Diner’s Update

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

By Jamie Coelho, Samantha Labrecque and Daniel Araujo.

January and February 2018

1/1-1/31

Sign up for RI Food Fights’ Lord of the Wings and for the price of a $20 passport, you can try wings at more than thirty-four restaurants all over Rhode Island. Each shop agrees to offer six free wings to folks that go to their location with a coupon. Most are dine-in only. Passports will be mailed to you. Buy your Lord of the Wings passport here.

1/14-1/27

Providence Restaurant Weeks begins on Jan. 14, offering three-course lunches at $16.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials. Gracie’s will offer a three-course restaurant week menu from January 9 throughout the remainder of January for $34.95, plus optional wine pairings. More restaurants and menus are added daily on the GoProvidence site. Read about our Restaurant Weeks recommendations here.

1/19

Rhode Islanders have been waiting, and the time has come. By CHLOE., the well-known plant-based, fast casual restaurant that has a following in New York City, Los Angeles, and most recently, Boston, opens its first location in Rhode Island at 223 Thayer Street in Providence on Thursday, January 18. Menu items are made fresh and in-house daily from whole ingredients to create vegan options, including salads, burgers and sandwiches, fries and sides, pasta, freshly-baked sweets, and Chill by CHLOE., the brand’s line of ice cream. Each and every menu item is entirely free of meat, dairy and egg products, as well as of saturated animal fat, added preservatives and artificial flavors. Read more about it on our blog.

1/20

Taste of the East Bay is the East Bay Coalition for the Homeless’s annual fundraiser with delicious food, wine and tastings from the East Bay’s finest restaurants and wine and beer vendors, including sponsor Grapes and Grains of Barrington. The eighth annual event takes place at Hope and Main in Warren on Saturday, January 20 to help the families most in need in our community. The premier tasting with limited admittance takes place from 5-6 p.m., and general admittance at 6 p.m. There is a snow date of January 27. Tickets are $25 to $40 each, and available for purchase here.

1/22

You might not yet have heard of The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles, but even so you’ll definitely want to stop by this Monday from 4–7 p.m. as they collaborate with PVDonuts and Fountain and Co. craft ice cream to deliver limited edition offerings including liege waffles topped with (you guessed it!) craft ice cream, as well as the ”Waffoughnut.” The event will take place at PVDonuts (79 Ives St., Providence). The Burgundian just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund bringing an imported, British red double-decker bus to Providence that will be converted into a mobile waffle and coffee cafe.

1/24

Eating with the Ecosystem has announced the first 2018 Scales and Tales dinner in partnership with Eat Drink RI at Little Moss in South Dartmouth. Guests will enjoy a multi-course experience, paired with wine, beer or cocktails. The menu will consist of seasonal and abundant local seafood produced by local marine ecosystems. Fishermen and scientists will share stories and dig deeper into Eating with the Ecosystem’s mission in relation to the marine species being served. Dinner is all-inclusive and costs $90 per guest. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner and drinks. To purchase tickets, visit eatdrinkri.com.

1/25
On Thursday, January 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., attend Drink and Ink at the AS220 Community Printshop. Relax and let the staff and member artists guide you through several easy, hands-on, and fun printing projects in a casual environment with the company of other curious people! Discover the processes of silkscreen, letterpress, and monotype. Take the edge off after a long day at work with complimentary beverages courtesy of our friends at Bottles Fine Wine. Light snacks are provided with price of admission. Tickets are $25 each on the website.

1/26

The historic Coast Guard House restaurant in Narragansett is hosting the Hall Winery and Walt Winery Wine Dinner on Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required prior to entry. The price is $94 per person for the five courses paired with vintages from the esteemed Hall and Walt wineries. Call 401-789-0700 for reservations and inquiries.

1/27

Tickets for the Rhode Island Brew Fest are now sold out. 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.

