The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Jamie Coelho, Theresa Brown and Emma Bartlett
RI MONTHLY’S LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK GUIDES
Tilly’s Cheesesteaks has launched a new sister restaurant, Tilly’s Chick’n Biscuit in North Kingstown, focusing on outdoor dining and takeout with fried chicken sandwiches, burgers and chicken tenders as well as vegetarian eats, plus boozy shakes and adult slushees. Sandwiches can be served on housemade biscuits or Martin’s potato rolls. Place your order online for curbside pickup and delivery by visiting tillyschicknbiscuit.com or calling 401-522-9874. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. Follow along on Instagram at @tillyschicknbiscuit and on the Facebook page to learn more.
The Walnut Room is a new classic cocktail bar, now open at 425 South Main Street in Providence. Check it out on Instagram. The hours are Thursday and Sunday from 4 p.m.-Midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m.-1 a.m.
A new Knead Doughnuts location opened in East Greenwich on Main Street to resounding success. This new location has all the same fun flavors as the other Providence locations, including brown butter pecan, peanut butter and jelly and more. Unfortunately, with the opening of the new shop, comes the closing of Knead’s downtown Providence location. In the Providence Journal, owner Adam Lastrina cites the lack of activity in the city for closing this shop.
Top of Newport rooftop bar and restaurant at the Hotel Viking is now open for the season Friday through Sunday from 4-9 p.m. One Bellevue is also open with a garden patio for breakfast from 7- to 11 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5-9 p.m.
The second location for Chomp Food and Drinks is now open in the former Eagle Super Market space in Providence’s Fox Point. Read more about the new restaurant’s plans and how they’ve preserved the iconic Eagle Super Market sign here.
The new location of Chengdu Taste is now open for takeout only, serving authentic Sichuan food at 495 Smith St. in Providence. Call 401-729-5699 or 401-729-7499 to order for takeout, and please wear a mask when you arrive for pickup.
Saladworks, a create-your-own salad restaurant, is now open in Providence. At Saladworks, customers are encouraged to choose their favorite ingredients from more than sixty choices to create their own custom salad which can cater to vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo and Whole 30 diets.
CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS
John Elkhay’s Luxe Burger Bar closed its doors for good in Providence. The longtime restaurant was part of Chow Fun Food Group, which also includes four locations of Harry’s Burgers in Providence, Newport and Lincoln, as well as Xaco Taco and Ten Prime Steak and Sushi in Providence.
Red Fin Crudo and Kitchen in Providence has closed for good.
Knead Doughnuts also closed its downtown Providence location. You can still purchase doughnuts at the Knead Elmgrove, Cromwell and East Greenwich locations.
Benefit Juice Bar and Cafe has closed in Providence. In a Facebook post, the owners wrote: “Nothing lasts forever and one of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Sadly, we had to let Benefit go. We fought to hold on and we fought to let go. Due to the current situation and health issues, we made the incredibly difficult decision to close the café permanently. We are saddened and will miss many of our close friends that we’ve met over the seven years of serving everyone. Thank you for all your support through the years.”
The owners of Eleven Forty-Nine Restaurant have made the decision to close permanently due to the COVID-19 crisis. In an email message to patrons, they wrote: “It has been our sincere honor to serve our patrons for the last thirteen years and we have enjoyed sharing so many special occasions and life events. We thank all our guests for their loyalty and for choosing 1149 for dining and special events! We also wish to give a special thank you to all the staff members throughout the years, you have made us proud and served with care!”
A few other places have closed permanently, including Bravo Bistro and Red Stripe in East Greenwich. Revival Brewing in Cranston also closed as they couldn’t reach an agreement with the current landlord to keep the Cranston location. However, owner Sean Larkin is moving the business to Providence and plans to reopen in the future.
The Charlestown Seafood Festival is canceled for the fist time in thirty-five years due to restrictions placed on crowd sizes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CAV restaurant in Providence’s Knowledge District is making plans to slowly reopen later this summer. Proprietor John Moubayed announced the eclectic eatery is “taking one month at a time,” and is installing safety features to ensure CAV guests a sanitized and safe experience.
Bayberry Beer Hall will be opening a second location in the early fall called Bayberry Beer Garden on the first floor of the new Wexford Innovation Center in Providence. This restaurant will focus on craft cocktails and wine in an indoor and outdoor space. Follow along on the progress at @bayberrygarden on Instagram, and read more about the upcoming restaurant here.
