News Bites: Rhode Island Makers at Boston Public Market / Rec Room PVD Opening August 3rd / Hope & Main Lobster Boil

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RI makers enter Boston Public Market

Visitors to the Boston Public Market are about to get a taste of Rhode Island’s innovative, healthy and delicious artisan food products at the “RI Local Food Bazaar,” a short-term booth that launched today and will be open until September 3.

The Boston Public Market, which celebrated its second anniversary today, is a 28,000 square foot indoor year-round marketplace on the ground floor of the Haymarket T-station building abutting both Boston’s Greenway and Government Center. It features fresh, seasonal food from 40 farmers, fishers and food entrepreneurs located exclusively in New England.

In August 2016 the Market had 203,000 visitors. Rhode Island makers have been eyeing the high-volume market as a potentially lucrative retail channel but have been deterred by the high cost of staffing a booth the full 82 hours the Market is open each week: 8 am-8 pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 8 pm Sunday.

The nonprofit Partnership for Greater Providence is sponsoring and organizing the booth as a sales co-op. The 17 Rhode Island entrepreneurs participating will take turns one day at a time, selling the full array of brands.

“More and more, stakeholders in Providence and Boston are collaborating and forming partnerships, said Betsy Santarlasci, The Partnership’s Executive Director. “We are hoping that if the sales are great, the sales co-op model will be a viable format for the makers to establish a permanent Rhode Island booth. Our State is a leader in food, and we deserve a prominent presence in this all-New England market.”

The rent and other costs are being paid by the Partnership for Greater Providence through an Industry Cluster Grant awarded in 2016 by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The design firm of Firebox Creative has donated graphic design and merchandising services to get the booth up and running. Firebox is owned by Paul Kubiski, the maker of Bootblack cocktail syrups sold at the Booth, and his partner Jackie Duhamel.

The other 16 makers are: Beautiful Day granola, Bellicchi’s Best biscotti, Enjoyful cacao drinks, Farm True ghee, Fox Point Pickling, Harvest Kitchen of FarmFresh RI, Jack’s Snacks dog treats, Just Like Nana’s rugelach, Mesa Fresca chimichurri, Newport Sea Salt, Palm’s mojo sauce, Popette of Pendulum natural hard candies, Rogue Island sauces, Rhode Island Organics dressings, Sacred Cow granola, and Wise Mouth tea beverages,

The booth is located between Sweet Lydia’s chocolates and Union Square Donuts, adjacent to the Market’s centrally located communal dining tables. Shoppers who drive pay a $3 maximum for 3 hours in the Haymarket Garage with purchase validation.


JWU Chef’s Ballpark Menu, Indoor Bocce, Self-Serve Taps Are Draw At New Sports-Themed Restaurant And Nightclub

Brown, JWU Grads Launch Only PVD Restaurant With Indoor Bocce Court

Rec Room PVD Exterior

Rec Room PVD Exterior

A new high-concept restaurant and nightclub, Rec Room PVD, will offer patrons an experience unlike anything currently in Providence: an indoor bocce court as the focal point of an interactive social atmosphere, a chef-driven menu that spins highbrow concepts on ballpark fare, and an after hours nightclub with a floating DJ booth spinning curated dance club music.

Rec Room PVD will open August 3, 2017, at 383 Admiral Street in Providence.

Rec Room PVD’s menu will satisfy those who love ballpark food but crave thoughtful flavor pairings and occasional hints of spice. The team drafted a starting line up of ballpark fare, then stepped up the flavor profiles by infusing ingredients from Korean, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, and American cuisine. Nosh on:

  • Habañero Kimchi Wings
  • Curry Coconut Wings
  • The Parker Burger with miso marinated yellow onions charred, pureed and mixed into the meat
  • Churro Ice Cream Sandwich lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar
  • House cured, fried, and skewered Bacon On A Stick, dipped into a bourbon-maple glaze and dusted with local tomato powder

The hot dog program includes eight different dogs, including:

  • Olneyville-Adjace Weiner, a beef and pork smoked dog, served with crispy onions, a tangy chili sauce, and spicy bacon jam
  • DET Striped Pig Pork Frank with Bacon on a Stick inside the bun served with mustard and maple bacon glaze
  • BAL DMV Beef and Pork Dog served with Old Bay chips, Louisiana pure aioli, and sauteed peppers and onions

“I’ll look to chili powder, coriander, or paprika before I look to salt,” said Culinary Director Dom Hayman. “That’s part of my cooking style.” As for his tendency to play with spice, Hayman said, “The spice will be evident but not overpowering.”

Alongside a ballpark-inspired menu, patrons will sip craft beers and cocktails influenced by famous outdoor sporting events around the world, including:

  • The Melon Ball Punch, a nod to the US Open. Served in a Collins glass, the cocktail is a swirl of vodka, lemonade, and raspberry liqueur, with a frozen melon ball as garnish.
  • The Nutcracker, popular at New York City street basketball games. Sip a blend of vodka, melon rum, amaretto, 151 or Overproof Rum, triple sec, lime juice, grenadine, and pineapple juice through a colorful straw.

Rec Room PVD is open 4-10 p.m. daily.
Rec Room After Hours is open 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. daily.