1/30

New Rivers in Providence is hosting its next famous fried chicken night on Tuesday, January 30, in conjunction with dollar oyster night. The regular menu is offered alongside the fried chicken experience with all of the sides. This time around, New Rivers might change it up to include fried fowl from all over the world. There will be an option to “eat the whole menu” which we hear is the way to go… Make a reservation by calling 401-751-0350.

2/1

AIDS Care Ocean State is organizing restaurants, breweries and other vendors to participate in That’s Amore! on February 1 at Skyline at Waterplace Park. Eat Drink RI, Rhode Island Monthly, Cox Media and IHeartMedia are helping to spread the word about the event so more businesses can sign on. AIDS Care Ocean State is seeking the best of Rhode Island’s breweries and restaurants to sample their brews and eats in support of the state’s largest agency providing care and resources to Rhode Islanders living with HIV/AIDS. Sign up by visiting the online registration page or email GeorgeM@AIDSCareOS.org.

2/6

Dine amongst James Beard Award-nominated chefs at Amos House in Providence for Comfort – A Dining Event to Benefit Amos House. Chefs will prepare an exquisite five-course meal that will excite your eyes and satisfy your hunger. Each dish will be accompanied by a wine pairing provided by the Bottles Group and all guests will leave with special parting gifts to commemorate the evening. Dinner is from 6–9 p.m. and costs $200 per guest. Tickets can be purchased here.

2/12

The local nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem will host a series of workshops this winter and spring on specific dates from 6 to 8 p.m. to introduce home cooks to the joys of cooking with whole, local fish. The series, titled “School of Fish,” advances the organization’s mission to help New Englanders eat a more diverse and representative array of wild seafood from our local marine ecosystems by overcoming the barriers for consumers to feel comfortable cooking with local species. Workshops will take place in the demonstration kitchen at Hope and Main in Warren and will be led by well-known local chefs Noah Metnick (Waterman Grille) on Feb. 12; Max Peterson (Hemenway’s); on March 19; Greg Coccio (Avvio) on April 16; and Jason Hegedus and Nick Gillespie (Dune Brother’s Seafood) on May 21. Each class will feature one fish species prepared three ways, accompanied by instruction, conversation, tastings, and local wine. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased here.

2/14

New Rivers in Providence will offer a four-course dinner on Valentine’s Day for $65 per person. There will be several choices within each course, and the beverage director will design a beverage menu to mix and match with the dinner offerings. The night will also include a special oyster tasting that evening, in addition to the prix fixe dinner. The restaurant has been working with some new oyster farms and they are excited to shuck away with you. Make a reservation by calling 401-751-0350.

2/162/24 (but not 2/18)

Sick of long, cooped up winter nights? Venture to the Fire and Ice Bar at the Hotel Viking in Newport between 4–8 p.m. from February 16–24 (except the 18th) to enjoy an outdoor evening of craft beer by Devils Purse Brewery, refreshing Keel Vodka cocktails and catered snacks by A La Caja China grill. The outdoor courtyard features fire pits and an ice bar; but don’t plan on paying with plastic – it’s cash only.

2/162/24 (but not 2/18)

As part of its Winterfest Extravaganza, the Hotel Viking is offering an Ice Cream Sundae Bar from 1–3 p.m. in its elegant ballroom where you can satiate your sweet tooth. Admission is free for those with a Winterfest bracelet; otherwise, it’s an affordable $5 per person.

2/16

Taylor Hicks at the Calamari Festival in Narragansett.

Don’t miss the award-winning culinary travel series, “State Plate,” airing on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. as it features some of Rhody’s most historic, famous and tastiest foods. Hosted by entertainer Taylor Hicks, follow along as he tastes his way across the United States to the places that we call home. Hicks visits the towns of Barrington, Warren, Narragansett and West Kingston to fill his plate with delicious food. For more information, click here.

