Skip to content

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Tag Archives: rhode island

IMG_4666

The day has arrived! Mark and Bekka are getting married! Bekka had been checking the weather every day for a week leading up to the day and all it kept saying was rain. We all kept our fingers crossed and hoped for good weather – rain on a wedding day is supposed to be good luck right?

IMG_4664They couldn’t have asked for a better day, and there were in a few sprinkles during the day for good luck.

IMG_4668The ceremony took place outside on the lawn outside the Towers in Narragansett.

IMG_4665The Towers were built between 1881 and 1886. It has survived fires and multiple hurricanes, and remained intact when other buildings near by have crumbled.

IMG_4672You would have to know Mark and Bekka, but this was the perfect place for their wedding reception.

IMG_4674The bride is a talented artist. She and her father found a downed tree in the woods, they cut it into wooden discs that became the centerpieces at the wedding – Bekka did all of the artwork. Check out their signature cocktail!

IMG_4673Mark – ever the beer connoisseur, had some great choices at the bar.

IMG_4685And of course,  knowing Mark, I knew the food was going to be amazing! Well, that, and he told me so…

IMG_4684Both gamers, the cake was quite fitting, and they cut it with a sword before feeding it to one another!

IMG_4683We started off with the carrot and mache salad topped with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette.

IMG_4687We had the artichoke chicken piccata in a lemon white wine sauce with a Francaise crust.

IMG_4688And the pan seared George’s bank scrod with a decadent lobster sauce.

IMG_4691Dessert was green tea, salted caramel and lemon macarons from Silver Spoon bakery and the two cake choices were lemon and salted caramel.

IMG_4701And the favors were made by Ziggy from Fox Point Pickling! Mustard, reslish, sriracha and jam!

What’s the best wedding favor you’ve received?

Tags: , ,

IMG_3662Matt Jennings is a two-time finalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northeast” award, has been named one of America’s “Most Sustainable Chefs”. He was selected as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Big thinkers, changing the way Americans eat.” He was recently the keynote speaker at the Taste Trekkers convention that took place in Providence in September. He’s in the kitchen while his wife Kate tackles the pastry and baking. My old boss was good friends with Matt, I used to hear about Matt frequently – Matt even did the charcuterie at his son’s wedding (*note to self – I need to find a friend that gives charcuterie as a gift). So it’s been years since I left that job, it only took me how many  years to check out this place?

IMG_3663Jennings is a native Bostonian – he worked as a cheese buyer at Formaggio Kitchen, and it was there where he met his wife Kate. On the first Sunday of every month, Farmstead hosts a “Biggie and Brunch” event. We were there at 10:15 and the place was already jammed! I love the decor here – so charming!

IMG_3664It combines two of my favorite things, the music of Biggie Smalls and good food. They have a great DJ spinning in the corner – the music is turned up, so if you’re looking for a quiet morning, you should look elsewhere. But you can’t help dancing in your seat here – and trust me, there were people who were doing just that!

IMG_3666It’s a good idea to make a reservation well in advance, as when we were waiting for our table, we overheard the wait time to be estimated at 2 hours!! There are about 40 seats and I would say that the table turnover isn’t quick, we were there for about 2 hours!

IMG_3665They have some great cocktails to start off the morning.

IMG_3667Check out their website for potential menu items (things change from month to month).

IMG_3669The menu is divided into “biggie” and “smalls” plates.  Everything looked so good, we wanted to get one of everything. Check out my Favecast video: http://favecast.com/37EHJKMPzB

IMG_3671Sweet potato latkes ($9), served with short rib, smoked apple butter, and curried sour cream. The short rib was tender and complimented the sweet potato nicely. The latkes were so crisp!

IMG_3673Chocolate cream donuts ($6) I think they speak for themselves. I wish that they had come out warm, and that there was more chocolate filling inside, but they were delicious!

IMG_3674Barley porridge ($7.50), served with pear butter, honey, and pecans. A really nice dish, a little hint of sweetness with some good texture, this really filled you up!

