Foodie Journal

The Bounty of Summer

Food News and Notes - June/July

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Perhaps some of you remember Raphael Bar Risto, one of the hottest restaurants in Providence a few years back. Ralph and Elisa Conte were the creative forces, merging Ralph’s progressive Italian food with Elisa’s eye for interior design. The two are at it again, this time in Saunderstown, not far from their home in Jamestown. The Plum Point Bistro is their new concept, at 1814 Boston Neck Road, where Sergio’s used to be.

The Contes say they are planning to combine an inviting bistro ambience with a lively bar and open kitchen. The seasonal menu will feature Italian and French-inspired cuisine, utilizing ingredients from local farms and fishermen. A chalkboard will announce daily specials; look for from-scratch pastas and desserts made on the premises. The restaurant will seat 60 in the dining room and 14 at the bar. The outside deck offers another 12 bar seats and several more tables. Plum Point Bistro will be open for dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday. For reservations, call 667-4999.

We all remember Wickford Gourmet, a popular store opened in 1981 by Joe and Donna Dube. They were well known for their artisan cheeses, gourmet chocolates and made-to-order gift baskets. The couple sold the business in 2005, and sadly the store closed three years later. The couple continued to operate their Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet store on Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown. Fans will be thrilled to hear that the Dubes have moved their Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet store to their original location at 25 West Main Street in Wickford.

The South County Hot Air Balloon Festival at the URI Athletic Fields is a summer event not to be missed. This year it will be all the better with the addition of the first Wakefield Rotary Campus Cook-off and State Barbecue set for Sunday, July 22. Locals are encouraged to form a team to compete for cash prizes. The champion will go for broke in the national barbecue competition to be held in Tennessee in August. Entry forms are available at www.wakefieldrotary.org. You can also contact Arthur Faria at budfaria@yahoo.com or 789-3902. The public is welcome to observe the competition and they won’t go hungry – barbecue food items will be for sale.

Dragon Palace in Wyoming now has a sister operation in Wakefield, located at 733 Kingstown Road (formerly Sham-Rocks). This beautiful restaurant has a large bar area with pub-height tables and a soothing waterfall. The colorful menu is 16 pages long, with everything you’d expect to see in an Asian restaurant, including sushi. They offer lunch and dinner every day of the week.

There’s no end to our love of Asian food. Thai 65 and Sushi Bar has opened in Westerly, featuring Thai and Japanese cuisine.

Nana’s Ice Cream and Gelato and Candy Bar in the Pier Marketplace has opened a second location at 250 Sand Hill Cove Road next to George’s of Galilee.

Markos Restaurant has moved from Boon Street in Narragansett to 55 Beach Street in Westerly.

Grub Street, New York magazine’s food and restaurant blog, lists dinner at Jim’s Dock in the village of Jerusalem as one of 50 food pilgrimages New Yorkers must take this summer. This is what they say: “Jim’s Dock is a summertime tradi- tion, a watering hole where vacationing villagers relax on the docks and watch fishermen catch the evening meal. Clam cakes, creamy New England clam chowder, lobster and stuffed quahogs are staples — but check the board for specials. Sit outside as the boats come and go. Bring your own beer or wine.”

There’s a lot going on this month at the Ocean House in Watch Hill. The Independence Day Beach Ball is set for July 6. Bastille Day will be celebrated July 13 with French desserts and wines. That same night (and again on July 20 and 27), a clambake will take place on the beach. A sensory analysis of wine and food is scheduled for July 20-21. For details on these food events, call 584- 7000.