Diner’s Update

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

Let’s just rip the Band-Aid off quickly, why don’t we? Then we can get to the good stuff.

CLOSINGS

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the owners of JP Spoonem’s announced the breakfast place has closed.

JP Spoonem’s owners Joe and Pat Mangione announced taht their beloved Cranston breakfast nook has closed. From its Facebook page: “With extremely heavy hearts, we would like to inform all of you that the restaurant has closed. We truly want you to know that you have been the reason why we’ve been incredibly successful for the past 40 years. We have decided to retire, after much consideration and heartbreak. We want to thank all of our past and present employees who have exemplified the meaning of “the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.” We would personally like to commend and thank Randy Baker for his ongoing commitment and dedication. We never would have been able to achieve what we have done, without the loyalty and hard work of the people who have surrounded us throughout this journey. Pat and myself can only hope, when reflecting on your experience at J.P. Spoonem’s, that a smile and warmth will fill your soul. We thank you all, supporters, friends, and employees for providing us with a lifetime of memories. We were blessed and honored to have served you, and all will be greatly missed.”

The owners of Chez Pascal in Providence, Matt and Kristin Gennuso, announced that they will be selling the restaurant after Matt accepted a culinary opportunity abroad as a chef faculty member and expert in charcuterie in Singapore. They will be closing the renowned East Side restaurant at the end of March/April, in the hopes that someone may purchase it. Until then,you can still enjoy their fully vaccinated dining room or order comforting takeout for home. From their blog: “We wanted to tell you now so that we can all have these next few months to seize our time together and celebrate what a remarkable journey it has been. 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 notable Salvation Cafe in Newport has closed after thirty years in business, according to What’s Up Newp. “It’s been the grooviest road and we are so grateful for the past thirty years of the greatest customers and staff, all of whom are family now. It’s been our privilege to rock this block since 1993.” Go to their Facebook page to relive all the memories with former owner Sue Lamond, who shared bits of history and photos from the restaurant’s past as a local neighborhood favorite.

Fluke Wine Bar and Kitchen in Newport has closed after fifteen years in business. Former Fluke owner Geremie Callaghan says they made the difficult decision to not renew the lease. The owners of Diego’s and the Wharf Tavern will be taking over the building from Bowens Wharf Company and plan to turn the space into The Wharf Fish House by early spring.  Callaghan says, “It has been wonderful to be part of the dynamic dining scene in Newport these last fifteen years! We would like to thank all the team members and guests who joined us on our adventure! We would also like to thank the entire hospitality community for their generous support over the years. We will miss you all!”

The renowned neighborhood restaurant Kip’s in Pawtucket, which has been in business for twenty-five years, is slated to be vacated by Feb. 1, 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.

Tommy’s Pizza in Providence has closed after sixty-six years in business, according to Gail Ciampa at the Providence Journal. Tommy’s Pizza in Cranston is still open.

 

FUTURE OPENINGS

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Plans for the new Basil and Bunny storefront at @basilandbunny.

Basil and Bunny plant-based mobile cuisine announced that 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 the spring 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 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).

Knead Doughnuts will be opening up a new shop in downtown Westerly on Broad Street soon, according to SO Rhode Island.

Downtown Providence is finally getting a grocery store later this year or early next year. 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.

Dune Brothers hopes to open a second location sometime in the future at 691 North Main Street in Providence with a year-round dining room, patio, oyster bar, take away and a fish market. Follow the new Instagram account @dunebrothersseafood to stay updated.

 

OPENINGS

Providence Brewing Company is open at the Farm Fresh RI building on Sims Avenue in Providence. It’s dubbed “the City’s only renaissance brewery since Prohibition.” The original Providence Brewing Company closed its doors in 1920 and brewer and owner Efren Hidalgo resurrected the brewery in 2017, then shut down for a relocation, finally signing a five-year lease with Farm Fresh RI in Providence.

Mambo Sushi is a new Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant on Federal Hill with chef Michael Cordero, who worked at El Ninja, helming the kitchen. It serves Peruvian style stir-frys, Latin-fusion sushi and more. The chef is is half Peruvian and half Dominican and is putting his own spin on his cultures’ cuisines. Try the the Mambo roll with shrimp tempura, yucca, avocado and crunchy ceviche. Read this piece all about it, by Alexa Gagosz at the Boston Globe.