RI Cruisin’ Cocktails is a mobile bar and catering service owned and operated by Sarah Gwizdowski. The 1961 Shasta Trailer is named Marigold and Gwizdowski turned it into a mobile bar.
Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletena in South Kingstown has moved to a new larger space across the street in South County Commons into the old Shogun restaurant. It’s the same great Neapolitan pizzas in a bigger and better space. Grab some for takeout.
In honor of its five-year anniversary, Tilted Barn Brewery announced it is expanding and building a new barn on its current property in Exeter, Rhode Island, featuring an expansive tasting room and thirty-barrel brewhouse. The namesake tilted barn will remain preserved on the property.
New Rivers in Providence now has a beautiful outdoor patio on the side of the building (something they have wanted for years!). Call 401-751-0350 for a reservation. Fried Chicken Friday is also now a weekly event. The restaurant’s coveted buttermilk fried chicken will be on the menu every Friday along with accompanying sides. New Rivers is open for dinner every Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30-8 p.m. If you order takeout, give the restaurant a call when you arrive to pick up your order and they will bring it right out to your car. Order online here or call 401-751-0350.
Bites by Bre delivers date night and weekly meals to your home. Bre Goldsmith’s three-course Date Night Delivered special packages are a twist on her pre-COVID-19 “In the Round” Friday Night popup dinners. Read more about the date night service here.
The 2020 Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival is still on track for September 17-20. Given the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on large gatherings and events, festival-goers can expect a new and innovative kind of experience this year. Watch the Preservation Society of Newport County’s social media, including the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival Facebook page, as well as newportmansions.org for developments.
Many restaurants in Rhode Island are now open for indoor and outdoor dining with strict COVID-19 prevention precautions in place. Many are also serving cocktails, beer and wine to go alongside curbside takeout.
Island House Restaurant, located at 242 Broad Street in Providence, was awarded a Providence Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan. With the loan, owners Ricky Bernard and Marcia Ricketts plan to get outdoor seating, an app for faster takeout to better cater to their student customers, plexi-glass shields and other social distancing measures to keep their employees and customers safe and healthy.
Sarto Restaurant and the Rooftop at Providence G, in downtown Providence, are open for partial indoor and outdoor dining. Sarto will be featuring a four-course tasting menu for $65 per person, with a $28 per person wine pairing option. Advanced reservations are required and can be made at sartoprovidence.com. Rooftop at Providence G will be featuring signature cocktails, raw bar items, salads and small bites, entrees, wood oven pizzas, in the rooftop space with views of Providence, as well as outdoor fire pits. Advanced reservations are required and can be made at rooftopattheg.com. The rooftop also has a full lineup of live entertainment featuring some of the area’s best acoustic musicians and bands.
Newport welcomed the Wayfinder Hotel to its tourism circuit. The Wayfinder is located at 151 Admiral Kalbfus Road in Newport and was formed by a number of Newport chefs, bartenders, artists, designers and entrepreneurs. The hotel’s restaurant, Nomi Park, is available for dine-in service. The food is made by Newport’s Mission Group and its menu consists of Mission’s “greatest hits” from the past ten years which include johnnycakes, poutine and a New England lobster roll and fried shallots. The restaurant is open for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. while lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina reopened its doors for overnight guests. The resort’s outdoor dining options are also now officially open. The Lounge and Firepit’s outdoor dining is open for visitors as well as the Pineapple Club. Per Rhode Island state guidelines, reservations are required for both the Lounge and Fire Pit and the Pineapple Club.
What’s Up Newp has a nice list of all Newport area restaurants offering outdoor dining, takeout and delivery that they are constantly updating.
Red Stripe restaurant located in Wayland Square in Providence has reopened and will be open every day of the week. The restaurant will allow private parties of up to fifteen and socially distanced seating. The menu includes usual fan favorites such as classic calamari, linguine and clams and chicken parmesan. The restaurant has also just launched many new lobster selections, including a lobster roll, lobster mac and cheese and lobster salad, available for both dining and takeout. Red Stripe has also added takeout Family Meals to its regular takeout offerings. Entrees include chicken parmesan, housemade Italian meat sauce with rigatoni, chciken Paillard, grilled hanger steak and Red Stripe’s famous mac and cheese (add buffalo chicken, short rib or lobster for added charges).
