Diner’s Update

The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
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The Thali platter from India.

UKRAINIAN RELIEF

Giusto restaurant in Newport held an industry night fundraiser for Ukraine Relief in partnership with their restaurant and retail friends in Newport. The evening included food from Giusto, TSK, Yagi Noodles and Sup Dog Supper Club and drinks from Giusto, Newport Craft, Stoneacre Hospitality and Beech. Raffle items were donated by Saltzman watches, Holebrook USA, Best Beverage and Hammetts Hotel. “In just two hours, we were able to raise just over $8,000 for World Central Kitchen and Ukraine,” says Giusto chef and owner Kevin O’Donnell. Other sponsors included Baldor Foods and Jon Bellemore, sales manager at Embrace Home Loans, who generously donated to the cause.

4/1-5/31

For the months of April and May, India Restaurant on the East Side of Providence is offering $12 healthy grab-and-go meals with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The meals may be picked up at the restaurant for takeout daily between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. through May 31. “This is our way of giving back with a sense of gratitude for our business of over thirty years,” says owner Amar Singh.

Woonsocket’s Krakow Deli‘s Polish owners have been sending supplies and donations to their home country to support refugees fleeing Ukraine. Read more here.

 

NOTABLES

Chi Kitchen Fermented Sesame Slaw Sofi Award 1Chi Kitchen’s Fermented Sesame Slaw won the GOLD Award in the pickles and olives category at the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 2022 Awards. The made-in-Pawtucket product was selected in this category by a panel of specialty food experts from nearly 2,000 entries across fifty-three categories. Products are judged on taste, including flavor, appearance, texture and aroma, ingredient quality and innovation. All tastings were anonymous and held at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. “We are honored that our Fermented Sesame Slaw has won a Gold Award,” says Minnie Luong, Founder and CHI-EO of CHI Kitchen. “To know that our product stands out from the crowd in a blind tasting gives us the confidence to continue innovating and growing in our category with our naturally probiotic-packed, gut healthy fermented vegetables. This is one of the ultimate stamps of approval and we’re very grateful and excited for all the winners.” Fermented Sesame Slaw can be found at Whole Foods North Atlantic, independent retail stores and food service establishments all throughout New England and online at chikitchen.com.

Providence Latin cafe Little Sister on Hope Street just got a great spotlight from Bon Appetit magazine in “How This Rhode Island Restaurant Became a Destination for Puerto Rican Cooking.’

Anchor and Hope, a craft winery located in Rumford, has partnered with Mainvest for a fundraising campaign for its future tasting room at the winery’s space. The campaign will allow members of the community to be a part of the growth of Anchor and Hope by investing as little as $100 with a 1.5-times return towards a target of $100,000, and a maximum goal of $250,000.  The capital will support the building of a new tasting room at the winery’s space in Phillipsdale Landing, a historic copper wire mill in Rumford, which will provide visitors and the community with the opportunity to enjoy proprietary wines, culinary events, meeting spaces, winemaking classes, a café, a gourmet market and an event space. For more information about the campaign and to invest, visit mainvest.com/in/anchor-hope.

Local firefighter Dan Rinaldi of Providence will be featured in PBS’s “The Great American Recipe,” premiering on June 24. Hosted by “Today” food and lifestyle contributor Alejandra Ramos with judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot, the show spotlights ten talented home cooks who will be showcasing their culinary expertise. new eight-part uplifting competition series that celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food so vibrant and unique. With a range of culinary styles infused by their backgrounds — from Syrian to Hungarian, Vietnamese, the show will air on Fridays, June 24 through August 12 from 9-10 p.m. ET (Check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.

Karie Myers, owner of Jiggers Diner in East Greenwich, recently appeared on CBS’s “The Talk.” The show featured a Food Face-Off contest: Providence versus Saratoga Springs, and Myers featured her famous johnny cakes on the episode and won. Jiggers Diner plans to open a second location in South Kingstown.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk and its on-site restaurant, Cara, both earned their first Forbes Five Star ranking. The twenty-room, ultra-luxe 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.

 

OPENINGS

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.

Providence Brewing Company is now 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. 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 each week.

