Mane Character Energy: Leo season’s fiercest, fanciest foodie finds

Like it or not, it’s Leo Season, y’all! From July 22nd to August 22nd every year, the planet becomes just a little bit more extra while those of us lucky to be born under this leonine sign all declare as one that “It’s MY birthday month!” Face it: for Leos, this stretch of time is a full blown party, and not just any spot will do for these ferociously fickle felines. As a Leo myself (August 15th, a national holiday, and the date of Motif’s food truck awards!), here are some of my faves for when I just need to celebrate and channel my Main Character Energy – which is stronger than normal around this time of the year.

Porch Dining at The Clarke Cooke House

Leos are all about getting glammed up and having a fabulous time, and what better way than to indulge at one of the last spots where a dress code is (thankfully) enforced? Yes, guys must don sport jackets, and gals are expected to reach similar levels of #fashion, but your efforts will be rewarded with effortless service by handsome, tuxedo-clad gentlemen (ok, purr), a menu of locally inspired delicacies (the Lobster with Sauce Poivre Rose is winsome without catering to the masses of seafood zombies on the wharf below), and of course, the Snowball in Hell, everyone’s favorite Newport dessert – a wine glass filled to the brim with house-made chocolate mousse, devil’s food cake, Callebaut chocolate, fresh vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut. Watch all eyes turn to your table as this towering trifle is presented, complete with a birthday sparkler — but don’t worry, Leo. You’re the sparkliest one in the room.

24 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport

The Boombox Karaoke

The overlap between manic theater kids and August birthdays is unsurprisingly common, and where else can one belt out “Little Girls” from Annie while sipping on a fruity, guava-y Love Cat sake cocktail served in an actual ceramic cat glass? The Dean Hotel is already a total vibe — the 52-room boutique hotel boasts a fantastic location and distinctive decor right in the heart of downtown PVD — and the swanky subterranean lounge is the perfect place to channel your inner diva. Private karaoke rooms are available, but in true Leo fashion, the main room is where the spotlight will truly shine on you. Also, “Little Girls” is my karaoke song of choice. #MissHanniganDeservedBetter #SorryNotSorry

122 Fountain Street, PVD

Secret Garden at Ocean House

Nothing says excessive like a champagne and crepe garden, and even though Westerly is a bit far, Ocean House is a total Leo mood, and I am so here for it. The Secret Garden pop-up runs all summer long, and no birthday visit is complete without a Smoked Salmon Crepe with a generous scoop of Royal Belgian Osetra Caviar and a Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé Watermelon Crush Swimming Pool cocktail, featuring fresh watermelon and Pop Rocks! They’re even open for private dining in their lush waterfront realm, and honestly, that sounds like an ideal birthday party to me!

1 Bluff Avenue, Westerly

Cara at The Chanler

IMO, Leos are the pickiest sign of the Zodiac, so when you subject us to a tasting menu that is completely Chef’s choice, you’re either in for an Oscar-winning tantrum, or a happy kitty, nibbling contentedly on foie gras. At Cara, it’s definitely the latter. With only four tables, guests are truly the stars of the show as they indulge in five or eight course menus of bespoke culinary creations. Executive Chef Jacob Jasinki is at the helm of this impressive Forbes Five Star dining experience, and between the seaside views and gastronomic greatness, this experience is not to be missed.

117 Memorial Boulevard, Newport

Motif’s 2022 Food Truck and Drink Award Nominees

RI has no shortage of fantastic food trucks, breweries and distilleries, and we at Motif can’t wait to celebrate them at our Food Truck and Drink awards this month. With nominees spanning 45 categories, we hope you can discover a new favorite food truck or brewery to try on your next night out. While we encourage voting for your favorites and there can only be so many winners, we appreciate each and every nominee and the creativity and craft they bring to RI’s food and drink scene.

Food Trucks


Haven Brothers

Pit Stop

Rocket Fine Street Food

Everything “AN”

Atomic Burgers

Hot Dogs & Sausages

Big Dog Eats

Dogs on the Go


The Sausage Guy

Muzzled Hot Dogs


Sam’s NY System


GottaQ BBQ

Smoke & Squeal

Supa Dupa

Little B’s BBQ

Binge BBQ

Cheese & Cheesesteaks



Championship Melt

Big Dog Eats

Red’s Street Food

Rhodies Food Truck



Newport Chowder Company

Shuckin’ Truck

Gansett Poke

La Costa Lobster & Tacos

Blount Seafood

Julio’s Gourmet Food Truck

Hometown Poke



La Costa Lobster & Tacos

One2 Taco & More

Poco Loco Tacos

Macs Screaming Corn & Tacos

RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Latin & Caribbean Influences


Gonzalez Food Truck

La Carreta

Gnarly Vines Food Truck


Burrito Bowl

La Guaguita Del Sabor

Bajas Enterprises

JA PATTY RI Catering & Events

Tacos Mi Rancho

La Birria

Asian Influence


Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Italian Influence

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Bird’s Nest Italian Street Food

Nonnie’s Kitchen

A Mano Pizza + Gelato

Moving Dough Wood Fired Pizza Co.

