In a show of support for Rhode Island’s tiniest citizens, more than 260 guests turned out for the March of Dimes Rhode Island 10th Annual Signature Chefs Auction event held recently at Belle Mer on Goat Island in Newport. The event—which featured the culinary talents of 24 of the state’s leading chefs, and restaurant, theater, accommodation and vacation packages auctioned off by celebrity auctioneer and entertainer Sir Jeremy Bell of Edinburgh, Scotland—raised $95,000 to help support the March of Dimes mission. The event also paid tribute to Chef Sai Viswanath of DeWolf Tavern in Bristol. He was presented with the March of Dimes 2011 Signature Chef Award. Commenting about the event, Rhode Island March of Dimes Director Betsy Akin said, “We are thrilled about the outcome of this wonderful event and the participation of Chef Sai and all the other top-notch chefs who came to Belle Mer from all parts of the state and on their own time to prepare samplings of their signature dishes for guests. These unforgettable dishes combined with the fantastic packages Sir Jeremy Bell auctioned off to guests made for a hugely successful night. We are grateful to those involved in the event’s success; especially to the many individuals and companies that turned out to support the Signature Chefs event.” story by Dawn Ratte
News Bites: Centro Adds Late Night and Sunday Brunch, Fleming’s Month of Discovery, Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
Eat Drink RI recently received an email newsletter and two press releases that cover a whole range of information that would be of interest to diners and wine lovers in Providence and Newport. We’re going to reprint this information below.
Centro Adds Late Night and Sunday Brunch
Two New Centro Features!
Great Menu for Late Night Munchies and a Classic Sunday Brunch
Every night from 11pm until close, you can enjoy a wonderful late night menu at the bar and in the lounge at Centro! You can enjoy a Salumi platter with Tuscan olives, Calamari, Grilled Chicken Panini, Lobster Club, Centro’s Famous Burger, or one of our tasty grilled pizzas. We have a Margherita, Quattro Formaggio, and a Specialita della Casa which has Prosciutto di Parma, Arugula, Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Romano cheese, Panada and White Truffle Oil. Any one of these incredible bites will pair up nicely with a specialty cocktail, beer or glass of wine!
Sunday Brunch at Centro – On September 11th Centro Restaurant and Lounge will begin offering an amazing Sunday Brunch! Omelette station, pasta station and dessert buffet created by Centro’s fabulous culinary team. Don’t forget about the incredible Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s and Bellini’s from the Centro bar! Only $26.95 per person, and for children under 10, $14.95. Tax and gratuity are additional.
Fleming’s Month of Discovery
The annual unveiling of the new Fleming’s 100™, the award-winning list of 100 wines by the glass at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, has become a much anticipated event for food and wine lovers. This year’s “Month of Discovery” and its introduction of the new 2011/2012 list will appeal to both the wine novice and the connoisseur who are in search of the ultimate wine experience. The month-long celebration in September includes:
The New Fleming’s 100 “Opening Nights” – Opening Nights, a series of wine tastings held Friday evenings in September (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th), will provide guests with a rare opportunity to sniff, swirl, and sip their way through Fleming’s wine by the glass list. Each Opening Night will feature 20 wines from the Fleming’s 100™. The first four tastings will be wine selections available at all of the 64 Fleming’s nationwide. The final tasting will feature selections by each Fleming’s local Wine Manager and Operating Partner (please click here for wine selections to be served on each Opening Night). Each of these five Opening Night events provides 20 different wines to try for just $25, and includes a preview tasting of selections from Fleming’s new Small Plates menu. Space for this popular event is limited and reservations must be made by calling your local Fleming’s location.
Small Plates Introduced on September 21 – Debuting on the menu are seven all-new selections that are meant to be savored and enjoyed anytime — with a quick glass of wine at the bar, multiple plates shared casually among friends, or at the start of a multi-course dining experience. Conceived as an avenue for enjoying the gracious service, hospitality and ambiance of Fleming’s, but with an emphasis on lighter, healthier and unique menu items, Fleming’s new Small Plates are more substantial than appetizers, but smaller than full steakhouse entrées. They include: Sliced Filet Mignon, Jumbo Shrimp Scampi Skewers, New Zealand Petite Lamb Chops, Ahi Tuna Skewers, New Bedford Scallops, Filet Mignon Skewers and Fleming’s Lobster Tempura.
Silver Oak Wine Dinner September 13 – Fleming’s annual national wine dinner is designed to celebrate a single wine producer that has achieved iconic status among its peers. This year, it’s two! Five superb wines from the “twin sister” wineries of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars will be showcased. These vintages are exceptionally food friendly and pair wonderfully with the richly-flavored ingredients of our five-course dinner menu. The highlight of our evening will be a remarkable side-by-side vertical tasting of the 2006 and 2007 vintages of the Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Please visit http://www.flemingssteakhouse.com/locations/ri/providence for additional information.