IMG_3675Our baked cheesemonger’s mac n’ cheese ($12), molten center & a golden crusty top. Ok, so how do you go to a cheese monger’s paradise and NOT order the mac and cheese? Right? This was the best dish of them all – the golden crusty top was delicious –  a really nice alternative to the breadcrumb topping – although there were a few breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. The blend of cheese was really delightful and the sauce had a good consistency. My biggest pet peeve is over sauced mac and cheese, and this dish blew my mind – just the right amount of sauce! Good thing there was a delicious glass of orange juice to wash it down! We walked out satisfied, our bellies were full for the rest of the day. I highly recommend a trip down to Providence for brunch, you won’t be disappointed.

Farmstead

188 Wayland Ave, Providence, RI

http://www.farmsteadinc.com/

La Laiterie at Farmstead on Urbanspoon

Tags: , , , ,

IMG_0502Mark and Bekka are getting married in a little less than a month! They went down to Rhode Island to try some macarons and while they were there, Bekka entered the cupcake contest that Silver Spoon was hosting. Here’s her ice cream sundae cupcake: a vanilla bean cake is filled with a chewy chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough and topped with fluffy marshmallow buttercream and a mini peanut butter cup. Yum!

IMG_4277The Cinnamon Sugar: Sweet Mexican cinnamon and vanilla filling. Pretty darn delicious, love the spice!

IMG_4280 The lavender with vanilla frosting didn’t make it home in one piece, they’re so delicate! Looking forward to see which flavors they chose for their wedding!

Silver Spoon Bakery

58 Main Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

http://silverspoonbakery.com

Silver Spoon Bakery on Urbanspoon

Tags: , ,

IMG_1403The service is top notch from the moment you set foot inside the restaurant. You are brought to your table and presented with an iPad with the wine menu. The waiter, who greets you by name, waits until you are settled and then asks if s/he can present you with the dinner menu. We have a lovely seat in the sun room area – I wish that the property were lit up so we could see the water in the dark.

IMG_1405A little amuse bouche to start the meal, I loved the goat cheese filled gougere – just lovely.

IMG_1406Everything on the menu looks delicious.

IMG_1407The NE cheese plate ($22) was beautifully plated with apple butter, fig jam, pear and honeycomb. The honey is from a local apiary, which I am disappointed is not open to the public. The flavor combinations are delicious, the ricotta, hard cheese, soft cheese and blue cheese pair nicely with the accoutrements.

IMG_1409The rolls are brought out by our waiter, and I choose the steaming pretzel roll to begin. Add in the Vermont butter and I am in heaven.

IMG_1411I have the roasted lobster with crispy rice cake, broccoli, oyster sauce, and carrots ($44). This dish was amazing, one of the best meals that I have ever had. Simple and clean, yet complex in flavor profile and the plating and presentation here is stunning. The flavors are bold and the dish is rich without feeling heavy. The lobster, and there is a good amount of it, is tender and sweet.

IMG_1410We also order the gnocchi with a slow cooked egg, Brussel sprouts, and squash ($34). Another amazing dish. Of course, if you know me, I am a sucker for anything with an egg. This dish was no exception. One of the best gnocchi dishes I’ve had. This was like fine comfort food. The egg provided a salty creaminess to the dish and the gnocchi was so light it melted in your mouth. The presence of vegetables made me feel like this was a healthy option!

IMG_1415We are so full from our meal that I can’t possibly touch a dessert (oh the horror!). They leave us with a little sweet shot glass filled with butterscotch and marshmallow deliciousness, a lovely way to end a meal.

IMG_1418And as if things couldn’t get any better tonight, on the way out they have a lovely table filled with French macarons and delicious chocolates for you to take home. The hostess helped me fill up my little tin with a bunch of goodies!

IMG_1419A vanilla, chocolate and pistachio macaron. They tasted as good as they looked!

IMG_1420

A few other goodies included a truffle and some brittle, all were delicious! We couldn’t have asked for a better experience, the service was second to none, the food and wine were amazing and the little touches that they add on make this a place that we will definitely come back to. I highly recommend Seasons if you are celebrating a special occasion or if you are looking for a romantic night out.

Seasons

at the Ocean House

One Bluff Ave, Watch Hill, RI

http://www.oceanhouseri.com/dining/seasons/

Seasons at the Ocean House on Urbanspoon

Tags: , ,

IMG_1425Sunday’s Seasons has a jazz brunch. We were leaving early in the morning, so unfortunately we didn’t get to enjoy much of the jazz as it starts late morning. They were just getting started in the lobby as we were leaving.

