Normally we would just FaceTwitInstaPin this story instead of making it a standalone post, but then we saw the article’s practically buried. When you go to the list of “One Year In” interviews for December, Providence’s Lester and Sukle interview isn’t in the list! Let’s show Eater that Providence can get twice as much traffic as all those other cities, even if we’re not linked up. So check out The Dorrance’s Michael Lester and Ben Sukle on Year One in Providence, RI on Eater and tell all your friends to read it too. Congratulations to Sukle and the Lesters on one (plus) year.
Four current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.
The Blount Clam Shack
The Blount Clam Shack and Soup Bar has opened its doors in the “Knowledge District” of Providence, RI.
With a hot soup bar, guests can enjoy unlimited soup & fresh bread, giving them the option to try all of Blount Fine Food’s delicious and creative soups. The menu will cater to seafood lovers as well as those not fond of seafood; offering fresh salads, sandwiches and more. A retail area will offer a variety of fresh chowders, soups & dips to bring home and serve yourself. Delivery and catering is also in the works and will be incorporated into the Providence location, reaching out to all of the local businesses, hospitals and merchants, as well as the local colleges and universities.
The Blount Clam Shack is a local favorite where customers can count on the freshest seafood and an authentic New England feel. A year round location in Fall River, MA as well as seasonal locations in Warren, RI on Water Street, and also at the Crescent Park Carousel in Riverside, RI, customers in the area wait anxiously all year long until summer when they can go get their favorite New England seafood treats. Blount offers their own delicious New England Clam Chowder & Lobster Bisque, as well as their famous Clam Cakes, Fish & Chips, Whole Belly Clams, Lobster Rolls and the more non-traditional seafood specialties like the Fish Reubens and Fish Tacos.
The Providence location began serving on Wednesday, April 4 and is open Mondays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Tuesdays – Saturdays 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
XO Café, located at 125 North Main Street in Providence, is pleased to present a selection of new menu items for dinner and Sunday brunch, inspired by the flavors of spring. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 401-273- 9090 or visit www.xocafe.com.
Chef Simon Keating’s new additions to the dinner menu include such appetizers as Maine Lobster Risotto with dill crème fraiche and sesame crackers; Local Asparagus & Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Baffoni Farm poached egg, crispy bacon, and edible flowers; a Spring Salad of Narragansett Sea Salty feta, toasted almonds, haricot vert, local baby lettuce, and Wishing Stone Farm honey vinaigrette; and Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli with Narragansett ricotta and chervil cream.
Entrees feature Roasted Free Range Chicken with Farming Turtles shiitake mushroom risotto, local asparagus, and pan juices; Grilled Spring Leg of Lamb with beluga lentils, rosemary jus, and garlic chips; Seared Bomster Scallops with crispy pork belly, Asian slaw, and spicy miso; and sautéed locally-caught Fluke with spring vegetables, udon noodles, lemongrass nage, and tempura Beach Blonde oyster from Charlestown.
Dessert additions include Strawberry & Rhubarb Polenta Crisp with vanilla custard cream and Deconstructed Carrot Cake: carrot sorbet, cream cheese panna cotta, and sponge cubes.
XO’s brunch specialties begin with the Dirty Red Snapper Bloody Mary, featuring house made Bloody Mary mix with gin and olive juice; the Vong Mimosa with sparkling wine, Malibu, and mango puree; and the Sunrise Mimosa featuring sparkling wine, fresh grapefruit, and St. Germain.
Brunch dishes for the season include French Toast with Silver Star sweet bread, crème brulee custard, sliced strawberries, and warm maple syrup; Florentine Benedict with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, English muffin, home fries, and lemon Hollandaise; and Omelets composed of Baffoni Farm eggs and Maine smoked salmon, spinach, and Narragansett ricotta or pecan-smoked bacon, mushroom, and Cabot Cheddar.
As always, guests who enjoy Sunday brunch in their pajamas will receive a complimentary classic mimosa or Bloody Mary featuring XO’s proprietary blend of tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, and hot peppers garnished with pickled green beans.
XO Café serves dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Sunday brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 401-273- 9090 or visit www.xocafe.com.
Join us for the Iron Tender 2012 Bar War Challenge! Monday, April 9th – May 21st at the Lighthouse Bar @ Twin River Casino at 7:30 p.m. 5 weeks of competitions! 1st place winners each week & the 2 highest scoring overall teams after 5 weeks will advance to the finals! 7 teams will compete in the finals, Win over $5,000 in cash & prizes! To enter, contact Frank Martucci at 401-475-8495 or Scott Burchfield at 401-475-8392. 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln RI 02921 ~ www.twinriver.com
For more information about the event see the Iron Tender Facebook page.
