Diner’s Update

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

By Kendall Cairoli, Jamie Coelho, Courtney Dell’Agnese

DECEMBER 2018 and JANUARY 2019

11/21-12/31

A Christmas-themed pop-up bar is coming to Twin River Casino. The bar, called Miracle, is launching on Thanksgiving Eve on November 21 with fun holiday-themed drinks like the Snowball Old Fashioned (gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, lemon zest)  and the And A Partridge In A Pear Tree (reposado tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, spiced demerara syrup, lime, egg white, club soda, Angostura bitters, cinnamon). All cocktails will be served in Cocktail Kingdom’s custom Miracle glassware, from mugs to coupes, highballs and rocks glasses. The bar will only be open for six weeks, and it’s the brainchild of Greg Boehm, who originally started the idea for a holiday-themed pop-up bar in New York City. The bar at Twin River will be located on the second floor of the casino, and it’s open Thursday through Saturday evenings starting at 6 p.m., through New Year’s Eve. The space is also available for holiday party rentals, please call Donna Wing at 401-475-8348 for more information.

Saturdays through 12/23

Join the Arcade in Providence for the 2018 winter market series from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which features locally made honey, soap and apothecary products, antiques, vintage clothing, art, photography, greeting cards, vegan prepared foods, desserts, olive oil, local iced tea, spices and seasonings and more. This event is free and family friendly, and parking is free in downtown Providence on Sundays. Rogue Island will be open for brunch, and New Harvest Coffee will be open for coffee, cocktails and pastry during the event. Retailers Carmen and Ginger, Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council, Split Apart Secondhand, Cured Collection and Bad Taste are open as well. RSVP on Facebook and check out the rotating list of vendors here.

12/13

Create your own holiday gifts at Newport Vineyards at their Scratch Series on Thursday, December 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The $42 ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine before joining executive chef Andy Teixeira and his culinary team inside the kitchen for up-close instruction on how they run their 100 percent from-scratch culinary program. You will learn the step-be-step process on fudge, barks and quick breads, perfect gifts for those food-lovers in your life. Following the demonstration, you can enjoy the light fare that was just created (along with another glass of wine) and receive $5 off a purchase of $25 in the Marketplace that evening only. To cap off the night, dine at Brix in front of the warm and cozy fireplace.

12/14

Join CoLab and Haven Fitness for Cupcake and Champs, a night filled with holiday decorating, Champagne and friends. Follow local baker and owner of Cakes by M Melissa Meier-DePardo as she teaches you the basics of baking cupcakes. Then let your creativity shine in your decorating. Tickets are $40 per person and include two bubbly beverage tickets and light snacks. Sign up through Haven Fitness’s online schedule.

12/14-12/15

Sons of Liberty’s annual Whiskey Wonderland Holiday Bazaar is back and bigger as a two-day event where you can get your shopping done, listen to live music and enjoy delicious food, all while having a drink in your hand. Shop for a variety of gifts from local vendors, munch on tasty treats from places like Back 40, Eddie’s BBQ and TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill and sway to the beat of live performances on Friday, December 14 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 15 from 1 to 10 p.m. No tickets or reservations are required, but you must be twenty-one or older to attend after 5 p.m.

12/15

Nine lives ago, Chifforobe started off as a one-off 1920s soiree at a little downtown locale in Providence. Speakeasy vibes and the tagline “anything goes as long as it’s over the top or under the table” made for one of the wildest art parties of the year. Many private and public affairs to remember later, they are still at it and quietly invite you to live boldly and join them on Saturday, December 15 for another fantastic night on the town from 8 to 11 p.m. at the historic Lippitt House Museum in Providence. Chifferobe’s ninth birthday and Prohibition Party promises some of the naughtiest and nicest live entertainment that New England has to offer in a locale that is surely one of Providence’s best kept secrets…quietly slip in from the cold and enter an enchanting holiday wonderland with live music by Boston’s Amy Kucharik and Friends With Benefits. But first, pick up a cocktail at the bar! Known for their national award-winning craft beer and spirits program as well as their delicious eats, Julians will be pouring throughout the night. Tickets are $25 (general admission) to $45 (VIP) each. VIP guests will receive two tokens of appreciation to redeem for a complimentary featured cocktail as well as a printed portrait.