Fleming’s “Icon Wine” series” now featuring Silver Oak– The Icon Wine series continues in September with Silver Oak 2007 Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which is available for $100 per bottle (normal list price of $150 – $175) until September 30—or until inventory runs out. The 2007 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignonis described by Silver Oak winemaker Daniel Baron as “a profound, fruit-driven wine from a great California vintage. It has a dark ruby color with a purple edge and an inviting nose of ripe black plum, blackberry, baking spices and soy sauce. On the palate, the wine is rich and full, reminiscent of the flavors of a berry cobbler.”Win a Masterpiece of “Wine Art” – As part of the Month of Discovery, Fleming’s is giving away a signed, limited-edition giclée on canvas by the celebrated fine arts painter Thomas Arvid, who specializes in portraying the wine experience. Arvid’s masterpieces are showcased on the walls of every Fleming’s restaurant. To enter to win, please visit FlemingsSteakhouse.com/Arvid.
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich Headlines Sunday’s Grand Tasting at Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
Remarkable three-day wine and food extravaganza includes special appearance by noted chef, television personality and restaurateur
The 6th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is shaping up to be one of the most exclusive wine and food festivals on the East Coast, featuring a special guest appearance by chef, television personality and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich on Sunday, September 25. Following her unique Jazz Brunch at the Hotel Viking, Bastianich will appear for a book signing at Sunday’s Grand Tasting at Marble House.
“I am very proud to have been asked to be a guest at this great event,” said Chef Bastianich. “In Italy, we know the meaning of heritage and preserving history. Newport is such a beautiful place, so to have good food and wine is a great way to expose to the world the beauty of this wonderful destination’s architecture, history and local food, and expose the area to wines from all over the world.”
The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival has quickly become one of the most anticipated food and wine events in the country. In addition to Lidia Bastianich, there will be appearances and seminars led by industry experts including Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor of FOOD & WINE, Mark Oldman, of the PBS television series The Winemakers and author of Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine, and noted wine connoisseur Alain Junguenet of Wines of France, Inc.
The weekend’s festivities will begin on Friday, September 23, with the Wine & Rosecliff Gala, where guests will enjoy special vintages uncorked exclusively for the evening, with delicious food pairings. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, an all-inclusive Grand Tasting at Marble House will entertain with more than 100 wineries and restaurants from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A single admission price includes samplings of wines from around the world, small plate tastings of exciting dishes from regional restaurants and caterers, cooking demonstrations by our guest chefs, a souvenir glass, tote bag, and free parking and shuttle transportation to/from Marble House.
Among the world-class wines, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival also features a great line-up of chefs offering free cooking demonstrations in the Celebrity Chef Cooking Pavilion during the Grand Tasting. Saturday’s schedule includes Kyle Ketchum from Windward Restaurant at the Hyatt, Newport; Eric Haugen from Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI; Karsten Hart from Castle Hill Inn & Resort, Newport; and Roseann Tully from Roseann Tully’s Intermezzo. The action continues on Sunday with Kevin Gaudreau from The Pier Restaurant, Newport; Dan Enos from The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Boston; Neil Manacle from Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen, Newport; and Dave Johnson from Local 121, Providence.
In addition, the Grand Tasting will feature the Infiniti Inspiration Lounge where guests will experience the latest Infiniti models, taste sparkling wine courtesy of Banfi Vintners, and enjoy foods from the area’s top restaurants paired with the finest vintages. On Saturday, guests will sample the latest creations by Chef Neil Manacle of Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen, with wines provided by Robert Oatley Vineyards, and on Sunday, guests will enjoy taste sensations from Chef Jake Rojas of Tallulah on Thames with wines provided by World Wide Wine Importing. Guests will also be able to wind down their day at the Festival with a fine assortment of coffees courtesy of Barista Prima.
Meanwhile, special wine seminars will satisfy the palates of both the tasting novice and the more seasoned oenophile with discussions on the finer points of wine tasting, pairing and buying. The Hotel Viking will play host to this series of hour-long seminars, to be held Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24, 2011.
Featured seminars include:
- Perusing the Peninsula presented by the Italian Trade Commission and La Cucina Italia – Complete your Italian lifestyle experience by sampling a stellar selection of Italian wines hailing from snow-capped and sun-kissed regions of Italy.
- Drink Bravely with Mark Oldman – Oldman will lead a tutorial on quality wine selection for the cost-conscious, focusing on wines of moderate price and maximum appeal.
