Tuesday, March 19, 2013


What to do on a gorgeous, sunny, late-winter Sunday afternoon? Head to Matunuck Oyster Bar (629 Succotash Road, Matunuck, South Kingstown  401-783-4202), add your name to the list, enjoy the crisp air or squeeze up to the indoor raw-bar and sample oysters while you wait for a table (inside or out - deck has windshields and heaters). 

Better yet, do all this during the week and avoid the crowd. In summer, I'm told, having lunch at 3:00 p.m. is the way to minimize wait time.

My friend was first virtuous, eating a dozen raw oysters (Matunuck's own and some local R.I. imports), for a first course, then wicked, consuming more bivalves, this time fried, with the usual accompaniments. A happy camper. It was Narragansett restaurant week and the $20.13 offerings (items like chowders, lobster rolls and large over-the-top desserts) were popular and the patrons looked content. Tables are close so you notice that a lot of oysters are consumed but salmon entrees and lobster rolls aren't far behind. In the mood for a big fish sandwich (each time I have one there is always a comparison to a certain grouper sandwich in Southport, North Carolina), I ordered one and gave it plus points for having a smallish, soft bun but minus points for the fish itself which was only so-so. Still, I'm game to return in a few days and give it another go.

Matunuck Oyster Bar is not the place you go for poached sole with asparagus. This is a fish joint. Keep to the diet by sticking to the raw bar; dine in healthy middle-ground with salmon; set off the fat alarms with fried oysters. Up to you. It's fun. Me, I am not tempted by the desserts (which look anything but delicate) because the goal is to eat oysters and fish by the water. And that's enough.

Open seven days: Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 - 9:00, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 - 10:00


Friday, March 15, 2013


For anyone who has carted shelf-stable boxes of cream back from Europe good news is here. Trader Joe's (100 Bald Hill Road, Warwick) now stocks small boxes of cream. Check in the sugar and flour aisle. Trader Joe's labels it whipping cream. Shake the box before opening to mix the thicker cream in. www.traderjoes.com


No getting around it, the chocolate situation in Providence is grim.  For Easter treats beyond the CVS array (where my guilty pleasures are cheap jelly beans and Peeps) there's hardly anywhere to go. Even Simple Pleasures (www.simplepleasuresprovidence.com) is spare this year. There's some okay candy at Whole Foods, and Farmstead in Wayland Square (www.farmsteadinc.com) stocks a few items.You can't even overpay at Williams Sonoma since they decamped to Cranston. For Italian filled eggs try Federal Hill, Tony's Colonial (website not responding this a.m.) or Venda Ravioli (www.vendaravioli.com).

But for stand-up bunnies (including my favorite "wall street bunny") and chocolate-dipped peeps, baskets and macarons visit the Garrison Confection Factory Store (72 Ledge Street, Central Falls   401-725-0790) www.garrisonconfections.com   Only show in town really. Hours are Monday, March 18 through the 30 (but closed the 24th), 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


This benefit (Friday, April 19th) for the Rhode Island Community Foodbank (www.rifoodbank.org ) will be street food heaven. Parking their trucks for a cause are: Hewtin's Dogs Mobile, Championship Melt, Clam Jammers, Rocket Fine Street Food, Tallulah, Joedega, Mijos Tacos, Radish and Flour Girls Baking Company. Drinks are from Jonathan Edwards Winery (sermons  separate) and Narragansett Brewing.

The venue: downtown at the Bank of America skating rink - event is on foot not ice

Enjoy a spring Friday night and support the Food Bank. Cost is: $50 per person but pay $75 for early entry, extra tastings and a free drink from the cash bar.

Friday, April 19   6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Tickets from the website or call 401-230-1673.