Authentic Laotian on Hope Street
Champa is the latest addition to the burgeoning Hope Street dining scene on the East Side of Providence. The restaurant specializes in authentic Lao and Thai cuisine, prepared by chefs and co-owners Peter and Sing Viphakone, who has been cooking her whole life. In 2016, the team opened their first restaurant, Nam Khong in Westerly. “After many successful years serving many loyal customers, we decided to move closer to home, opening Champa in Providence, but still keeping Nam Khong in the family, under new management,” says Peter.
Menu favorites include flavorful coconut rice, spicy soups and salads, stir-fry combinations, and a variety of noodle dishes, including Peter’s favorite Khao Soi noodles. The pair are excited to create new connections with the local community, introducing their culture through culinary experiences. Their goal in Providence is to build strong relationships. “We are both very hopeful to continue improving and serving both new and loyal customers.” Providence, RIChampa.com
Bold and beautiful chocolates in Wakefield
The folks at Allumé Chocolate create some of the prettiest candy you’ll ever see. “We’ve been making chocolates as gifts for friends and family for years and this past summer we decided it was the right time to turn that passion into a business,” says Marissa Kervin, owner of Allumé. “It has been a great way to showcase our love for creative food and bold, interesting flavors.” The new business on Main Street in Wakefield specializes in handcrafted chocolate bonbons that feature layered pâte de fruit and chocolate ganache fillings. “We plan to expand into other confections over the next year,” explains Kervin.
The confectionery uses fresh local products along with “the finest ethically sourced ingredients from around the world to create unforgettable experiences of taste and texture.” The store specializes in small batches, intended to be devoured quickly. Look for tasty treats from the upcoming spring collection and holiday favorites throughout the year. Kervin is also working on a collection of dairy-free vegan chocolates that should be available soon. Wakefield, AllumeChocolate.com
RI Spirits set to open new location in Pawtucket
Popular distillery Rhode Island Spirits is gearing up to open in a new space later this month in Pawtucket, alongside some friends. “We had the chance to join The Guild at their campus, the Isle Brewers Guild,” says Cathy Plourde, co-founder and co-owner of the distillery. “The location brings us more visibility, and it's slightly larger, with much better freight access in a neighborhood that has complementary businesses and a new train station. It was kind of a no-brainer.”
The move meant closing their old Pawtucket location while transferring equipment, with production resuming in February. The distillery will be located at 40 Bailey Street, about a block from the new Pawtucket/Central Falls train station. “The tasting room should be ready by the end of March,” says Plourde. RI Spirits is women-owned and New England's only LGBTQIA+ spirits brand. The owners are committed to using products that are “fresh, farmed, or foraged. We're sourcing a lot of our ingredients locally, from farms, as well as vendors; we like to keep our money local as much as possible,” explains Plourde. Pawtucket, RhodeIslandSpirits.com
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