Pivotal Brewing Company opened at 500 Wood Street in Bristol last month. It’s typically open on Thurs. 4-9 p.m.; Fri. 2-9 p.m.; Sat. noon-9 p.m. and Sun. noon-5 p.m. with new beer releases to start the new year.

Screen Shot 2021 12 03 At 24427 PmThe Red Door, in the former location where thee Red Fez used to be in Providence (you, know, the “parking lot district”) has opened its doors to the public. They have fully renovated the interior and chef Jimmy James Caruso is heading up the kitchen. The upstairs bar and downstairs dining room are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Coming from the bar are specialty and classic cocktails, wine and beer and the chef is cooking up some small plates like Saugy dogs with creative accoutrements (the usual kraut and brown mustard or crazy “Jiro’s Nightmare” with crab, cucumber, miso cream cheese, basil and furikake) and vegan pakora (carrot, turnip, cabbage and spinach fritters with apple) served with apple/miso dressed napa and cilantro salad. Keep up to date on the Instagram at @reddoor.pvd and read more about it on our blog.

Rhode Island native and former “Bachelorette” cast member Jared Haibon and former “Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” cast mate, Ashley Iaconetti, officially opened their new day-to-night new cafe, Audrey’s Coffee House and Lounge, in South Kingstown. Read more about it here.

Bellini Restaurant inside the Beatrice Hotel is now open for both lunch and dinner. 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.

Chef and restaurateur Armando Bisceglia opened Bacco Vino and Contorni last year in the heat of the pandemic, then he contracted and survived a horrific case of Covid-19, and now he just opened a second restaurant, recently profiled in the Boston Globe Rhode Island section by Alexa Gagosz. It’s called Bonanno Vinicola. It’s everything authentic Italian, with ingredients imported from the mother land.

Cinder is a new restaurant that just opened in Westerly, serving slow-cooked meats like brisket, braised beef, chicken and lamb dishes, plus a banh mi riff piled on naan bread with toppings and vegetarian bowls. Keep tabs on the latest on their Instagram at @cinderrestaurant.

Trafford in Warren just 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.

Check out Nightowl PVD, a pop-up bar featuring live music and premium cocktails at 58 DePasquale Avenue in Providence every Friday and Saturday night from 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

Check out the new location of Ceremony modern tea house, cafe and market and Providence’s first zero-proof bar, located on Brook Street, right near Thayer Street. Read more about the new location here.

The Corner Grill is a newly opened restaurant in Providence that is owned and operated by a Muslim Latina residing in Rhode Island. The menu includes burgers and bowls that are fully Halal.

Lucky Enough Pvd is a new bar that’s now open at at 1492 Westminster St. “C’mon down to catch a live performance or watch the game. Bring your favorite record for us to play, or check out our selection of hundreds of records.” They also have $6 twenty-ounce pours of Guinness every day. It’s open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. T

Down in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Foxwoods Resort Casino has launched a new sports bar under powerhouse mobile sports betting website DraftKings. DraftKings Sportsbook is a new two-story experience that complements the recent launch of mobile sports betting and iGaming in Rhode Island. It’s located across from Sugar Factory. Guests can also step into a world of winter magic at the casino, which has been transformed into the ultimate snowy wonderland complete with its newly opened ice-skating rink, overlooking the Connecticut forest. They also have themed igloos right outside of the rink. From Star Wars, Night in Paris and beyond, guests can choose their own themed dining experience and food and beverage package online.

Rebelle Artisan Bagels 2.0 is back with a soft reopening. The starting returning shop hours will be Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-noon. They will have limited service with bagels, cream cheese tubs, deli items and pastries and no prepared sandwiches. It’s the same menu for ordering online, now available in person. (Online ordering will remain open.) The usual appearance at the Farm Fresh Sims Avenue market continues on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

After a long hiatus due to the pandemic and staff shortages, the Providence G Pub is back open for business.