Rec Room PVD Indoor Bocce Court

Rec Room PVD Indoor Bocce Court

Sporting events will be as much of a draw as the food. With a 150-inch projector screen and four additional TVs, Rec Room PVD will host a number of door charge events coinciding with popular live events such as Pay Per View matches, championship sporting events, and award shows. The rare indoor bocce court will host gaming tournaments and a regular bocce league, without disrupting service on the main floor. Private event hosts will enjoy several setup options.

At 10 p.m., Rec Room After Hours will pump curated dance music from a custom built, floating DJ booth. Guests will enjoy top grooves from the 1980s to the current year. With co-partner Marvin Barksdale’s connections to the music industry, top name DJs are expected to fill out the lineup.

Behind the launch of Rec Room PVD is the story of Marvin Barksdale, a Brown graduate who cut his teeth developing and operating restaurants in New York City, striking culinary and pop culture gold with Seoul Chicken, which was reviewed by the New York Times and GQ. Seoul Chicken became a destination for art exhibits, book signings, and entertainment and media insiders. Celebrities A$AP Rocky and Bobby Schmurda were patrons.

Now, Barksdale brings his star-studded success to Providence, where he went to college and has lived intermittently since 1998. While Barksdale has launched restaurants for others, Rec Room PVD is the first restaurant he has designed, curated, and owned — down to sanding the maple molding.

“I’ve spent most of my career looking for ‘white spaces’ where I can partner with creatives in building one of a kind narratives,” said Barksdale. “Rec Room PVD was an opportunity to connect everything I’ve picked up regarding design aesthetic, legal affairs, business development, and restaurant operations to serve a city I’ve loved for nearly twenty years. You won’t find anything like it in Rhode Island.”

Culinary Director Dom Hayman and Operational Director Jasmine Beidleman are Barksdale’s co-partners. Hayman is a Johnson and Wales graduate who met Barksdale in college as members of the same cross-campus fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. Previously, Hayman worked at Costantino’s Venda Ravioli, Federal Reserve Event Space at The Dorrance, and Shula’s Grill at the Providence Hilton. Rec Room PVD is his first gig as Culinary Director. Beatleman brings a wealth of experience in restaurant operations and culinary management, which will be vital to the success of Rec Room PVD. She has served as operations manager at Seoul Chicken, Soul of the Space Catering, and Lott 77, all in New York City.


Lobster Boil to Benefit Culinary Dreams

See Food Build Community. See Food Create Jobs. See Food Differently!

Hope & Main and the American Culinary Federation’s Rhode Island chapter (ACFRI) are pleased to announce their second annual SeeFood Differently Lobster Boil fundraiser on Sunday, August 13. Presented by Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, this event supports the shared mission of two RI culinary non-profits to build a stronger, more vibrant and sustainable local food system.

“Food is increasingly taking center stage in Rhode Island as a driver of economic development and a way to distinguish the unique culture of our State.” Says Hope & Main Founder, Lisa Raiola, “We are celebrating the hard working entrepreneurs, chefs and food producers who are making this happen.”

The meal will include locally-sourced ingredients, prepared by a team of ACFRI chefs, student volunteers from Johnson & Wales University and volunteers from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program. Guests will be served a traditional lobster boil in a family-style setting. Cocktail hour will feature a Narragansett Beer station and a bar hosted by Rogue Island Kitchen & Bar will feature their own Dangerous Opinions IPA brewed by Wakefield’s Whaler’s Brewing Co. alongside assorted local beers in addition to a signature cocktail featuring Bootblack Brand’s cocktail and soda syrups. The bar will also offer wines from Jonathan Edwards Winery and Chloe Wines and non-alcoholic options from Wise Mouth Tea and Tito’s Brands. Appetizer stations will feature small bites crafted by Hope & Main members, including lobster bao from Tom’s BaoBao, canapes by Butter Cuisine, Southwest-New England fusion from the Road Runner food truck and chef-inspired lobster-themed street food by Baby’s Bonetown BBQ food truck.

“This event creates relationships and builds culinary based networks that end up connecting the entire culinary community in Rhode Island and surrounding areas,” said Daniel Van Etten, Chairman of the Board of the Rhode Island Chapter of the ACF. “Together with Hope & Main, we are committed to Rhode Island’s culinary arts reputation, by providing the tools and resources to help every aspiring chef or food entrepreneurs’ dreams become a reality.

Guests will be able to bid on a spectacular offering of New-England themed silent auction packages (many of which feature Peterboro picnic baskets) containing Hope & Main-made products, unique food experiences and gift certificates from acclaimed local restaurants and attractions. The night will end on a sweet note with a towering dessert buffet of Hope & Main member companies’ cookies, biscotti, toffee, macarons and other confections. Live music provided by Warren-based Jay Proctor band. The event kicks off at 4:30pm at Hope & Main, 691 Main Street in Warren, RI.

The SeeFood Differently Lobster Boil is proud to be a minimal waste event. Thanks to Packaging & More, the majority of tableware and drinkware is eco-friendly and compostable. In participation with The Compost Plant, all food waste and compostable tableware will be responsibly collected and transformed into nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at www.makefoodyourbusiness.org/lobsterboil, or, in person at Hope & Main’s Schoolyard Market. The event is expected to sell out for the second year in a row. Net proceeds will benefit nonprofit organizations Hope & Main and the American Culinary Federation. Your ticket helps small, local food businesses to launch and grow, and provides scholarships for local high school students to further their culinary education.

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