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Newport Folk Festival Restaurant 2

NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL RESTAURANT GUIDE

By Phoebe Gallo

There is something magical about the Newport Folk Festival. Every year, thousands of people pack their lawn chairs, wide-brimmed hats and Birkenstocks, and make the trek to Fort Adams State Park for three days of fabulous folk music. There is so much focus on the Fest itself—and rightfully so. We are tried and true fans of the best music festival of the summer, but we are also tried and true fans of Newport, particularly its delicious options for pre- and post-Fest food.

Here are seven picks for dining in Newport—these local spots will keep you coming back for more.

Empire Tea & Coffee

Empire Tea & Coffee is a Newport favorite, and its swanky newer location on William Street is hard to miss (adjacent to the corner of Bellevue and Memorial Boulevard). It sports a large open space with plenty of seating (indoor and out), a relaxed atmosphere and a super friendly staff. Stop by before the Fest for some morning coffee and baked goods (special shout out to the iced chai—it’s spicy and refreshing, an ideal way to start the morning), and follow up your morning treats by ordering up some salads and sandwiches to pack … Read More

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Island Commons Gathers For A Better Future of Food on Aquidneck Island

By Liza Burkin

Last Tuesday, June 30th, a seed on Aquidneck Island was planted. No ordinary green bean or tomato—but rather the seed of an idea for a cohesive, equitable, forward-thinking food community with a comprehensive plan to get more islanders thinking about, eating, buying and growing local food.

Island Commons—a new organization born of many years of scheming and dreaming by numerous island stakeholders—launched with a two-hour program at Newport Vineyards. Over 75 people were in attendance, sampling hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs and communicating a shared vision for a better future of food.

Led by Aquidneck Growers Market Manager Bevan Linsley as Project Director and Aquidneck Land Trust Executive Director Chuck Allott as Fiscal Sponsor, the Island Commons partners include Sustainable Aquidneck and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, with representatives from: Newport Tree Society, Newport Open Space, Newport Public Schools, The Compost Plant, Emmanuel Church, Interfaith Power & Light, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Rhode Island Food Policy Council, and Aquidneck Island Planning Commission participating in the planning conversation.

According to their website IslandCommons.org, the mission of Island Commons is “to create a vibrant hub of community activity on Aquidneck Island to foster awareness and understanding of … Read More

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Ice Cream Throwdown Cover

2015 Ice Cream Throwdown!

Why I Love Rhode Island 

In my mind, this is the best day of the summer: the Rhode Island Food Fight’s fourth annual Ice Cream Throwdown! The Throwdown has been hosted just off of Wayland Square in Providence for the past four years and for a mere $20 attendees get to sample ice cream from 12 different ice cream vendors from across Rhode Island. Other businesses also show up to quench thirst or add some savory snacks to the mix (shout out to Yacht Club Soda, New Harvest Coffee and Mijo’s Tacos!). Once again, the Throwdown held up RI Food Fight’s promise: “Pretty much everyone leaves stuffed and happy.”

Beyond the delicious ice cream (I personally sampled Freedom of Espresso, Crazy Vanilla, Moose Tracks and Peanut Butter Oreo, to name just a few), the Throwdown showed me why the unfairly maligned state of Rhode Island is the actually the most amazing little state in the Union. The Ice Cream Throwdown! incorporated everything I hold near and dear about Li’l Rhody.

First, the size of the event: not too big, not too small. 12 vendors was the perfect manageable number for us attendees to efficiently tackle all the samples available. Sure, … Read More

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Freshly Milled

Just when you thought the bread from Seven Stars Bakery couldn’t get any better they decide to go out and buy themselves a flour mill! Hailing from Austria, the little blonde wood mill is up and running, milling grains sourced from Maine and Upstate New York. The goal is to mill flour for the bakery with enough to sell to customers in store.

We chatted with Jim who is the mastermind behind the initiative…

“Why are we doing this? To further our craft mostly. It definitely adds another dimension to our breads, and another level of skill and awareness for our bakers. There is such a cool new buzz going around the bakery now!

Pretty exciting stuff for us. Milling flour is a step that some very small bakeries are doing, but none of our size that I’m aware of. We’ve added a whole new level of complexity,  skill, awareness, consistency and dust to our bakery. It’s quite an undertaking, but at this point, I could never imagine going back. This is our future. We’re already thinking about a larger mill.”

We’re in love with the new addition to the Seven Stars family and having tasted the product in our … Read More

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Celebrating Local at the State House

This past Saturday the normally hushed and serene State House was packed and filled to the brim with proud and hungry citizens from across little Rhody looking for a taste of home. Amid the sounds of music and cameras you could hear the sounds of crunching and slurping as visitors enjoyed everything from oysters to coffee from all over our amazing State.

