Wednesday, July 24, 2013


A Restaurant City box store has opened in Providence (think Staples, only pots and pans) with supplies for both commercial and residential kitchens. Not much of a website as far as specific product information. You'll need GPS or a map to find it at 100 Dupont Drive (401-383-6260).

Monday, July 15, 2013


Walrus and Carpenter Oysters ( are from Ninigret Pond in Charleston, RI. You can order oysters (buy "shares"), even get a knife and a lesson when you pick up. Most people know the oyster grower from restaurant offerings - they're the oysters that are already sold out when you arrive at New Rivers. This summer Walrus and Carpenter is offering a series of oyster outings at their set-up on the pond. Well known RI chefs will be featured:

July 21 Chef Beau Vestal of New Rivers (
July 27  Chef James Mark of north (
Aug 11  Chef Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway (
Aug 14  Chef Jeanie Roland of Ella's in Westerly (
Here's the info straight from the website: "The evening begins with a boat tour of 3-acre offshore oyster farm, on the very boats we use daily on the farm. As our farm is run by a field biologist and an environmental lawyer, we have a lot to say about the local ecology, the practice of oyster farming, and it’s significant environmental benefits. Once we've whet your oyster appetite, we'll wade into the water for a floating raw bar. Not for the faint of heart, you'll be enjoying raw oysters and drinks while partially immersed in their original habitat – with flora and fauna abounding! We argue that oysters taste best when you're still standing in the water they were harvested from, and we aim to have you convinced.

    Following the raw bar, we'll take a walk on stunning East Beach, which faces the open Atlantic Ocean and is just behind the farm over the dunes, followed by a seated dinner served family-style. Each chef has originally designed the meal, and select chefs will join us for the entire night. We'll return again to the marina by boat around 8pm.

    We hope we’ve made clear this is no ordinary dining out experience. Like oysters themselves, an oyster farm can be rough around the edges, and we hope you share our view that adventure can entail getting your feet wet! Please bring water shoes (Tevas, Chacos, etc), sturdy clothes, a change of clothes, and a bathing suit and towel if you are so inclined.  Contact Phoebe with any questions or concerns at We can’t wait to share these evenings with you."

    Tickets are $100. Reserve on this link ( then send a check to:

     Walrus and Carpenter Oysters
     50 Fourth St, #3
     Providence, RI 02906

    or, go to the bottom of the dinner series page on their website and hit the PayPal link.



    Wednesday, July 10, 2013


    Félix Magdalena
    Bodega Malasaña (186 Union Street, Providence) is a Spanish wine bar - around the corner from its associated restaurant, the tiny Flan y Ajo. On Sunday, July 14, owners Diego Luis Pérez and Siobhan Chavarria are hosting a Sidra Asturiana festival. Sidra Asturiana is the strong, tangy cider from Asturias in northwest Spain. There are many varieties of the cider and, of course, rituals associated with drinking it - certain glasses, strong cheeses, etc. Sounds like fun. Pay $15 in advance at the Bodega or at Flan y Ajo (225A Westminster Street) or Eno Fine Wines (225 Westminster Street). $20 at the door.

    Sunday, July 14  4:00 - 9:00 p.m.

    Monday, July 8, 2013


    No offense to Whole Foods, Tony's Colonial or Venda Ravioli, but the prepared food market in Providence is pretty lame. Whole Foods has variety and the hot-meal selections will sustain you in a pinch but sustenance isn't much of a goal. Tony's and Venda will supply you with lots of tasty fats and carbohydrates but not much else. And "take-out" does not equal "prepared". Picking up "prepared" food is more like going to the bakery, perusing the goods and pointing at the exact cupcake you want.

    So, welcome to Pantry (The Pantry at Avenue N) where you walk in, peruse the offerings, and head home with surprises. Pantry is alongside Avenue N (the deservedly popular restaurant owned by Nick and Tracy Rabar) at 20 Newman Avenue in Rumford (401-228-6691).  

    Pantry posts a daily menu (  and there are standby sandwiches and an eclectic mix of main dishes and salads. On a recent visit, just about closing time, there were turkey burritos, small-piece fried chicken, a gorgeous looking pasta, meatloaf, and many sides and salads. I chose the terrific (and large) turkey burrito, a corn and quinoa side dish and a chopped salad with tomatoes and red onion. This is soooooooo welcome.

    Don't be put off by the location. Getting to Rumford (East Providence) is simple, especially easy from the East Side (over the Henderson Bridge to the last exit and straight up Broadway to the old Rumford mill at North Broadway and Newman. There is a Seven Stars bakery there too.

    Hours: Monday-Friday  11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
    Saturday and Sunday  11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Friday, July 5, 2013


    On Wednesday, Gail Ciampa listed all the farmers' markets in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts - a true public service - in the Providence Journal. Here's the site:


    Close to 100 restaurants are participating in Restaurant Weeks this year, offering deals to entice summer city dwellers with three-course prix-fixe lunches for $14.95 and dinners for $29.95. Providence loses lots of residents in summer but even some vacation spots like Bristol offer deals. Complete list is on the site,

    Among Providence downtown and East Side participants: Bacaro (, Cook & Brown (, Gracie's (, Farmstead/La Laiterie (,  and Pizzico (
    If past history is a good indication Cook & Brown and Gracie's will treat you very well during restaurant week.

    Across the highway: Loie Fuller's (
    I like this eatery on the artsy west-side where few restaurants participate (notably missing: Nick's, Julien's and Broadway Bistro).

    Out of town: Hourglass Brasserie on Thames Street in Bristol (
    This is one I will book.

    Expense account giants: Ruth Chris (, Capital Grille ( and McCormick & Schmick's (
    Restaurant weeks are the only weeks when you can get sane prices at these tourist/business account/parent weekend haunts.

    July 7 - 20