Mike & Lenny’s Bar Pizza


Nanu the Burmese Fusion

Vegan Suga

Lotus Pepper

Ming’s Asian Street Food

Like No Udder

Basil & Bunny

Juice Junkie


Hot Potato

Friskie Fries

Cluck Truck


Red’s Street Food

Breakfast & Brunch

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Sunnyside on the Street

Oatmiel Café

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles


Presto Strange O Coffee


On the Rhode Cafe

The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles

Café Modesto

The Daily Grind

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck


The Salty Brew

Rise and Grind Coffee Truck


Sarcastic Sweets

La Fruta Loca

Lu Lu’s Little Pancakes

Black Dog Donuts

The Cupcakory

Nessa’s Snack Shop

Jo Jo’s Cupcakes

O Boy

Twisted Churros

Shishkaberry’s of New England

Frozen Dessert

Kay’s Ice Cream

Atomic Blonde Ice Cream

Kona Ice

New England Frozen Lemonade

Chelsea’s Creamery

Tizzy K’s Cereal Ice Cream

Palagis Ice Cream

Hawaiian Jim’s Shave Ice

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

Milk Caffe & Catering

Alien Ice Cream

Food Truck with Storefront

Smoke & Squeal BBQ

GottaQ BBQ

Red’s Street Kitchen

Poco Loco Taco

Like No Udder

Friskie Fries


RaRa’s Surf Shack Beach Wagon

Friskie Fries

Championship Melt

Hot Potato

Alien Ice Cream

New Truck

Coffee 911

Hook N Ladder Pizza Co.

Mumsy’s Ice Cream

Vegan Suga


Rise and Grind Coffee Truck

Everything “AN”

Nonnie’s Kitchen

Cosmo’s Fresh & Frozen Treats

All-Weather Warrior

Farm to Sandwich

Red’s Street Kitchen

JA Patty

Rocket Fine Street Food

Other Ethnic

The Village Greek

Pit Stop

The Ish


Bem Bom Portuguese

Flip N Roll

Fieldstone Kombucha


New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

Hope & Main’s Schoolyard Twilight Party

Food Truck Friday at Mulligan’s Island

Warwick Food Truck Nights

Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

Food Trucks at Narragansett Beach

Providence Flea


The Perfect Sweet Shoppe

Mamma Lasagna’s

Biggest Little Easy Catering

Kenza’s Delights

Dips Dips

Butterbang Croissants

Bites by Bre

Sarcastic Sweets

Portable Not-Quite-Truck

Wally’s Wieners

Sweet B’s Donuts

Newport Chowder Co.

Tricycle Ice Cream

Poppin Minis RI

Outdoor Treat


Iggy’s Doughboys (Various)

Sandcastles Sundaes

Gray’s Ice Cream (Tiverton)

Cold Fusion Gelato

The Inside Scoop

Three Sisters (Hope St, PVD)

The Wright Scoop


Locally Manufactured Food

Rhed’s Hot Sauce

Yacht Club Soda

Ocean State Pepper Company (spices)

Hustlers Swing Sauce

Beautiful Day Granola (granola)

Sacred Cow Granola (granola)

The Backyard Food Company (salsa)

Venda Ravioli lobster ravioli

Del’s Lemonade

Granny Squibb’s (iced tea)

New RI Food Product

Lost Art Kraut-Chi

PVD Pies

Sarcastic Sweets Beernuts

Anchor Toffee

Bootblack Syrup

Farmer’s Market

Lippitt Park (PVD)

Farm Fresh RI (PVD)

Brooklawn Park (New Bedford)

Burnside Park (PVD)

Burrillville Farmer’s Market (Burrillville)

Greene Farmers Market (Coventry)

Armory Farmers Market (PVD)

Goddard State Park (Warwick)

Fishermen’s Memorial Park (Narragansett)

Schoolyard Market at Hope & Main (Warren)

O’Connell Field (Attleboro)

Pawtuxet Village (Cranston)