Thank you to Gina for a truly inspiring and delicious afternoon!

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Coffee on nitrous tap at The Shop

Covering New Grounds

Rhode Island’s Best Iced Coffee

By Elizabeth A. Davis

Iced coffee is as much a part of summer as a firecracker or corn on the cob. That cool condensation on the cup, the subtle hints of chocolate and caramel, the sound of coffee cubes clinking against glass … when the temperature rises, you’d be crazy not to take your caffeine kick on the rocks.

Settling on iced coffee is the easy part. Deciding where to get it is harder. But never fear, Rhode Island Food Fights mastermind Jim Nellis has brought the state’s best coffee shops together to find out whose brew is the best. For just $15, you can sip your way through 23 beloved cafés from now until August 31. Below you’ll find my top three shops, chosen based on atmosphere, service and coffee quality.

The Shop:

Though it opened just a month ago, this Fox Point newcomer feels as comfortable and broken-in as its name would have you believe. It’s a neighborhood coffee spot in the truest sense, already drawing a steady stream of regulars.

The Shop owes its inviting ambience in part to thoughtful design details (wallpaper that looks like hand painted china, salvaged wood floors, … Read More

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Salted caramel chocolate chunk gelato from Cold Fusion

Bring on the Brain Freeze

The Rhode Island Ice Cream Throw Down

By Elizabeth A. Davis

A few blocks from the entrance to the Rhode Island Food Fight’s third annual Ice Cream Throw Down, I spot the line snaking down the street toward Wayland Square. A string of bright-eyed children are tugging at their parents’ hands. Packs of sunburnt kids and couples young and old are abuzz with excitement. I take my place at the tail end of the line, not the least bit irked by the delay. Even on a sweltering June afternoon like this one, the reward—all-you-can-eat ice cream from shops across the state—is sure to make the wait worthwhile.

There are 11 competitors at this year’s throw down. At the end of the day a panel of four culinary judges will name the winner. Until then, the vendors are vying for votes for the People’s Choice Award. I hold tight to my ticket, eager to taste as much ice cream as possible before I cast my vote.

Salted caramel chocolate chunk gelato from Cold Fusion

One of the first few I try is salted caramel chocolate chunk gelato from Newport-based Cold Fusion. I’m won over even before my first lick, when … Read More

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Assistant chef Jenna Walsh and executive sous-chef Ashley Vanasse of Easy Entertaining

Gluten-Free Made Easy

A Cooking Class Adventure with Easy Entertaining

By Elizabeth A. Davis

Sometime over the last few years, the term “gluten-free” found its way into my vocabulary (and the vocabulary of the masses). The unassuming hyphenated adjective has grown into a gastronomic movement, cropping up on menus and making headlines nationwide.

I was raised in an Italian kitchen, where pasta was the staff of life, and hot, crusty focaccia was served up near nightly, so needless to say, I’m a carb-lover. But with more and more gluten-free products appearing in the grocery aisles, from Whole Foods to Stop & Shop, I decided to give the trend a closer look. What better way to learn the gluten-free how-to’s than with a cooking class at local catering collaborative Easy Entertaining?

Founded in 2006 by chef Kaitlyn Roberts, Easy Entertaining has made its mark on the Providence special events scene with its sustainable, farm-to-table approach. In its earliest form, the company was a vehicle for Roberts’ work as a personal chef, and now it doubles as a café and venue for cooking classes and events. Best of all, its got a distinctive “locavore” vision: over 70% of the company’s product is sourced from within … Read More

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Pi Day

The crowd’s cheers echoed through the Arcade’s big, airy hall as we approached…

     I brought along a couple friends for the Pi-Day festivities at New Harvest Coffee and Spirits, courtesy of Humble Pie Company. It was as friendly mix of people just looking to sip some delicious drinks at New Harvest and die hard supporters of their friends who were daring enough to sacrifice themselves, and their stomachs, for the sake of pride and our entertainment. The men went first followed by the ladies. I’m not sure any of us anticipated just how big, and delicious looking, the pies would be. Between first bites the contestants would shout out praises

“It’s SO GOOD”

“This is delicious!” 

But a few minutes in and those smiles and compliments were all but forgotton as pies slid from their plates onto the table, fruit and crust being mashed into an unrecognizable mass. There were winners and losers, but the ultimate winner was DownCity Design, the recipient of the proceeds from the evening and the event the next day. Down City works to empower people,  to improve their communities through carefully and sensitively designed solutions. 

Though I don’t think I’ll be entering … Read More

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