The Manton Avenue Project deserves a round of applause for all the good they do in de veloping the creative voices of kids living in Olneyville by pairing children with local theatre professionals to create original plays. The non-profit welcomes the public to its annual fundraiser, the Manton Avenue Project Gala. This year’s event includes a musical performance of reworked kids’ time travel-themed plays as well as a raffle, an auction and a time machine experience. Bring your creative spirit and prepare to be wowed by these tiny talented thespians. June 7. $50 online at Brown Paper Tickets or $60 at the door. 6-9pm. Fete, 103 Dike Street. 383-1112.
The Providence Preservation Society will host the Festival of Historic Houses 2013 (June 7-9) this month. The weekend kicks off with a Friday night progressive cocktail party on the corner of Prospect and Jenckes Streets and continues with a tour of several elegant Prospect Street homes on Saturday afternoon. Participants can nose around, taking in grand architecture, extraordinary interiors, private gardens and sweeping city views. On Sunday, tourgoers will browse loft spaces at Monohasset Mill on the West Side. $35 advance members; $40 advance non-members; $45 day of tickets; $70 advance two-day tickets (Saturday and Sunday). $125 Friday night cocktail event, which includes a ticket for either Saturday or Sunday. 831- 7440.
Gourmet Heaven has opened at 205 Meeting Street in the space formerly occupied by Cosa Nostra and, before that, Via Via Pizzeria. This is the chain’s fourth location, having made a splash two years ago when it opened Downtown’s only grocery store. Gourmet Heaven also has an extensive prepared foods section and salad bar, and will be open 24/7.
After 28 years in business, Details is closing its doors at 277 Thayer Street. The store’s inventory is on 30% off clearance until the store closes at the beginning of June.
Method Fitness has closed its Wayland Square location in preparation for a move to a bigger facility in Richmond Square, where owner Amahl Harik plans to offer more of their popular programs like boot camp.
Everyone was surprised to hear that Cuban Revolution’s Aborn Street location unexpectedly closed. While there’s no clear story on what happened, some Facebook posts the restaurant made point to problems with their downtown landlord. Cuban’s Valley Street location is open for business as usual.
The Providence Flea is a new, upscale outdoor market selling upscale crafts, jewelry and novelties. It starts June 2 and happens every Sunday through August in the parking lot of the Wild Colonial on South Water Street.
On Monday, May 13, Cluck!, the humble little urban farming supply store that’s caused the big controversy, was granted the zoning variance necessary for it to open at 399 Broadway – for the second time. Though the same variance was granted once before, it was appealed and overturned by a cabal of opponents whose motivations ranged from at best self-serving to at worst transparently spiteful and spurious. Now, proprietor Drake Patten once again has the green light from the Zoning Board of Review and has reached an agreement to assuage the concerns of one of the main objectors, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church across the street. If the subsequent 20-day appeal period passes without incident – which, at least for the moment, it seems as if it will – then Cluck! will be open for business.
I would like to use this column to send a message to those opponents: I suspect we haven’t heard the last of you, but for the moment it seems that you’ve lost your battle – and you deserved to. How could you not lose? Shame on you. This ridiculous charade you staged in order to get your way – raising trivial objections, speculating about unrealistic hypotheticals, trying to invalidate Patten’s progress on ridiculous technicalities and generally just braying like hysterical children – could not conceal the fact that you had painted yourself a rhetorical corner. You essentially forced yourself into the position of arguing that an abandoned gas station was somehow better for the neighborhood than a gardening supply store.
That a small business owner should have to endure months of legal fights, backbiting and fear mongering, rack up exorbitant legal fees and rally the support of hundreds of neighbors simply to earn the right to sell seeds and garden tools in a once blighted property that she has remodeled and revitalized is patently absurd and sends a terrible message about the cost of doing business in our fair …
The latest food truck to hit the streets is Portu-Galo. As the name implies, it serves “Portuguese sandwiches and small bites.” Proprietor and JWU alum Levi Bettencourt Medina is serving up classic Portuguese sandwiches on locally made bread, including Bifana (pork loin with garlic and spices), Prego No Pão (steak topped with a pan-fried egg) and spicy Piri Piri Chicken. Small bites include Iberian style Batatas Bravas (potatoes with garlic aioli and spicy bravas sauce) and Chouriço Empanadas. They’ve been making the usual East Side-centric rounds, but, as always, the best way to find them is to follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Down On The Farm
Pasture to Plate is a new certified mobile kitchen offering dinners and food workshops at local farms. Director Margiana Peterson-Rockney has spent the past four years developing and managing Rosaharn Farm CSA in Rehoboth, an outgrowth of her family’s dairy goat farm of the same name. The first two events are coming up this month: On June 16, there will be a Father’s Day brunch at Rosaharn Farm, with seatings at 10am and noon; and on June 30 there will be a multicourse farm dinner at Little Compton’s Wishing Stone Farm, with seatings at 5:15 and 7pm.
