Diner’s Update

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

By Jamie Coelho, Samantha Labrecque and Stephanie Morales

October-November 2017


Rhode Island Food Fights’ Lord of the Pies month-long event will determine who has the #BestPizzaRI! They’ll have at least fifteen pizza shops participating, and each shop agrees to offer one free pizza slice to folks who present a coupon from the passport. Some places even offer a full pie. Buy the Passport here for only $20, and it will be mailed to you. For $20, you are able to go to at least fifteen participating pizza shops during the month of November and trade your coupon in for one free slice at each place.


The Arcade Farmers and Artisans Market is back for a second season on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through December 17. The market is free and family-friendly, and parking is also free downtown on Sundays. The markets this season will have maple syrup, honey, produce, local eggs and meats, vintage clothing, records, books, art, soap and bath products, herbs, cocktail syrups, cotton candy, baked goods (pie!, cupcakes, donuts, rugelah, cookies, bread, flowers and plants, holiday items, jewelry, candles and more.



Celebrate the arrival of the 2017 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau at Pot au Feu. The restaurant’s Wednesday Beaujolais Midnight Madness is back with a first tasting from 10 p.m. to midnight.  One second after midnight (really Wednesday night, but technically Thursday morning) on November 19, the cork will be pulled so you can be the first in America to taste the new harvest. From 10 p.m. til midnight you’ll taste wines from around the world for $25 per person, a new wine every twenty minutes. A three-course French country feast will also be prepared by chef Joseph Astrella for Friday night on November 17. The dinner is $50 per person and includes wine. Tickets for four guests or more are $45 per person. Call 401-441-2345 for more information.


Join The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles, Gastros401, The Guild, and Providence Pie Co. at the Guild on Nov. 17 from 4 to 9 p.m. for Friendsgiving, an evening that includes waffles, beer, sausages and pies … and live music. There will be collection baskets from Rhode Island Community Food Bank for non-perishable product donations. Please check out their list of most needed items. There is no charge to attend just swing by, and purchases items from vendors.


Join the Bristol Christmas Festival Committee at DeWolf Tavern to kick off the holiday season with cocktails, gourmet fare, music and a holiday auction. The theme of the event is A Christmas Carol, so come dressed as your favorite character from the classic novel or in fun holiday attire. The event is from 1–5 p.m. Tickets cost $50 per person or $475 per table of ten. For tickets and additional information call 401-965-5985 or click here.


Grapes and Grains in Barrington is hosting its annual Grand Tasting at the shop from 1 to 4 p.m. Sip wines of the Wine Bros., Vineyard Road and Monsieur Touton Selection, spirits from Origin Beverage Co., the craft brews of Craft Beer Guild Distributing of Rhode Island and Hidden Cove Brewing Company, and treats from Aura’s Chocolate Bar, Bootblack Brand, the Backyard Food Company, Red’s and Fork in the Road.


Spread some Holiday cheer with Narragansett Beer at the first Made on Honor Market, a two-day indoor festival showcasing some of Narragansett’s favorite makers, artists and small businesses. From noon to 6 p.m. on each day, enjoy dozens of vendors, fresh Narragansett Beer and lip-smacking barbecue from Durk’s Bar-B-Q. The event is free for all and will be happening at the Guild in Pawtucket. For additional information, click here.


Hope and Main’s Meet Your Maker market is back on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., just in time to supply you with all your Thanksgiving needs. The indoor marketplace includes local food and beverage products, samples and brunch and lunch options. Find out all the latest food companies that are making an impact on our food economy, including Halvah Heaven, TGF Baked Goods, Marathon Bread, Just Like Nana’s, The Providence Baking Co., Beth Bakes, Bellicchi’s Best, Butter Cuisine, Mesa Fresca, Buppy Pets, the Perfect Sweet, GG’s Pretzels, The Peyton Co., Ish Sauze and more. Plus, Warren’s own chef Mike Oozoonian (head chef at Chomp Kitchen and Drinks) will be in the demonstration kitchen cooking up holiday-worthy recipes inspired by vendors’ offerings.


Durk’s Bar-B-Q is hosting another hurricane relief fundraiser, this time to benefit folks in Puerto Rico still recovering from Hurricane Maria. On Monday, November 20, visit the restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. for an event with live entertainment and great food and drinks. “Port to Port – A Benefit to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico” includes Steel Drum artist PF Adamson, and a portion of the proceeds from the night will go to benefit The Chelsea Collaborative, an organization dedicated to enhancing the social, environmental and economic health needs of the community of Chelsea.


