The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Jamie Coelho, Leanna Lobo and Kerri Tallman
OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2019
On the following Thursdays, Like No Udder vegan ice cream shop will be donating 10 percent of ice cream and drink sales to the following groups: September 12 – RIVA – Rhode Island Vegan Awareness; September 19 – Ten Lives Cat Rescue; September 26 – PARL – Providence Animal Rescue League; October 3 – Maple Farm Sanctuary (rescue for rescued farm animals); October 10 – Handome Dan’s Rescue (For Pitbull Type Dogs); October 17 – Chilis on Wheel (a group that brings vegan meals to populations in need); October 24 – NAMI RI – National Alliance for Mental Illness (RI chapter).
RI Food Fights’ Taco Mania is the biggest celebration of the the best tacos in Rhode Island and it lasts all October! Help determine who has the #BestTacosRI! Participating restaurants agree to offer two free tacos to folks who come into their shop with a coupon during the month of October! There will be at least twenty restaurants participating. Last year, there were twenty-five, so it’ll probably be closer to that number. All the coupons are compiled into a coupon book called a passport for $25 each. The passport will be physically mailed to you.
Rhode Island Spirits’ Classics and Cocktails film double-feature event goes musical this week, starting at 7 p.m. Join Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as the sibling-dancing pair as they take London by storm in Royal Wedding, and stick around for a second dose of Astaire in Second Chorus. Your ticket includes popcorn and your first drink. Tickets are $15.
The Renaissance Wine Festival returns during the Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival on October 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at St. John’s Park, located at 354 Atwells Ave. in Providence. Taste eighty wines from around the world and enjoy a selection of Galbani cheeses. Tickets are $35 per guest and can be purchased at renaissancewinefestival.com.
The Federal Hill Commerce Association is celebrating the twenty-eighth annual Columbus Day Festival on Federal Hill October 12-14, and this year’s event will feature the La Cucina Galbani Cooking Stage each day located at St. John’s Park. Providence Chefs doing demonstrations include Sal Marzilli of the Old Canteen, Billy Manzo of Federal Hill Pizza, Jason Harrington of Il Massimo, Armando Bisceglia of Zooma, Domenic Ierfino of Roma and Almanzo Rifeld of Fleming’s Steakhouse. To view the cooking demonstration schedule visit federalhillprov.com. Guests will get to experience the taste of several Federal Hill restaurants that have expanded seating or are offering additional menu items outside on the Avenue. Some of the participants are Siena, Zooma, Lotus Garden, Venda Ravioli, Tavolo, Plaza Kitchen and Bar, Opa, Nara, Federal Hill Taphouse and Providence Oyster Bar. Additionally, dozens of other food and retail vendors, games and amusement rides will line Atwells Avenue. Three entertainment stages will be located through the festival grounds. The parade kicks off on Sunday, October 13 at 11 a.m. and travels from Harris Avenue to Dean Street along Atwells Avenue. This area will be closed during the time of the parade. For the length of the festival Atwells Avenue will be closed from Dean to Sutton Streets. For the full schedule of events, visit federalhillprov.com.
Stop by 51 Courtland St. in Providence for the Courtland Club Oktoberfest special, Sour and Funky. Enjoy a night of Elementary Music and beer tastings handpicked by beertender Brian Oakley. Try sours, lambics and more! For more information, call at 401-227-9300.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Empty Bowls fundraiser, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, brings together hundreds of local artists who design beautiful ceramic or clay bowls, more than thirty-five local restaurants that fill the bowls with delicious food, and nearly 1,000 members of the community to envision a world without hunger, where all bowls are filled. As part of the fundraiser, guests can choose a handmade bowl, enjoy delicious restaurant tastings and go home with their bowl as a reminder that their support helps fill all the empty bowls in our community. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door, and Patron admission is $150 per person, which includes a VIP bowl choice and a drink ticket. You can also enter for a chance to win a private five-course dinner for eight at the Dorrance, complete with cocktail and wine pairings. Raffle tickets are $50 and only 150 will be sold. You do not need to be present to win. Call 401-942-6325 to purchase your raffle tickets in advance.
The North American Comedy Distillery Tour is stopping at Rhode Island Spirits for a night of stand-up comedy paired with local spirits. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 same day or at the door.
The Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket is celebrating Oktoberfest with German food and music on Saturday, October 19 at 6 p.m. at the German American Cultural Society of Rhode Island. The festivities will include traditional German fare and live accordion music. The menu will feature two German sausages, GACSRI’s famous sauerkraut and German potato salad all hausgemacht (homemade). Each guest will also receive a complimentary authentic German beer from the Society’s renowned tap wall or a glass of wine. All proceeds will benefit the Museum of Work and Culture. Tickets for the event are $30 and are available for purchase at the MoWC or online at shopmowc.com. For more information, please contact the MoWC at 401-769-9675.
Plant City will hold a discussion about whole food plant-based living (WFPBL) and a cooking demo from 1-3 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be found here. A lecture about beginning to start living plant-based will follow from 4-6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be found here.
