The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Jamie Coelho, Gavi Klein and Lauren Poirier
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 2019
Join Farm Fresh Rhode Island on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m at Slater Park for the Slater Park Farmers Market. The market will offer a variety of locally grown foods in a family- and pet-friendly location. Spend the entire afternoon in the picnic areas, playing on the playground, or using the paddle boats. Learn more about the event here.
Heritage Fire by Cochon555 returns to Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina on Saturday, August 24 at 4 p.m. for a spectacular feast with some of the biggest names in hospitality creating a once-in-a-lifetime meal experience of whole hog mastery. Heritage Fire Newport will showcase more than eighteen notable chefs each grilling heritage-breed animals en plein air, inspired by global food cultures, against the stunning backdrop of Newport Harbor. Participating chefs include: Jason Bernier, Melanie Dulude and Melqui Corleto of Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina (Newport, RI), Cody Sperry of Hoodoo Brown BBQ (Ridgefield, CT), Andy Teixeira and Colleen Mulry of Newport Vineyards (Middletown, RI), Mark Bryson of Binge BBQ (Newport, RI), Jonathon Kirk of The Fat Pig PVD (Providence, RI), Brian Miller of Fat Hen Broadway East (Boston, MA), Amanda Lowry of The Butcher Shop (Boston, MA), and Daniel Gurshea of Ledger (Salem, MA), Judd and Kate Foster of South of Heaven BBQ (Carrollton, GA), William Myska of Ore Nells BBQ (Kittery, ME), Edward Bolus of Mill’s Tavern (Providence, RI), and Mariana Gonzalez-Trasvina of Bar ‘Cino (Newport, RI). Dan Hall of Perro Salado (Newport, RI) will host the specialty elote corn station and Nate Singer of Carter Country Meats (Boulder, CO) will serve up a specialty burger bar topped with raclette cheese from David Robinson of Formaggio Kitchen South End (Boston, MA). New local beer highlights include Whalers Brewing Company and Ragged Island Brewing Co. Heritage Fire events helps foster the relationship between local farming and emerging chef and restaurant communities, which grapple with having to pay premium prices in order to serve their guests flavorful food that is also raised locally, responsibly and safely. The event also benefits Piggy Bank, a farm devoted to providing free heritage-breed pigs to small farms in exchange for transparent business plans that are posted online. Tickets are $150 each for general admission and $200 each for VIP (extra hour to get to know the chefs, who will serve one special dish while professional bartenders serve specialty cocktails).
New Rivers American Bistro in Providence is hosting its annual Corn Dinner with a special a la carte menu featuring a variety of both savory and sweet dishes revolving around — you guessed it — corn from Four Town Farm. Menu items include charred corn spoon bread with pickled chilies, grilled pizza with sweet corn and tomato, sweet corn ice cream, a tamale with smoked pork and pickled corn and much more. The regular menu will also be served. Call 401-751-0350 for more information and to reserve your seat.
Learn more about Hope’s Harvest and the work the group does to bring freshly gleaned produce from farms to the hungry at their volunteer orientation from 6-7:30 p.m. at Urban Greens Food Co-op. The event is free and will serve free light snacks from Urban Greens as well. Register at hopesharvest.us17.list-manage.com.
8/30 and 9/28
Come Clam with Me is an all-ages, family-friendly event series led by DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program. Guests will learn about Rhode Island’s role in the clamming industry and how to dig for clams. The workshops will be held on August 30, noon to 3 p.m at Rocky Point State Park, Warwick; and September 28, noon to 3 p.m. at North Kingstown State Beach. Tickets are $5 for those ages eight and older, and space is limited. Register at dem.ri.gov.
Chez Pascal is Providence is hosting its annual tomato dinner on September 3, featuring five tomato-filled courses. Reservations required over the phone or in person. More details coming soon.