Aguardente restaurant is Providence’s newest Portuguese and Latin-inspired tapas restaurant on the East Side of Providence. The restaurant is owned by Victor Pereira, who came up with the concept, and in the kitchen is Natalia Paiva-Neves who you may know from O Dinis in East Providence. The restaurant comes from the same team that helped open Aleppo Sweets. Aguardente pays homage to the immigrant story of its three founders, as all three came to the United States as children. Artist Magda León painted several murals throughout the space to help tell the story of the restaurant. While Neves curated the food menu, Pereira created the drink list that includes flights of rare mezcal and aguardentes he sourced through his travels in Latin America and Portugal, as well as seasonal cocktails, wine and beer. Aguardente is located at 12 Governor Street in Providence and the hours are Wed. and Thurs. from 4-10:30 p.m.; Fri. 4-11:30 p.m.; Sat. noon-11:30 p.m. and Sun. 4-8:30 p.m. Book a reservation or preview the menu. Read more about Aguardente.

Pita Pocket opened in the Barrington Shopping Center, located at 186 County Road in Barrington. The Mediterranean menu includes items like shawarma, gyro, falafel, hummus, baklava and more. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Those who remember Blaze East Side, which closed five years ago, will be happy that it’s made a comeback, this time on Smith Hill in Providence. Blaze Smith Hill is an American restaurant serving fusion and eclectic cuisine, co-owned by the longtime Providence culinary fixture chef Phyllis Arffa and Brooklyn Tea, Coffee and Guest House‘s Berry-Jean Murray. As the website states, “Located in the newly-renovated Hennessey-McHale Block building built in 1873, Blaze Smith Hill’s art deco decor honors the past while welcoming the diversity of the present. As Smith Hill’s newest upscale bistro, Blaze Smith Hill has a similar mission as her fun-loving sister, the Brooklyn Coffee Tea, bringing communities together through fine food, art, entertainment and creative events.” Read more about Blaze Smith Hill.

The iconic Beef Barn moved to a new location down the road at 200 Industrial Rd. in North Smithfield. It’s the same Beef Barn we know and love, just in a new location. Get more information here. The original location is now closed. The same family will also open a second Beef Barn location in Bellingham, Massachusetts.

Wakefield has a few new restaurants and dining options. Duck Press Kitchen and Bar opened in June on Main Street and South County Bread is located right next door. Duck Press serves everything from charcuterie boards, oysters and salads to duck leg confit and duck breast, plus swordfish, burgers and fries and fish and chips. Check out the menu here. New Wave Kitchen also recently opened at 99 Fortin Rd. in Kingston in the URI emporium. The restaurant serves farm foods counter-service-style and is BYOB and dog-friendly. “Seasonally eclectic foods are subject to change with, you guessed it, the seasons. We choose local farmers and foods that are non-gmo and organic as much as possible,” says the website.

The waterfront Water Street Kitchen and Bar opened at the former Nautika location at 28 Water Street, right on the marina in East Greenwich. The menu features many local seafood options, pastas, sirloins, burgers and more, plus a special sushi menu, weekend brunch service and more. They are also booking private events and parties in their upstairs room with doors that open up to the marina.

Newport Restaurant Group opened Foodlove Market in Middletown. The local foods store offers groceries, produce and a variety of specialty, take-home foods made with local and seasonal ingredients. Read more about it here.

SeaCraft is a new waterfront restaurant inside the Shore House Hotel in Narragansett. The seafood restaurant is owned by Dino Passaretta and Frank Recupero of Vanda, Public Kitchen and Bar and Centro restaurants.

New sports-inspired eatery, Reiners, opened in downtown Providence at the Providence Graduate Hotel, and it offers a gaming experience for guests. Reiners boasts two Topgolf Swing Suites and is outfitted with ten TVs ensuring a perfect spot to watch the game. The menu features a combination of local cuisine and seafood favorites as well as elevated pub fare. The beverage program involves classic artisanal cocktails, wine and craft beer.

James Beard award-winning chef April Bloomfield (formerly of the Spotted Pig) has crafted select dishes for the newly redesigned dining room at the Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection. The dishes tap into her former urban-pub days while still paying tribute to the fresh, local ingredients of Newport. The boutique luxury mansion has been reimagined and designed by Dallas-based SWOON). The dining room serves pub-inspired dishes featuring Rhode Island’s bounty from land and sea, from burgers to fish chowders. The Conservatory overlooks the resort’s lush garden with a lighter take on New England fare, including seasonal salads. The Roof Deck is still one of Newport’s hidden gems with specialty cocktails, ceviches and local seafood from the raw bar. And the Garden serves breakfast and tea next to the pool.