Mill’s Tavern in Providence is offering outdoor seating for the first time in the restaurant’s eighteen-year history. The menu has been redesigned to also be takeout-friendly, and includes dishes such as “bourbon-blazed Giannone Farms organic roasted chicken breast,” “lemon-pistachio crusted salmon” and “miso-glazed Atlantic swordfish medallions.”
Il Massimo and Pane e Vino have reopened their Atwells Avenue locations for fifty percent occupancy dining in addition to offering takeout and delivery services. Reservations can be made online on their websites.
Parkside Rotisserie and Bar in Providence is now offering indoor and outdoor seating as well as curbside takeout. They will be open Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-close. Reservations can be made online or by calling 401-331-0003.
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has enacted a new, no-cost Direct Sale Dealer License for local fishermen. It authorizes commercial fishermen in Rhode Island to sell certain species of finfish, and to sell and transport for sale live lobsters and crabs, directly to consumers and licensed seafood retailers from the vessel on which they were harvested. Your best bet is to head to the Point Judith docks and browse the boats. There’s lots of other seafood delivery and pickup options.
Matunuck Oyster Bar is now 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.
The Rhode Island Hospitality Association has created the RI Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. This campaign was organized by the RI Hospitality Education Foundation and funds raised will be distributed among RI Hospitality Association member employees that have been laid off and are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The association is also offering a free ninety-day membership – from now until June 30 – to any independent restaurant operator in Rhode Island. This free membership gives restaurant owners access to email alerts, text alerts and other information related to the COVID-19 crisis. The RI Hospitality Association has also appointed Farouk Rajab as the new Chairman of its Board of Directors for the rest of 2020 after the resignation of Christopher Tarro, the owner of Siena.
GIVING BACK THROUGH MEALS
The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the restaurant industry and the simple goal at Frontline Foods RI is to pay local restaurants to make fresh meals and deliver them to healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Viola Davis and the cast of How to Get Away with Murder generously sponsored lunch on May 20 for the frontline workers at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The donated funds will go directly to Matunuck Oyster Bar.
Hope and Main nonprofit food business incubator in Warren has distributed more than 2,400 meals to those in need made by local people and businesses using local ingredients and products. Learn more about the Nourish Our Neighbors program.
Rooms and Works, KNEAD Doughnuts and Providence Kitchen Collaborative (PKC) have teamed up as the ‘Cromwell Lunch Ladies’ to help feed those in need. The group is cooking up packaged meals using the commercial kitchen space while also helping small food start-ups, including HG80, Brown Paper Bounty, Solid Gold, Weenie Wizard, Black Beans PVD and Big Feeling with a work opportunity. Through an initial donation made by Rooms and Works, the group was able to provide 500 meals. An additional $10,000 raised through its GoFundMe page will enable the group to donate an additional 300 meals per week for the next ten weeks!
The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation and Encore Hospitality Group, owner and operator of Mill’s Tavern and Red Stripe restaurant in Providence, have teamed up to launch Meals with a Mission, a program that has already prepared and delivered 3,595 meals to eighteen organizations involving frontline workers, first responders and those in vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Red Stripe and Mill’s Tavern are preparing 2,820 meals for nineteen organizations. On Tuesday morning, Red Stripe delivered 100 meals to the National Guard and Rhode Island Department of Health, and Mill’s Tavern delivered 100 meals to Health First in Fall River, Massachusetts. On Tuesday afternoon, public safety representatives from Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Central Falls picked up 250 meals from Red Stripe, and Mill’s Tavern delivered 200 meals to Pawtucket and Central Falls first responders.An additional 15 organizations will receive meals Wednesday through Saturday via delivery and pickup.
While a large percentage of Bank of America’s staff is working remotely, the company’s cafeteria has pivoted to prepare meals for Rhode Islanders going through tough times. Daily, the kitchen readies 300 meals that are then delivered to member families of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence (BGCP) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island (BGCNRI).
Yacht Club Bottling Works in North Providence is bringing back the Soda Pop Poll with the release of two new limited release flavors for customers to show their presidential preference: Donald’s Big League Punch and Joe’s Berry-Blue Lemonade. As with the last presidential Soda Pop Poll, Yacht Club will release the results of the poll this fall to see which political pop New Englanders like best. If you’re not interested in “voting” for Donald’s Big League Punch or Joe’s Berry-Blue Lemonade, Yacht Club will be re-releasing last summer’s soda Berrymelon Rebellion as the third party flavor choice. All three Soda Pop Poll flavors are now available at the Yacht Club Bottling Works Factory Store in North Providence—see their Facebook page at facebook.com/yachtclubsoda for updated hours, will be sold at farmers markets and can be found in local stores and restaurants through distribution by McLaughlin and Moran. Plus, Yacht Club has an updated web site at yachtclubsoda.com with online ordering and will ship all their flavors to anywhere in the United States.