Outstanding in the Field is hosting its first event at Wild Harmony Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. The polyculture and organic livestock farm is run by Ben Coerper and Rachael Slattery, who raised their animals as close to the “wild” as possible, letting them roam on acres of land where the fences move every day. They practice rotational grazing, which means the animals are constantly provided with highly nutritious food, while the grass is likewise fertilized by the animals. The chef on duty for the multi-course meal in the beauty of the farm’s natural surroundings is Benjamin Sukle of Oberlin and birch in Providence. Chef Sukle was a James Beard nominee for Best Chef: Northeast in 2018 and is again in 2019. Tickets are $265 per person.
The best way to wrap up the summer is to deny that it’s ending, so head down to the Towers in Narragansett for the fifth annual Calamari Festival. Listen to live music and taste calamari of all kinds from all around the Ocean State. It is the official state appetizer, after all! The festival takes place form 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
The best of the best will be available to taste at the Rhode Island Seafood Festival this year on September 7 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., and September 8 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. at India Point Park in Providence. From lobster to scallops to oysters and more, any seafood you can dream of will be yours to try while you listen to live music and relax by the water. The cost is $5 for one day, and $8 for two days. Kids younger than twelve are free.
Come brunch with New Rivers American Bistro from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and enjoy delicious food and drink all day at this all-ages event. Call 401-751-0350 for more information and to make reservations for parties of four or more.
The Newport Historical Society is hosting the Fourth Annual Culinary Adventure, Speakeasy Soirée from 6-9 p.m. at the Colony House in Newport. Take a trip to the past and visit the prime of the roaring twenties in entertainment, drinks, food and more. Password required to enter! An individual ticket is $250 and a Soirée Sponsor ticket package is $2,500 (ten tickets plus reserved seating).
The annual Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival is back. As per tradition, the Marble House lawn will host the two-day Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. (VIP hour begins at noon), allowing guests to sample an international selection of wines and cuisines. Food and Wine magazine senior editor and “Mad Genius Tips” host Justin Chapple will headline the Grand Tasting, cooking on the Monogram culinary stage on Saturday, September 21 followed by an appearance at the pizza oven. Kevin Des Chenes, celebrity chef to such clients as Giuliana Rancic, Kathie Lee and Hoda, Isaiah Thomas and Tim McGraw, and author of “Beyond My Chef Coat,” will appear on the culinary stage on Sunday, September 22. Additional highlights include the Friday night Wine and Rosecliff gala and the Vintner Dinner at Rosecliff on Saturday evening. Newport After Dark also returns on Saturday night at Forty 1˚ North on the Newport waterfront, and the Sunday Jazz Brunch on the Marble House Terrace is the perfect way to begin a leisurely day at the Sunday Grand Tasting; tickets include an elegant brunch followed by early VIP entry to the Grand Tasting on the lawn. See the rest of the events here.
Contribute to a good cause at RI Day of Portugal’s Disaster Relief Fundraiser Dinner for Mozambique coming up this September 22 at 1 p.m. at Cranston Portuguese Club at 20 Second Avenue in Cranston. The dinner will have family-style seating and the menu includes classics such as soup, salads, coconut shrimp, roasted chicken, shrimp mozambique, dessert and more. Dancing and raffles will also be available at this event, hosted by RI Day of Portugal. Tickets are $35 each for adults and $10 for kids ages twelve and younger. For tickets call or text Ana Isabel at 401-400-2813.
Come Clam with Me is an all-ages, family-friendly event series led by DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program. Guests will learn about Rhode Island’s role in the clamming industry and how to dig for clams. The workshop will be held on September 28, noon to 3 p.m. at North Kingstown State Beach. Tickets are $5 for those ages eight and older, and space is limited. Register at dem.ri.gov.
What better way to spend a Monday than slurping down these tasty morsels at DeWolf Tavern’s Dollar Oyster Monday. The promotion begins at noon and lasts all night. Just make sure you’re sitting bar-side to take advantage of this deal.
Pick-your-own season is here. Osamequin Farm in Seekonk, Massachusetts, is ready to host everyone interested in harvesting beautiful blueberries and sunflowers this summer. Osamequin Farm also hosts a summer farm stand, selling a wide variety of delicious, fresh grown fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables. You can also get creative at the Build Your Own Bouquet bar, giving you the opportunity to make your perfect bouquet. It’s open Tuesday from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. There are also more extensive honor system farm stand hours. More information can be found at osamequinfarm.com.
Chez Pascal and the Wurst Kitchen are once again hosting the annual rosé by the glass takeover this summer. The wine menu will now be offering six different rosés by flight, glass, carafe and bottle. Every Monday night is burger night at Chez Pascal in Providence. The burger is offered in addition to regular menu items, while supplies last. One concoction is a grilled beef burger with cheesy herb spaetzli, crispy bacon and tomato preserve on a house-made bun, for example. Sides will also change weekly.
Join Hotel Viking in Newport for one or all of their summer events. Have a bite to eat on the rooftop restaurant, Top of Newport, or, every Wednesday, have a specialty spirit and a cigar at the Spirits and Stogies Dinners. If you prefer indoor dining, check out One Bellevue, and don’t forget to bring your pup along for Paws on the Patio on Thursdays, where a doggy-friendly menu will be available as well.
The Courtland Club will be hosting live jazz every Sunday this summer. Stop by for smooth tunes from bands like the Leland Baker Trio and enjoy the atmosphere, food, and of course, drinks.
This summer, visit Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown to take a tour and learn how shellfish are cultivated in local waters. During specific times which must be booked in advance, visitors will be able to see different oysters in various stages of growth. Tours are sixty minutes long, $15 per person and can be conducted both by land and boat. Book reservations for the month of June here.
Graze Burgers‘ patio is now open! Now that the nice weather is finally here to stay (knock on wood!), Graze Burgers has opened the patio and is additionally celebrating with some new menu items. Avocado lovers will have a burger of their own and the Breakfast Burger with a fried egg, crispy bacon and American cheese will be sure to please. The thing that has us running for Graze is the Cinna-Bomb – cinnamon cereal-infused, soft-serve ice cream topped with cinnamon sugar crunchies. Yum!
If you’re in the mood for summertime drinks, then treat yourself to something amazing at the Vanderbilt Hotel’s Garden Terrace or the rooftop deck. The brand new, expertly crafted cocktail menu includes offerings such as From the Land – a vodka-based drink with notes of strawberry, basil and balsamic – and In the Clouds – a rose-colored cocktail that puts a twist on the Negroni, with hints of grapefruit and lemongrass-citron replacing the classic vermouth.
Summertime calls for summer flavors and Yacht Club Soda has you covered. Get ready for a little Berrymelon Rebellion, a refreshing and delicious strawberry-watermelon soda. The patriotic theme of the label, designed by famed cartoonist and Rhode Island resident, Frankie Galasso, reflects summertime in the Ocean State. This may be the taste of summer, but summertime ends, just like this limited run! Make sure you taste it before the summer ends.
Evelyn’s Drive-In in Tiverton is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with great midweek deals including $10.99 fish and chips on Mondays, $10 fish tacos on Tuesdays, $10 cheeseburgers and fries on Wednesdays, and $6 chowder and clam cakes Mondays through Thursdays.
Angelo’s Restaurant in Providence is celebrating its ninety-fifth birthday by offering the special $9.50 menu, which will last all summer. The $9.50 menu will be available Monday through Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m.
Food Truck Friday returns to the Carousel Village at Roger Williams Park in Providence for its fifth season every Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. What could be better than eating out with the family on a Friday night? With local beer from Trinity Brewhouse and more than fifteen local eateries represented, there will be plenty to choose from. The carousel will be up and running, plus there will be a bounce house, train and camel rides, along with live music.