The Courtland Club Oktoberfest is wrapping up the month with CIDER NIGHT. Washington State’s Snowdrift Cider and Washington D.C.’s Anxo Cider, along with yummy apple treats and pastries will be available for one night only at 51 Courtland St. in Providence.. For more information, call at 401-227-9300.
Ariane Daguin, founder and CEO of D’Artagnan Foods, is visiting Ella’s Fine Food and Drink in Westerly for a four-course meat and game dinner, paired with French wines at 6 p.m. It will kick off with a champagne cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $150 per person. Call 401-315-0606 for reservations.
This week’s Classics and Cocktails double feature at Rhode Island Spirits fits the Halloween spirit: Night of the Living Dead starring Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones with Plan 9 from Outer Space starring Gregory Walcott to follow. Films start at 7 p.m. Your ticket includes popcorn and your first drink. Tickets are $15.
Dozens of Newport area restaurants will converge for Child and Family’s Taste of Newport from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Wyndham Newport at the Atlantic Resort in Middletown. The tasting event features bites and drinks from notable chefs and restaurants and the event will benefit Child and Family’s Rhode Island foster care programs. Tickets are $125 each for general admission and Make-a-Difference tickets are $250 each, which includes a VIP reception starting at 4:30 p.m.
What a better way to round out Spooky Season than with an evening of Harry Potter-y Painting at Rhode Island Spirits. From 6 to -9 p.m., spend the night painting Harry Potter-theme pieces while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and magic cocktails. Ticket prices range from $15-30.
Conimicut Village is hosting a Downtown Open House for small businesses on October 30 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Join other businesses to explore open commercial spaces available for lease or sale. Meet local residents and sponsors for an evening of innovative business development. Check in at Shoreline Pizza at 745 West Shore Road. Contact Meg Mut at 609-598-2232.
Mark your calendars for the final 2019 installment of Gracie’s Sucrée series, Sucrée: A Spooky Celebration of Sweets! On Thursday, October 31, don your finest costume attire and join the guys and ghouls of Gracie’s for a cocktail hour followed by a four-course paired dessert tasting inspired by the colors, candies and other devilishly delicious aspects of Halloween! This event will be a special “VIP reunion,” bringing together past and present chefs and mixologists from both Gracie’s and Ellie’s. Guests will enjoy decadent savory and sweet courses from Caitlyn McGuire of Ellie’s, Melissa Denmark and Karissa Bednarz of Gracie’s, and Eric Brown of Pinky Ring in Chicago (formerly of Gracie’s). The evening’s cocktail pairings will be designed by John Cappiello, Gracie’s Wine Cellar Master, and Liz Smith, a former Gracie’s bartender. Costumes highly encouraged! Tickets are $80 per person.
The Museum of Work and Culture is hosting its fourth annual baking workshop at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in collaboration with Wright’s Dairy Farm and Bakery. Children who dream to be chefs will don a chef’s apron and hat while learning how to fill and glaze éclairs, with all ingredients provided by Wright’s. Admission is $25 per baker and $6 per accompanying adult. Tickets can be purchased at shopmowc.com.
New Rivers celebrates Michael Ruhlman’s new cookbook, From Scratch, with an evening of cooking recipes from and inspired by the book. Join Ruhlman at 7 Steeple St. in Providence for a fun night of learning and chatting. Book signings are available. For more information, call at 401-751-0350.
Head to the Taste of Rhode Island to experience the Winter Menu Showcase under the stars at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on November 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. More than thirty of Rhode Island’s best restaurants, bakeries, caterers, wineries and breweries will tempt your taste-buds with delicious offerings that showcase winter menu items. Early bird tickets are $35 each for general admission and $50 each for VIP through September 25, then they go up to $50 each for general admission and $75 for VIP.
Join the Alzheimer’s Association of Rhode Island Chapter for the Culinary Challenge, an evening of gourmet food, cocktails, music and fun. Local chefs will compete to be Top Chef, and guests will taste food from a variety of themed stations. Plus, you get to vote for your favorite chef! The cocktail reception is from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and the tasting will take place from 6:15 to 9 p.m.
Learn kitchen hacks for living a WFPBL lifestyle at Plant City from 1-3 p.m. Walk away knowing more about the pans and utensils you use as well as how to read and interpret nutritional labels. Tickets are $35 and can be found here. Stay for a fall-themed cooking demo from 4-6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be found here.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Providence is offering top shelf Manhattan cocktails paired with a nine-ounce New York strip steak frites through November 27 for only $35. Prefer wine? Fleming’s offers Daou Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles as an alternative.
Harry’s Bar and Burger restaurants have a few specials, including thirty-five-cent wings all day on Sundays, $3 drafts on Thursdays, and on Mondays, Newport (Newport, Jamestown and Middletown locals) and Lincoln (Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Lincoln and Cumberland) locals save twenty percent all day.