12/15

Williams Sonoma in Cranston is inviting kids and their families to join chef Gina and junior chef Ronan to bake and decorate their own custom holiday cupcakes at 10 a.m. It costs $15 to participate, which includes a donation to St. Judes Children’s Hospital. Plus, kids get to take home a St Jude Christmas spatula. Call 401-943-0681 to register today!

12/16

Tour and taste your way through Hope and Main’s Meet Your Maker monthly marketplace and open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A rotating cast of the newest and most exciting Rhode Island-based food and beverage companies will be there to meet and mingle with you for your shopping pleasure, Explore an abundance of well-made goods like freshly roasted coffee and cold drinks, fresh produce and farm goods, prepared foods, specialty products, sweet treats and lovely gifts. Stop by the Demonstration Kitchen for hands-on activities, cooking demonstrations and tastings and get real nutrition advice. Caterers, food trucks and chefs will also be on site cooking up brunch and lunch to order all season. All food fans welcome.

12/19 

Skyline at Waterplace is hosting a toy drive cocktail party to support Toys for Tots at 6 p.m. on Dec. 19. The event is free and open to the public with a donation of a new, unwrapped toy. Guests will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, entertainment from XS Band and a special visit from Santa himself.

12/19-12/25

Indulge in the Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes at Bristol’s DeWolf Tavern. This extravagant four-course meal costs $35 per person and will be offered from Dec. 19 to Dec. 25.

12/21

To celebrate its second anniversary, the award-winning specialty doughnut shop Knead Doughnuts is donating 25 percent of sales at both their Elmgrove and downtown locations on December 21 to St. Mary’s Home for Children. Knead is also collecting toiletries, gift cards, and small sensory toys for the children of St. Mary’s between Friday, December 14 and Friday, December 21 at both their Elmgrove and downtown locations.

12/25

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at India in Providence. Enjoy a wonderful Christmas Day buffet filled with special, festive meals for $21.95 per person and $12.95 for kids ten years old and younger. With a large selection of soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts, let India handle the holiday cooking for you. Reserve your table today by calling 401-278-2000.

12/25

Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano in Newport will be open on Christmas Day. 2018 marks the thirty-eighth consecutive Christmas Day opening at Sardella’s. Sardella’s will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. this Christmas Day – its traditional holiday hours — as well as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 5-10 p.m. Chef Kevin Fitzgerald has created a special holiday menu including fruitti di mare – scallops and shrimp sautéed in Sambuca and spicy plum tomato sauce; Barolo slow-roasted short ribs of beef;  Tuscan sirloin brushed with olive oil, garlic and garden rosemary; grilled swordfish with lemon butter; tortelloni Imbriglio filled with smoked mozzarella and spinach; lobster ravioli; eggplant rollatini and over twenty additional items.  Reservations are a must. To make reservations, visit sardellas.com or call 401-849-6312.

12/27

It’s a seafood lover’s dream at the Seafood Festival at La Forge Casino Restaurant in Newport on December 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy fresh and all locally sourced crab, shrimp, lobster, oysters and more. Tickets are $68 per person and include a glass of champagne with your meal.

1/4

The eight-part series “Maria’s Portuguese Table” will be premiering on WSBE TV- RI PBS on Friday, January 4 at 8 p.m. (episode one) and right after at 8:30 p.m. they will air episode two. The remaining episodes will air every Friday in January at the same time slot from 8 to 9 p.m.