Internation Special Events Society (ISES) Rhode Island Presents: ISES RI EXPOsed, showcasing the best of the special events industry in Southern New England. This event will introduce you to the best and brightest of the Special Events Industry and will give you access to resources and new ideas. This is NOT your traditional trade show. Wednesday, April 11, 4 – 9 p.m. at Twin River Casino Event Center, 100 Twin River Rd., Lincoln, RI 02865. Phone: 401-465-5177, Email: [email protected].
Eat Drink RI‘s David Dadekian is moderating and judging food & drink events as part of the ISES-RI Test Kitchen at the Expo. The first is a 5 p.m. panel discussion Culinary Trends and Dietary Requirements in Menu Planning with Chef Zach Tenen from The Dorrance, Pastry Chef Jill Puleo from Sugarbird Bakery and Chef Kaitlyn Roberts from Easy Entertaining Inc.
At 6:30 p.m. the Rhode Island chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild is holding Mixology Lab Demonstrations with Frank Martucci, Michael Lester and Brendan Chipley Roane.
At 7:30 p.m. the ISES-RI Test Kitchen turns into a kitchen stadium as Chefs Mark Garofalo of Fire Works Catering and Dean Dassler of Twin River go head-to-head in a Cooking Competition to prepare one appetizer and one entree with a secret ingredient.
The Expo is free to the public. Register in advance online.
UPDATED (more comments below) The James Beard Foundation 2012 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists were announced this morning and a number of Rhode Island chefs and restaurants are included on this year’s list. The semifinalists in our area are:
Best New Restaurant: The Dorrance
Outstanding Bar Program: Cook & Brown Public House
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Benjamin Sukle of The Dorrance
Best Chef: Northeast:
The Semifinalists will be narrowed down to a list of finalists on March 19 and then winners be announced at the Awards Gala in New York City on May 7 in what is essentially the Oscars® of the food world. For the complete list of semifinalists you can view the Foundation blog here. Eat Drink RI has reached out to all the semifinalists and will be publishing their comments here as the day progresses.
Benjamin Sukle, Executive Chef at The Dorrance (Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best New Restaurant): “It’s awesome. The team and I work our asses off every day. We aren’t doing it for the recognition, but to be mentioned by the Foundation is such an honor and privilege and only helps justify the 16-hour days! As for Best New Restaurant, this is the most gratifying as a team. No award is gotten single-handedly. My right-hand man, (Sous Chef) Ed Davis, certainly deserves to be mentioned in these awards. I can’t wait to see what happens. Congratulations to everyone else nominated.”
Scott Pinocci, General Manager at Cook & Brown Public House (Outstanding Bar Program): “It’s a great honor to be on this list. Obviously it’s a testament to the hard work of the bartenders that we have now, and all the bartenders that have worked with us in the past. Congratulations to all the Rhode Island nominees. It’s all well-deserved and shows how far Rhode Island has come on the national scene. It’s very exciting for the entire RI hospitality community.”
Nemo Bolin, Chef/Co-Owner at Cook & Brown Public House (Outstanding Bar Program): “This is f___ing awesome news. Our bar crew kills it every day and it’s great to get the recognition. I would love to take all of the credit but it really goes to Scott [Pinocci] and our awesome bartenders.”
Champe Speidel, Chef/Co-Owner at Persimmon (Best Chef: Northeast): “I’m thrilled to be on the list and thrilled to be in the company we are in. It’s good for our location. It shows we’re on the right track and doing the right things. I’m very appreciative.”
Matt & Kate Jennings, Chefs/Owners at Farmstead, Inc. (Best Chef: Northeast): “We are so appreciative for being nominated for Best Chef Northeast category. While we can only set the tone, this nomination is for our staff, who work so hard everyday to make Farmstead & La Laiterie what it is. It is awesome to see Rhode Island represented on the Semifinalist list, in such great numbers. A huge pat on the back to all of the nominees from the Ocean State- it is time that Rhode Island got it’s due!”
Monday evening, March 1, was a Share Our Strength A Tasteful Pursuit dinner in Providence, hosted at Al Forno. Share Our Strength has a plan to end childhood hunger by 2015. It’s a great organization with a clearly wonderful goal. Please visit their web site to learn more and to donate. There were too many delicious things served over the course of the evening to list them all. A few are pictured here. I wish I had more of Chef Tony Mantuano‘s Hors D’ouevres. The Mini Sopresada Puffs and Duck Pinchos with Harissa and Sumac were perfect bites full of flavor. Chef Walter Potenza‘s Pasticcio con “Stracotto” di Vitello e Fonduta was deliciously heavy—a perfect mix of veal, pasta & cheese.
If I had to pick a single item that I loved it would be Chef Champe Speidel‘s Braised Lamb Rillette. His entire dish was great, but that Rillette was perfect. I definitely would have devoured more of that. I also want to mention the wines selected by M.S. Walker‘s Michael Lester. Lester often makes great selections, but it’s rare that two wines in one evening really stand out for me. These were the Produttori del Barbaresco Torre 2005 and the Jaboulet Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge “Les Cedres” 2005.