“Taj stands for ‘crown’ in Hindi, and we want customers to feel that they are being offered the highest quality of food and service,” says manager Ritu Thapa of South County Commons’ newest restaurant. Owned by Nepal-born chefs Devendra Khadka and Chandra B. Thapa who have 20 years of experience at the likes of Rasa and Rasoi, TAJ is a blend of Nepalese and Indian cuisine made with rich spices and traditional techniques. Naan, for instance, is baked fresh in clay tandoori ovens until golden brown, and Gobi Manchurian, a crispy cauliflower dish, uses the chefs’ special manchurian sauce to achieve a blend of tangy and savory. A Nepalese dumpling stuffed with chicken, MO:MO: is a popular appetizer and a trademark of the owners’ upbringing. “Nepalese eat momo at just about any time of the day, making it the most famous street food,” explains Thapa. “Here at TAJ, we serve MO:MO: three different ways: steamed, fried, or chili – but chili has become everyone’s favorite!”
There’s only one thing better than fresh-baked cookies right out of the oven: a spoonful of the dough straight from the fridge. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure when you’re indulging in Party Sloth, a sister-brand of Warwick-based Celebrated that recently launched a line of vegan cookie dough you can get by the tub. Though entirely bakeable, owner Becky Morris explains, “Our cookie dough stands out because it is dairy-free, egg-free, and 100 percent safe to eat raw. Safety is a key priority, so we use heat-treated flour and a starch-based egg replacer.”
With a tagline of “vegan treats for chill times,” this snack can appropriately be found in the refrigerated aisle of Dave’s Fresh Marketplace in East Greenwich, easily recognizable by the blue compostable container covered in joyful sloths in party hats. “If there’s enough demand for our dough, we’re told it may be making an appearance at more Dave’s locations,” says Morris, or you can order online from anywhere and even subscribe for monthly dough-liveries.
Whether you’re settling in for a cozy date night or stopping by for lunch during a day of shopping Wakefield’s Main Street, Duck Press was designed to be a vibrant space with creative pasta and seafood fare and extensive wine list. “Mark and I opened Duck Press as a restaurant that we would want to go and dine at,” says co-owner Alicia Bryson, who opened the restaurant earlier this summer with her husband Mark. “We love cocktails to start our meal, then a solid three courses (at least), and then finish our evening with a savory nightcap or sips of port wine.”
A fresh take on clam chowder includes homemade gnocchi and chopped quahogs, and their Pork Trio is prepared differently nightly to make use of whole hogs, sourced from Watson Farm in Jamestown. A wine list with hard-to-find selections from Europe and the Americas is carefully chosen to pair well with their entrees. “The Schloss Rosé and Banyan Gewurztraminer have been summer favorites,” Alicia recommends. Come fall, watch for the start of Sunday Brunch starring Bloody Marys.