Amarylis is a women-owned BYOB restaurant inside the former site of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (what also used to be Farmstead’s downtown lunch spot, then Flan y Ajo, Sushi Yama and Vinya Test Kitchen — wow, I’m old). The intimate restaurant is a globally-inspired farm-to-table experience, open Wednesday through Saturday from 4-10 p.m. They are located right next to ENO Fine Wines, so you can pick up a bottle of something nice to pair with your dinner.

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The Dean Bar. Photo by Christian Harder.

The Dean Hotel in Providence has reopened the restaurant and bars inside the hotel. north is open for indoor and outdoor dining Thurs.-Sun. as well as for takeout Tues.-Sun. Please provide your vaccination card (or a photo of it) if you plan to dine indoors. Book a reservation here. The Dean Bar is once again open, serving handcrafted cocktails with bartender Michael Silva and team at the helm. Hours are Thurs.- Mon., 5 p.m.-close.  The Boombox karaoke bar also re-opened for jamming out with friends once again. 

Oberlin in Providence is open for indoor dining, and it’s continuing takeout. Hours are Thurs.-Mon., 4-10 p.m. Please provide your vaccination card (or a photo of it) if you wish to dine indoors. Book a reservation here. 

Hunky Dory is open for dinner and takeout and delivery, Thurs.-Sat. and Mon. from 5 to 9 p.m., and brunch on Sun. from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner  5-8 p.m., at 40 Market St. in Warren. They also have a small, outdoor dining area. The restaurant is located in the former Eli’s Kitchen space, and it’s run by Sam Duling and Joanna Ray, who both worked at Eli’s and bought the restaurant. The menu at Hunky Dory highlights local and seasonal ingredients with a low country influence, with a heavy emphasis on ingredients made in-house, says Joanna Ray in an email. “With a full liquor license, the beverage list features natural wines and fun options by the can as well as New England-focused beer and spirit list.” They are also partnering with local producers Borealis and the Black Leaf Tea and Culture Shop for the restaurant’s coffee and tea program.

Revival Brewing’s Providence brewing outpost is open with wood-fired pizza. Dubbed Lost Valley Pizza, the brewery and pizza joint is located in Olneyville at 50 Sims Ave., across from Industrious Spirit Company and next to the the new Farm Fresh Rhode Island building. On some weekends, Lost Valley Pizza is visited by RI Cruisin’ Cocktails mobile cocktail trailer and Barrett’s Garden plant-based snacks. Stay up to date on hours and events on Instagram at @revivalbrewing.

Rhode Island Spirits has reopened its tasting room bar for visits. It’s open Fridays from 4 to 8:30, Saturdays from 1 to 8:30 and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. Walk-ins are allowed, but you may still reserve a table by calling ahead for a large group or a riverside seat at 401-856-4111. They are offering a new spirits flight; choose any three to taste for just $5. There are thirteen seasonal cocktails ranging from the Coffee Martini and Ginger Rogers to RI Iced Tea and the new Cranberry Bog.

Aura’s Chocolate Bar opened a chocolate shop/local pantry where they produce chocolate confections in their commercial kitchen, which is then sold in its shop or sent to selected retailers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The headquarters is located at 250 East Street in Cranston. They sell chocolate and local pantry items, such as, ice cream pints from Wright’s Creamery, Z pita chips, Beth Bakes gluten-free crackers, iced teas from Granny Squib, Kane’s Kitchen and the Backyard Food Company sauces, Borealis and Bolt coffee and more.

Green Line Apothecary relocated its pharmacy and headquarters to 245 Main Street in Wakefield. The company, which is independently owned by Rhode Islanders Christina and Ken Procaccianti, is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary since opening the initial location only five doors down the road at 203 Main Street. The new facilities were renovated and nearly double Green Line’s available pharmacy and retail area, and make way for “Drive-In” car-side pickup service as well as expanded delivery dispatch, dedicated parking and more. Green Line’s vintage soda fountain now has increased indoor seating, a takeout window and picnic tables by a new medicinal herb garden for those who choose to enjoy their handmade treats outside. Read more about the move.