Ocean Loft by Shaidzon

Rhode Rage by Newport Craft

Stiff Sheet by West Passage

Captain’s Daughter by Grey Sail

Warren G by The Guild

Tonebender by Rejects

You Thirsty by Revival

The All Seeing Eye by Long Live

Liquid Hugs DIPA by Ragged Island


Evolver 4.0 by The Hive

Tiny Truck IPA by Ragged Island

Crawl, Walk, Run by Apponaug

Musik Express IPA by Narragansett

Object Permanence by Buttonwoods

Cranston Thug Life by Union Station Brewery

Galaxy Elixer by LineSider

What Even Is This? By Origin Beer Project

Trendy Name by Moniker

Tendril by Proclamation

Mayday NEIPA by Bravo Brewing

Tropical IPA by General’s Crossing


Ruby by Six Pack

Canal Street Crushable Ale by Grey Sail

Another Room Without A View by Proclamation

Koelsh by Trinity


Japanese Lager by Rejects

Meander Through by Apponaug

Irresistible Delicious by PVD Brewing Company

Is This Still Lawn Boy by Titled Barn

Chair 2 Light Lager by Sons of Liberty

Slater by The Guild

Burnout by Taproot

Donde Esta La Biblioteca by Ragged Island

Small Victories by Origin Beer Project

Mexican Dark Lager by General’s Crossing

Pale Ale

Rise by Whalers

Anthem American Pale Ale by Bravo Brewing

Observatory by The Guild

Doug White Ale by Union Station Brewery

Fox Point Ale by Narragansett

Independence American Pale Ale by The Hive

Sea and Sand by Shaidzon

Honey Hibiscus Wit by General’s Crossing


Pumpkin Spice Ale by Lops Brewing

Blond Jovi by Linesider

Belgian Strawberry by Trinity

Blueberry American Wheat by Crooked Current

Blueberry Ale by Newport Craft

Light Ale

Debut Single by Moniker

Saison Des Fraise by Ravenous Brewing

Fresh Catch by Narragansett

House by Buttonwoods

Golden Ale & Blondes

Blueberry Blonde by Coddington

G’Day Mate by Buttonwoods

The Meg Blonde Ale by Twelve Guns

Golden Ale by Coddington


Station 3 Pilsner by Lops Brewing

Pilsner by Buttonwoods

Pawtuxet Pilsner by Apponaug

Bohemian Pilsner by Narragansett

PVD Pils by Long Live

Kōwhai by Tilted Barn

West Fountain Street by Beer On Earth

Buffalo Czech Pils by Shaidzon

State of Flow by Moniker

Grassroots Italian-Style Pilsner by The Hive

Lenni by Six Pack


Espresso Peanut Butter Porter by Lops Brewing

Blueport by Taproot

Marzanna by Beer On Earth

Reds & Browns

Bienvenu by Ravenous Brewing

Irish Red by Twelve Guns

Neopolitan Brown Ale by Crooked Current

Full Keel Brown Ale by West Passage


Lava Monster by Smug

Pinky Swear by Revival

Mango Vango by Foolproof

Flower Sour by Taproot

Monchito by Whalers

Frozie Cup Donut by Long Live

Sunrise Over Sea by Tilted Barn

Pastry Sour Key Lime Pie by Twelve Guns

Oyster Gose by Newport Craft


Coffee Milk Stout by Ravenous Brewing

Marshmallow Imperial Stout by Lops Brewing

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Rejects

White Stout by Crooked Current

Echo Lake Sunrise by Apponaug

Wear It Out by PVD Brewing Company


Summer Sol by Tilted Barn

Summer Wheat by Coddington

Make This Romance Last by Proclamation

Cherry Wheat Ale by Bravo Brewing

Screaming Viking by Trinity

Easy Company Hefeweizen by Bravo Brewing

Holy Mountain by Beer on Earth

Miscellaneous Beer

Oak Aged Cask Barleywine by Norey’s

Stereo > Mono by Proclamation

Big Red Goat by Foolproof

Prosecco by Gooseneck

Malted Barleywine by Malted Barley

Ollie by Six Pack

Cabin Fever by Smug


Peach Seltzer by Ravenous Brewing

Cannon & Anchor Hard Seltzer by Twelve Guns

Drift by Whalers


Orchard Blend All In by Sowams

Rhody Coyote by Newport Vineyards

Blueberry Vanilla by Tapped Apple Cider


Honey Chamomile Flavored Whiskey by Sons of Liberty

Puppy Bourbon by White Dog

Cornucopia Whiskey by White Dog

Bourbon by Working Man Distillers


Rhodium Coffee Black Walnut Vodka by RI Spirits

Ornamental Gin by ISCO

True Born Gin by SOL

Rhodium Forager’s Gin by RI Spirits

Rhodium NRG Gin by RI Spirits

Other Spirits

Lella’s Limoncello by White Dog

Coquito Tropical by Papi’s Coquito and Tropical Juices

Battle Cry Single Malt by Sons of Liberty

Agave by South County Distillers

Favorite Beer Fest

Beervana (Cranston, October)

Craft Beer Races (Newport, July)

Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival (Newport, October)

RI Brew Fest (PVD, January)

Witches Brew Fest (Smithfield, October)

I’m Literally Screaming: The scoop on great Rhody ice creams

Summer is officially here, and that means it’s time to venture out after dinner and grab a scoop of ice cream! Oh, what? You don’t do after-dinner ice cream? You’re weak and I don’t want to be friends with you. For those of you who are strong enough to enjoy an apres-cookout nosh, here are some picks for the most fabulous frozen treats!