IMG_1426You can order a la carte or you can order the full buffet for $54 per person which includes all the things on the top half of the menu as well as one of the plated entrees. Coffee, tea, juice, mimosa, sparkling wine and bellinis are included in the price of the brunch, the blood mary bar is additional

IMG_1427While the service was good here, it wasn’t as good as dinner the night before.  We walked by this delicious display of baked goods on the way to our table by the window. Croissants, scones and muffins, they all looked delicious.

IMG_1428And check out this raw bar!

IMG_1429And you know my eyes zoomed in on the desserts!

IMG_1430I love this cute little pumpkin in a nest on our table.

IMG_1431There are so many things to choose from, it’s almost overwhelming. Of course we hit up the raw bar, but there is also a great meat section and a make your own crepe station. I have to admit I was a little put off by the meat being slice and then slapped on my plate from your hand, it just seemed weird after witnessing the level of attention to detail in every other way here. I’m thinking tongs would have been the way to go.

IMG_1440We pick out a bunch of desserts.

IMG_1439How delicious does this look?

IMG_1435Huevos Rancheros came with extra tortillas on the side and avocadao. Lovely presentation, and the meal was delicious – really great flavors in this dish.

IMG_1433Gingerbread waffle was amazing and it came topped with berry patch jam which is to die for! There was some sort of fuzz or something in the second half of my waffle. When I alerted the server, I said, do you see this thing on my waffle, and she replied, “I do now” and  whisked it back to the chef, but that was the beginning of the end. She didn’t offer me another waffle, nor did she discount our bill, which I had to admit, I was really surprised by.

IMG_1432So moving on, the granola parfait is above.

IMG_1444Believe it or not, this is carrot cake, and it was pretty tasty, sweet and nutty with delicious cream cheese frosting.

IMG_1443The inside of the chocolate bon bon dessert – it was filled with milk chocolate with a dark chocolate shell.

IMG_1442Isn’t the presentation beautiful?

IMG_1441

The espresso cheesecake had beans inside as well as on top, quite delicious. Overall a good experience, not sure I would go back and spend that much on brunch for that kind of service.

Seasons

At the Ocean House, One Bluff Ave, Watch Hill, RI

Seasons at the Ocean House on Urbanspoon

Tags: , , ,

IMG_1324The Ocean House, a Relais Chateau property located in Watch Hill, RI has won all sorts of accolades. Conde Nast Readers Choice in 2013 it ranked as the #5 resort in the northeast, #7 by Travel + Leisure in 2013 for top hotel spas in the world, ranked #11 in 2013 for Travel + Leisure’s America’s best coastal resort, ranked #10 by Travel + Leisure for best  coastal hotel in 2013 among others. It is the first and only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star hotel in the state of RI.

From the hotel’s website, “Famously known for its warm yellow façade and stunning views of the Atlantic, the Ocean House opened in 1868 just after the Civil War. The hotel gained prominence among the historic New England hotels built during this era. For those who could afford the luxury of travel, the Ocean House in the early 1900s became the quintessential summer home attracting many distinguished guests. The grand Victorian hotel was a genteel beach resort where generations of families and guests from across America came “to summer.” In fact, in 1916 the Ocean House was immortalized in the silent movie American Aristocracy, starring Douglas Fairbanks.

The Ocean House welcomed guests for 135 years, but as with many historic hotels, over time, neglect took its toll. The Ocean House was closed in 2003 when it was deemed beyond feasible repair. In 2004 a new structure replicating the original exterior design was conceived. Today, this much-loved beach hotel has been recreated to convey the romance of its storied past and the rich character of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

The new resort features 49 rooms and 13 Signature Suites, providing more spacious accommodations than the original structure, which offered 159 rooms. Viewed from the outside, all of the resort’s 247 windows remain in their original positions. More than 5,000 salvageable artifacts and furnishing elements were lovingly harvested from the original structure’s historic interiors.”

IMG_1310Everything about the hotel is charming, even the rest rooms.

IMG_1309No detail has been missed, you feel like you have gone back in time or transported onto a movie set. A non denominational chapel is located across the street, making this a popular wedding destination.

