’s a day full of grape stomping, wine and Taproot beer tasting and pie-eating goodness. Enjoy live music by The Bucks Band while sipping on local wines or fresh Taproot beer, and noshing on food created by scratch from the culinary team. Feeling competitive? You could be called to compete in the Grape Stomp Competition at 1 and 3 p.m. or the Pie Eating Contest at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person, plus fees.
Child and Family RI is hosting the thirty-fifth annual, philanthropic event, Taste of Newport, at the Atlantic Resort in Middletown from 5–8 p.m. Citizen’s Bank is sponsoring this event. Guests will enjoy food samples from the kitchens of 22 Bowen’s, BRIX Restaurant, Castle Hill Inn, Diego’s, Fluke Wine Bar and Kitchen, La Forge Casino Restaurant, Lucia Italian Restaurant, Midtown Oyster Bar, Mill’s Tavern, One Bellevue at Hotel Viking, Sardella’s, Scarpetta, Stoneacre Brasserie, the White Horse Tavern and many more. General tickets are $125 per person, including wine, beer and signature cocktail sips and the chance to bid on auction items. VIP tickets are $250 per person and include all of the above plus reserved table seating. Check the website and Facebook page for more details.
Cara, The Chanler at Cliff Walk’s newest fine dining culinary addition, replacing the Spiced Pear after fifteen years, is hosting a Bourbon and Cigars tasting Series on October 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests will indulge in executive chef Matt Voskuil’s culinary delights while enjoying the finest bourbons presented by certified specialist of spirits, Don Jean of Brown-Forman. Guests can expect menu samples including rainbow trout, pork head and more, artfully paired with bourbons like Old Forester Statesman and Woodford Malt to name a few. The experience will then conclude with cigars from the owner of the Havana Cigar Club, Todd LaScola. With three professionals of craft coming together, it’s sure to be a Sunday afternoon guests won’t soon forget. The cost per guest is $140, plus tax and gratuity. To reserve a spot, guests may visit thechanler.com or call 401-847-2244.
Take part in Newport Restaurant Week where residents and visitors of Newport and Bristol counties are encouraged to experience the vast culinary talent in the area at an affordable price. The event’s mission is to stimulate local business not only at restaurants but at retail and lodging partners as well. Restaurateurs participating in Newport Restaurant Week have created special offerings for customers. Restaurants participating in lunch service will be offering two-courses for $20. For dinner, three-course menus will be offered for $35. More information and participating locations can be found at discovernewport.org/newport-restaurant-week.
Opening day for the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market is coming up on Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The farmers market will happen every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 27. Check out the list of vendors for November and December at the largest indoor market in New England!
The Beaujolais Nouveau Celebration returns this year with three exceptional nights of Barrel Dinners and a chance to indulge in specialty wine and delicious food. The event kicks off with a midnight uncorking for $25 per person. From 10 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday, guests can taste seven specialty wines from around the world, with a new wine served every twenty minutes. When the clock strikes midnight, the Beaujolais Nouveau wine will be uncorked and tasted for the very first time. Purchase tickets to either of the three barrel dinners here. Each dinner offers a three-course meal prepared by Pot au Feu chef Spike Milkulski and the chance to win a trip to Georges Duboeuf’s beautiful Vineyard in France.
The 2019 Rhode Island Brew Fest will sample more than 175 of the Ocean State’s best beer selections at a brand new venue this year, the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. With a tasting glass in hand, guests can enjoy beer samples, live music, food for purchase and/or samples from an array of local vendors like Knead Doughnuts, The Edgewood Cheese Shop and Narraganset Creamery. The event will have two, three-hour sampling sessions from 1–4 p.m. and 5:30–8:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here.
