News Bites: Local Hero Award at Newport Vineyards / Boat House Names New Executive Chef and GM / Newport Burger Bender 2020 Winners

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.

A Hero Among Us

Executive Chef Andy Teixeira named Edible Rhody Local Hero

Newport Vineyards Executive Chef Andy Teixeira
Newport Vineyards Executive Chef Andy Teixeira

Newport Vineyards is pleased to announce that Executive Chef Andy Teixeira has been honored with Edible Rhody’s 2020 Local Hero Award. Each autumn since 2007, readers of award-winning Edible Rhody magazine have been invited to vote for their Local Heroes, as a way to honor the people who bring us our local food and drink. Readers vote for the chefs who feed us; the food artisans who create delicious local food products; the beverage artisans who craft unique beers, wines and spirits, the farmers who produce flavorful foods; the food, wine and retail stores that inspire us; and the nonprofits that effect change in our food community. Chef Andy won in their Chef/Restaurant category. 

“Local is who we are, it’s just what we do here at Newport Vineyards,” says Executive Chef Andy Teixeria. “The relationship with my farmers and all the work they put into the food is where it starts for us. We are constantly texting updates of produce, products, or just making each other smile; it’s a friendship really.”

“Operating three kitchens with a fully farm to table scratch culinary program, with such positivity and creativity is no small feat. Chef Andy is a hero amongst the Newport Vineyards family and we are thrilled that Edible Rhody readers have recognized that very deserving title as well,” John Nunes, Newport Vineyards Owner.

The Boat House Names Marissa Lo as Executive Chef and Louis Capodilupo as General Manager 

Boat House Executive Chef Marissa Lo
Boat House Executive Chef Marissa Lo

The Boat House, located at 227 Schooner Drive in North Tiverton, RI, is pleased to name Marissa Lo as executive chef. Chef Lo, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and a Cranston resident, brings more than a decade of expertise working with local seafood to the restaurant.  

Chef Lo will lead the culinary direction of the seaside restaurant working alongside Director of Restaurants, Karsten Hart, to create inspired menus featuring coastal New England’s natural abundance of fresh seafood and local meats and produce. Prior to joining Boat House, Chef Lo spent the last nine years honing her skills as a chef and culinary leader at Legal Seafoods in Boston and at Legal C Bar in Dedham.

“We are so pleased to add Chef Lo to Newport Restaurant Group’s outstanding team of talented chefs,” said Karsten Hart, Director of Restaurants. “Since joining the Boat House team in November, she has made a noticeable impact on our kitchen culture and quality of our cuisine. I look forward to working with her to further elevate our guest experience.”

Boat House General Manager Lou Capodilupo
Boat House General Manager Lou Capodilupo

The Boat House, located at 227 Schooner Drive in North Tiverton, RI, is pleased to name Louis Capodilupo as general manager. Capodilupo, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and a Rumford resident, brings more than 12 years of restaurant management to his new position.

“We are so pleased to promote Lou to general manager at the Boat House,” said Casey Riley, Chief Operating Officer, Newport Restaurant Group. “Since joining our team in 2018, he has proven to be a leader at one of our busiest restaurants in Newport and has risen to the challenge of elevating our guest experience in Tiverton.”

Capodilupo joined Newport Restaurant Group in 2018 as assistant general manager at The Mooring in Newport where he proved his leadership skills and deep commitment to hospitality at the busy waterfront restaurant. Prior to joining the company, Lou held management positions in many regional restaurants including Not Your Average Joe’s in Watertown, Norwell and Needham, MA; Bertucci in Wellesley, MA; and at Tavern in The Square in Burlington, MA.

Drumroll Please: Announcing the Winners of Newport Burger Bender 2020

A “traditional” burger and vegan burger take top honors while regional media pick their favorites and other top vote-getters earn savory superlatives.

Newport Burger Bender 2020
Newport Burger Bender 2020

The competition in this year’s Newport Burger Bender was stiff with a record-breaking 40 burgers representing 29 restaurants. But alas, the 10 days of tantalizing temptations have come to an end.

The Grill at Forty 1° North walks away with the award for the most votes in this year’s newly introduced non-beef burger category. “The Grill Vegan Burger” was comprised of a house-made chickpea, quinoa and roasted vegetable patty topped with marinated grilled red onion and vegan aioli, all served on a sea salt-dusted caraway roll.

Defending champion LaForge Casino Restaurant reigns supreme once again in the beef burger category for “The Wilbur,” an homage to Zuckerman’s famous pig from the children’s novel, “Charlotte’s Web.” The ½ Ib. special brisket-chuck-short rib blend burger was topped with Applewood smoked thick-cut bacon, Crown Royal Bourbon maple-braised pork belly, spicy Louisiana BBQ, apple cider-dijon spread, baby arugula, smoked gouda, aged white cheddar cheese, tomatoes and house made spicy pickles all served on a brioche roll.

Ten more burgers captured both hearts and palates alike. Local/regional media set out on a quest for the best while other top vote-getters have been recognized for their outstanding performance. 

Editor’s Picks:

Jamie Coelho, associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly and author of The Dish: “I loved all of the burgers I tried, from the buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese-croquette-topped burger at Newport Marriott’s Skiff Bar to Stoneacre’s simple burger that is a prime example of what a burger should be, but my very favorite burger of all was from Mission. I like that Mission put a twist on the traditional burger by adding some heat from jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, smokiness from roasted poblano peppers and bacon, and sweetness from dill pickles. Every bite was a combo of spicy, smoky, and sweet flavors with a mouthful of perfectly cooked, medium-rare, responsibly sourced beef patty. The sourdough bread, sliced in half, also held the whole thing together well so it didn’t become a goopy mess in my lap.”

Rachael Thatcher, food writer and digital producer at The Newport Daily News: “I have to go with the Homer Burger from Brix. While it was over the top and outrageous, that’s exactly what won me over. Every ingredient was well thought out and made in house, and the attention to detail when it came to each individual element made for the perfect end result. Not to mention it was simply fun to eat. When it comes to the Burger Bender, I feel like you have to go big or go home, and Chef Andy Texiera went big with this one.”

Wendy Logan, Newport This Week: “I’d have to say that Forty 1° North’s The Grill Vegan Burger was my favorite. It so beautifully represented the category, bursting with fresh bits of veggies but substantive via the red lentils, chickpeas and steel cut oats. It was seasoned to perfection and contrasted beautifully with the pickled salad side. Total texture-flavor bomb.”

Ryan Belmore, Publisher and Editor, What’s Up Newp & What’s Up Rhode Island and crew: “Surf Club’s California Burger wasn’t the biggest or boldest and it didn’t reinvent the wheel, however it was well-executed, nostalgic and simply put, wonderfully delicious! Among three of us from What’s Up Newp checking out burgers over the last 10 days, that was by far our favorite collectively.”

Class of 2020 Superlatives: 

  • Best on Four Wheels: Neapolitan Burger, Amano Pizza + Gelato (food truck)
  • Most Instagramable: The Homer Burger, Brix Restaurant at Newport Vineyards
  • Best Burger with a View: French Onion Burger, The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn
  • Most Napkins Needed: Crispy Pancetta Burger, Jo’s American Bistro
  • Most Likely to Skip School: Ferris “Burger’s” Day Off, Saltwater at the Newport Harbor Hotel
  • Tallest Burger: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Burger, Skiff Bar at the Newport Marriott
  • Cutest Couple: Salmon Sliders, Scales & Shells

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