IMG_1307We arrived early and our room was not ready. We went out to lunch in town and they texted us when it was time to return to the hotel. We stayed up on the 4th floor in a lovely room overlooking the south lawn.

IMG_1327We were welcomed by a delicious treat and a nice note from the hotel. Tipping is not allowed, all tips for the valet, housekeeping etc. (but not the dining room) is included in the resort fee.

IMG_1328The bathroom has Molton Brown bath products.

IMG_1329

IMG_1330There was a lovely deep tub with a tv, the shutters can be closed for privacy from the bedroom.

IMG_1334The king sized bed with wonderful!

IMG_1333We are walked up to our room by someone in guest services. She explains all the features of the room, including sodas and waters in the fridge, snacks on the shelf and coffee from the Keurig machine.

IMG_1332I love all the little details.

IMG_1335The room also comes with an iPad, you can make reservations for dinner or call for your car, among other things.

IMG_1338A closer up of those delicious snacks from the entryway.

IMG_1392The hallway – you never saw any cleaning carts…

IMG_1353We took a lovely walk on the beach – while it is November, it was unseasonably warm – 65 degrees, making it a great day to be outside. People brought their dogs and there were locals fishing on the beach.

IMG_1383A view of the hotel from the beach – the hotel is amazing. The level of service is impressive, from the minute you walk in the the moment you check out. There isn’t much to do here in the off season, as all the shops in “town” have been shuttered for the season. I can only imagine how beautiful this resort is in the summer time.

Ocean House

One Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill, RI

http://www.oceanhouseri.com/

Tags: ,

IMG_1473I love everything about this place. It is so charming!

IMG_1492I had this jam at brunch at the Ocean House and HAD to bring some home! It tastes like heaven and is seriously addictive!

IMG_1493Put it on waffles, I love mine on toast or an English muffin! The service couldn’t have been friendlier! Everything here looked delicious, they have jams, spreads and condiments, pies, baked goods, and a case of delicious looking ice cream. Had it not been the morning, I would have bought a dish of their Boysenberry Sugar Cookie, Sugar cookie flavored ice-cream with a boysenberry swirl and sugar cookie pieces – how good does that sound?

Pelloni Farm

56 Ashaway Road, Ashaway, RI

See their Facebook page here.

Tags:

IMG_1474Located just outside of Providence, this great little farm stand had some delicious goodies waiting for us!

IMG_1496They carry all kinds of jams and spreads – picked some chow chow up for a friend of mine!

IMG_1495And man were these cider donuts delicious! They also carry fresh produce and pies. Stop by and check them out!

Pippin Orchard

751 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston, RI

See their Facebook page here.

Tags:

We leave on Friday, late morning, and check into the hotel: The Newport Harbor Hotel (49 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport RI). From Boston it is about a 90 minute drive-smooth sailing until you actually try to get into Newport where there is heavy traffic. It’s one of those situations where you’re sitting at an intersection-the people who are going when you are stopped rush the intersection so when your light turns green, you can’t move…and when you can finally move-your light is red…and every light cycle only one or two cars is moving through.

We have to be here for a wedding-and peak season in Newport means that most hotels require you to stay a minimum of two nights. The rates for the hotel were right around $250 per night with taxes and parking etc. So fresh off the road, complete with road rage, we pull up to the hotel. There is a guard at the gate that lets you in-and we see the hotel. I’m thinking in my head, from the outside, this could just as well be a Holiday Inn or something-but I am trying to keep an open mind. The lobby is outdated and worn. We check into our room….

We are on the second floor-and the positive thing is that the view is wonderful-right on the marina.

I have to say, for $250 a night (and that’s WITH the room block rate), I was expecting more. The hotel is a bit damp and on the older side-I am disappointed. I guess that it’s all about location…..

The room is clean, but just feels a bit dirty-maybe it’s the salty air, maybe it’s just because I’ve been sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to get two blocks.

The bathroom is small, with some paint missing on the wall and the light in the shower area isn’t working. There isn’t a fan in the bathroom-so make sure to leave the door open a crack to let the steam out.

So at this point, I am just looking for things to be wrong. I look at the ceiling and there are unknown substances sticking to it, and here’s the kicker-there is HAIR in the tub. Soooo eew.