Panera Bread is once again partnering with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation during its annual Pink Ribbon Bagel promotion. Throughout the month of October, to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a portion of proceeds from all Pink Ribbon Bagels sold in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts Panera Bread cafes will go to the Pawtucket-based nonprofit. Pink Ribbon Bagels are baked fresh daily in each Panera Bread cafe, formed by hand into a ribbon shape, and feature dried cherries, cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar. Participating Rhode Island and Massachusetts locations for the Gemma Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign are located in Cranston, East Greenwich, Lincoln, Newport, Providence, Smithfield, Wakefield, Warwick, and North Attleborough, Plainville and Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Every Thursday from 5:30–9:30 p.m., Stoneacre Tapas hosts “Stoneacre Sushi” night. Bowls, specialty rolls, nigiri and other delicious Japanese dishes are served. Guests can enjoy the sesame udon bowl that is made with housemade udon noodles, Berkshire pork belly steamed buns and tuna tartare with gochujang and bean sprouts. Book a table here.
The Blackbird Farm farmers market is back in Smithfield, as well as the debut of the Moo Moo Ice Cream Trailer! Grab a cone or you can sip a Moo Moo Ice Cream float, made with Yacht Club Soda. The farmers market will be open Fridays from 4–7 p.m. through Oct. 19 and Sundays from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. through Oct. 21. Click here to see all of the vendors at the farmers market and check the Blackbird Farm Facebook page for any possible weather cancellations. The ice cream trailer is open seven days a week from noon to 9 p.m.
The Schoolyard Market at Hope and Main is happening every Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., through Oct. 28. Stop by for breakfast and lunch and bring home supplies for dinner. While you’re there, check out the newest and freshest foods from New England-based farms, bakers and food trucks such as Mesa Fresca, Rhode Island Shellfish and so much more! There’s even a vendor for your pups: Buppy Pets. You can also learn about business launches, product development and even get a glimpse of new products. Get gardening advice, watch cooking demonstrations and learn about wellness and nutrition. Schoolyard Market is also kid-friendly, as there are plenty of games, crafts and educational activities to partake in. There is live music, every Sunday, as well.
Begin your weekends on Wednesdays at CAV in Providence with live music featuring Alexus Lee with half-price wine bottles and the new Bistro Menu. Thursdays also host live jazz featuring the Classic Jazz Trio.
Chez Pascal in Providence started a Cookbook Culinary Series. Chef Matt Gennuso has more than 400 cookbooks that he has amassed over the years. He will be highlighting a favorite cookbook from his collection each month, and every Tuesday through Thursday, the restaurant will offer a special three-course menu inspired by the recipes of selected books for $38 per person (not including tax, gratuity or beverages) in addition to the regular menu. The courses will have the option to be paired with a thoughtfully selected cocktail, wine or beer. The cookbook will change each month.
The East End in Providence offers lunch service from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. The menu includes warm sandwiches like Cubans, a cheesesteak, seasonal soups and salads and plates like crab cakes and steak frites. Feel free to go ahead and have a martini lunch as the entire bar remains open for lunch, too.
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. Enjoy a two-course dinner, paired perfectly with these wine samplings for just $25.
Ella’s in Westerly offers a two-course pre-fixe menu for $25 per person. Choose from appetizers like pate, the dynamite oyster, a mixed greens salad and cavatelli, and entrees like squid arrabiata, pan-seared flounder, shrimp tempura and momma’s chicken. For reservations, call 401-315-0606.
OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES
Saint Monday is a new coffee shop and bar at 393 West Fountain St. in Providence. Expect decadent pastries with the coffee hours, and burgers and fun snacks during bar hours. Saint Monday is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for coffee and bakery service. The bar will be open from 5 p.m. to Midnight for cocktails, snacks and burgers.
Alison Bologna’s Shri Bark smart school snacks now have a new look, designed by Allison Cole. The snacks are available in Whole Foods and Eastside Marketplace and at local schools. Shri Bark is made with organic ingredients, they are allergen free, and vegan and school safe.