 

EVENTS, SPECIALS AND MENU UPDATES

1/9-1/22

Providence Restaurant Weeks returns this January 9–22. Enjoy two weeks of delicious dining specials from more than forty-five restaurants in Providence, Warwick, Cranston and surrounding areas. In addition to special prix fixe menus, participating restaurants may offer lunch, dinner or other special offers. A list of all participating restaurants, along with their Restaurant Weeks menus, may be found at providencerestaurantweeks.com. Guests are encouraged to share photos of their dishes on social media with #PVDEats.

1/14-1/16

Moniker Brewery in Providence plans to celebrate its one-year anniversary with an outdoor event that includes live music, special beer releases, food from Dips Dips and more. The anniversary weekend schedule (book reservations here) begins on Friday, January 14 at 2 p.m. with “The Tappening,” during which they will release collaboration beers, including ones made with Beer’d Brewing in Connecticut, 14th Star, Whalers, Black Flannel, Some, Nightshift and Counterweight and wines from Anchor and Hope. There will be live music from dueling pianos. This is followed by a 6 p.m. Insider Member Party that highlights the anniversary beer release, Vaya Con Dios, an imperial stout brewed with cinnamon and an ample amount of locally grown chili peppers from Ocean State Pepper Company. The weekend celebration continues on Saturday, Jan. 15 at noon with food from Dips Dips, all the special collab beers will be available on tap and to go. At 6 p.m. a live deejay will spin tunes and RI Cruisin’ Cocktails will be on site serving cocktails and wine by Anchor and Hope. And on Sunday, January 16, starting at 1 p.m., there will be a cornhole tournament and more food available from Dips Dips. Pre-purchases can be made for the special anniversary beer. Go online to purchase one or buy an anniversary bundle for $45 that includes an Anniversary T-shirt, a bottle of the anniversary beer, a Counterweight/Moniker Stange glass, and two drink tickets for the party.

1/15

At Women in Beer, join Hometown Poke in Providence at 7 p.m. for craft beer from women-owned brewery Japas and poké from Hometown! They’ll discuss what it’s like to be a woman in the beer industry ,and guests will sample some beer from women-owned and -operated Japas, and learn about a new scholarship promoting diversity in the RI craft beverage community. Proof of vaccination is required.

1/15

Clam ChowderLegal Sea Foods will host “Chowda Day” on January 15, offering a cup of its signature New England clam chowder for just $1 with proceeds being donated to benefit the search for cures at Boston Children’s Hospital. Bowls and quarts to take home also to be offered at a special price. This promotion will be honored at all Legal Sea Foods Restaurant Group locations for in-restaurant dining and takeout. Last year, “Chowda Day” sold over 4,000 units – the highest count volume to date and the group is aiming to break that record in 2022 with guest and team member support.

1/16

This Sunday, Jan. 16,  sustainably grown and handcrafted coffee company Aroma Joe’s celebrates its sixteenth “BeanAversary” and will be giving away free cups of coffee all day. Aroma Joe’s offers a free 16-ounce hot or iced cup of coffee each January 16 to allow their communities to experience the difference and celebrate.  The celebration gets even better for AJ’s Rewards members who get one free up to 24-ounce (hot or iced) coffee. A full list of locations can be found at aromajoes.com/locations. There’s one at 257 Thayer St. in Providence and 755 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy in Swansea, Massachusetts.

1/22

The Mosaic Table is back with Dinner With Neighbors for a steakhouse-centered meal at Hope and Main in Warren from 5 to 9 p.m. The four-course dinner will begin with a raw bar and bubbles, followed by a locally sourced menu paired with wines, and beautifully design tablescapes by the Lilac Thief. There will be live music, cocktails from RI Cruisin’ Cocktails, “fantastic people, great energy and a few surprises!” Please bring proof of vaccination. The dinner will be limited to twenty guests. Tickets are $175 each.