Narragansett Beer and Del’s Frozen Lemonade are back this summer with the new Del’s Mango-Passionfruit Shandy flavor and limited-edition variety pack. The new flavor is available exclusively in the limited-edition variety twelve-pack, which includes classic summertime favorites, Del’s Lemon Shandy and Del’s Watermelon Shandy.
FARMERS MARKETS, GROCERIES AND DELIVERY
Eat Drink RI and Blackbird Farm reopened the local farmers market at 660 Douglas Pike in Smithfield. Vendors will be there every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 11, selling a variety of plants, meat, pastries, jams and honey.
The Goddard Memorial State Park Farmers Market in Warwick will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays until late October. Additionally, the Fishermen’s Memorial State Park Farmers Market in Narragansett will be open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both markets offer baked goods, hanging plants, vegetable plant starters and seafood. For social distancing purposes, a limited number of customers will be allowed to shop through the markets’ one-way aisles. Handwashing stations will be available for all, and customers should come wearing face masks.
Looking for fresh and local produce? Stop by the Tiverton Farmers Market every Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m. at 43 Muse Way in Tiverton. The market will be available until October 27 for shoppers.
The Hope Street Farmers Market is now open for the 2020 season every Saturday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. outdoors at Lippitt Park in Providence. Market organizers are allowing quick visits with no entertainment to encourage people to pick up pre-ordered food quickly, and guests should wear masks, respect social-distancing measures and go home. Stay up to date on potential closings and on vendors 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 email@example.com. If you have questions about sizing, please email firstname.lastname@example.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 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.
What’s Local Wednesdays is happening at Hope and Main in Warren on Wednesdays. While you pick up your WhatsGood grocery order, you can also grab a pre-ordered takeout dinner from the featured food vendor of the week from 4 to 7 p.m. What’s Local Wednesdays is a rotating pop-up at Hope and Main that provides grocery service and dinner pickup designed with social distancing in mind. Each week, a different food truck, prepared meal or pop-up catering company will be offering up a special takeout menu available through pre-orders only.
DISTILLERIES OFFERING HAND SANITIZER
Narragansett Beer is partnering with the new Providence distillery Industrious Spirits Co. by donating 500 gallons of It’s About Time IPA for them to distill into hand sanitizer. Narragansett Beer had initially kegged this beer for bars and restaurants to sell. The sanitizer produced will help the city of Providence, local nonprofits and healthcare workers in Rhode Island.
Sons of Liberty Spirits Co., in partnership with Java Skin Care, is giving out free hand sanitizer again on Saturday, April 23 from noon to 3 p.m. (or until supplies last) at the Wakefield DMV parking lot at 4808 Tower Hill Road in Wakefield. Four-ounce spray bottles will be handed out by drive-through only. Sons of Liberty has been producing hand sanitizer since mid-March to meet the needs of many businesses, organizations and locals during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of their friends at JAVA Skin Care, 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer were donated to the community in March. With generous donations from multiple local businesses, approximately 900 gallons of hand sanitizer have also been donated to local hospitals, first responders, health care organizations and homecare workers. Follow Sons of Liberty on Facebook or Instagram or visit drinksol.com for future updates.
Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling Co. is donating a portion of proceeds from every case of beer and spirits sold to the Rhode Island Hospitality Relief Fund. They will update on social media about the total funds raised and donated. The promotion will last until May 22.
Johnston Resident Alexia DiGiglio-Mancini recently appeared on Food Network’s “The Kitchen.”
Congrats to James Beard Foundation Awards 2020 Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist nominee Mariana Gonzalez-Trasvina of Bar ‘Cino in Newport, and Best Chef: Northeast semifinalist nominees Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway and Nicks on Westminster, and James Mark of Big King and North. See all the semifinalists here.
AAA announced its Four and Five Diamond Award winners for hotels and restaurants, and many of them are in Rhode Island.
The Guild Warren is coming soon to the Tourister Mill in Warren, hopefully by this July, according to East Bay newspapers. It will be opened by the same people that run the Guild in Pawtucket, including Jeremy Duffy.