1/6

Amateur cooks can receive professional instruction in cooking at the Pot au Feu kitchen on Jan. 6. First learn how to slice, dice, peel, julienne, sauté, flip, grate, grind and chop your way to a five-course gourmet meal. Then learn how to present and serve wine and create food and wine pairings like a pro. For your final exam, invite three guests to judge your efforts to earn the coveted Ecole de Cuisine Diploma. This all-inclusive class is $495 and takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

1/18

The University of Rhode Island will once again host the third annual Rhode Island Food System Summit. Join government, business and community partners as they discuss the implementation of the Rhode Island Food Strategy and how we can support the food sector and our state into the future. The event is happening on Friday, January 18, 2019 with a formal program taking place from 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.,including lunch, followed by optional tours of food-related businesses from 2:30-5 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion and break-out sessions to discuss the key areas of the state’s food strategy. Register here.

1/24-1/27

Calling all wine connoisseurs and food aficionados! The Sun Wine and Food Fest at Mohegan Sun is back. Sip and sample your way through endless vintages and signature dishes and explore the incredible showcases and tastings during this four-day affair in the Uncas Ballroom and new Earth Expo Center. A portion of all the proceeds go to Channel 3 Kids Camp. Check the website as times and ticket prices vary.

1/26

The 2019 Rhode Island Brew Fest will sample more than 175 of the Ocean State’s best beer selections at a brand new venue this year, the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. With a tasting glass in hand, guests can enjoy beer samples, live music, food for purchase and/or samples from an array of local vendors like Knead Doughnuts, The Edgewood Cheese Shop and Narraganset Creamery. The event will have two, three-hour sampling sessions from 1–4 p.m. and 5:30–8:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here.

1/26

Celebrate the life and works of the acclaimed Scottish poet and National Bard, Robbie Burns at DeWolf Tavern on Jan. 26.

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Feast and Fettle’s Holiday Menu

Feast and Fettle has you covered this holiday season with their 2018 holiday menu that satisfies all palates, preferences and party sizes with options including butternut squash lasagna, toasted hazelnut-crusted salmon, herb-crusted pork and bakery options from Knead Doughnuts and Seven Stars Bakery. Orders must be placed by December 19 and deliveries will be made on December 24.

You can help the Rhode Island Community Food Bank ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season by supporting the annual Holiday Food Drive. Hosting a food drive is a great way to engage colleagues, customers, family and friends. The Food Bank is happy to supply you with posters, boxes and barrels if you need them. Learn more here.

Walrus and Carpenter oysters is selling oyster shares for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. If you would like to pay at pickup order here. If you would like to pay in advance online order here. Pickups will take place on November 21 and December 23 from 5–7 p.m. in Providence at 73 Harrison St. on the date selected.

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 Thursday from 5:30–9:30 p.m., Stoneacre Tapas hosts “Stoneacre Sushi” night. Bowls, specialty rolls, nigiri and other delicious Japanese dishes are served. Guests can enjoy the sesame udon bowl that is made with housemade udon noodles, Berkshire pork belly steamed buns and tuna tartare with gochujang and bean sprouts. Book a table here.

Begin your weekends on Wednesdays at CAV in Providence with live music featuring Alexus Lee with half-price wine bottles and the new Bistro Menu. Thursdays also host live jazz featuring the Classic Jazz Trio.

Chez Pascal in Providence started a Cookbook Culinary Series. Chef Matt Gennuso has more than 400 cookbooks that he has amassed over the years. He will be highlighting a favorite cookbook from his collection each month, and every Tuesday through Thursday, the restaurant will offer a special three-course menu inspired by the recipes of selected books for $38 per person (not including tax, gratuity or beverages) in addition to the regular menu. The courses will have the option to be paired with a thoughtfully selected cocktail, wine or beer. The cookbook will change each month.

The East End in Providence offers lunch service from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. The menu includes warm sandwiches like Cubans, a cheesesteak, seasonal soups and salads and plates like crab cakes and steak frites. Feel free to go ahead and have a martini lunch as the entire bar remains open for lunch, too.