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 now open five days a week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. to midnight; and Mon. 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. 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,  opened their day-to-night new cafe, Audrey’s Coffee House and Lounge, in South Kingstown. Read more about it here.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

EVENTS, SPECIALS AND MENU UPDATES

Gregg’s Restaurants and Taverns, with locations in Warwick, Providence, East Providence,and North Kingstown, are featuring an adaptation of the Exeter Job Corps Academy’s “Winning Dish” from the tenth annual Rhode Island ProStart High School Culinary and Management Competition: a pistachio-encrusted lamb with wild mushroom risotto topped off with sautéed vegetables. Chef Steve Trabucco, director of Gregg’s Restaurants’ culinary operations, modified the students’ lamb dish to feature it on the restaurant’s seasonal menu. For $22.99, guests can enjoy “The Winning Dish,” which involves four pieces of bone-in lamb rack with a Dijon mustard and a pistachio, panko, thyme and rosemary crust, served with asparagus, mashed potatoes and soup or salad.

The South County Tourism Council is selling chocolate bars made in South County by Hauser Chocolatier that might include a “Golden Ticket.” The bars are $5 each and proceeds will benefit the South County Habitat for Humanity. Three chocolate bars contain Golden Tickets for a chance to win a two-night stay at The Shelter Harbor Inn with a $100 gift card for dinner at Matunuck Oyster Bar, a $50 gift certificate to Kelley’s Deli and two tickets to a Save the Bay cruise in South County. There are also five Silver Tickets for gift certificates to South County experiences for two people and 22 Bronze Tickets for gift cards to South County restaurants. Find out all the details here.

Screen Shot 2022 03 04 At 25050 PmNicks on Broadway is celebrating twenty years in business in Providence. Chef Derek Wagner and team are celebrating the twenty-year anniversary all year long with special menus featuring all-time Nicks’ favorites. There is some cool merch and collaborations are planned, and maybe a throwback menu item or two will make an appearance. Stay up to date on happenings at @nicksonbroadway on Instagram.

Rhode Island Red Food Tours is returning this April. The Newport Neighborhood Food Tour makes its 2022 season debut on Friday, April 22 and the Downcity Providence Food Tour on Saturday, April 23. 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.

4/13-7/3

Head to Roger William Park Zoo after dark to witness the Asian Lantern Spectacular, a wonderland of illuminated, larger-than-life lanterns inspired by the wild. Stroll through the interactive displays while indulging in Asian-inspired cuisine and drinks with your family. Tickets sold online only. Wed.–Sun. 6–10:30 p.m. Adults $25, children $23, babies one and younger free.

5/20 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.

4/30-10/29

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.

5/15-5/21

Celebrate Rhode Island’s sixth annual Quahog Week from May 15-21 by purchasing, preparing and eating dishes showcasing Rhode Island’s famous hard shell clams. This week-long celebration shines a light on Rhode Island’s favorite local clam, the hard-working men and women who harvest them and the vibrant local food industry that makes them available to consumers. Restaurants and markets across Rhode Island will celebrate this sustainable resource and its year-round availability by featuring a quahog dish on their menus or featuring a shellfish special. See all the participating restaurants and dishes at dem.ri.gov/riseafood/news.php. There are also two free Meet the Harvester Nights scheduled at Whalers Brewery and Narragansett Brewery. Guests will get to meet the hardworking shellfish harvesters from the RI Shellfishermen’s Association, who will shuck and serve complimentary littlenecks while interacting with attendees. The events are happening on Tuesday, May 17 in South County at Whalers Brewing Company in South Kingstown from 5-8 p.m. (twenty-one-plus after 6 p.m.). The RI Shellfishermen’s Association, Dave’s Marketplace and Matunuck Oyster Bar will be on hand with shellfish samples. On Thursday, May 19, Quahog Night is happening at Narragansett Brewery in Providence from 5-8 p.m. (twenty-one-plus only). The RI Shellfishermen’s Association, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Andrade’s Catch and others will be on site with samples. Read more here.

5/19

Aloft Providence Hotel is beginning “Yappy Hour” every other Thursday beginning on Thursday, May 19 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.

5/21-5/22

Head to the Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival for live music, cocktails and camaraderie with fresh seafood staples on Bowen’s Wharf. Held rain or shine, this shellfish-honoring weekend invites you to dig into shucked oysters, creamy chowder and more from local vendors and growers along the waterfront. Food can be purchased directly from vendors, and onsite cash bars will offer libations as well. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission.