2/22 and 2/23

The renowned Hotel Viking in Newport will host a two-day “Field and Forage” event series featuring former Patriots player Matt Light and TV chef Mike Robinson from BBC’s “Ready Steady Cook.” The events include a butchery demonstration by the renowned chef, as well as cocktail receptions, family-style meals and live bidding for one of three prizes, including a signed Tom Brady game jersey. Ticket prices range from $65–$365. To reserve a spot or to find more information about the events, visit the Hotel Viking’s special event website.

3/19

The local nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem will host a series of workshops this winter and spring on specific dates from 6 to 8 p.m. to introduce home cooks to the joys of cooking with whole, local fish. The series, titled “School of Fish,” advances the organization’s mission to help New Englanders eat a more diverse and representative array of wild seafood from our local marine ecosystems by overcoming the barriers for consumers to feel comfortable cooking with local species. Workshops will take place in the demonstration kitchen at Hope and Main in Warren and will be led by well-known local chefs Max Peterson (Hemenway’s); on March 19; Greg Coccio (Avvio) on April 16; and Jason Hegedus and Nick Gillespie (Dune Brother’s Seafood) on May 21. Each class will feature one fish species prepared three ways, accompanied by instruction, conversation, tastings, and local wine. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased here.

3/25

Save the date for the second annual Best Poutine Competition at Woonsocket’s Museum of Work and Culture. The event will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m., and an even larger crowd is expected due to the kickoff of New England’s Poutine Route, featuring events in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. If you are interested in participating as an event partner, they are holding an informational meeting at the Museum on Wednesday, January 24 at 3 p.m. Area restaurateurs will also be invited to learn more information about the competition.

4/16

The local nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem will host a series of workshops this winter and spring on specific dates from 6 to 8 p.m. to introduce home cooks to the joys of cooking with whole, local fish. The series, titled “School of Fish,” advances the organization’s mission to help New Englanders eat a more diverse and representative array of wild seafood from our local marine ecosystems by overcoming the barriers for consumers to feel comfortable cooking with local species. Workshops will take place in the demonstration kitchen at Hope and Main in Warren and will be led by well-known local chefs Greg Coccio (Avvio) on April 16; and Jason Hegedus and Nick Gillespie (Dune Brother’s Seafood) on May 21. Each class will feature one fish species prepared three ways, accompanied by instruction, conversation, tastings, and local wine. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased here.

4/24-4/28

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.

5/21

The local nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem will host a series of workshops this winter and spring on specific dates from 6 to 8 p.m. to introduce home cooks to the joys of cooking with whole, local fish. The series, titled “School of Fish,” advances the organization’s mission to help New Englanders eat a more diverse and representative array of wild seafood from our local marine ecosystems by overcoming the barriers for consumers to feel comfortable cooking with local species. Workshops will take place in the demonstration kitchen at Hope and Main in Warren and will be led by well-known local chefs Jason Hegedus and Nick Gillespie (Dune Brother’s Seafood) on May 21. Each class will feature one fish species prepared three ways, accompanied by instruction, conversation, tastings, and local wine. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased here.

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Join special guest sommeliers and wine experts at Massimo Italian restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence to enjoy a sophisticated evening of wine tastings on the first Thursday of every month, starting this February, from 6–8 p.m. While admission is only $25, reservations are recommended. Call 401-273-0650 or visit the website to guarantee a spot to try the delicious wines, meats, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres, as well as to pick the brains of the seasoned wine connoisseurs.

Narragansett Beer and Sons of Liberty Spirits Company teamed up to create a hop-flavored limited edition whiskey that is made from Narragansett’s Lovecraft I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale beer. Aged in ten-gallon newly charred American Oak barrels, the whiskey presents a floral nose and mild sweetness up front followed by rich nutty caramel and subtle vanilla flavors. With only 1,400 bottles produced, the 43 percent ABV whiskey will be available for purchase from select retail locations throughout Rhode Island and the Sons of Liberty tasting room in South Kingstown. For more information about the whiskey visit narragansettbeer.com or solspirits.com.

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.

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. 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.

 

OPENINGS AND LAUNCHES

From The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles Facebook.