Join Jamestown Fish in Jamestown for Vintage Thursdays: a casual and affordable exploration of wine and food where the only agenda is enjoyment and education. Guests are invited to not only sample the provided offerings of the night, but to also bring their own bottles that fit the occasion to enjoy and share with others (if they wish). There is no set time to arrive. Enjoy a two-course dinner, paired perfectly with these wine samplings for just $25.

Ella’s in Westerly offers a three-course pre-fixe menu for $25 per person on Monday through Thursday evenings. Choose from appetizers like roasted fall soup, salmon tartare and a greens salad; entrees like squid arrabiata, grilled swordfish and a grilled porkchop, and pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate mousse for dessert. For reservations, call 401-315-0606.

 

 

OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES

The Shaking Crab Cajun restaurant is now open at 284 Thayer Street in Providence, in the former Kartabar space. It’s the restaurant’s tenth location, serving Cajun-style seafood boils with crab, shrimp, lobster and other shellfish.

The owners of Basta have opened a second restaurant, Bettola, at 44 Rolfe St. in Cranston. It’s a casual Italian eatery and upscale neighborhood pizza parlour with pizza flour flown in from Naples, Italy, and using local ingredients for toppings.

The Perfect Sweet Macarons has opened a brick and mortar bakery at 16 Joyce St. in Warren, serving traditional French macarons and Modern American Macarons in an endless variety of flavor and color combinations. Baked goods like cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes and cookies and coffee are also available.

Rhode Island craft coffee roaster Dave’s Coffee has brought back its winter seasonal coffee blend Fireside for the second consecutive year. Fireside is an exclusive blend of three select coffees – Sumatra, Guatemala and Tanzania. Created by Dave’s Coffee roastmaster Adam Bonaccorsi, Fireside is a well rounded medium roast coffee, with bold cedar notes nicely balanced with a creamy body and citrus acidity.

Early in the New Year, Yogurt Beach in Plainville, Massachusetts, is transforming into Tasty’s Bagels, Cold Treats and More. The self-serve frozen yogurt is there to stay (in addition to ice cream and other sweet treats) and will now be complemented by locally roasted coffee and espresso from Red Barn Coffee Roasters, breakfast and specialty sandwiches, house-baked cookies, muffins, brownies and much more.

Narragansett Beer’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, its signature Rhode Island mash-up, is officially back for the season in stores.

Rendering of Ellie’s bistro.

Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery in Providence are getting a little sister. Ellie’s – a Parisian-inspired neighborhood eatery – is the latest brainchild of Ellen Slattery, proprietor of Gracie’s Venture. The new restaurant will feature distinctly French, bistro-style dinner classics – elevated by Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga – in addition to the wholesome breakfast, lunch and dessert items offered at Ellie’s Bakery. Along with Varga, Gracie’s executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark will put a unique spin on Ellie’s bistro-style offerings. Ellie’s will make its home at 225 Weybosset Street.

Green Line Apothecary announced it will be opening a second Green Line Apothecary location on North Main Street in Providence in early 2019.

Rhode Island’s favorite vegetarian restaurant, Garden Grille in Pawtucket, just finished major renovations, and is now back open for business. Get a sneak peek at the new look on Instagram!

The Guild beer hall is now open in Pawtucket with extended hours, including Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The new Hometown Cafe and Poke Bar is open at 185 Camp St. in Providence, from the owners of Hometown Poke mobile food trailer. The cafe serves coffee, pastries, toasts, acai bowls and poke bowls. Read more about it here.

Sarto rustic Italian restaurant is now open in the heart of downtown Providence in the Providence G building. The Rhode Island-inspired osteria and salumeria has opened its doors and is bringing a new element to the Providence culinary scene. Chef Robert Andreozzi will celebrate Rhode Island farmers, purveyors and artisans in the creation of each dish. Sarto will offer dinner Tuesday through Saturday and breakfast and lunch will be served in the cafe Monday through Friday.

Saint Monday photo from Saint Monday’s Facebook page.