- “Dix Vins”: Navigating French Wine with Alain & John Junguenet – The Junguenets, the renowned father and son wine expert duo, will guide guests on a tasting journey of 10 unique and little-known French wines.
- How It Works- The Art of Bordeaux Blending with Justin Baldwin of JUSTIN Vineyards – Justin’s eponymous vineyard in Paso Robles, California famously produced the critically-acclaimed ISOSCELES wine. Seminar guests will taste the 2008 ISOSCELES, and learn how to blend Bordeaux varietals to create a world-class wine. Attendees will even create their own blend from barrel samplings of JUSTIN’s 2010 harvest.
- Everything You Need to Know About Wine with Ray Isle – Ray will lead you on an introductory exploration of the world of wine, tasting and comparing 8 wines, learning how to taste like a wine pro, tips about food & wine pairing, and how to differentiate grape varieties.
Tickets to the 6th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival are on sale now, and may be purchased at www.NewportMansionsWineandFood.org or by calling 401.847.1000.
All proceeds from the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, a non-profit organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its’ 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development
The Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival is sponsored by FOOD & WINE, as well as the Italian Trade Commission, National Trust Insurance Services LLC, Infiniti, Dave’s Marketplace, Roseanne Tully’s Intermezzo, Clarke Luxury Showrooms, Alaska Seafood, Stella Artois, Alex and Ani, Dasani, Travelocity, Barista Prima, DelGrosso Foods, Audio Concepts, Yankee Publishing, Inc., Hyatt Regency Newport, and Hotel Viking Newport.
Once a month, though not during the summer busy season, the Ocean House in Westerly invites a notable local chef to prepare a three-course dinner paired with wine. As you would imagine from the “Farm” part of the dinner series title, a serious attempt is made to use all local ingredients. In May the guest chef was Derek Wagner chef/owner of Nick’s on Broadway in Providence, Qupé Winery was chosen for the evening’s pairings and Arcadian Fields’ farmer Diana Kushner provided a wonderful bounty of ingredients, as well as humbly serving as a guest of honor. I was an invited guest to the dinner and made a series of photographs with the two chefs in the kitchen beforehand.
Chef Haugen prepared four passed hors d’oeuvres: Truffle Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly, Free Range Rabbit Loin, Stonington Lobster Boudin and Hot and Sour Foie Gras Consomme, all of which was served alongside the 2009 Qupé Bien Nacido Cuvée. Chef Wagner created the three courses for dinner which were: Butter-Roasted Native Bomster Sea Scallops with Lardo, Peas, Lemon-Chive Cream and Fresh Herbs paired with the 2009 Qupé Marsanne “Santa Ynez Valley,” Peppered Stoney Hill Farm Pork with Dandelion Greens, Lovage, Charred-Radish-Potato Puree and Red Wine Jus paired with the 2008 Los Olivos Cuvée and a Dark Chocolate with Lavender, Honey and Mint dessert paired with the 2008 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard.
On Wednesday, June 1, Chef Brian Kingsford from Bacaro in Providence is the guest chef. Some ingredients are to be provided by Farm Fresh RI and featured wines are from Testamatta Winery. For more information and to make a reservation see the complete listing on the Upcoming Events page. Persimmon Chef Champe Speidel and New Rivers‘ Chef Beau Vestal are scheduled for Farm + Vine dinners in the fall. Watch the Events page for updates.
This past November the chefs from Seasons at the Ocean House prepared a six-course meal with wine pairings from local winery Jonathan Edwards as part of their New England Harvest dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. Led by Chef de Cuisine Eric Haugen, several items stood out as testaments to not only the Ocean House’s experienced staff, but also the local New England ingredients they work hard to source. A Duck Liver Mousse Crostini had the perfect amount of richness with a great offset of crunchy texture. The Celery Root Panna Cotta with Watch Hill Honey Glaze, Casteveltrano Olives, Meyer Lemon and Coriander had an incredible combination of flavors. The Vermont Pork Belly with Toasted Farro, Native Winter Root Vegetables and Juniper-Scented Consomme was perfectly cooked—the pork belly prepared sous vide before searing it—and the richness of the belly was greatly tempered by the earthy faro. As much as we all love dessert I rarely clean my final plate after a meal like this, but I actually did eat every bit of Pastry Chef Adam Young’s Local Squash and Dairy Study. The wine pairings from Jonathan Edwards (I was at the dinner as a guest of the winery) were spot on, beginning with an excellent match of their 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc with the Panna Cotta and an even more perfect pairing of their 2007 Napatree Point Zinfandel with the Pork Belly dish.