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund its double-decker bus cafe on Friday, January 19. Check out the Kickstarter page to be the first to nab a fun Kickstarter reward.

Rick’s Roadhouse is now closed and will reboot as Xaco Taco on Saturday, January 20, serving all kinds of tacos from $3 to $3.50 each. Similar to Harry’s Bar and Burger’s famous special, everyday between 3 and 5 p.m., all tacos will be $2 each. Read more here.

The Nitro Coffee Bar, from the owners of the Nitro Cart (or Nitro Cartel as they call themselves), is now open on the West Side of Providence, next to Dash Bicycle, at 228 Broadway.

If you’re looking to munch on a waff-ly good treat, we’ve got another one for you. Waffle is coming to Weybosset Street in Providence in January with your help at the start of the New Year. Entrepreneurs Matt and Tara Celeste have big dreams for their waffle machines. Read more here.

Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, local farm-to-table food and a carefully selected whiskey selection at Proof in Narragansett. This craft-centric bar is a Prohibition-era-styled pub that emanates a 1920’s speakeasy atmosphere. To view the online menu, visit proofspeakeasy.com or call 401-792-4640 for hours and additional information.

Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport is now offering a late night menu from 10:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. every night. The menu features appetizers such as cheesy garlic bread and French onion soup, main dishes including poutine, braised pork and chili Verde, moules frites and a half-dozen wood-fried shrimp dish. Desserts include artisanal cheeses and hazelnut milk chocolate mousse and salted caramel. View the menu.

Frisky Fries  opened its second storefront in downtown Providence on the corner of Washington and Mathewson streets. Stay up to date on its Facebook page.

 

 

CLOSINGS

Fat Belly’s owner Scott Parker has decided to close Fat Belly’s in Providence and Warwick for personal reasons. Parker said a construction project in Providence contributed to his decision and he believes the ongoing construction would have hurt business. Three other Fat Belly’s locations in East Greenwich, Coventry and one next to the Warwick Mall will remain open.

 

TRANSITIONS

The Rhode Island Brew Bus has been sold to the Maine Brew Bus company based in Portland, Maine, and will continue operating under the new owner. Bill Nangle started the brew bus in 2014 after completing his last semester at the University of Rhode Island. The tours have visited more than twenty breweries and wineries in Rhode Island that are part of multiple weekly itineraries. “The past few years as owner of The Rhode Island Brew Bus have been so rewarding,” says Bill Nangle in a release. “Our partnerships have grown and our reviews speak for themselves. I take pride in the product we put on the road every weekend and want to see our tours and partnerships continue to grow. Stepping away from the company was not an easy decision, but I feel it is what is best for my family, career, and the future of The Rhode Island Brew Bus,” he added.

Munroe Dairy has announced a change in ownership. Tracy and Bill Daugherty, along with a group of other long-term customers of Munroe Dairy, have purchased the company and its assets from former owner Rob Armstrong and the Armstrong family. The new ownership ensures Munroe Dairy will remain a family-owned Rhode Island company and is dedicated to continuing the company’s successful tradition of delivering farm-to-table milk and fresh local products to Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts families. The Daughertys are planning several investments in the company to improve customer experience, including launching a new mobile app and opening a commercial kitchen to expand on its highly successful Sacred Cow line of baked goods. Plans are also underway for new partnerships with local food and beverage brands. To read more about the change, click here.

 

NOTABLES

Through a partnership with Bank of America, Collette tour managers and business development managers from around the world gathered together to package 50,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Collette has set out to donate 1 million meals in honor of its centennial anniversary, which they expect to exceed later this year.

Rhode Island master chef Walter Potenza of Chef Walter’s Cooking School in Providence and Potenza Ristorante Bar in Cranston, is a finalist on “Guy’s Grocery Games International Challenge” on the Food Network. The semifinals were held in Santa Rosa, California, and the final challenge to crown the winner will be held on Jan. 30, 2018. This will be the second final for the Providence chef, after winning the competition in 2016.

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.

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.


 

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