What do you call the night before Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving Eve of course! Head on over to Rogue Island Local Kitchen and Bar in Providence to join in on the holiday festivities. Fill your belly with bites from The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles, Jaju Pierogi, Providence Pie Co. and Rogue Island and wash it all down with a cold one from Sixpoint Brewery. Stop by from 7–10 p.m. For more information, click here.


On Thanksgiving Day, guests are invited to give thanks at Castle Hill Inn in Newport with chef Lou Rossi’s gourmet cooking and a celebration of the fall harvest. The meal will kick off with appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, artisan cheese and antipasto, and both gem and quinoa salads. For the main event, an elaborate buffet and carving stations include herb-roasted Helger’s Farm turkey with sage gravy and cranberry sauce and roasted black angus strip loin with horseradish cream. A selection of traditional pies, pastries and tarts will be served for dessert. Prices start at $78 per person and $28 for children younger than twelve, plus tax and gratuity. Click here for more information.

Check out more Thanksgiving dinners here.


It’s time for the annual Chez Pascal Craft Show on November 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant will transform into a strolling holiday shopping market with local vendors, art and unique gifts, and the Wurst Kitchen will be open to feed hungry shoppers.


The Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will host the Culinary Challenge for a Cause with chefs from healthcare communities coming out to donate their time and talents to produce a culinary extravaganza. The event will feature a panel of celebrity judges, unlimited gourmet food, a silent auction and more. Proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The Culinary Challenge will take place Wednesday, Nov. 29 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston. Tickets are $45 per person in advance, and $50 at the door. For more information, call 1-800-272-3900 or visit alz.org/ri.


If you want to build a prize-winning gingerbread house, think outside the graham cracker box at the Artists’ Exchange thirteenth annual gingerbread house decorating contest. Create a masterpiece using graham crackers, frosting and candy for a chance to win a prize awarded to your age level category. Artisan’s goods, raffles and holiday grab bags will also be available for purchase to make sure this holiday treat is as sweet as it can get. The event runs from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and costs $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Space per time slot is limited and may fill, so advance registration is strongly recommended. For more information or to purchase a ticket, click here.


Donuts and Drafts will take place at the Guild in Pawtucket from 10 a.m. to noon. Five doughnuts from Bake Me Away will be paired with five Narragansett beer tastings served as a flight! Tickets are $20 per person.


Tickets for the Rhode Island Brew Fest are now on sale. The event, held at the Pawtucket Armory, is in its sixth year and features local and regional breweries from across the northeast. More than twenty breweries have joined so far, with more signing up each week. The beer festival will have two, three-hour sampling sessions from 1 to 4 p.m and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All beer samples are included in session tickets. Each session will also feature local vendors and a food court curated by McGrath Clambakes. The Rhode Island Brew Fest supports the attending brewers by purchasing all of their product at the festival, and a portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Rhode Island Brewers Guild. Tickets are $50 per person, plus fees.


Local businesses, The Savory Grape and The Savory Affair have launched a premier Long Island Wine Country tour to cater to inspired traveling wine enthusiasts. Rhode Islanders now have the chance to partake in a personalized, behind-the-scenes gourmet wine experience in Long Island’s coveted North Fork area. Participants of the savory experience in Long Island will encounter a memorable boutique-styled tour during which they will sip, savor and socialize with the area’s elite winemakers, chefs and personal guides, with The Savory Grape and The Savory Affair’s founder and proprietor, Jessica Granatiero, and Food and Wine Educator, Tulay Lawton. This one-of a-kind trip is limited to a maximum of twelve to fourteen guests to maintain intimacy. The trip cost is $1,345 per person, double occupancy before Nov. 1. After Nov. 1, the cost is $1,395. Reservations will be accepted through January 30, 2018. To book a reservation, contact Tulay Lawton at tulay@thesavorygrape.com.



Looking for a beautiful spot to host your holiday event? Quay, a Mediterranean small plates restaurant with full bar directly on the river at Waterplace Park, is accepting reservations for corporate and personal events for up to fifty guests. Visit quaypvd.com/events to discuss your party.

Mill’s Tavern is hosting holiday lunches for ten or more people for seatings on Monday, Dec. 11 through Friday, Dec. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. Make a reservation by calling 401-272-3331.

Ella’s in Westerly offers a two-course pre-fixe menu for $25 per person. Choose from appetizers like pate, the dynamite oyster, a mixed greens salad and cavatelli, and entrees like squid arrabiata, pan-seared flounder, shrimp tempura and momma’s chicken. For reservations, call 401-315-0606.