We head over to Bowens Wharf which is right next door to the hotel for lunch at 22 Bowens (22 Bowens Wharf Newport, RI 401.841.8884) We ordered the tuna burger ($14.95) and the duo lobster roll ($18.95). 22 Bowens is part of fare rewards a program where if you spend $500 at any of the partnering restaurants, you get $35 in dining coupons.

The tuna burger was surprisingly good-I wouldn’t have chosen it just because it isn’t my go-to food. It wasn’t fishy at all, and had a little kick to it-plus the black beans gave it a nice touch. It also came with a tomato avocado salsa and lime scented sweet onion.

The lobster rolls were really tasty-not too much mayo which is such a pet peeve of mine. The rolls were buttery and fresh, but I have to admit it was a little awkward to eat them the way they were cut. The fries were so good-crispy and light, just enough salt-super fresh.

Try and get a seat outside-it’s completely covered, but you still get to have prime people watching seats. The service was good-the only down side being our waitress was wearing sunglasses. While I understand that it’s sunny and it hurts the eyes, there was just something about that just bugged me. I think it’s impersonal-you want to have eye contact. Other than that-great lunch!

22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

I had looked up the shops at Bowen’s Wharf-and was excited to try the smoothie place. So for around $6 you can get a three fruit smoothie. All the fruit is fresh and stored in clear bins-nothing is canned.

I read a review on yelp that said that the base was apple juice-but it looked like simple syrup to me when she poured it. I had a strawberry, raspberry, mango smoothie-she put the mango and strawberries in, but poured raspberry syrup in the smoothie, along with something looking like agave or honey.

So it’s fresh, and fruity-but I think that I prefer my smoothies to be thicker-and with ice cream or yogurt. We also got a fresh squeezed limeade. She squeezed the limes fresh-it was pretty good-nice and tart.

There were some cute shops in the area-although we didn’t end up buying anything. There are clothing stores, boutiques and jewelry stores nestled among an army navy store and some other touristy types of places.

We stop in at destination chocolate. I had read good reviews of this place-they supposedly had great chocolate. It’s a small shop-and really-there isn’t much in it. There is a case in back where they have the a la carte pieces, and around the store there are pre-packaged goods, but in reality-there isn’t much merchandise here.

The chocolate here look almost too good to eat-I tend to find that the chocolates that look really nice aren’t as tasty as the ones that are simple and well made. The chocolate was good-don’t get me wrong, but I have had better. Clockwise from the top left are hazelnut, caramel, milk chocolate truffle and mint chocolate chip. The hazelnut was good-a like the nuts on the top for extra crunch. The caramel was smooth and creamy with a little bit of a salty taste to it. The milk chocolate truffle was smooth with a clean taste, but I think that hotel chocolate has a much better flavoring to it. Finally, the mint chocolate chip- tasted like an andes mint and had one little chocolate chip inside the filling.

We bought the caramels for a gift for friends…if you’re looking for a nice hostess gift, this would be your place-nice packaging but not very affordable.

We decide to spend the rest of the day before dinner at the hotel. They have chairs on the lawn where you can  sit and read or just enjoy the marina. You have to go through the pool or the locker room to get there-no one was at the pool and there were a few people sitting on the small deck outside sunbathing. When we were out there we noticed that if you had a room on the first floor, you would have a sliding glass door out onto this area.

Dinner on Friday is at The Mooring (Sayer’s Wharf, Newport, RI 401.846.2260) just a few blocks from the hotel.Make sure to make a reservation because wait time can be up to an hour if you don’t have one. And if you can get a seat outside-totally worth it, just remember your sunglasses.

The view is impressive of the marina and the service is some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The waitress was knowledgeable and friendly. She gave us good recommendations and was always available when we needed her.

We have the shrimp and crab dip ($11) as an appetizer. I love that the crostini came in a brown paper bag- I really notice the small details and can appreciate them. We also had bread delivered the same way-and the waitress even came by while we were eating to close up the paper bag to keep the bread warm. The dip had fontina cheese, spinach, fresh crab and baby shrimp. I can’t even describe how good it was-not too fishy, warm and smooth and creamy (oh my!) We wish we had also tried the bag of doughnuts which were lobster, crab and shrimp fritters or the stuffies which are stuffed cherrystones.