Welcome To Town
Mile & a Quarter has a new chef. Executive Chef Jose Franco moved to Rhode Island from his home in Los Angeles (his wife is a native Rhode Islander) to take over the riverfront restaurant. Before this, he ran several restaurants in and around LA, where he cooked for a number of celebs, including catering the wedding of Jack Nicholson’s daughter. Look for him to begin revising the menu at Mile & a Quarter over the summer, incorporating more local and seasonal foods.
6-8 fresh mint leaves
2-3 oz. bourbon
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. water
1. Muddle mint leaves, sugar and water in a glass.
2. Fill glass with crushed ice.
3. Pour in bourbon.
4. Garnish with a sprig of mint
We know them. We cherish them. Some of us are them. And, whether we like it or not, at some point, they’re usually right.
If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about mothers.
Whether you’re a writer, blogger, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, have friends with kids, or have a lovely mom of your own, you probably have story to tell about motherhood. It could be a remarkable moment of motherhood that changed your life. Or the instance that your own mother inspired by moving mountains. Or even that moment your niece drew an entire mural on her parent’s bedroom wall, because, “that’s how much she loves them.”
Whatever the story may be, Listen To Your Mother: Providence is going to tell it.
Part live reading and part social media phenomenon, Listen To Your Mother: Providence brings together 14 talented writers to share their original stories on motherhood. It’s about celebrating the beauty, the beast and barely rested roller coaster ride of mamahood. With cast members from as far as New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts and as close our own backyard in Little Rhody, the show is about bringing people who are mothers, have a mother, know a mother or aspire to one day be a mother together in a celebration of one of the hardest jobs on earth.
Date: Saturday, May 4th
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Location: Providence Public Library on Empire Street
Tickets (which are only $14!) can be purchased here: http://ltymprovidence.brownpapertickets.com
Charity: 10% of ticket sales goes to the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative who supports the local immigrant community by providing literacy, citizenship and job readiness programs at no cost. LTYM is excited to support their efforts in making sure every citizen in Rhode Island feels empowered to take care of their families and be thriving members of the community.
JOIN THE CAST AND CREW AFTER THE SHOW AT PROVIDENCE …
Have you (or your kiddos) ever wondered what it would be like to be a zookeeper? All month long, Roger Williams Park Zoo is offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with giraffes, seals and other animals with its group Animal Feedings (May 4-31). The cost is $10-$20 for a feed bucket depending on the type of animal to be fed that day. Parents may share a bucket with a child. There will be limited capacity of 10 participants per day for the group feedings and tickets will be sold on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis. Be sure to reserve yours ahead of time – this is sure to win you some major parental brownie points.
One thing Providence does really well is maintain its character while simultaneously incorporating new and innovative technologies. A perfect example is the Cable Car Cinema’s conversion from 35mm ﬁlm to a digital projector. It’s the way of the industry; many production companies will no longer distribute 35mm ﬁlm as they are ultimately phased out, relegated to museums and archives. Opened in 1976, the Cable Car has been a mecca for independent ﬁlms and ﬁlm festivals but more so, a cornerstone in the community and beloved landmark. This digital conversion is not cheap; in fact, the Cable Car Cinema started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $48,000. The campaign is over, and they raised $54,581. Clearly, the community is on board. The upgrades are expected to be implemented in August. Until then, it may be time for another visit to the movies so that you can experience the clicking and clacking of a soon to be forgotten, century-old ﬁlm projecting method one more time.
I’ve been writing about food, restaurants and chefs for SO Rhode Island since this magazine made its debut in September 2007, and since 1998 for its parent company which also publishes Providence Monthly and The Bay. I figure I’ve written hundreds of articles and restaurant reviews during my career as a food writer, which began in 1983. During that time I’ve also written several books about Rhode Island, its wonderful restaurant scene and its many talented home cooks.
It has been a dream job, but now it’s time to slow down a bit, and this is my final column for SO Rhode Island. I’m giving up almost all aspects of my career as of this month. The only thing I’ll be doing from now on is writing cookbooks and restaurant guides. That will keep me more than busy.
In 2006 I wrote The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, which was published by Globe Pequot Press. Last year, my publisher asked me to update the book, and The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, Second Edition came out a few months ago. The 292-page book has been totally updated and now features 30 new recipes from some of the hottest restaurants in the area. The second edition also features new color photography that illustrates how beautiful our state is, and how appealing our delicious food is – from arancini to zeppoles.
The book contains more than 200 recipes that are unique to Rhode Island, especially from the southern part of the state. I write about our beloved johnnycakes, the thin variety from Newport County and the thicker version found in South County. I sing the praises of Allie’s Donuts, Block Island doughnuts, May breakfasts and the breakfast sandwich favored by local sportfishermen.
And then there’s our amazing seafood – real Rhode Island chowder with its clear broth, the red clam chowder we enjoyed at Rocky Point and the creamy scallop chowder from The Mooring Restaurant in Newport. So many of my favorite recipes are in …