News Bites: Newport Restaurant Group Donates to RI Community Food Bank / LaForge Casino Wins Newport Burger Bender 2019 / World’s Fair Pop-Up

by David Dadekian
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Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Newport Restaurant Group Donates $5,000 to Rhode Island Community Food Bank as Part of Holiday Gift Card Program

(left to right): Noah Metnick, Executive Chef, Waterman Grille; Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank; Lisa Roth Blackman, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank; and Tobey Chase Sanborn, Senior General Manager, Hemenway’s
(left to right): Noah Metnick, Executive Chef, Waterman Grille; Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank; Lisa Roth Blackman, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank; and Tobey Chase Sanborn, Senior General Manager, Hemenway’s

The Newport Restaurant Group (NRG), a collection of nine unique restaurant concepts throughout Rhode Island, recently presented the Rhode Island Community Food Bank with a $5,000 donation through its recent holiday gift-card program. Between November 14, 2018 and December 31, 2018, $1.00 from every gift card purchased was earmarked for the food bank. 

“We are so proud to support the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in its mission to feed those in need across the state,” said Casey Riley, COO, Newport Restaurant Group. “The work the organization does to build healthier and hunger-free communities is inspiring, and we are grateful to our loyal customers for helping to make this donation possible.” 

“We are extremely grateful to the Newport Restaurant Group and its customers for this generous and valuable donation,” said Rhode Island Community Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff. “We are excited to see the funds go toward feeding our less fortunate brothers and sisters throughout the state.”

LaForge Casino Restaurant’s Reign as Newport Burger Bender Champion Continues

The restaurant takes top honors for “The Winterburger,” the successful, savory sequel to their 2018 winning entry.

Newport Burger Bender 2019
Newport Burger Bender 2019

For the second year in a row, LaForge Casino Restaurant has taken top honors by winning the popular vote in the Newport Burger Bender contest. The Bellevue Avenue restaurant’s “Winterburger” was comprised of an 8 oz. ground brisket blend patty and topped with signature slow-braised short rib, baby arugula, cheddar and smoked bacon-cranberry jam on a toasted brioche bun. The burger garnered more than a quarter of the total votes cast.

In addition to the popular vote, there were two coveted superlatives up for grabs: Critic’s Choice and Creative Champion.

Jenna Pelletier, food writer at the Providence Journal, named The Mooring’s “Sweet N’ Spicy” burger her Critic’s Choice. “It was a very difficult decision, but I was ultimately won over by The Mooring’s version. The toppings, pepper jack cheese, pineapple jalapeño marmalade, Cajun bacon, and fried onion strings added flavor and texture in a creative way without overwhelming the star of the show – a perfectly cooked Brandt Farms beef patty,” said Pelletier. “It was a welcome surprise from a restaurant known for its seafood, and the Newport Harbor view, even in the frigid weather, didn’t hurt either.” 

Jamie Coelho, Associate Editor at Rhode Island Monthly and author of The Dish, the magazine’s popular newsletter, crowned the “Towering Inferno” burger at Chomp Kitchen & Drinks in Warren Creative Champion. “Not only were the toppings nostalgic and over-the-top (Andy Capp Hot Fries and deep-fried jalapeño and cheddar cream cheese bomb), but the patties themselves were unmatched,” said Coelho. “The mortadella pork patty had such a rich flavor and quality texture, and the dollop of guacamole gave me just enough reassurance that it was just a tiny bit healthy. Even the size of the burger was impressive with double patties and a steak knife sticking out of the top to help cut it down to a more manageable, burger-to-face size.” Though she could only choose one winner, Coelho noted that Mission’s mushroom patty melt with raclette cheese and sauce gribiche was extraordinary.

Newport Burger Bender is an annual simple burger contest which recognizes the bevy of culinary creativity throughout our destination. There is no participation fee for restaurants nor has there ever been. Participating restaurants must be located in Newport or Bristol County, Rhode Island, and this year’s contest was limited to the first 30 restaurants to register. Participants receive complimentary promotional materials including custom menu inserts and Burger Bender coasters. Each entry was photographed and featured on

World’s Fair Pop-Up in Downtown Providence

World’s Fair Gallery is pleased to present HOT HOUSE, a pop-up gallery and residency at 233 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island. Welcome spring with a radiant collection of works on paper, paintings, and dimensional work by Providence based artists inspired by all things botanical.

HOT HOUSE will open on April 13th and close on June 9th with an opening reception on April 27th from 6 to 9pm. The gallery will host artist talks, print releases, workshops, and bimonthly salons with a Garden Bar by Little Bitte.

The gallery will host local artists in residency for the duration of the exhibition. Local printmaker, Lois Harada, will kick off the residency program for the month of April. Harada will complete a series of monotypes and create an evolving window installation of cut paper flora during her stay. The public is welcome to visit artists as they work during gallery hours. The complete event and residency schedule will be announced by World’s Fair on March 15.

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