Moonlighting at a friend’s mobile eatery and spending time at the Block Island Farmers Market set the gears in motion for a beautiful union: a food truck right on the farm. Hence, Kelly Walsh opened Farmstead Refreshments in July at 1661 Exotic Animal Farm & Gardens. Guests can go for a socially distanced stroll while they eat, visiting the animals and touring the gardens. Says Walsh, “The locals carve out their ‘secret spots’ to get away from town for a moment and grab a quick lunch.”
Along with chef and long-time friend Ted Cunningham, Walsh shaped the menu around featuring farm-grown ingredients with a “food truck flair.” From Grilled Pimento Cheese to Polynesian Poké with sushi-grade Atlantic tuna, find a variety of styles that showcase seasonal flavors, including smoothies with rotating fruit combos. “Stir fry is a no brainer with all the fresh veggies straight from the garden,” says Walsh. Through sustainable practices, the business is even working toward zero-waste.
The Bonnet Shores storefront of Faits Maison boasts vegan crêpes and baked goods, but there’s more to the French crêperie than meets the eye. Owners Elise Massenet and Olivia Wilcox are both from France originally, and pull inspiration from their mothers and grandmothers to also create healthy plant-based meals available for delivery and pick-up. With weekly menus dropping every Friday, Wilcox explains, “It’s a complete dinner with a main dish, a side of green salad from a great local farmer at Chris & Kristina’s Market Garden, homemade French dressing, and a surprise treat for dessert.”
Massenet and Wilcox use French flavors to reinvent classic dishes as vegan fare. Their Eggplant Parmesan is stuffed with creamy cashew “cheese,” and the Chickpea Salad Sandwiches feature fresh tomatoes, red onions, cornichons, and vegan mayo. Or, if you’re in the area, stop by for French Madeleines, Lemon Poppyseed Cookies, fruit-topped crêpes, and other delicacies. “Elise and I started Faits Maison to share healthy and nutritious meals with the community,” says Wilcox, “and making crêpes was a dream of mine for a long time!”
Hand sanitizer may not have been the first product release head distiller Ryan Gwozdz and team had anticipated when they opened South County Distillers this past spring, but that didn’t stop them from jumping into action when COVID-19 hit. Now, you can sit back in the beer garden of their sister company, Grey Sail Brewing, and enjoy a cocktail featuring their recently launched small-batch vodka or gin. Bourbon and rye whiskey offerings are in the works, currently aging in their Westerly distillery where all spirits are made in-house using only the best ingredients.
“I distilled dozens of gin recipes before landing on our final version,” says Gwozdz. “Gin is one of my favorite spirits to distill – it is limitless. In addition to classic gin botanicals, we also use a few not-so-common ones, such as green tea, putting a unique spin on ours.” Sample the complex flavors in a refreshing fruity bevvie or simple vodka soda at Grey Sail Brewing, or pick up a bottle to bring home from liquor stores across the state.