Help support Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria relief effort at Matunuck Oyster Bar for during Margaritas for Maria. The restaurant will donate $10 for every margarita sold now through the end of November.

Gurney’s Newport is offering a few specials for the season: Scarpetta has a pre-fixe menu for $35 that’s available from Sunday to Thursday, in addition to the a la carte menu. Choose from a primi piatti like creamy polenta or tuna ‘sushi,’ secondi like housemade tagliolini or branzino, and dolce such as warm banana bread or coconut panna cotta. Regent Cocktail Club, which boasts indoor seating in addition to a three-tiered outdoor deck with eleven fire pits, is offering $1 oysters and  50 percent off small plates/appetizers (excluding raw bar) with a drink Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy the sunset right over the famed Newport Bridge.

Join Chair 5 at the Break Hotel in Narragansett for specials all week long! Every day from 4–6 p.m., enjoy buck-a-shuck on the rooftop or enjoy appy hour, five appetizers for $5. Wine Wednesdays is available from 6–7 p.m. Enjoy three wines with a common factor (producer, varietal or region) and munch on a small bite to accompany each selected wine. Beginning Oct. 12, celebrate southern cuisine, country music and well-crafted specialty cocktails from Sons of Liberty Spirit Company every Thursday night. Visit dinechair5.com for additional information.

Massimo has new beverage and menu selections on the brunch menu, which is available every Sunday from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Choices range from lobster crepes and pork belly with fontina polenta to brioche French toast with strawberries and mascarpone. Don’t miss the Drag Brunch on the first Sunday of each month in the upstairs dining room from noon–2 p.m.



Erms Cupckaes is a cupcake truck that looks like – what else? – a cupcake. Follow the Facebook page for locations and information about birthday parties and other catering needs.

Frisky Fries has soft-opened its second storefront in downtown Providence on the corner of Washington and Mathewson streets.  The grand opening party is on Nov. 19. Stay up to date on its Facebook page.

Dune Brothers Seafood serves clam cakes and chowder and fish and chips at a new outdoor space called the Shack. The Shack space is a partnership led by the owners of the Shop, a coffee shop and cafe in Fox Point, and team members include Dune Brothers Seafood, Design Under Sky and Stay Silent PVD. Read more here.

The Elephant Room has officially changed its name to Schasteâ. The creperie and tea room is located in Pawtuxet Village, and its name means happiness, an experience of lighthearted contentment or joy.

Narragansett Beer’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout is back and it looks a bit different this time. It’s now packaged in bright red and yellow cans inspired by Autocrat Coffee packaging, and it’s the first year that the original Hi Neighbor Mash-Up beer is brewed at the Narragansett Brewery at the Guild in Pawtucket.

Newport Storm’s annual release is finally here! Since 2000, each annual release has been a “most extreme beer” that doesn’t fit a particular style. This year’s release is inspired by German lagers and the technical traditions German brewers use to make them. After a long and cold fermentation using a Bavarian lager yeast strain, this annual release settled in at 11 percent ABV. Only 3,000 bottles have been produced and will be distributed throughout Rhode Island in the coming week ahead. For more information and details on where the 2017 release can be found, visit newportstorm.com.

The beloved north has closed its popular West Side space, and officially opened in the Dean Hotel. James Mark plans to open something new in the old space in the future. Guests can now enjoy a bigger north in downtown Providence. Read more about the transition here.

For the first time in its history, Caffe Dolce Vita, located at 59 DePasquale Plaza in Providence’s Federal Hill, has launched a New York-style pizza menu. The restaurant has invested in a Marsal brick oven and hired chef Baher Andrawis who has twenty-five years of experience in pizza and bread making. Seven specialty pizzas will be available at first as well as make your own creations and the traditional cheese and pepperoni. Pizza sizes offered will be an eighteen- inch New York style and Sicilian square.

Quay, a coastal Mediterranean small-plates restaurant with a full bar and an extensive list of wines by the glass, has opened on the riverwalk at Waterplace Park at 200 Exchange Street. A sister restaurant to Sydney cafe, Quay is a beautiful setting for cocktails, dinner, weekend brunch or private events, with complimentary valet parking at the Waterplace entry plaza. Dinner and drinks Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m.; Happy Hour at the bar Tuesday through Friday 5 to 7 p.m.; brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m to 2:30 p.m.  Visit quaypvd.com and instagram.com/quaypvd.

Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer has released its first seasonal product with Farmer Willie’s Extra Ginger.  Available through the fall and winter, each batch is made with over two tons of fresh ginger for extra spice during the cool-weather months. The brand was recently selected for the acclaimed Chobani Food Incubator program, and its brewing operations were recently moved to The Guild brewery in Pawtucket. The new seasonal release is naturally gluten free with four times less sugar than other ginger beers. It is currently available in four-packs of twelve-ounce cans for $8.99 and on draft at select restaurants and bars throughout Metro Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the South and North Shores of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For more information, visit thefarmerwillies.com.

Join The District for lunch or dinner and enjoy a wood-fired pizza such as barbecue chicken or tequila thyme. A build-your-own-pizza option is also available, so you can make it just how you like it. The District is open Tues. through Sat. for lunch and dinner and on Sunday for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and later in the day for Sunday dinner. Evening and weekend complimentary parking is available. For more information call 401-421-0050 or visit the districtri.com.



Laughing Gorilla Catering’s new bricks and mortar home, Troop, is getting ready to open in the Olneyville section of Providence. Chef Jason Timothy and Revival brewer Sean Larkin and crew has moved into the former Bocado space, and while they finish renovating, they are hosting the occasional popup taco shop and patio events and at the location. Keep tabs on its Facebook page.



Aurora in downtown Providence has closed its doors. From the Facebook page: “This wonderful space that has previously housed The Black Rep and Roots Cafe has under Aurora’s tenure been a vibrant venue for creative expression and community interactions. It’s provided a destination for live music, DJ’s, up and coming music producers, hip hop, rock n roll, salsa and Latin dance, jazz, film screenings, analytical discussions and panels, a bona fide independent theater company, community organizations, delicious craft cocktails, and even the occasional wedding! We’ve seen Aurora flourish over these past three and a half years because of those who came to share their experiences and talents in the space. We would like to thank all of our incredible patrons, performers and staff for the great energy that they brought into this space. We plan to celebrate each remaining day with our programming partners, friends and family.”




Eat Drink RI surpassed its $119,000 funding goal for its Kickstarter campaign to open Providence’s first communal dining space and food hall, the West Park Food Hall. The future food hall’s location is at 235 West Park Street in the Smith Hill neighborhood of Providence, and it will be the future home of small restaurants, an expansive bar, rooftop deck, a brewery, a coffee roastery and other food and beverage production. Congratulations David Dadekian, Katie Kleyla and team.

For over a decade, Newport restaurateur Richard Sardella has donated 170 turkeys to the MLK Community Center in Newport for its holiday food drive. This is the eleventh year that Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano has provided turkeys so that all Newport families can enjoy Thanksgiving.

The Break Hotel in Narragansett was recently was recognized with Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Award, earning the number eight spot on the list of Top Hotels In New England.

Urban Greens Food Co-op has received a $300,000 investment from the Rhode Island Foundation as part of the Urban Greens Community Investment Campaign. With more than 800 members and a general manager hired and a previous $200,000 raised, the Co-op op is making great strides towards opening a full-service, member-owned supermarket in the summer of 2018. These critical funds will help ensure an especially strong footing for the start-up co-op in which they plan to raise an additional $200,000 in investments. For more information, click here.

If you’re looking to munch on a waff-ly good treat, we’ve got another one for you. A new Kickstarter campaign aims to bring Waffle to Providence with your help at the start of the New Year. With a goal of raising $10,000, entrepreneurs Matt and Tara Celeste have big dreams for their waffle machines. They are bringing Little Rhody a big treat: Liege waffles on Weybosset Street. Read more here.

Eater released its first Providence heat map, featuring the “The 9 Hottest New Restaurants in Providence, Rhode Island.” New favorites, including Rebelle Artisan Bagels, Durk’s Bar-B-Q, Den Den Korean Fried Chicken, Knead Doughnuts, Kleos, The East End, Jahunger, Bayberry Beer Hall and Pastaio were all mentioned.

Ben and Heidi Sukle’s Oberlin restaurant earned a glowing review from New York Times critic Pete Wells. Read “A Providence Chef Has Connections at the Docks.”

The Washington Post Food and Dining editor Joe Yonan’s America The Great Cookbook celebrates our country’s diverse food scene. The cookbook includes a recipe by Al Forno‘s Johanne Killeen for spaghetti al sugo finto, and it offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of over 100 top food personalities like her, including recipes and heartwarming stories. America The Great Cookbook also fights childhood hunger by supporting No Kid Hungry.

Yankee magazine has honored Johnston’s Sama Confections in the fifth annual Yankee Editors’ Choice Food Awards 2017. The winning product is the crème brûlée.



Leave a reply