Saint Monday is a new coffee shop and bar at 393 West Fountain St. in Providence. Expect decadent pastries with the coffee hours, and burgers and fun snacks during bar hours. Saint Monday is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for coffee and bakery service. The bar will be open from 5 p.m. to Midnight for cocktails, snacks and burgers.

Frisky Fries will be opening a third location, this time in Barrington! The famous fries smothered with toppings are coming to the East Bay at 186 County Rd., located in the Barrington shopping Center. It will take some time to hire and staff the location, but we will keep you posted on an opening date.

Seaport Shines is a refined, low-calorie moonshine created by Newport native Sherry Brice. The two introductory flavors, Cucumber Lemon and Mint and Maple Bacon can be enjoyed at Clarke Cooke House, Fifth Ward Liquor, 41 North, The Chanler, Bacaro and the Oak Hill Tavern.

Great Northern BBQ Co. opened its new brick and mortar space at 9 Parade St. on the West Side of Providence. It serves barbecue, burgers, tacos and vegetarian options. It’s open Mon.-Sat. from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Sydney, an Australia-inspired cafe located in downtown Providence, will open new locations in Cranston and Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Sydney Portsmouth will open in November, while Sydney Garden City is slated to open early next year. Like the sister location in Providence, the all-day cafes will serve avocado toast, an array of baked goods, a selection of Illy coffee drinks, loose teas and on-tap kombucha.

Garden City will also be welcoming a few more new restaurants over the next few months, including an Indian restaurant from the owners of Rasoi, Rasa and Kabob and Curry. The restaurant is named Chaska Indian cuisine, scheduled to open this winter next to Bistro 22. Expect freshly baked naan, chicken tikka masala, lamb kebab and vegetarian options including spiced curry dishes. Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened in the newly constructed retail space between Newport Creamery and Bank of America. The sports bar and neighborhood restaurant Tavern in the Square, and Legal Sea Bar, a Legal Sea Foods concept offering casual seafood-centric dining and an outdoor patio, will also both open this fall.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk presents a new dining experience, Cara Restaurant, replacing the Spiced Pear. With views of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Cara is home to creative dishes of French, Italian and Spanish influence. In addition to creative dishes, Cara has a fantastic wine list and cocktail menu. Joining Cara is the Cafe at the Chanler. The Cafe is more casual and provides a lively, shared setting for friends and family to enjoy and dine on Mediterranean-inspired dishes as well as signature wine and cocktails. The Cafe offers al fresco dining seasonally on the terrace.

 

TRANSITIONS

Tricycle Ice Cream announced that the business is moving into north Bakery’s former location at 70 Battey St. on the West Side of Providence. According to its Facebook page: “Previously home to the beloved North Bakery, it transforms into our first storefront where we showcase one whimsical frozen dessert concoction after another. Tune in all winter long as we announce new menu items (say hello to boozy #icecreamsandwich creations) and exciting collaborations (sorbet cocktails, anyone?).”

Chez Pascal in Providence is currently undergoing renovations on the Wurst Kitchen side, but it is open for business as usual. Only difference is, now you can order items from the Wurst Kitchen and enjoy them right in the dining room while they renovate. The Wurst Window may or may not be open due to construction, but you can still come in and order inside and take it to go if you wish. Both menus, Chez Pascal and the Wurst Kitchen will be available to all in the Chez Pascal dining room.

 

CLOSINGS

Cook and Brown in Providence is closing on December 29 after nine years in business. From owner Nemo Bolin on Facebook: “This restaurant has been an interesting, challenging, difficult, wonderful adventure for the past nine years. I know it hasn’t been a perfect restaurant but a lot of great food, cocktails, and hospitality was served to, and by, some really amazing people over the years. I hope you’ll come in for a visit in the next few weeks.”