Dunkin’ and Harpoon Brewery have combined their iconic tastes to create a delicious and unique coffee porter for the fall season. The taste of Dunkin’s expresso blend coffee is fused with Harpoon’s famous craft beer, which creates a balanced and smooth brew that New Englanders will love. The malty tasting brew has aromas of espresso and dark chocolate and is available in both bottles and on draft at select retail locations. To find out where you can purchase the Dunkin’ Coffee Porter, click here.
Sarto is bringing a modern take on the rustic Italian fare to the heart of downtown Providence in the Providence G building. In late October, the Rhode Island-inspired osteria and salumeria will open its doors and bring a new element to the Providence culinary scene. Chef Robert Andreozzi will celebrate Rhode Island farmers, purveyors and artisans in the creation of each dish. Sarto will offer dinner Tuesday through Saturday and breakfast and lunch will be served in the cafe Monday through Friday.
Seaport Shines is a refined, low-calorie moonshine created by Newport native Sherry Brice. The two introductory flavors, Cucumber Lemon and Mint and Maple Bacon can be enjoyed at Clarke Cooke House, Fifth Ward Liquor, 41 North, The Chanler, Bacaro and the Oak Hill Tavern.
Great Northern BBQ Co. opened its new brick and mortar space at 9 Parade St. on the West Side of Providence. It serves barbecue, burgers, tacos and vegetarian options. It’s open Mon.-Sat. from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Tailor Shop is a new luncheonette from the owners of Broadway Bistro and the Slow Rhode. It’s located at 211 Broadway in Providence and offers tacos, rolls, bowls and more Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and breakfast burritos on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sydney, an Australia-inspired cafe located in downtown Providence, will open new locations in Cranston and Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Sydney Portsmouth will open in November, while Sydney Garden City is slated to open early next year. Like the sister location in Providence, the all-day cafes will serve avocado toast, an array of baked goods, a selection of Illy coffee drinks, loose teas and on-tap kombucha.
Garden City will also be welcoming a few more new restaurants over the next few months, including an Indian restaurant from the owners of Rasoi, Rasa and Kabob and Curry. The restaurant is named Chaska Indian cuisine, scheduled to open this winter next to Bistro 22. Expect freshly baked naan, chicken tikka masala, lamb kebab and vegetarian options including spiced curry dishes. Tropical Smoothie Cafe will open on Saturday, Sept. 29 in the newly constructed retail space between Newport Creamery and Bank of America. The sports bar and neighborhood restaurant Tavern in the Square, and Legal Sea Bar, a Legal Sea Foods concept offering casual seafood-centric dining and an outdoor patio, will also both open this fall.
Pudding Riot is a new business bringing small-batch handcrafted puddings to the Ocean State at farmers markets and events.
Xaco Taco in Providence opened its new skee-ball room, which gives guests a whole new dining experience to enjoy. The new skee-ball room, located off the large bar area, has a Mexican street vibe and is available for private parties. The private dining area has two skee-ball machines can be rented for private parties, which might include food stations like a fresh guacamole bar and an authentic al pastor carving station. $2 Tacos are served daily from 3 to 5 p.m. and “Tacos after Dark” are served Sunday to Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk presents a new dining experience, Cara Restaurant, replacing the Spiced Pear. With views of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Cara is home to creative dishes of French, Italian and Spanish influence. In addition to creative dishes, Cara has a fantastic wine list and cocktail menu. Joining Cara is the Cafe at the Chanler. The Cafe is more casual and provides a lively, shared setting for friends and family to enjoy and dine on Mediterranean-inspired dishes as well as signature wine and cocktails. The Cafe offers al fresco dining seasonally on the terrace.
Chef Dan Malecki has returned to Westerly, where he spent his childhood summers, to open his new restaurant, The Shallows Kitchen and Bar, which involved two years of restoring a 1900’s-era carriage house to see his vision come to life. The restaurant is located at 54R High St., and the menu focuses on fresh, locally sourced food that’s a creative twist on American classics. Malecki’s great, great grandmother, Martha (Banny) Rado, ran the Knoll Dining Room at historic 19 High Street in Westerly.
The Savory Grape in East Greenwich has expanded next door with a build out and more enhanced shopping experience at its location. A bigger space means more warm, personal service; more wine, beer and spirits; and of course more fun.
TSK at The Revolving Door is now open next to Bouchard at 509 Thames St. in Newport. Known to locals and longtime patrons simply as TSK, this restaurant has reopened in a new location after a three-year hiatus with a full liquor license and a menu featuring field-to-fork, locally sourced dishes.
Bar and Board is now open at 282 Thames Street in Newport, the latest venture from Alex and Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian. The space features a reconstructed interior, open kitchen, two floors for dining and an expansive covered patio, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Simple Greek, a new counter-service restaurant at Garden City in Cranston, hopes to redefine the traditional Greek restaurant with its open kitchen, casual atmosphere and quality ingredients for signature items such as gyros, Greek fries and Greek desserts. The desserts also feature items from the world-famous Hella’s Kitchen like baklava, baklava cheesecake and spanakopita. By the end of 2018, expect to have the Simple Greek be in forty-five other locations, including the already established East Providence location and the new Garden City restaurant.
Red Stripe in East Greenwich is now serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The menu features savory burgers, entrees, salads and sandwiches. Some favorites include the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, the everything but the kitchen sink salad, the burger and much more. For more information and to make a reservation, click here or call 401-437-6950.
Quench Juicery is now open in downtown Warren at 436 Main St., blending a variety of juices, smoothies and healthy eats, including acai bowls.
Prica Farina Fresh Pasta Co. has arrived at 2 Market St. in Warren, selling handcrafted fresh pasta and specialty foods. Filled pastas are made daily using seasonal ingredients and other specialties include artisan cheese and salumi.
TRANSITIONS AND CLOSINGS
The Marrocco Group restaurant, Caffe Dolce Vita on Federal Hill, closed for good on Monday, October 8, after twenty-six years in business. The Federal Hill fixture, known for serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in the beautiful al fresco DePasquale Square, served its last guests and closed its doors at 10 p.m. that Monday after dinner service. Gianfranco Marrocco says in the release: “after twenty-six years, I have decided to downsize and semi-retire, I plan to offer some consulting services within the industry. My goal will be to find a suitable tenant to occupy this premier space in the plaza.” The Marrocco group also owns Hotel Dolce Villa and Blend. The release reports that all team members at Caffe Dolce Vita have been offered new positions among Marrocco’s industry connections.
Tricycle Ice Cream announced that the business is moving into north Bakery’s former location at 70 Battey St. on the West Side of Providence. According to its Facebook page: “Previously home to the beloved North Bakery, it transforms into our first storefront where we showcase one whimsical frozen dessert concoction after another. Tune in all winter long as we announce new menu items (say hello to boozy #icecreamsandwich creations) and exciting collaborations (sorbet cocktails, anyone?).”
Merienda Tapas and Wine Bar in Warren closed on Sept. 22. From the Facebook page: “Much like great Jamon, all good things must come to an end. Merienda served its last plates of Jamon, tapas and paella Saturday September 22. We enjoyed bringing a little bit of Spain to Warren. While we are on to a new chapter in our lives we will be keeping our Instagram and Facebook pages open to let you know what’s happening in the future. We thank all of our amazing staff and the wonderful people we met and who supported us in our little endeavor. Gracias!”
Chez Pascal in Providence is currently undergoing renovations on the Wurst Kitchen side, but it is open for business as usual. Only difference is, now you can order items from the Wurst Kitchen and enjoy them right in the dining room while they renovate. The Wurst Window may or may not be open due to construction, but you can still come in and order inside and take it to go if you wish. Both menus, Chez Pascal and the Wurst Kitchen will be available to all in the Chez Pascal dining room.