For dinner I had the scampi ($36). Lobster, shrimp and scallops over pasta. Well worth the $36-there were a ton of scallops-so many that I couldn’t finish them all. And they were perfectly cooked! A lot of places serve scampi with tons of pasta and only a little meat-but not so here. The sauce was wonderfully flavorful-an overall great meal.

My dining companion had the special which was a half chicken on a bed of roasted corn and sweet potato ($24). I have to admit that I like my chicken sans bone. I find it hard to cut off the meat in a lady like way in public, and I wouldn’t dare pick it up and eat it. The chicken was good-it had a little bit of a smokey flavor to it in addition to the sweet bbq sauce. The corn and sweet potato hash was excellent-just a really nice mix of texture and flavor.

The Mooring is  part of the fare rewards program I had mentioned above in the review of 22 Bowens.

Mooring on Urbanspoon

We head back over to Bowen’s Wharf for some ice cream at Sprinkles. What a cute name right? They have soft serve and a handful of hard ice cream choices. They are cash only so make sure to stop at the ATM before you stop by. When we had ordered and we were waiting for our ice cream-I noticed they serve Gifford’s Ice Cream. If I had known that that is what they had- I wouldn’t have stopped here. You can get Gifford’s in a lot of places-we could have just as easily gone to Ben and Jerry’s down the street if we wanted the ordinary. So the ice cream was par for the course-nothing special.

We went back to the hotel and turned in a while later. Note that the Pier 49 restaurant is next door and I don’t know if the noise was coming from there or from a party on someones boat, but there was loud music and yelling outside all night until about 3:30am. If you make sure to keep the ac fan on, it drowns out most of the noise, but we didn’t figure that out until night #2. An additional fact about the hotel is that there was a sign when we checked in that says that they have a zero tolerance policy-if someone complains about you, you get one warning-if they have to come again, you will be escorted out by the Newport Police and will not be given a refund. They are pretty strict in theory. On the way in to town there was a sign that stated a $400 fine to loud motorcycle engines or loud radios-strictly enforced.

Jonathan’s Cafe for breakfast on the concierge’s suggestion. The picture is fuzzy from the hazy weather and bright sunlight-sorry! Jonathan’s is located at 22 Washington Square-just past Banana Republic and a short walk from the hotel. The place is a little bit dumpy-a typical diner if you will. If you are expecting gourmet or top notch service-look elsewhere.

We didn’t see many other places for breakfast-the other choices would be panera or starbucks. We don’t drink coffee but they have a separate menu just for their coffee selections.

I order the egg scramble with swiss cheese, and as you can see in the picture-the cheese is just thrown on top and when I got it, you could just see all the grease pouring out of it. The potatoes were good-and the toast came dry…when I opened the butter packets on the table, they had separated and were about 75% liquid inside..needless to say I had dry toast that day.

My dining companion gets the breakfast sandwich which is about as good as my eggs. We order juice and are given two bottles of minute maid juice and straws. So there is nothing fancy to this place, but if you want a stick to your ribs kind of meal-this is your spot.

We decide to go to the Cliff Walk to work off the 8 billion calories we just consumed at breakfast. The concierge told us that for $1.75 you can take a shuttle that leaves from the visitors center right down the street from the hotel. She said it’s supposed to come every 20 minutes, but with all the Newport traffic, it’s not as reliable as you’d like it to be. So we concede to taking the car out of the lot and driving down there. The concierge told us that if we went to where the Cliff Walk starts, we would have to pay for parking, she showed us that if we started about a mile into the Cliff Walk where we could find free parking. If you do go to the place a mile down from the start-go early because our concierge isn’t the only one that knows about free parking. It was filling up as we got there around 11am. We walked about a mile and a half down to the tea house and then turned back, making a 3 mile walk…and it was starting to get hot with the sun beating down on us, make sure you stay hydrated!

We drive from the Cliff Walk to The Pier for lunch on Howard Wharf. There is free parking here-so that’s a bonus. There are tables outside by the marina but we sit in the area that is farther away-so it’s basically like eating in a parking lot with a view of the marina.

My dining companion gets the house salad ($5)  and the calamari ($8) that is tossed in a sweet and spicy red pepper glaze with diced peppers.

The calamari is a little bit soggy and the glaze is like the one found on General Gao’s/Tso’s chicken.