4corners Coffee and Pink Pig BBQ will not be continuing in the New Year at the Warwick location. The last day for doughnuts is Sunday, December 23. The business owners are currently seeking their next big idea for the restaurant group. Do you think you have what it takes to start your own concept? Do you have an existing brand but need an investor to expand? They are currently accepting all proposals for a rebrand concept at the location at 63 Airport Road in Warwick. If you have an idea, they would like to hear from you! Email them at 4cornerscoffeeRI@gmail.com.

The Remington House Inn in Warwick closed on November 30 after eighteen years in business.

The Country Inn in Warren abruptly closed on Monday.

Quay is closed in Providence.

Tricycle Ice Cream photo from Tricycle Ice Cream’s Facebook page.

The Marrocco Group restaurant, Caffe Dolce Vita on Federal Hill, closed for good on Monday, October 8, after twenty-six years in business. The Federal Hill fixture, known for serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in the beautiful al fresco DePasquale Square, served its last guests and closed its doors at 10 p.m. that Monday after dinner service. Gianfranco Marrocco says in the release: “after twenty-six years, I have decided to downsize and semi-retire, I plan to offer some consulting services within the industry. My goal will be to find a suitable tenant to occupy this premier space in the plaza.” The Marrocco group also owns Hotel Dolce Villa and Blend. The release reports that all team members at Caffe Dolce Vita have been offered new positions among Marrocco’s industry connections.

Merienda Tapas and Wine Bar in Warren closed on Sept. 22. From the Facebook page: “Much like great Jamon, all good things must come to an end. Merienda served its last plates of Jamon, tapas and paella Saturday September 22. We enjoyed bringing a little bit of Spain to Warren. While we are on to a new chapter in our lives we will be keeping our Instagram and Facebook pages open to let you know what’s happening in the future. We thank all of our amazing staff and the wonderful people we met and who supported us in our little endeavor. Gracias!”

Lili Marlene’s on Federal Hill in Providence has closed. It closed the last weekend of July with many regulars lamenting the loss of the great bar with no sign that served po’boys, burgers and pool table.

Simone’s restaurant in Warren has closed after four years in business. A message on the Facebook page reads: “It is with gratitude and sadness that we announce our closing. We thank all of our friends and guests for making our almost 4 years filled with joy. We hope to see you before too long in another location. Special thanks to our awesome staff who worked their hearts out trying to make each and every guest feel recognized for their support. Thank you again.”

XO Café in Providence has closed after twenty-one years. CEO and maestro of Chow Fun Food Group of Providence, which owns many other restaurants in Providence, said in a press release: “After almost 21 years serving our community, XO Cafe has decided to close its doors. We want to thank all of our loyal customers over the years. All gift cards can be redeemed at our other restaurant locations: 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, Xaco Taco, Luxe Bar and Burger and all Harry’s Bar and Burger locations. Stay tuned for a possible transformation of the XO Cafe space.” Read more about the closing here.

 

NOTABLES

Hope and Main in Warren opened its doors as a start-up of start-ups and an engine of innovation, small business development and job creation in Rhode Island’s growing food economy and has provided affordable access to four specially-equipped commercial kitchens. Now, after receiving a $178,000 grant from the Farmers Market Promotion Program, it’s looking to increase access to local food, broaden and diversify access to their products and educate members in branding and marketing local products.

Eating with the Ecosystem, the University of Rhode Island and Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts have teamed up to produce a new cookbook on sustainable seafood, Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries. The cookbook includes delicious recipes, ecosystem science and whimsical illustrations to bring to life the marine ecosystems off New England’s shores. Find recipes for whelk fritters, scup crudo and redfish esbabeche while learning about the rich diversity of nourishing food that these ecosystems produce: not just the well-known species that take center stage at the seafood counter, but also species that are plentiful in the sea but overlooked by the market. The book was authored by Sarah Schumann, Kate Masury, and Marie-Joëlle Rochet, with recipes by Rizwan Ahmed and illustrations by Léa Tirmant-Desoyen. The cookbook is $20 and is available online through Eating with the Ecosystem and at all of Eating with the Ecosystem’s events. It can also be found at Amazon.com, in local bookstores and seafood markets.