The Wright Scoop

Who could actually say no to ice cream so farm-fresh that you may potentially get to shake the hoof of the cow that produced it before you dig in? The Wright Scoop’s Insta-friendly vintage airstream trailers at the North Smithfield flagship and at Warren’s Blount Clam Shack turn out some of the most delicious scoops in RI (Black Raspberry Oreo, anyone?), but what really sets Wright’s apart are the mounds of homemade whipped cream that top these icy confections. I have been known to just get a bowl of this with toppings. Seriously. Run, don’t walk! #MooMoo

200 Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield

335 Water Street, Warren

The Inside Scoop

Nothing says Americana like a good ol’ fashioned roadside ice cream shop, and The Inside Scoop in North Kingstown would fit right into a modern day Kerouac novel. Your head will actually explode over the dizzying array of over 50 house-made flavors, but my personal pick is the Cookie Dough Parfait, featuring layer upon layer of dreamy soft serve ice cream, cookie dough and whipped cream. With so much to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.

30 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown

Sandcastles Sundaes

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical the first time I visited Sandcastles — as a make-your-own sundae shop, I was like “there’s TOO much freedom here. This is basically a Chipotle for ice cream!” Boy, was I quickly proven wrong! Yes, there’s so much to choose from (Even bacon. Get the bacon.), but everything is super yummy. If you’re not in an adventurous mood, they have several handcrafted selections for sundaes and milkshakes (The Coffee and Donuts Milkshake is a whimsical riff on Rhode Island Coffee Milk), but make-your-own is the way to go. Be sure to snap a selfie with Chip, their costumed mascot, before heading out to people-watch on the patio.

225 Goddard Row, Newport

Cold Fusion Gelato

Mmkay, so gelato is not TECHNICALLY ice cream (it has less cream and more milk, resulting in a richer flavor – I think I just helped you win trivia — #You’reWelcome), but Cold Fusion has been a Newport staple since 2004, and as I always say, if you can survive the early 2000s, you can survive anything. Sure, all of the classics are present and accounted for (the stracciatella is particularly masterful, with a creamy base and dark chocolate flecks dotted throughout), but my new fave for summer is the bright purple Ube Gelato. This tuber is the new kid on the block in Newport (peep the Nitro Bar’s Ube Latte right across the street!), but is quickly becoming a fan favorite no matter in a cup, cone or sensible coffee beverage.

389 Thames Street, Newport

The Perfect Sweet Shoppe

I stumbled upon this actual hidden gem while on a pilgrimage to the adjacent Taco Box Truck, and it’s still one of my favorite foodie finds! Not only does The Perfect Sweet craft incredible desserts, such as actually the best cupcakes I have ever had (that buttercream frosting, tho) and French-style macarons, but they also have a year-round (!!!) Scoop Shop, so you can get your sundae fix even in the dead of winter. And you’ll definitely want to, because there’s a Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, and what’s better than that?

16 Joyce Street, Warren

Let the Foodie Festivities Begin: Tasty recommendations for summer food and drink events

RI stays true to its community-driven nature as events throughout summer celebrate the culinary wonders of the Ocean State.

Kristen Adamo, President and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, says that RI, and PVD in particular, has built a reputation as a culinary capital, which reels in tourists and visitors. 

“Having events really helps us market the destination to people,” says Adamo. “We really are known as a culinary destination across the country.”

The lack of fast food restaurants, especially in the cities, speaks volumes to RI tourists and visitors about the eating habits of residents in the local area, says Adamo. 

This summer there are a slew of events you will want to add to your activities checklist. As the lists can sometimes get overwhelming, we decided to point out a few of our favorites for you.

Coastal Wine Trail’s Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival

At the Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival in Westport, MA, attendees taste their way through sweet and savory delicacies and try over 45 wines paired with cheese and chocolate. Visitors get to socialize with the vineyard owners and wine makers from the Coastal Wine Trail (which includes southeastern MA, coastal RI and coastal CT) as well as interact with local food artisans and fellow wine enthusiasts. 

After the festival was canceled in 2021, the Coastal Wineries of Southeast New England are eager to get people out and connected for a day of fun. The event runs all day with tickets purchasable for two-and-a-half-hour time slots, giving ample time for attendees to talk with everyone there and taste each local wine. 

The event will be held on Saturday, June 25 from 11am to 8:30pm at the Westport Fairgrounds. Order tickets at eventbrite.com

Craft Brew Races

Who says you can’t have both work and play? Keep your muscles strong and your brew on for the 2022 Craft Brew Race. A pairing of exercise and beer for anyone who likes to run/walk and socialize. 

It’s a relaxed 5k race in Newport as you run or stroll through Fort Adams State Park, followed by a craft beer festival held inside Fort Adams. It features more than 30 breweries, food trucks, music and yard games, and is a 21+ only event, so adults can get a short break from parental responsibilities. For friends of parents, you can drag your pal out for the night and spend some quality time with them.

This event will be held on Saturday, July 16 and is located at Fort Adams State Park. It begins at noon and runs until 4 pm. Purchase tickets at eatdrinkri.com

Bartender’s Ball

Bartending is often an under-celebrated art form. Bartenders across the state are being recognized and awarded for their work, and invited to party like civilians on a weekend at this new industry event. 

Mike Ryan, publisher of Motif, says that Motif hosts the Bartender’s Ball as a chance to present awards to all the bartenders that spend their nights behind the counter, giving them a night to remember. “We are trying to celebrate a profession that brings so much joy to other people,” says Ryan. “We want to bring some joy to them.” 