1/23

Lops Brewing in Woonsocket is hosting its first annual Cookie Fest. Are your baking skills top notch? Do your friends and family crave your cookies? If you answered yes, test your ability against Woonsocket and the surrounding areas finest amateur bakers. Customers will determine who earns the Cookie Fest title. How to enter: Register here by Friday, January 21 (limited to twenty entries). Individually wrap fifty small cookies in zip lock bags (entry number stickers for the bags will be provided at drop off). Deliver cookies to Lops Brewing by 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 23.

2/1-2/28

RI Food Fights is running the #BestDonutsRI LoveFest for the entire month of February. At least twelve doughnut spots are offering one free doughnut with a coupon. A passport costs only $25 and you can purchase two for $40. Participants have all month to use the coupons, and Yacht Club Soda is kicking in a free four-pack of sodas or seltzers.

2/11

Whaler’s Brewery in Wakefield is Hosting Field of Artisans for Valentine’s Day from 4-9 p.m. The Friday night before Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to pick up something special for a loved one or yourself. Sweet sipping and shopping!

2/11-2/13

Coast at the Ocean House is hosting three nights of Valentine’s dinners. Dinners take place Feb. 11, 12 and 13 with available reservations from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Multicourse meals are $175 per person with a wine pairing available for an additional $125 per person; or a Grand wine pairing available for $250 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

2/20

The Mosaic Table returns for Dinner With Neighbors with a “For the Lovers” theme for Valentine’s Day at Hope and Main in Warren from 4 to 8 p.m.. The four-course dinner will begin with cocktails from RI Cruisin’ Cocktails, followed by a locally sourced menu paired with wines, and beautifully design tablescapes by the Lilac Thief. There will be live music, wine and cocktails, “fantastic people, great energy and a few surprises!” Please bring proof of vaccination. The dinner will be limited to twenty guests. Tickets are $155 each.

2/18-2/27

Newport Burger Bender, the “best burger” contest is back February 18- 27. “Local restaurants are throwing their buns in the ring with hopes of being crowned the Best Burger (and there is more than just beef!) in Newport. Try one. Try Some. Try them all. Then vote for your favorite burger.” Find out more at discovernewport.org/burger-bender.

3/1-3/31

Welcome to the RI Food Fights’ Big LeBREWski, the statewide celebration of Rhode Island’s craft breweries in partnership with the RI Brewers Guild. Participating breweries are each offering a complimentary tasting or pour in exchange for a Big LeBREWski coupon. RI Food Fights is offering a ‘Passport’ book to keep track of visits. More than fifteen breweries will be participating and you’ll have all March to travel Rhode Island to use your coupons at each participating brewery. Passports are $25 each and 25 percent of proceeds will benefit the RI Brewers Guild, which supports and promotes Rhode Island’s craft brewers. The Big LeBREWski is a twenty-one-plus event. No one under the legal age will be permitted to buy a passport. IDs will be required to use coupons.

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The igloo experience at Huck’s Filling Station.

Huck’s Filling Station in East Greenwich is changing up its scene. The restaurant and bar is hosting a “pop up” partnership with Exquisite Events to create a winter wonderland outdoor igloo-dining experience with a seasonal shared plates and a craft cocktail menu. There will also be a “Southern Supper Series” lineup starting soon with Southern Comfort on January 19, a Galentine’s Day Brunch on February 12, Kids Kitchen classes and more. Guests will also support the “Tip the Kitchen” hospitality appreciation initiative when dining at Huck’s. A one percent “Kitchen Appreciation” fee will be added to all guest checks moving forward, which will be directly distributed amongst their kitchen team (dishwashers, prep cooks and line cooks).

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 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 9 a.m.-noon (industry folks get a free drink with a dine-in meal). Learn more at instagram.com/littlesisterpvd.

 

ONGOING EVENTS

A barbecue spread at Durk’s Bar-B-Q in Providence. Photography by Angel Tucker.

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. Starting Friday, Jan. 14, they will 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.

OZ Tacos and Tequila in Lincoln is now offering $2 tacos every day from 3-5 p.m. The restaurant is also offering free delivery without the expensive fees of third party delivery apps. Chow Fun has teamed up with local delivery service DASAP (delivery as soon as possible) to offer their customers free delivery at all four of restaurant concepts including: Xaco Taco, Harry’s Bar and Burger and Ten Prime Steak and Sushi.