Welcome to the Fluke Newport Supper Club. Enjoy a three-course meal from chef Eddie Montalvo for $29 Wednesday through Friday and Sundays from 5-6 p.m. The Supper Club offers seasonal favorites such as lobster bisque, fried local fish bites, crispy pork schnitzel, house-made toasted hazelnut cavatelli, monkfish and Baffoni Farm chicken. For dessert, there’s German chocolate cake and sticky toffee banana pudding. Please note, you have to be seated for dinner before 6 p.m., and the Supper Club deal is not available on Saturday evenings. Call 401-849-7778 to make a reservation or reserve online.
Ellie’s in downtown Providence is now offering a pastry happy hour! The bakery and cafe is now offering half-price on all breakfast pastries after 2 p.m. Complement your afternoon coffee with a reduced-price sweet treat. You also now order your lunch in advance through ChowNow.
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.
Osamequin Farm hosts a farm stand, selling a wide variety of 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 Saturday (accepting credit cards) and Sunday (honor box) from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. More information can be found at osamequinfarm.com.
Matunuck Oyster Farm invites you to take a tour and learn about aquaculture and fisheries on a global scale and a local scale. Take a sunset 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 (or $30 includes a tasting with three oysters and a glass of sparkling wine) and can be conducted both by land and boat. Book reservations at rhodyoysters.com.
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.
Food Truck Friday is finishing up the fifth season at the Carousel Village at Roger Williams Park in Providence, 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
Yacht Club Bottling Works, the official soda and water company of Rhode Island, introduces a new seasonal flavor, Mercy Brown. This “Vampire’s” Blood Orange Mango Soda is available at the Yacht Club Bottling Works Factory Store in North Providence, but will also be distributed by McLaughlin and Moran and sold at local farmers markets, restaurants and stores. For more information, call at 401-231-9290 or visit the website here.
The Dean Bar is the Dean Hotel’s new cocktail lounge (formerly the Magdalenae Room) in downtown Providence. Headed by north’s James Mark, acclaimed chef and restaurateur, who is also the mastermind behind Big King. The bar is inspired by the Japanese concept shibusa meaning simple beauty. Classic cocktail creations will be enhanced with miso, curry, lemongrass and sweet potato that you can sip on while snacking on pickled veggies, house nuts and homemade bread and mustards.
Good Game Grill, Rhode Island’s first board game cafe, is now open at 53 Weybossett Street in downtown Providence.
Huck’s Filling Station, the latest restaurant from the owners of Milk Money, the Thirsty Beaver and Daisy Jo’s Hot Chicken and Biscuits, is now open in East Greenwich at 4654 Post Rd. Huck’s is a “market-driven New England eatery” that is a “celebration of the local bounty with inspiration being drawn from across the globe.”
Trattoria Romana and chef Luciano Canova of Torre Restaurant Group have opened its fourth location on Atwood Avenue in Johnston. This most recent Torre Restaurant Group opening has replaced their former Osteria Toscana restaurant at 1571 Atwood Avenue.
To celebrate Westerly’s 350th anniversary, Grey Sail brewery produced a custom brew – Flying Horse Ale. The American Blonde Ale was named for the iconic Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill, the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country. Pick up Flying Horse at liquor and package stores in the area or at the Grey Sail tap room. All proceeds will benefit the Westerly 350 Committee.
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 location. More information about the juicery’s history and founding can be found on East Greenwich News.
Nicks on Broadway’s owner and executive chef Derek Wagner opened his second location, Nicks on Westminster, in Providence’s Financial District. It’s now open for brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., in addition to being open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with takeaway and café options available during the day, and Saturday dinner. The menu features the same fresh, seasonal options you’ve come to love at Nicks on Broadway, but with new baked goods, breakfast and on-the-go options. Make reservations on OpenTable or by calling 401-443-5100. Read more here.
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 is 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.
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 Street 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.
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.
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.
Chomp Kitchen and Drinks will be opening a second Chomp location in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence on Ives Street later this year. It will move into the former Eagle Super Market space.
Slice and Company will be taking over the former Papa Franco’s in East Greenwich, run by Jason Kindness from Kai Bar and 241 Main, alongside Mollie Reynolds and Ming Wu. Read more from WhatsUp Rhode Island.
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.
Daisy Jo’s Hot Chicken and Biscuits has closed in Warwick. A message on the business’s Facebook page reads: “We appreciate all of the support and our dedicated teams efforts in our second attempt at this unique space but unfortunately operations cannot be sustained. We will be turning this space into a commissary kitchen and catering operation for our existing brands while we look for a more suitable site for Daisy Jo’s to relocate. All current employees wishing to move to our other existing operations have been accommodated in continuing their employment with us. Thank you again for your support during these endeavors.”
Tom’s BaoBao in downtown Providence is also closed.
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.
Wright’s Dairy Farm in North Smithfield has been named Rhode Island’s 2019 Outstanding Dairy Farm by the Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee of which RI DEM is a member. Wright’s Dairy is a fifth-generation family dairy farm celebrating over 100 years of producing and selling quality dairy and bakery products direct to the consumer. In the 1970s Wright’s transformed a home delivery milk route into a retail store located on the farm. The bakery, which started in Claire Wright’s kitchen, was added shortly thereafter and the business grew. Read more about Wright’s Dairy Farm in this Rhode Island Monthly story.
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.