The Bartender’s Ball will feature live music, food, drinks, arialists, cupcakes, giant puppets, dancing, axes, darts and multiple live-action events and competitions throughout the night. Bartenders will be awarded for a variety of categories – some voted up online in advance, some at the event. For bartenders, this night is also a chance to chat up people in the same profession that can relate on multiple levels. Feel free to get a little dressed up because after all, it is a ball.

Know any bartenders worthy of recognition? Bartenders can still be nominated for awards and voted on at motifri.com/2022-bartenders-ball/

The ball will be held on Monday, Aug 1 from 7 – 11pm at R1 Entertainment Center in Lincoln. For more information, go to motifri.com/2022-bartenders-ball

Food Truck and Drink Awards

Calling all food and drink lovers! For the 6th year, Motif celebrates a multitude of local food trucks and beverage makers at the end of the summer. The awards are a way to acknowledge these business owners and workers who pour their hearts into their business. 

Food trucks have become a vital instrument for social interaction and have exploded in popularity over recent years. Bradly VanDerStad, assistant editor at Motif, says the awards cultivate an atmosphere filled with celebration, community and appreciation for this element of the RI food scene. “It’s definitely a labor of love, so that adds a whole other layer of intrigue to this,” says VanDerStad. “It’s just people really doing this because they care about it.” Motif partners with FoodTrucksIn and R1 Entertainment Center to produce the event, as well as numerous local breweries which pour at the event and trucks which serve their delicious concoctions.

Last year, 35 food truck awards and 26 drink awards were presented to local entrepreneurs. The awards recognize it all, from favorite french fries to an all-weather-warrior, and from favorite porter to favorite drinking space. 

Attendees will walk into a gathering of people celebrating their community with an abundance of food and drinks to try. There will also be live music by local artists, hula hooping and other entertainment. 

The awards will be on Sunday, Aug 14 at R1 Entertainment Center in Lincoln. And don’t let the Sunday deter you – if you work in RI, you probably have the next day off! More at motifri.com

Recurring events

The Guild PVD Beer Garden – featuring locally brewed beer along the PVD Pedestrian Bridge. This new brew installation will also host numerous pop-ups during the season (including some by the artists of Field of Artisans …) theguildpvd.com

Wednesday & Thursday: 4 – 8pm

Friday: 2 – 8pm

Saturday: 12 – 8pm

Sunday: 12 – 6pm

Field of Artisans x Narragansett Brewery:

Monthly Series – visit various featured artists each month combined with a craft beer and food while you stroll around the brewery. fieldofartisans.com/gansett

Last Friday of each month through August at 4 – 8pm

Food Trucks on Fridays

Fridays have become THE day for food trucks, with new weekly gatherings by Ocean State Food Trucks at Mulligan’s Island in Cranston and the long-standing food truck extravaganza Food Truck Fridays at the carousel in Roger Williams Park, you can find dozens of different types of cuisine, a beer garden by Trinity Beer Garden, live music, dessert and lot of activities for the kiddos. Food truck events are a great way to sample different types of cuisine, find new types of food before they go mainstream and get a bunch of different people exactly the kind of food they want at one spot. Check the truck rosters online for these evening events, and maybe skip lunch to save room: foodtrucksin.com and mulligansisland.com every Friday this summer.

Tropical Summertime Spritz 

Summer is upon us (finally) again! And what better way to celebrate the hot weather than a new spritz in your cocktail repertoire? 

This month I made a coconut fat-washed Campari as a base for a unique, crushable spritz to liven up your warmer months. The most involved process is not that involved, so don’t get nervous. 

Get yourself some unrefined coconut oil and for every four and a half ounces of Campari, add two ounces of the coconut oil. I’d recommend starting small with four-and-a-half ounces of Campari in case you don’t like the final product. If that happens, you haven’t wasted much alcohol. 

First make sure the coconut oil is liquid, which just means submerging its vessel in hot water for about ten to fifteen minutes. Once the coconut oil is liquefied, marry it with the Campari. Seal the liquid in a glass jar and allow it to sit at least four hours at room temperature. Next, put it in the freezer overnight. The longer you allow it to freeze, the more the coconut flavors will pop. I personally recommend twenty-four hours in the freezer. 

When you remove the jar, you will see the coconut oil solidified on top of the Campari. Remove the coconut fat and fine strain with a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to make sure none of the coconut fat remains. The result is a coconut forward, slightly bitter Campari. Yummy! 

The rest is even easier:

Coconut Campari Spritz

4 ounces seltzer water 

1 ½ ounce coconut fat-washed Campari

¾ ounce pineapple juice

½ ounce simple syrup

1 orange wheel, sliced about ¼ inch thin

Add all ingredients but the orange wheel to a highball glass, top with ice and roll between glass and half a shaker

Garnish with the orange wheel pressed against the glass, held in place with a straw

The coconut fat wash really mellows the Campari’s natural bitterness, which is only further pushed to the end of the palate by the pineapple juice and seltzer. This is a subtle, tropical and ever so slightly bitter spritz. If you’re a fan of an Aperol Spritz or an Americano, I’d recommend trying this at home.