Nomi Park at the Wayfinder Hotel in Newport serves brunch daily. The restaurant’s menu includes shakshuka with tomato, feta and cilantro; stacked mortadella with a fried egg and served on a brioche bun with bechamel; and a decadent French toast custard with almond crumble and whipped cream. Main courses include duck confit with caramelized onion and gruyere on sourdough, a lobster roll topped with trout roe, and smashed pea toast are also available and perfect to sip with brunch cocktails like the boozy coffee milk with vodka, Autocrat coffee syrup and milk, and a Bloody Mary made with Thai chili. In honor of earning Rhode Island Monthly‘s Best of RI award for “Best Staycation,” the Wayfinder has also introduced a special staycation offer for Rhode Island residents called “Love for 401.” The offer includes a 20-percent discounted room rate and a dining credit to enjoy Nomi Park

Bayberry Garden in Providence is now 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.

Winter Popups at ISCO

The Industrious Spirit Company distillery in Providence has finally opened its indoor tasting room to the public. Proof of vaccination is required for inside seating, and a mask is required whenever you are not seated. Proof of vaccination status is not required for the outdoor patio. 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 reservation-only 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. Red’s Kitchen returns on Saturday, January 8 from noon to 5 p.m. and Farm to Sandwich will be there on Sunday, January 9 from noon to 4 p.m. As always, the patio is covered and has several fire pits. 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.

Bites by Bre delivers date night and weekly meals to your home. Bre Goldsmith’s three-course Date Night Delivered special packages are a twist on her pre-COVID-19 “In the Round” Friday Night popup dinners. Read more about the date night service here.

 

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.

 

SEAFOOD

Download the new 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.

Matunuck Oyster Bar is shipping seafood and oysters anywhere in the USA. Orders can include lobsters, oysters, clams, scallops, shrimp and mussels. Shipments are Monday through Wednesday and Thursday orders are shipped overnight only. There’s a $65 minimum on orders. If you would like to modify a package, call 401-314-0468.

 

NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

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.”

The well-known Rhode Island-based Backyard Food Company has created a new barbecue sauce in collaboration with Night Shift Brewing in Everett, Massachusetts. The Whirlpool Tangy Peach BBQ Sauce is now available at select Whole Foods Market stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and New York, and it is made with their Backyard BBQ Sauce combined with Night Shift’s Whirlpool New England Pale Ale and a generous amount of pureed peaches.

FitVine Wine is a new wine company created by locals, including a Newport resident and a Needham, Massachusetts, resident. The wine label has the least amount of sugar, a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) and zero flavor additives, while also giving back to our country. Founders Mark and Tom are helping families through the Navy Seal Foundation and their varietal of FitVine Red Zinfandel gives $8 of each bottle sold straight to the foundation.

Anchorhope Art Cab Franc Product ShotAnchor and Hope, a Rhode Island-based wine négociant, has relaunched its wines in cans under the Anchor and Hope label, and it also launched a new wine label Art Series: a selection of three new releases graced with labels that showcase acrylic on canvas works by Massachusetts artist Kristin Stashenko, who is the mother of owner Marissa Stashenko. The new wines are available in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Upstate New York, and include a 2016 Cabernet Franc, 2017 Grenache and 2019 Chardonnay. Read more about Anchor and Hope.

 

FARMERS MARKETS, GROCERIES AND DELIVERY

225823793 317490206725725 5484426776933240213 NThe Farm Fresh RI Farmers Market is open year-round at their new home 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. Just be sure to pick up your food and products and exit in a timely fashion. No lingering. Stay home if you are sick, keep six-foot distance at all times and do not touch anything you do not intend to buy.

Newport hosts the Aquidneck Growers Market at Stoneacre Garden at 151 Swinburne Row in Newport on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Mount Hope Farm farmers market continues from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Saturday. The winter farmers market moves to inside the barn. There are pre-ordering options as well as the ability to buy on site.

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.

