Foodie Journal

Sweet Recovery

Food news and notes for January/February

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We recently took a ride through Misquamicut expecting to see storm damage, but we were shocked at what we saw – the contents of so many homes piled up by the side of the road waiting to be hauled away and empty lots where businesses once stood. The Misquamicut section of Westerly really took the brunt of Hurricane Sandy’s storm surges last October.

The Ocean House in Westerly will hold a black-and-white masquerade on Saturday, February 23, to benefit residents of Misquamicut devastated by the super storm. The gala is a modern-day take on the famous Black & White Ball held by author Truman Capote.

Just as Capote asked of his guests, the Ocean House will request its guests to wear black and/or white cocktail attire and to don creative masks for an element of mystery. The event begins at 7pm and includes an open bar and food stations. Tickets are $125 per person. All proceeds will benefit a Westerly Chamber initiative to support local beach recovery efforts.

Fortunately, the Ocean House sustained minimal damage to its facilities during the hurricane. During the storm and in the ensuing days, the hotel’s restaurants provided food for local fire personnel, police and national guardsmen stationed at checkpoints in the community.

By the way, the Ocean House has won a number of honors in recent months. The grand hotel and its restaurants were recently named one of  the best newcomers to the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. The Ocean House also made Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 World’s Best Hotels  list, as the top-ranking hotel in Rhode Island.

TARA’S REOPENS
Tara’s Tipperary Tavern at 907 Matunuck Beach Road, Matunuck, is another local business that sustained damage when Hurricane Sandy hit the area last October. The good news is that it has reopened after making some necessary repairs. The weekly menu lineup includes home-style specials every Tuesday, children eat for $2 on Wednesday, burgers and brews are $10 on Thursday, and seafood stuffed flounder is the Friday special. Breakfast is served every Sunday from 8am to 12:30pm. That menu includes Tara’s famous hash, traditional Irish breakfast dishes, Irish coffee, Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

WINE DIVAS AT 1149
The “for women only” wine club at Eleven Forty Nine Restaurant, 1149 Division Street, Warwick, is back with monthly events planned for the coming year. The Wine Divas will meet on February 5, March 5 and April 2 for a four-course dinner with wine pairings. These dinners begin at 6pm, and the cost is $49.95 including tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

STATION HOUSE DINNERS
The Station House at 3711 Kingstown Road, West Kingston, has added dinner to its daily offerings of breakfast and lunch. Chef-owner Mike LaBonte announced that dinner will be served every Friday and Saturday from 4-8:30pm. Menu items will include comfort food such as meatloaf, ribs, shepherd’s pie and chicken parmesan.

OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS
Casey’s Grill & Bar, 191 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, closed its doors in December after more than 30 years in business. That landmark restaurant was the unofficial home of University of Rhode Island sports teams and a popular meeting spot for local residents. The space will reopen this spring as Rare: Steak and Fish under the management of Charles Samaras and James LaPlume. They plan to do extensive renovations to the interior of the restaurant. Samaras, former owner of Charlie O’s Tavern on the Point in Narragansett, said entrées will be in the $20 to $25 price range.

Another landmark restaurant has also closed – W.B. Cody’s in Westerly – after almost 20 years of serving barbecue and regional American comfort food.

Maize N Manna Wholefoods has opened at 40 High Street in Westerly, next to the Malted Barley. Daily specials include freshly made muffins, soups, chowders, organic, vegan and gluten-free entrées.

TRIO TEMPTATIONS
Trio, 15 Kingstown Road, Narragansett, offers a seasonal prix-fixe menu with a choice of soup or salad, entrée and dessert Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10pm. Half-price pizzas are available in the lounge all day Sunday and Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6pm. Every Wednesday all entrees are priced at $15.95. Students and faculty with IDs from the University of Rhode Island will receive a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of an entrée at lunch or dinner Sunday through Friday.