Happy fat-washing! 

On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever: Dining on deck in RI

I am the first person to transform into an eye roll emoji when friends suggest outdoor patio dining during the summer. Sure, the people-watching is usually fire, but I am over trying to defend my well-earned fries against rogue seagulls. However, patio dining is an inevitable part of coastal living, and if you’re going to take the risk to dine at the mercy of our avian friends, it better be worth it!

Fish Co.

Straight out the ‘90s, this perennial PVD favorite has been wowing visitors for years with fabulous marina views and squad-friendly menu options like bottomless mimosas and sangrias, loaded nachos and wings tossed in a variety of sauces and rubs (love the Sweet Thai Chili paired with Passion Fruit Sangria — yum!). Now reopened and under new management since 2020, Fish Co. is ready for a new generation of revelers. In addition to the crowd-pleasing menu and spacious patio, don’t miss DJ Ken spinning tunes on the weekends. 

Don’t call it a comeback — they’ve been here for years!

Fish Co.
15 Bridge Street, PVD

Waterdog Kitchen + Bar

City sophistication meets small town charm at Waterdog Kitchen + Bar, a cute li’l spot in the heart of Warren’s waterfront. The globally inspired menu features eclectic bites like the Octopus Taco, spiced up with piri piri seasoning, and the Street Corn Crab Dip, which gives a south-of-the-border twist to a local seafood fave. Locals roll out of bed for the hearty brunch offerings on Saturday and Sunday mornings – nothing beats a hangover quite like the brioche WD French Toast or the massively delish Bom Dia Burger, topped with Shrimp Mozambique Rangoons, fried egg and creamy garlic aioli.

Waterdog Kitchen + Bar
125 Water Street, Warren

The Coast Guard House

Trying to impress that special someone? If your personality isn’t on point, never fear! You’ll have plenty to talk about when you dine at the Coast Guard House, with expansive views of the Narragansett Bay serving as wonderful conversation fodder. The menu is equally memorable, featuring the bounty of the daily catch, such as a gorgeous roasted Branzino with local RI-foraged mushrooms, scallops with a sweet bacon jam and creamy polenta and of course, a classic New England-style lobster dinner. Hey, even if the date sucks, the food doesn’t have to!

Coast Guard House
40 Ocean Road, Narragansett

Iggy’s Boardwalk

What better way to kick off the summer than at Iggy’s Boardwalk, which serves up iconic doughboys and chowder, plus boasts one of the most underrated sunset-watching spots in RI? Honestly, these sweet yet salty fried dough morsels hit different on a warm July evening, paired with a housemade Iggy’s Raspberry Lime Rickey soda. When you’re done with your doughboy feast, scoot next door for a sundae at the Creamery — everyone knows that if you can’t handle after-dinner ice cream in summer, you’re weak and I don’t want to be friends with you.

Iggy’s Boardwalk
885 Ocean Beach Avenue, Warwick

Newport Lobster Shack

Kudos must be given to my favorite neighborhood hidden gem — the Newport Lobster Shack. Nestled among the schooners and megayachts of the Newport Shipyard, this unassuming takeout window whips up the freshest lobster rolls in town. Prices fluctuate daily based on supply and demand (sad trombone), but two things are certainly reliable: the top notch quality of the succulent lobster and the million-dollar views of the Newport Harbor and Pell Bridge – make sure to induce the FOMO of your uninvited friends by snapping as many photos as humanly possible – you’ll be glad you did.

Newport Lobster Shack
150 Long Wharf Trailer, Newport

Grill Daddy Summer: The basics

Picture this: a hot summer day cools down and happy hour begins. You have some steak and vegetable kebabs seasoned and ready to cook for the squad. There’s a certain confidence that comes with working the grill, but not everyone is born with an understanding of the nuance of good grilling.

There’s a simplicity and satisfaction to cooking with a breathing fire, live coals or even some got-dang propane. Summer grilling is one of those nostalgic experiences that brings together friends, families, and even communities!

If you’re in Japan, the grills burn fiery-hot white charcoal, and at some traditional restaurants, most products are never even touched by a grilling surface. Skewers of all varieties are slowly rotated and cooked while brushed by a flavorful soy-based ‘tare’ sauce. ‘Tare’ means barbeque and plays into the word for skewered ‘Yakitori’. Check out my ‘Izakaya Grilling Guide’ on ForgetoTable.com/blog if you’re interested in learning more about this style of grilling. 

There are some chefs who swear by open-fire or open-ember grilling where the fire is the star. I recently ate at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, The Dabney, in Washinton DC, where chef Jeremiah Langhorne crafts all kinds of southern-inspired fare over open embers and hearth. Cooks carry fans to feed the flames more oxygen when the embers cool down, and use the live flame to get a hard sear on locally-raised lamb loin while using the smoke to gently cook scallop-stuffed morel mushrooms. 