5/26

Bella Foodie is hosting a Food for the Heart event on May 26 from 5-7 p.m. to benefit the Heart Association of Southern New England. Ashley, the owner of Bella Foodie, created it as a coaching program to help clients make long-lasting changes to improve their health and relationship with food. She’s working with Rhode Island Spirits and Huck’s Filling Station to put together an evening of cocktails and food sampling at Trinity Beer Garden. This event has been created to support the American Heart Association of Southern New England to champion their mission of being a relentless force for longer, healthier lives. Craft cocktails from Rhode Island Spirits will be featured, along with silent auction prizes and heart healthy food samples from some of the area’s top chefs at Huck’s Filling Station, Dig in Dining and more. Tickets cost $30 upon registration, or $35 at the door: participants may register here.

5/30

Enjoy food trucks and a concert at Chase Farm. After the Lincoln Memorial Day Parade, enjoy a variety of locally owned food trucks and beer from Trinity Brewhouse while vibing out to live music. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on the lawn. 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Free admission. Pay for food at the food trucks.

6/3

Rhode Island Spirits in Pawtucket is teaming up with Athletic Brewing Company  for an Athletic Brewing Popup on June 3 from 6-8 p.m. The distillery will feature six great beer-tails, including a shandy (limoncello and lager) and a coffee stout (Coffee and Black Walnut Vodka and dark beer). Come sample all the Athletic regular brews (and maybe some special editions too, you never know!), and see what we can do when we mix them with our premium spirits.

6/5

The Pedro Martinez Foundation is bringing back its Feast with 45 event to Fenway Park on Sunday, June 5. The event will involve forty-five of Boston’s biggest culinary talents and sports personalities together in one place for the ultimate food experience. Attendees will spend the day in Fenway, tasting dishes from the chefs in the same stands where they watched Martinez make baseball history as #45 pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Ticket sales will raise funds to support the ongoing food and education services provided by the Pedro Martinez Foundation for children and families here in Boston, Latin America and across the United States, and locally will also support the Foundation’s Lawrence, Massachusetts, mentorship program. The Red Sox Legend and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, alongside his wife, Pedro Martinez Foundation president Carolina Martinez, work to positively impact society by investing in the holistic care of at-risk youth and their families through support and education. For Feast with 45, they will be joined by chefs including Nicholas Calias of the Colonnade Boston; Jason Santos, B&B Hospitality (Buttermilk & Bourbon, Citrus & Salt, B&B Fish); Andy Husbands from the Smoke Shop; Adam Young from Sift Bakeshop (Mystic, CT); Bobby Wong of Kowloon; Allen Campbell, the private chef for Tom Brady; Rodney Murillo of Davio’s and many more. The Feast Experience is $115 and includes brunch-inspired food tastings from noon-3 p.m.; the Enhanced Feast Experience is $155 and includes brunch-inspired food tastings from noon-3 p.m., two drink tickets and limited edition Feast with 45 T-shirts; the VIP Feast Experience is $445 and adds VIP access to a private reception from 11 a.m.-noon in the Dell EMC Club with Pedro and other sports celebrities, exclusive food tastings with fifteen-plus chefs, unlimited drinks, photo booth with professional photographer, VIP swag bag and free parking. Children’s Ticket s are$35 for ages sixteen and under accompanied by a parent, while children three years and younger can attend at no cost. Tickets are available here.

6/15

Celebrate National Lobster Day on Wednesday, June 15 from noon to 7 p.m. at Narragansett Brewery with Blount Clam Shack’s food truck. Pair seafood, including lobster rolls, with the brewery’s Fresh Catch IPA.

6/18

Attend a special dinner produced by the Yellow Farm House Education Center and Eating with the Ecosystem that highlights sustainable seafood from area waters. Setting Our Table – Land and Sea takes place on Saturday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society at 26 Main St. in Stonington, Connecticut. The dinner features cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated four-course dinner with paired libations curated by chefs James Wayman, David Standridge and Todd Keister. “Food has the tremendous power to bring us together, to ignite conversation and to find common ground. It can also create an emotional connection to spark change.” The three notable regional chefs have donated their time and culinary expertise for the event, including James Wayman of Nana’s Westerly and Nana’s Bakery and Pizza in Mystic, David Standridge of the Shipwright’s Daughter in Mystic and Todd Keister of the Cafe in Westerly. Tickets are $250 each. There will also be a live auction with exclusive food and drink experiences, gifts and artwork available for bidding.

6/26

The Cafe Jill Degroff WebThe United Theatre in Westerly will be presenting Hey Bartender, a film about the rebirth of the craft cocktail revolution. A talk, tasting and book signing event with filmmaker Douglas Tirola and James Beard award-winning mixologist Dale DeGroff, author of The New Craft of the Cocktail will take place at their gallery space on Sunday, June 26 followed by a screening of the film in the main cinema. Coinciding with this event will be an art opening: “Bon Vivants, Barflies and the New Cocktailians” featuring paintings and caricatures by artist Jill DeGroff.

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.

Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta has launched a partnership with renowned chef Christian Petroni, who is adding his own Italian recipes to the Bertucci’s menu in 2022. Chef Petroni brings new energy to Bertucci’s with menu items that pay tribute to authentic Italian roots, such as, rigatoni alla vodka with crispy pepperoni, fettuccine with Italian sausage ragu and artisan hand-stretched prosciutto and caramelized onion pizza. Try the new menu out at the Warwick location at 1946 Post Road.

 

ONGOING EVENTS

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Tea at the Stonecare Brasserie.

Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport recently debuted its weekly Afternoon Tea, available Friday–Sunday from 2-4 p.m. starting at $28 per person. The special weekend experience includes options for the whole family with two menus possibilities, one just for the kiddos. The regular menu comes with a three-tiered display of sweet and savory bites including buttermilk biscuits with seasonal jam, honey butter and Devonshire cream, housemade cauliflower and cashew-stuffed peppadew peppers, salmon belly BLTs, macarons and sea salt and Heath bar brownies, among others. For the little ones, the Brasserie serves up almond butter and grape jelly “Uncrustables,” cucumber and cream cheese roll-ups, Vermont cheddar grilled cheese, applewood smoked ham baguette with gruyere and honey mustard, as well as hand cut French fries with ketchup and aioli. Specialty add-ons are available on Friday afternoons as well, for anyone looking to upgrade the experience. The Afternoon Tea experience is available at Stoneacre Brasserie and will launch at the Chinese Tea House, located at the Marble House, later this spring in collaboration with Stoneacre Hospitality Group.

Stoneacre Hospitality has also 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

FUTURE OPENINGS

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 target date for opening is June 2, and 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.

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.

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Clementine’s new location. Via Instagram.

Clementine’s Ice Cream is moving to the South County Trail in the former Beacon Diner space. “As excited as we are for this next step in our business, it feels bittersweet to say goodbye to our Main Street shop,” says an Instagram post. “So many memories, friends and customers were made there, and we’ll always appreciate how much our new business was welcomed by the community.” The new spot promises more space and parking. “The bigger space will allow us to increase our ice cream making capacity, offer more seating, have an outdoor patio, and continue to grow our business. We also hope to maintain some presence on Main St. with our newly purchased ice cream cart.” Clementine’s also reopened its Middletown location. Hours for the start of the season will be Tues.-Fri. from 2-8 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 1-8 p.m.; and closed Mon.

Basil and Bunny plant-based mobile cuisine announced that they 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 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 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.

 

CLOSINGS

James Mark took to Instagram to announce the news that feels like an extra-large Band-Aid being ripped off slowly and painfully. Both north and Big King restaurants will close at the end of June or early July. At least we will all have one last chance (or many chances!) to enjoy them before they’re gone. Read more about the upcoming closures.

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 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 Newport 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 this 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 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.

Newport Restaurant Group is hosting a job fair on Thursday, May 26 from 3–7 p.m. at Foodlove Market located at 1037 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, to apply for positions in the market. Applicants will be offered same-day interviews and job offers. Newport Restaurant Group properties are hiring for a wide range of positions including: managers, servers, hosts, bussers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, baristas, valets, deli counter and cashiers. NRG is Rhode Island’s only employee-owned hospitality company and offers full-coverage benefits, food and beverage discounts, generous time off and opportunities for career advancement. Candidates who are interested but cannot attend the summer job fair are welcome to apply online by visiting: newportrestaurantgroup.com/careers.

 

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.

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

Foodlove Market, an upscale specialty market from Newport Restaurant Group located at 1037 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, is adding catering services, perfect for corporate and at-home gatherings, as well as 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. 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.