Local Foodie Recommendations

Who better to tell you where to go and what to eat?
food recommendation

John Elkhay

Chef, restauranteur and Maestro of Chow Fun Food Group (which owns and operates many acclaimed local eateries like 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, Luxe Burger Bar and Harry’s Bar and Burger).

Must-have summer dish: For me, fried clams with extra tartar sauce, but when I host out-of-towners, it’s always lobster and lobster rolls.
Must-have summer drink: Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve given in to drinking rosé during the hot summer months! My favorite is Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Cotes de Provence. But then at Xaco Taco we have a drink called Ranch Water (made with 1800 coconut tequila, coconut water and pineapple aqua fresca) and it’s so refreshing.
Must-visit summer restaurant: My best secret spot is either Snug Harbor Marina and Snack Bar in Wakefield for their deluxe cheeseburger or Midtown Oyster Bar in Newport.
Must-visit summer bar: When I’m “on tour,” I always visit the outside bars at the Black Pearl and 22 Bowen’s in Newport. I also always stop in to see Kenny at Clarke Cookhouse’s second floor bar (he pours the best drink in Newport!).
Must-have ice cream: My favorite flavors are chocolate chip (I know, boring), pistachio and coconut when available.

Jamie Coelho

Associate Editor at Rhode Island Monthly and editor of the company’s monthly “The Dish” e-newsletter.

Must-have summer dish: A lobster roll at the Newport Lobster Shack.
Must-have summer drink: A Frozen Mudslide on Block Island.
Must-visit summer restaurant: The Lawn at Castle Hill in Newport.
Must-visit summer bar: The Rooftop at the Providence G.
Must-have ice cream flavor and must-visit ice cream joint: Black Raspberry Berry at the Ice Cream Barn in Swansea, Massachusetts.

Ben Sukle

Head Chef at Providence-based Birch and Oberlin restaurants — he’s also a two-time James Beard Foundation “Best Chef: Northeast” finalist.

Must-have summer dish: Tomato sandwiches.
Must-have summer drink: The strawberry daiquiri at the Big Cheese and Pub in Cranston.
Must-visit summer restaurant: Just go to the beach!
Must-visit summer bar: The Ocean Mist in Narragansett.
Must-visit ice cream joint: Gray’s Ice Cream in Bristol or Tiverton.

Karen Deutsch

Writer of Rhode Island Monthly’s “Dining Out” section.

Must-have summer dish: I wait all year to pair summer fruits with my favorite food: cheese. August is all about caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, some fresh or smoked mozzarella, a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a crank of coarse salt. The other thing I make all summer is crostini piled high with chopped nectarines and goat cheese and with a dash of olive oil and Champagne vinaigrette.
Must-have summer drink: Gamay is my favorite warm weather wine. I’m all red, all the time, and this is just light enough to drink in the heat.
Must-visit summer restaurant: Anyone who knows me knows the answer: Persimmon in Providence is my favorite year-round, but never more than when fresh corn is in season. [Chef/owner] Champe Speidel’s corn soup is absolutely everything.
Must-visit summer bar: The back patio at Providence’s the East End. It feels dark even when the sun lingers in the sky; a cozy, secretive little oasis in the city.
Must-have ice cream: Gray’s Ice Cream has always been my favorite, not only because I love Tiverton in the summer (who doesn’t?), but because their lemon ice cream is perfection. It’s creamy but still refreshing when it’s ninety degrees out.