For the majority of us that aren’t James Beard-awarded chefs at home or traveling to Japan, there’s usually charcoal grilling or propane grilling. Debates over which one is superior usually come down to what you’re trying to cook and how much time you want to spend cooking it.

Propane and natural gas burn relatively cleanly, while solid fuel like charcoal produces a cocktail of flavor compounds, which can land on food and give it a smokier flavor. But this smoky flavor takes time and makes sense for low and slow items like ribs or whole chickens. For quick-cooking food like fish, vegetables or hamburgers, it isn’t quite necessary and doesn’t impact the flavor much, if at all. 

I use a propane-burning grill because it’s the most convenient for me to crack a cold one, light up the grill, cook, eat and clean up. Mad respect to those who swear by the coals, though! (Please still invite me to your barbeque!)

It’s important to have the right setup when grilling, meaning – have all the tools and ingredients that might not be listed on your Bon Apetit recipe printout. Essentials include tongs, non-stick cooking spray, dry cloth towels or oven mitts, a grill scraper, a thermometer (better safe than undercooked) and a clean platter or cutting board for cooked food. 

Delicious and successful grilling can be broken down into three key elements: heat, fat and seasoning. 

Before cooking, it is vital to preheat your grill. Place all burners on high heat and close the grill lid for at least 10 – 15 minutes. The grill will get ripping hot, burn away any grease or sediment stuck on the grill grates and make cleaning the grill much more pleasant.

Whether cooking over direct heat or indirect heat, try to keep the lid closed as much as possible. This concentrates the heat when searing foods like steak or tofu and keeps the temperature steady. This will make sure everything is cooked through at relatively the same time. Nobody likes medium-well chicken.

With the lid on, the temperatures above the flames soar into the 600–650°F range. Grilled oysters are one of the easiest to make on the grill since they just pop right open– especially served with garlic lemon butter. 

Fat is the key to making sure that your food gets a beautiful brown crust versus a dry black char. Fat like non-stick cooking spray, olive oil, or even bacon fat helps create a barrier to protect whatever is cooking and helps the heat transfer more evenly. 

Some foods need more help in the fat department than others. Chances are, your NY strip steak only needs a few seconds of grill spray to lube it up enough before the grill, compared to some vegetable kebabs that might need a modest dousing in extra virgin olive oil. If you’re just starting to get the hang of grilling, I recommend following some recipes to get comfortable.

What is a piece of grilled meat or vegetables without any seasoning? Any barbeque master will always have a variety of rubs for any application, some being as straightforward as salt and black pepper. I moderately season my food before grilling, As some is bound to fall off between the grates or burn away, I usually season again once it’s off the grill, to taste. You can always add seasoning, but you can’t take it away. 

Marinades are also a powerful tool to add flavor if you plan a few hours ahead of time. I love large shiitake mushroom caps marinaded in soy sauce, sriracha, a pinch of sugar, vegetable oil and a splash of sake before lightly charring on the grill. Chopped parsley, cilantro, garlic, a splash of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper make a classic herb marinade for chicken, skirt steak or tofu. If you don’t want to get too cheffy, quality Italian salad dressing makes an incredible all-purpose marinade for chicken, vegetables, pork chops or shrimp skewers.

Never forget, every grill daddy was once just a grill baby. Start simple and cook what you enjoy eating. Now get your playlist ready and let the good times roll off the flames!

Stop at the Sign of the Lemon!: RI frozen treats to cool you off this summer

Whether you call it a slush or frozen lemonade, it’s impossible to call it anything other than delicious. 

It’s impossible to think of a RI summer without sipping a Del’s. Del’s has been a state staple since 1948, becoming a must-have for locals and tourists alike, making the green and yellow cup with the lemon logo as recognizable as the Big Blue Bug. With storefronts located throughout the state and trucks filling the gaps in between, you can’t go far without running into this iconic company.

As popular as it is, Del’s isn’t the only place in town to enjoy a frozen beverage. There are many local places to feed that frozen beverage urge; we encourage you to try all the ones below, just not all at once for risk of a brain freeze!

Helger’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Tiverton has been family-owned and operated since 1989. They have everything you would expect from an ice cream shop, but it’s their inclusion of “Snowballs” on the menu that really makes them stand out. 

A little thicker than other frozen beverages, the Snowball is meant to be eaten with a spoon and feels similar to biting into freshly fallen winter snow, but with delicious syrupy flavors, watermelon being owner Maryellen Helger’s personal favorite. “It cools you off fast,” she shares.

Helger’s Ice Cream Shoppe is located at 2475 Main Rd in Tiverton. Call 401-624-4560 or check out their Facebook page for more information.

Lemon King is a “Royal Treat” on Plainfield St in PVD. Their menu offers hard ice cream, milkshakes and other quick frozen treats in addition to an assortment of frozen beverage flavors. The frozen beverage features a thicker ice, which adds a fun crunch. 

Lemon King is under new management and is coming up with creative treats and listening to customers’ feedback. This led to the addition of tables and chairs for people to sit and enjoy their snack.

Lemon King is located at 616 Plainfield St, PVD. Call 401-654-5214 or visit their Facebook page for more information.