 

NOTABLES

Dale J Venturini President Ceo Ri Hospitality Association Riha Accepts The 2021 Golden Pineapple Award Photo Credit Spencer GossyThe RI Hospitality Association (RIHA)’s President/CEO Dale J. Venturini was presented with the inaugural “Golden Pineapple Award” at the Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting, in recognition of her steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annual Meeting 2021 Partner Of The Year Frog And ToadThe Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) convened its first Annual Meeting in more than two years to honor and celebrate hospitality and tourism professionals, along with community organizations, that shone brightest during some of the industry’s darkest times. Frog and Toad was named the organization’s “Partner of the Year” for the store’s fundraising efforts throughout the pandemic, including the Buy Local RI T-shirt campaign that raised more than $7,000 for the Rhode Island Hospitality Association’s (RIHA) Employee Relief Fund. Dan Fawcett of the Rhode Island Sports Center was honored with the RI Sports Champion Award for his influence on the region’s sports tourism industry and well-established relationships and reputation throughout the sports events community. This year’s event featured a new award honoring the late James McCarvill, former executive director of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. McCarvill passed away last year and the James McCarvill Leadership Award now provides an enduring legacy and tribute to his strong leadership. Honorees included the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for its instrumental role in the state’s COVID-19 response plan, serving as a test kit assembly location and mass vaccination site, and RIHA for their lobbying efforts on behalf of restaurants and endless support to the state’s hospitality businesses.

The Rhode Island Foundation was inducted into the PWCVB’s Hall of Fame. The organization was a significant partner supporting a number of marketing campaigns, including the return of the Buy Local RI holiday campaign and subsequent T-shirt fundraising effort.

The evening also honored eighteen individuals that went above and beyond for their industry and community throughout the pandemic. This year’s Hospitality Hero Award winners are:

  • Jen Cary, group sales assistant manager, Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • Brett Cortesi, graphic designer, Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • Rob Fox, store manager, Saladworks
  • Stacy Greenberg, group sales manager, Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • Nichole Hennigan, manager, Rooftop at the Providence G

  • Joanna Levitt, director of commercial leasing and marketing, InDownCity

  • Michael McDuffie, concession manager, Dunkin’ Donuts Center

  • Senator Josh Miller, chair, Downtown Improvement District

  • Mackenzie Monteiro, senior beverage manager, Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel

  • Peggy Oliver, director of food and beverage, Crowne Plaza Providence Warwick

  • Rosanna Ortiz, founder, StyleWeek Northeast

  • Stephanie Paradise, Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino & Resort

  • Paratransit Division, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority

  • Hannah Petrarca, interpretation specialist, Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • Leigh Picard, manager of graphics and interpretation, Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • Luke Renchan, founder, Luke Renchan Entertainment

  • Matt Sheaff, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Rhode Island Office of the Governor

  • Cliff Wood, executive director, Providence Foundation

The Fifth Element restaurant and bar has officially been sold for $4.5 million with plans to continue operating under the same name. The restaurant and its outdoor dining space, the Outer Element, as well as the adjacent property, best known as the former home of Foley’s Garage, are included in the sale as well as the Fifth Element’s inventory, equipment, trademarks, etc. and its liquor license. The sale was announced by Teri Degnan Real Estate and Consulting LTD while the buyers were represented by Lea Savas of Hawks and Company of Edge Realty RI. It’s exciting news for locals who love the Fifth Element. “I’ve personally watched Brad Cherevaty and Frank Doyle build this business from the ground up, with Frank’s wife Anna spearheading the design and managing staff over the years,” says Degnan. “I know I share the sentiments of many of my local friends and neighbors when I say I’m excited to see what the next chapter of The Fifth Element holds. Congratulations to all involved.”

Genesis Center has launched a culinary initiative with the Providence Public Library called Culinary Hub of Providence (CHOP). It’s a hybrid workforce development, economic development and retail hub located at a busy downtown corner in the Providence Public Library. The initiative is a natural expansion of the Genesis Center’s longstanding and successful culinary arts program and will better meet the evolving needs of participants and employers in the hospitality field. CHOP serves as a culinary education and training hub, where it will create jobs, support business and strengthen the local community.

A Providence food hall investment is in the works and on track for opening in summer 2022. Marsella Development Corporation will redevelop the One Union Station space previously occupied by the Capital Grille and Bar Louie and turn the first floor into a 16,000 square foot food hall. Read more here.