George’s of Galilee offers many weekly dining specials. On Monday, enjoy half-priced appetizers with the purchase of an entree; Tuesday is Buck a Shuck all day; on Wednesday get a half-priced bottle of wine with the purchase of an entree; Thursday is slow-roasted prime rib nights; Friday, get all you can eat clam cakes, chowder and fish and chips for only $16.99! Buck a Shuck is also offered on Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. And there is live music every Sunday with Second Avenue from 2 to 6 p.m.
At Red Stripe in both Providence and East Greenwich, guests save 50 percent off bottles of wine every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to close. Every day, enjoy half-price appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, only at the bar and high-tops. Appetizers include Basque calamari, street tacos, frites, parmesan truffle frites, buffalo cauliflower, mezze plate, crispy Brussels sprouts and Mediterranean broccoli rabe.
OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES
Dave’s Marketplace stores across Rhode Island will now carry Shri Bark Snacks. This vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free snack is, as creator Alison Bologna describes, a “karma-packed snack.” More specifically, a portion of the proceeds from the snacks supports Shri Service Corps, a nonprofit organization that focuses on yoga outreach in schools, shelters, recovery centers, hospitals, social service agencies and more.
Raw Bob’s Juicery, an all-organic, vegan, plant-based establishment, is launching a new cafe on Main Street in East Greenwich that will offer more food options and catering services, in addition to their current locationt. More information about the juicery’s history and founding can be found on East Greenwich News.
Sushi on Jones, a New York-based sushi restaurant, will be opening its first hotel residency at Gurney’s Newport. The restaurant will offer traditional omakase, an a la carte menu featuring nigiri, temaki, maki and a late-night handroll menu. The Sushi on Jones menu will be offered from Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
The owners of Mission Newport, the popular burger hotspot, opened their fourth restaurant venture in Middletown (TSK, Winner Winner, and now two Mission locations). The same menu and alcohol selection will be available at the new location. Whatsup Newp shares the details. The Mission family also plans to open a fifth restaurant in 2020 at The Wayfinder Hotel (currently The Mainstay Hotel). Check out Whatsup Newp for the story.
In June, the Marrocco Group opened the Plaza Bar and Kitchen on Federal Hill in the space that was formerly Caffe Dolce Vita. The restaurant will be open nightly and for lunch on weekends. Both indoor and outdoor dining options are available, plus a new plaza bar for casual dining. The menu offers raw bar, burger bar, personal pizza, salads, pasta and small plates meant for sharing, including sesame ahi tuna, Mediterranean seafood salad and clams salsa verde. The restaurant is available for private events and can accommodate both small and large parties for reservations.
Knead Doughnuts, the locally-sourced and seasonally-inspired doughnut shop based in Providence, recently opened a third location at the Rooms and Works building at 55 Cromwell Street in Providence. The new retail spot is part of their commercial collaborative kitchen and it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. With this additional kitchen, Knead will be able to supply more farmers markets and coffee shops across the state with their tasty treats. On Friday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., Knead is serving hot doughnuts out of its new Night Cruller window.
Also open inside of the Rooms and Works building at 55 Cromwell Street is Far West Bar, serving craft cocktails in an intimate live/work setting. Right around the corner from Rooms and Works is Long Live Beerworks‘ new location at 40R Sprague Street, which gives the brewery much more room for guests to enjoy brews. The hours for Long Live’s new space are Wednesday through Monday. Read more about Long Live’s move here.
The old Long Live Beerworks’ location at 425 West Fountain Street has reopened as Beer on Earth brewery. Beer on Earth is open Thursday through Sunday. Check Beer on Earth’s Facebook page for updates.
Newport Restaurant Group opened a new restaurant in downtown Newport at the corner of Washington Square and Charles Street. Bar Cino’s menu focuses on Italian cuisine and it has a full liquor license. Read more here.
Warwick Ice Cream is showing its softer side this summer with the release of the new flavor “Every Child, Every Day.” The new flavor was created in partnership with Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and a portion of proceeds will help to modernize the hospital and expand its programs. The new flavor, all-natural chocolate with Anchor Toffee crunch and a ‘care’amel swirl, reached retail freezers on May 25.