Mr. Lemon has been refreshing customers since 1974. Located on a side street off of Admiral St, it is a hidden but popular gem in PVD. Run by “Mama Lemon” and her family, they use a family recipe for their flavor syrups. There are staple flavors (lemon, watermelon, vanilla) as well as featured flavors, which they announce on their Facebook page and sell until gone. The flavors can be combined into a variety of custom flavors, which are always a treat.

The texture of a Mr. Lemon frozen beverage is much finer than its peers: Think sand at the beach fine, which makes the drink go down with extreme smoothness. This gives a better taste of the flavors, with no chunks of ice getting in the way.

As tasty as Mr. Lemon is, the service is even better. Customers are always greeted with a smile and friendly welcome. Staff always take a few seconds to talk to the customer and make sure they’re aware of how appreciated they are.

Mr. Lemon is located at 32 Hawkins St in PVD. Follow their Facebook page for updated flavors and other information.

New England Frozen Lemonade has become a local institution of refreshment since first opening in 1960. Their philosophy of providing the highest quality product with professional and courteous service continues to this day, now with the third generation operating this family-owned business. 

New England Frozen Lemonade prides itself on using only real lemons when making their frozen beverage. “Our product is truly the only 100% natural product in the local market,” Owner Bob Lombardi says.

In addition to lemon, watermelon and cherry flavors are also popular. Cherry is a personal favorite of mine because it tastes like a blended cherry popsicle. New England Frozen Lemonade has two brick-and-mortar stores to go along with a large fleet of trucks and over 50 mobile units. They plan to be all over RI this summer.

“We have always worked close in the community supporting all causes: sporting programs, non-profits, school functions and all kinds of local community events,” Lombardi says of giving back to those that have supported New England Frozen Lemonade for so long.

New England Lemonade is located at 280 Douglas Ave in Providence. Please call 401-274-3255 or check their Facebook page for more information.


Monday, August 15 from 6 – 9pm
R1 Indoor Karting, 100 Higginson Ave, Lincoln, RI

This event will be held alongside our sixth annual Food Truck Awards.

Find the event on Facebook here. RSVPs help us plan properly!

Our Drink Awards are still new – 2021 was their first year. We asked our eats & drinks writers, and the planners of most local beer fests and the bartenders at a number of local craft-focused pubs, but the biggest contributors to these nominations were the brewers themselves. We asked each brewery to let us know their three favorites, and if they felt like it, three favorites from among the work of other locals. Amazingly, brewers were at least as likely to recommend others as to tout their own stuff. The sense of community and respect for other brewers was really remarkable, and it was clear that for most in this local industry, the shared love of great beer or spirits forged a bond stronger than any competition.

The brewers, distillers and trucks serving at this year’s event include:

RI Spirits
Buttonwoods Brewery
Narragansett Brewery
Beer on Earth
Six Pack Brewing
Union Station
Memphis Kelle

Hometown Poke
RaRa’s Surf Shack
Hot Potato

Lulu’s Pancakes

French 75: but make it art 

In honor of this month’s art theme, I thought I’d take things literally. I chose to utilize a product from Collective Arts, which is a distillery and a brewery operating out of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. While they have been brewing beer for nearly ten years, they only recently started distilling, beginning with a dry gin and a “one off” gin, distilled with rhubarb and hibiscus. 

And Collective Arts does more for art than have the word in its name. They support artists by rotating the designs on their beer cans to showcase different work from different people. This makes their cans as interesting, fun and cool as their contents! 

I chose to use their rhubarb and hibiscus gin, so that means that if you’re interested, get it while you can — this bottle won’t be available forever! You can find bottles right now at Nikki’s Liquors on Branch Ave in PVD. 

This month’s cocktail is a play off of a French 75: a lovely, refreshing gin-based cocktail that is perfect for this warmer weather. 

To make this, you will need about a teaspoon of dried hibiscus petals and twice as much of your choice of sugar (granulated, raw, whatever you like!). 

Combine the hibiscus petals and sugar and muddle until the hibiscus petals break up and become small, nearly as small as the sugar grains if you can. Mix the hibiscus and sugar thoroughly. Pour evenly onto a small plate. 

Collective 75

1 ½ ounce Collective Arts Rhubarb and Hibiscus Gin

¾ ounce lemon juice

¾ ounce simple syrup 

1 lemon wedge, scored

Hibiscus petal sugar

1 ounce cava (dry sparkling wine)

Run lemon wedge around the rim of a champagne flute to make it sticky. Discard lemon wedge. 

Put the flute upside down in the hibiscus sugar and rotate so that the sugar and petals stick to the rim. Place right side up. 

In a shaker with ice, combine the gin, juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain into the champagne flute. Top slowly with cava.

The hibiscus sugar rim will have tart notes, like cranberry, and will be a sweet, tangy prelude to this dry sparkling cocktail. On the palate, the drink will be light with juniper-forward, summery notes from the Collective Arts gin and dry bubbles from the cava. 

Cheers to art!