I have the “Pier Burger” ($10) that is an 8 oz burger with caramelized onions, mushrooms, proscuitto and swiss cheese. It sounds better on paper than it actually tasted. I thought it was just ok. The service was spotty at best-the servers were kids from high school or maybe on summer break from college that were more interested in talking with each other than giving good service. The drinks came in plastic cups-so that should have been a dead giveaway of what to expect.

The Pier on Urbanspoon

We walk down the street to grab some ice cream at Cold Fusion. I had seen this place the night before when we were walking around-there are all these articles in the window about how they were featured on Food Network or other shows, so I made a mental note that we should go back. The AC was broken that day so it was hotter inside than it was outside-bummer.

They have a nice variety of sorbets and gelato-some classic some a little more exotic. They are made by hand-not by machine. You can have a kiddie size that gets you one flavor, but if you get a small you can mix it up with two (and they encourage you to sample!)

I had a small with strawberry sorbet on the bottom and pistachio gelato on the top. Once you have gelato-you might never want to have ice cream again-it’s much denser and there isn’t any air whipped in. The pistachio was rich and flavorful and when I got the the sorbet on the bottom it was so clean and refreshing-LOVE IT! This may have been the bright spot in the day! I wish we had gone here the night before instead of Sprinkles.

Cold Fusion Gelato on Urbanspoon

We stopped back in Bowen’s Wharf at the Cookie Jar for some snacks for later. A cute little shop with a case full of cookies.

First up the double chocolate mint chip cookie-and let me just say that mint chips are awesome!! I’m wondering where I can get them!!

Next we have a “Brookie” a brownie cookie. I swear that’s not a bite taken out of the cookie-it broke when I tried to take it out of the bag. It was a little too crumbly for my taste but it was moist and rich in flavor. A cute place to stop for a quick snack!

On the way out of town Sunday morning we stop at Sweet Berry Farm (915 Mitchell’s Lane Middletown, RI 401.847.3912). We grab a bite to eat for breakfast in their self serve cafe.

A sunshine muffin with carrots, coconut and raisins. Not as sweet as carrot cake, but boy is this delicious! They have a really cute outside picnic area where you can have your meal or grab a cup of coffee.

They have quite a nice garden area and sell freshly cut flowers in their store.

They have a nice selection of fresh produce, specialty goods, prepared foods and home made baked goods.

We get 3 pints of ice cream, Susanna’s. I had heard about her ice cream and sorbet-wanted to see if it was worth the $8.99 price tag. We got the strawberry sorbet, the meyer lemon sorbet and the salted caramel swirl ice cream. The meyer lemon was tasty-but I could do without the lemon zest inside-but that is just a personal preference. The consistency was like an Italian ice.

The strawberry sorbet was by far my favorite-so light and refreshing, it was sweet like strawberry jam. And let me tell you that $9 sorbet goes just as quickly as the $4 sorbet you buy at the store-it just hurts twice as much that you paid extra. This is worth it though!! The strawberry sorbet was much creamier than the lemon-not as icy. The salted caramel swirl was tasty-the ice cream was rich and creamy. The first bite was all salt-I cringed and went in for a second bite that was much more appealing-it must have been a section that had settled and concentrated. I love love love salted caramel flavor-so three for three-worth the high price tag and a trip to Rhode Island. Susanna also sells at a local farmer market and has samples of more of the flavors-so check her out.

We also picked up triple berry jam made by the in house chef. Total price for 4 items $32.47.

We stopped on the way back to Boston in Providence at Venda Ravioli (275 Atwells Avenue Providence, RI 401.421.9105). They have an extensive meat counter and prepared food area. I have to say that I thought that the pasta was going to be fresh, but it was all frozen. If you go on their website you can get a 10% off coupon that is good until September 2010.

We got the asparagus tortelloni ($7.95) they are HUGE! They have a great flavor and large bites of asparagus inside.

We also had  the sweet potato ravioli ($6.95). I love when you cook them you can smell the cinnamon…mmm. The pasta was excellent-highly recommend a stop in if you’re in the neighborhood-next time we go we will make sure to buy more than two packages. They also do a mail order business in case you aren’t coming out that way.

So all in all a good trip-we made it through the weekend-had a few great meals and have some new favorite spots.

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: