The latest Rhode Island food, drink, restaurant and dining news and events.
By Jamie Coelho and Andrew Small
MARCH AND APRIL 2020
All Rhode Island restaurants had to close this week for dine-in service due to the threat of coronavirus, but you can still take home food from many of them. We have put together an extensive restaurant takeout and delivery list of all the best places you can help support by ordering out. Please do your part to help keep our restaurants in business (as long as you are feeling well). Don’t feel comfortable about grabbing takeout? Then contact your favorite place and ask to purchase a gift card for future use. They could really use the advance money right about now.
Many restaurants and bars have closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, including, north, Big King, Oberlin, birch, Gracie’s, the Miss Lorraine Diner, Figidini, Bayberry Beer Hall, the Dean Bar, PTX Lounge, the Avery, Sardella’s in Newport, Tallulah’s Taqueria and many more. What’s Up Newp is keeping up with all the restaurant, bar and cafe closings in Newport.
Want to help support local restaurant industry people who are out of work? Check out the COVID-19 Rhode Island Hospitality Relief Fund, organized by bartender Leishla Maldonado. This emergency fund was created for our hospitality members of Providence, Rhode Island, who have been directly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are a hospitality employee, they are also setting up free childcare over the next few weeks. “There have already been more than 100 layoffs within the hospitality industry. Our tourism has halted, and the locals are beginning to fear eating out,” writes Maldonado on the site. “Businesses are making major cut-backs because, realistically, they can’t afford to take another loan.” Help support our people through this fund.
Just because school is no longer in session, children shouldn’t have to go hungry. Here’s a list of places where students who rely on school lunches can pick up grab-and-go meals while schools are closed in the state.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The next order form will be available Thursday, 3/19, and will stay open until Friday, 3/20, at 12/noon. Any items ordered then will be delivered Tuesday, 3/24. If you have questions about sizing, please email us at email@example.com. 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.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank could also use some help getting food to those who need it, especially while schools are closed.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in certain states suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza has announced. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Providence and Kent and Washington counties in Rhode Island. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
Right now, the Farm Fresh RI Winter Market in Pawtucket is tentatively open for the 2019-2020 season every Saturday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. at Hope Artiste Village through April 25, 2020. Market organizers are allowing quick visits with no entertainment to encourage people to pick up food quickly and go home. Stay up to date on potential closings and on vendors here.
Taste Buds Kitchen is rescheduling all classes. Contact them with any questions.
‘Gansett’s just launched the #BuyNeighbor campaign. In light of everything going on, the campaign encourages Rhody locals to buy a gift card from their favorite small business and take it a step further by tagging a friend and nominating them to buy a gift card of their own using the #BuyNeighbor. Those who do will be entered to win free ‘Gansett gear. More details on the backstory here.
Once a month, Farmers-Makers Markets at Hope and Main in Warren bring you a rotating cast of Rhode Island’s best food and beverage makers selling their goods. Enjoy freshly made coffee, fresh produce, farm goods and much more to-go. The next Farmers-Makers Market will be held on April 19 and May 17 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For other dates and to learn more about Farmers-Makers Markets, visit Hope and Main’s website.
4/24 – 4/25
Right now the Newport Craft Beer Festival is on until you hear otherwise. Hopefully, you’ll be able to taste up to 200 varieties of beer from thirty-five-plus brewers! Brought to you by Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. and Pour Judgement Bar & Grill, the VIB session takes place on Friday, April 24 from 8-10 p.m. at Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. The festival itself will have two sessions on Saturday, April 25: Session one is from noon to 3 p.m. and session two is from 4 to 7 p.m. at Great Friends Meeting House (Newport Historical Society). Tickets are $40 per person for the VIB session and $50 per person for the festival sessions. Tickets are on sale now.
PENDING: InDowncity is (possibly?) back with its ninth annual Block Party on May 2 from noon to 7 p.m. Kick off spring in downtown Providence with food available for sale from Kleos, Durk’s Bar-B-Q, Poco Loco Tacos, Basil and Bunny and many more vendors. There will be drinks offered for purchase from the Malted Barley, the Eddy, Trinity Brewhouse, Proclamation Ale Company and Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. DJ Studebaker Hawk will keep the music going as you walk down Westminster Street and take part in face painting, DIY flower crowns and special happenings at your favorite shops. The Providence Rock and Roll Yard Sale will take place at the same time, featuring vinyl records, vintage finds and handmade goods! This event is free and family-friendly with lots of children’s activities. Even your dog can get in on all the action.
Once a month, Farmers-Makers Markets at Hope and Main in Warren bring you a grand experience that you don’t want to miss. A rotating cast of Rhode Island’s best food and beverage makers will be there to chat and mingle with everyone while selling their goods. Enjoy freshly made coffee, fresh produce, farm goods and much more. There are also hands-on activities, food demonstrations and more to keep you entertained for hours. The next Farmers-Makers Market will be held on May 17 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For other dates and to learn more about Farmers-Makers Markets, visit Hope and Main’s website.
Harry’s Bar and Burger is now offering takeout classic and spicy crispy chicken sandwiches for $5.99 for a limited time.
Ellie’s is offering a 20 percent discount on all takeout orders through ChowNow.
THINGS TO COME
Bacco Vini and Cotorni is a new Italian restaurant on Federal Hill that recently opened and had to close due to coronavirus. The chef and owner is Armando Bisceglia, formerly of Zooma.
A few new restaurants are opening sometime in the future when things normalize, including the second location for Chomp Food and Drinks in the former Eagle Super Market space in Providence’s Fox Point. Read more about the new restaurant’s plans and how they’re preserving the iconic Eagle Super Market sign here.
Bayberry Beer Hall announced it 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.
Saladworks Providence is holding off on opening its location at 75 Fountain St. It will be a counter-service spot with build-your-own salads and grain bowls, including plant-based options as well as meat-topped entrees. They will be serving salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, wraps, soups and more for dine-in, takeout, third party delivery and catering. Follow along to find out opening dates here.
Custom House Coffee and Ragged Island Brewing Company have teamed up to create a new coffee-based beer called Custom House Coffee Stout. The beer is available in Ragged Island’s Portsmouth taproom to-go. It was created with Custom House Coffee’s high-quality Milano blend and organic Bali cold brew coffees, it has a 5 percent ABV and a classic stout flavor profile with a hint of sweetness from lactose and chocolate malt.
Fearless Fish seafood market on the West Side of Providence has started a fish share program that allows customers to sign up to get a weekly or bi-weekly package of seasonal, local fish (filleted or whole fish), delivered to local food and wine stores around the state. The fish share program includes wild caught fish landed in one of our New England ports each week, which may be species like Acadian redfish, hake, pollock, monkfish, skate wing, black bass, flounder, sea robin and more. Read more about it here.
Miss Lorraine Diner has now closed indefinitely.
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.
Many restaurants have closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, including, north, Big King, Oberlin, birch, Gracie’s, the Miss Lorraine Diner, Figidini, Bayberry Beer Hall, the Dean Bar, PTX Lounge, the Avery, Sardella’s, and many more. What’s Up Newp is keeping up with all the restaurant, bar and cafe closings in Newport.
The historic 1739 Wilcox Tavern in Charlestown is listed for sale by Randall Realtors. It’s a turnkey restaurant with modern upgrades, with seating for 200 in over 7,000 square feet, plus four, one-bedroom apartments in a separate structure, all on 2.71 acres. Read more about it in the Providence Journal.
Olga’s Cup and Saucer in Providence is permanently closed. The restaurant will be transformed into a Seven Stars Bakery sometime this year, but Tiny Bar next door will continue under the leadership of Joanne Chang. Read more here.
AAA announced its Four and Five Diamond Award winners for hotels and restaurants, and many of them are in Rhode Island.
Newport Restaurant Group has generously donated $23,000 to local food banks and nonprofits dedicated to building a local food supply for those in need. All throughout 2019, $1 from every gift card sold was designated to six local organizations, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Hope’s Harvest RI, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, the Aquidneck Community Table, the Brookline (Massachusetts) Food Pantry and The Food Project in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Newport Polo collected 1,165 pounds of food and $268 in cash donations from generous polo spectators for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center at the close of the thirty-second Newport Winter Festival.
The Guild Warren is coming soon to the Tourister Mill in Warren, hopefully by this July, according to East Bay newspapers. Last week. the establishment-to-be received approval from the Warren Town Council, which would give permission to open a future small brewery, brewpub and restaurant in the riverfront warehouse along the south side of the American Tourister development. They are still waiting to obtain a special use permit, according to the article, but it will be opened by the same people that run the Guild in Pawtucket, including Jeremy Duffy.
Ash Elhence, formerly of Zooma on Federal Hill, is the new executive chef at Woonsocket’s River Falls restaurant. A native of New Delhi, India, and a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, chef Elhence most recently served as executive chef at Trattoria Zooma and has also worked in the kitchens at Blaze, the Blue Grotto, Vintage and the Napa Valley Grille. He is bringing local ingredients and his love for making fresh pasta to River Falls, where new menu additions include mussels fra diavolo, pasta vongole, sausage and broccoli rabe and risotto con funghi. And for Valentine’s Day weekend, he’s also introducing lobster bisque, an eight-ounce filet mignon, lobster ravioli and baked stuffed lobster for guests.
A food-focused political story by the Public’s Radio’s Ian Donnis: “Mattiello And Ruggerio’s Campaign Spending On Food & Drink Has Surged During Their Leadership.”
North and Big King owner James Mark was interviewed by NPR about the benefits of single-payer healthcare.
Ragged Island Brewing Co. and Night Shift Distributing have launched a partnership that places the Portsmouth-brewed craft beer in liquor stores in Massachusetts.