Food

Springing Back

Food and dining happenings for later winter/early spring

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All kinds of promising things are happening on the Narragansett restaurant scene.

Watch for impressive changes at the Coast Guard House – that is, if the Historic District Commission gives its approval. The landmark restaurant was heavily damaged in October when Superstorm Sandy battered the Rhode Island coastline. The storm surge and high winds broke through all the windows in the dining room. The interior was destroyed, especially the kitchen area. The owners of the Coast Guard House, with the help of a restaurant consultant, have proposed to make major renovations. That includes moving the bar to the ocean side of the historic building, and relocating the kitchen away from the ocean side. Sounds good to me – the dining area will take the place of the kitchen and provide customers with even more of the ocean view for which the restaurant is so famous.

Plans also include an exterior makeover, a new canopy at the entrance, raised gardens and a window near the Ocean Road entrance that will give people a view of the pastry chef in action. Because of the building’s designation as a historic site, the Historic District Commission is concerned that structural changes might alter the character of the building. All the parties involved are working together to finalize reconstruction plans. The owners hope to reopen the Coast Guard House for the summer.

Also in Narragansett, Casa Pizza is opening in the Cumberland Farms plaza at 855 Point Judith Road. This will be the sister operation of Casa Della Luce in Westerly.

And who says you can’t go home again? Ami and Mark Awad have done just that. Their Markos Restaurant, which relocated to Westerly in May, has returned home to 126 Boon Street in Narragansett.

The story is that the Awads moved their Middle Eastern restaurant to a spot with a bigger kitchen. Some die-hard fans were making the trek down to Westerly to dine on falafel and baklava, but the Awads missed their Narragansett/Wakefield customer base. So the unusual decision was made to go back to busy Boon Street, which has an ethnic mix of eateries, from Italian cuisine at PJ’s Pub to funky fare at Crazy Burger. As in the past, the menu at Markos Restaurant will appeal to omnivores, vegetarians and vegans with offerings of grilled kabobs, gyros, wraps and the chef’s specialties – Turkish Lamajeen, Moussaka, Beef Tagine and the house curry. Markos is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. This is a BYOB restaurant so feel free to bring wine or beer when you dine there.

JUICY TIDBITS
Rare: Steak and Fish is slated to open in April at 191 Old Tower Road in Wakefield, the former location of Casey’s Grill and Bar.

Eleven Forty Nine Restaurant, 1149 Division Street, in Warwick, is holding monthly wine dinners for people who want to learn about wine. The next wine dinner will be held March 21. The cost is $65 per person and includes a sixcourse dinner with wine pairings, tax and gratuity. Call 884-1149 for details.

Ella’s Fine Food and Drink, 2 Tower Street, in Westerly, now has a wine club for its regular customers. When you have dinner there with wine pairings on Fridays or Saturdays, your fifth visit will include a complimentary wine pairing with dinner. For reservations, call 315-0606.

CULINARY BOOT CAMP

Chef-instructors from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, are coming to Rhode Island to conduct a culinary boot camp at Ocean House in Watch Hill. The CIA experts will team up with the Ocean House culinary team to teach basic cooking methods and important knife skills. An introductory wine pairing class will also take place.

The two-day training program will help avid home cooks take their cooking skills to the next level. Attendees will be provided with an official Ocean House apron, a basic knife kit, recipes instructions and lunch on both days.

The boot camp is slated for March 14-16, with a welcome reception on Thursday, and classes from 9am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday. The cost is $995 per person. To enroll, call 584-7000.