Ellie’s – a Parisian-inspired neighborhood eatery from Ellen Slattery of Gracie’s – is now open at at 225 Weybosset Street in Providence, across the street from PPAC. The new, all-day cafe features French, bistro-style dinner classics, elevated by Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga, in addition to coffee, breakfast, lunch and dessert items. Gracie’s executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark puts a unique spin on Ellie’s desserts. The former Ellie’s Bakery on Washington St. is now closed.
Salted Slate chef Ben Lloyd transformed the former Mercer’s Delicatessen space into Providence Wine Bar, serving some of the best bottles of wine in town with a thoughtful menu to match, including Argentine prawns, tuna carpaccio, gnocchi and whipped feta on focaccia.
Hold onto your sunhats and buckle up your sandals because Sons of Liberty has something delicious in store. Launching its new flavors just in time for some summer fun, Local 9 Canned Cocktails are now available for purchase around the state. With flavors like Loyal 9 Lemonade, Loyal 9 Half and Half and Loyal 9 Mixed Berry Lemonade, there’s something for everyone. Just take it slow – these cocktails are all at least 9 percent alcohol by volume!
Providence’s Trinity Brewhouse launched a regular evening beer garden in Biltmore Park with craft brews, cocktails and wine. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday for late afternoons and evenings from late May to early October. Read more.
The owners of Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano have just opened up a new pizzeria adjacent to Sardella’s in Newport, Imbriglio’s Pizzaria Resto Bar Napoletana. Featuring a full bar and handmade Neapolitan pizza made from the finest ingredients in a wood-fired oven that’s open for customers to see, you’re definitely going to have to stop in for some real Italian pizza. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 5–10 p.m. In an effort to merge family traditions with business, Imbriglio’s Pizzaria Napoletana Resto-Bar is offering a new year-round special; a free pizza with your purchase each time an Imbriglio family member has a birthday. On each of the seven birthdays, dine-in customers only can receive the Imbriglio family member’s favorite pizza for free in addition to their order.
Cork and Rye recently opened in Warwick where Fat Belly’s used to be. The modern gastropub serves scratch-made pub food in a modern setting, alongside craft cocktails and a stellar whiskey/wine program. Check out the menu here.
Green Line Apothecary, the pharmacy and soda fountain, opened its new Providence location at 905 North Main Street. Transferring prescriptions to Green Line’s pharmacy is easy – call, stop by, or submit a request online – and the pharmacy staff takes care of the rest.
Formerly known as Fountain and Co., Vic’s Craft Ice Cream opened up shop in Barrington. Owned and operated by Victoria Young, Vic’s features small batches of unusual craft ice cream flavors including toasty vanilla made from coconut palm sugar, matcha, sour watermelon sorbet and more. In addition to the East Bay storefront, Vic’s will continue to pop up at Stock Culinary Goods throughout the summer. Read more about Vic’s Craft Ice Cream.
Bristol Oyster Bar reopened under new ownership, but it’s still the same restaurant we know and love with local oysters and great seafood. From owner Peter Sebring on its Facebook page: “It’s with mixed emotion that I announce the sale of my restaurant and oyster farm. I’ve been able to fulfill a lifelong dream to own and operate a restaurant and raw bar. Building from the ground up has been the challenge and ultimately the success for which I am most proud. A huge thank you to so many people integral to my restaurant’s success; my committed family, my second-to-none staff, my supportive friends and my loyal customers…all key players in the success of my businesses. It’s been an experience I’m so grateful for. Thank you all for making this possible!”
Ragged Island Brewing Company received unanimous approval from the Portsmouth Zoning Board for its plans to build a farm brewery at the former Van Hof Nursery property at 54 Bristol Ferry Road in Portsmouth. Read more here.
The Duck and Bunny, a bakery, creperie and restaurant located on Wickenden Street in Providence, closed in March for major renovations. The bakery part of the business temporarily moved to a new location, Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket, during the renovations. This smaller sweetery is a full-service bakery and tea shop. The Snuggery will reopen later this year with a full liquor license, upstairs party space, separate bakery area and library bar. Read more about the renovations here.
Jamestown Fish closed in Jamestown and the building is for sale for $1.6 million, according to Whats Up Newp.
84 Tavern on Canal announced its closing on Facebook. The downtown Westerly mainstay had been in business for more than thirteen years.
McCormick and Schmick’s is now closed at the former Biltmore Hotel, which is now named Graduate Providence, NBC 10 reports. Chief Operating Officer Howard Cole issued a statement: “Due to our natural lease expiration, McCormick & Schmick’s located at 11 Dorrance Street in Providence, RI closed its doors at end of business on Saturday, June 15. We are grateful for the support of the local community and loyal patrons. We value our employees, their dedication to our company and are working to relocate them. The employees that made the decision not to relocate will receive a severance check,” the statement said.
Charlie O’s in Narragansett abruptly closed, according to the Providence Journal. A spokeswoman from the Narragansett Town Manager’s office did not know the reason, but in the article, she says it looks like it is closed permanently.
Stoneacre Tapas announced the sale of its restaurant. From its Facebook page: “We are happy to be able to fully concentrate our efforts at Stoneacre Brasserie in Washington Square, what we consider to be the ‘hearth of the Newport community.’ Thanks to everyone who’s supported us over the years down on lower Thames, from our humble beginnings as Stoneacre Pantry through the present day. We wouldn’t be here without the love and encouragement of our loyal guests, local farmers and fellow wine enthusiasts. The future is bright, and we’re ready! See you in Washington Square!”
Rhode Island has been honored in Wine Spectator’s 2019 Restaurant Awards, which highlights restaurants around the world that offer the best wine selections. Local winners include Café Itri and Chapel Grille in Cranston; Camille’s, the Capital Grille, Fleming’s Prime Steak House and Wine Bar, Mill’s Tavern, Persimmon and Sarto in Providence; Tavolo Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille in Providence and Smithfield; Cara at the Chanler Hotel, The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn and the White Horse Tavern, all in Newport; Coast at the Ocean House, the Olympia Tea Room and The Restaurant at Weekapaug Inn in Westerly/Watch Hill; the Coast Guard House in Narragansett; Matunuck Oyster Bar in Matunuck; and Restaurant 1879 on Block Island. The complete list of winners is featured in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands now. All the restaurants can also be found at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the free Restaurant Awards app.
The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) has promoted Sarah R. Bratko from Manager of Governmental Affairs to Vice President of Advocacy and General Counsel. Bratko is now responsible for leading RIHA’s advocacy efforts and developing a network of partnerships with other businesses and organizations.
Ballard’s of Block Island was recently crowned the winner of the 2019 BIMI (Block Island Maritime Institute) ChowdaFest. They beat out numerous other restaurants on the island, such as the National Hotel and Block Island Oyster Bar and Grill.
Chef-owner Ben Sukle of Oberlin and birch, and chef-owner James Mark of north headed to the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago this past May. Both Providence chefs earned finalist nominations in the James Beard Awards for Best Chef: Northeast. They didn’t win this year, but we hope they will return again next year!
James Mark’s Big King was featured in a Boston Globe review by Devra First. Big King also recently landed a small review in The New York Times and earned a spot in “GQ’s Best New Restaurants in America, 2019.”
AAA Northeast, which conducts on-site hotel and restaurant evaluations, has recognized COAST at the Ocean House in Watch Hill with its prestigious Five Diamond award for the first time. The Watch Hill restaurant uses local, farm-to-table ingredients and changes the menu daily to include the freshest items. Three Newport restaurants, Cara at the Chanler, the Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn and the Vanderbilt Grill at the Grace Vanderbilt Hotel, as well as and Gracie’s in Providence have been honored as Four Diamond Award recipients.