Rhode Island’s favorite vegetarian restaurant, Garden Grille, in Pawtucket is currently closed for major renovations. It plans to reopen in mid-October. During the time that it’s closed, you can get a few lunch favorites (butternut squash quesadilla, tofu BLT and Reggie’s raw heaven) right next door at Wildflour Vegan Bakery. Keep checking the Instagram for updates!
Lili Marlene’s on Federal Hill in Providence has closed. It closed the last weekend of July with many regulars lamenting the loss of the great bar with no sign that served po’boys, burgers and pool table.
Simone’s restaurant in Warren has closed after four years in business. A message on the Facebook page reads: “It is with gratitude and sadness that we announce our closing. We thank all of our friends and guests for making our almost 4 years filled with joy. We hope to see you before too long in another location. Special thanks to our awesome staff who worked their hearts out trying to make each and every guest feel recognized for their support. Thank you again.”
2nd Story Theatre announced its closing following the final performance of Dancing Lessons on Sunday, July 1. Along with the theater’s unfortunate closing, the restaurant, Union, has also shut down.
XO Café in Providence has closed after twenty-one years. CEO and maestro of Chow Fun Food Group of Providence, which owns many other restaurants in Providence, said in a press release: “After almost 21 years serving our community, XO Cafe has decided to close its doors. We want to thank all of our loyal customers over the years. All gift cards can be redeemed at our other restaurant locations: 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, Xaco Taco, Luxe Bar and Burger and all Harry’s Bar and Burger locations. Stay tuned for a possible transformation of the XO Cafe space.” Read more about the closing here.
Dan Rinaldi, of the Providence Fire Department, received runner-up in America’s Best Firehouse Chili Contest that took place in New York last week. With his creation of Blazin’ Blue Crab Chili, Rinaldi was awarded a one-year supply of Hormel chili to stock in his firehouse kitchen and an entry to compete in this year’s World Food Championship. Hormel Chili awarded the first place winner with a $10,000 prize and an additional $20,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
B.GOOD is donating meals to Feeding America this month through its new partnership with DoorDash. Every meal ordered, B.GOOD will donate a meal to Feeding America. One dollar helps provide at least ten meals to those in need secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
Chow Fun Food Group joined the #AskFirstRI pledge with other Rhode Island hospitality businesses to commit to only give straws to guests upon request, instead of automatically putting a straw in a guest’s drink. This “Skip the Straw” Campaign aims to reduce ocean pollution. Chow Fun Food Group is implanting this campaign in all seven of their restaurant locations throughout Rhode Island, including Ten Prime Steak and Sushi, Luxe Burger Bar, Harry’s Bar and Burger and Xaco Taco.
Ragged Island Brewing Company in Portsmouth has entered a purchase and sales agreement to buy the Garden Shop building and thirty-seven-acre Van Hof Nursery property at 54 Bristol Ferry Road in Portsmouth, as reported by What’s Up Newp. According to the article, “The vision for 54 Bristol Ferry Road includes growing hops, fruits and other crops that compliment the brewing business, building a brand new, state of the art brewery on the property and hosting events such as farmers markets and other locally focused gatherings like anniversary parties, reunions, birthdays and charity events.”
Sons of Liberty Beer and Spirts Co.’s Limited Edition Uprising Single Malt – Pedro Ximénez Finish was awarded with a rating of 93.6 points at the 2018 International Whisky Competition held in Las Vegas in early July. Uprising PX took first place honors for Best American Whiskey, Best American Single Malt Whiskey and Best Small Batch Whiskey. The Battle Cry Single Malt Sauternes Finish placed third in the American Single Malt category with 92.1 points, as well.
Double your SNAP with Bonus Bucks! Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Bonus Bucks nutrition incentives program now gives a 100-percent bonus for SNAP! For every dollar you spend with EBT at the many participating farmers markets across RI, you’ll get a free dollar in Bonus Bucks to spend on fresh fruit and veggies!