A Culinary Journey Through November’s Bounty in Rhode Island
November 4, 2023
This month, embark on a delectable culinary journey through November’s bounty in Rhode Island, where the state’s rich agricultural heritage and coastal abundance converge to create a gastronomic paradise. Rhode Island, with its thriving community of dedicated farmers, skilled fishermen, and passionate foragers, celebrates the bounty of the harvest season in a truly remarkable way. As the crisp autumn air sweeps through the picturesque landscapes, the local harvests flourish, offering a diverse array of fresh produce, succulent seafood, and foraged treasures. From the fertile farmlands to the bountiful waters, the state’s culinary scene is a testament to the synergy between nature’s offerings and the skillful hands that transform them into culinary delights. Dive into the essence of Rhode Island’s culinary heritage as you indulge in sea and farm-to-table experiences at locally owned restaurants, cafes, and eateries that take pride in showcasing the region’s finest ingredients. Each bite tells a story of sustainability, community, and a genuine love for the land, making this culinary journey an unforgettable exploration of Rhode Island’s flavors and traditions.
But first: giving The gift of a Rhode Island Culinary Journey
Before we dive in to highlight some of our favorite dishes at our locally owned restaurants, this is a reminder that a gift certificate to Rhode Island Red Food Tours give your friend, family or co-workers the gift of a culinary journey, whether they seek downtown delights on our Downcity Providence Food Tour or they choose to taste the coastal culinary luminaries on our Newport Neighborhood Food Tour. Our gift certificates can be activated whenever your lucky gift recipient is ready, and they never expire! Learn more here.
Giusto, Newport, Rhode Island
Giusto’s autumn dish, beef milanese, features locally raised beef sourced from Northeast Family Farm in neighboring Massachusetts. Traditionally, this classic Italian dish begins with premium cuts of beef, expertly pounded thin for a delicate, tender result. Of course, Giusto’s mantra is “freestyle Italian,” and the restaurant’s rendition is made with beets and apples. It’s a great time to experience this or any of the other new dishes from just-announced Executive Chef Will Rietzel, who comes to Giusto from the Ocean House, but Newporters might know him from his days at the beloved but now closed Tucker’s Bistro.
Also, Giusto will get you in the holiday spirit with their now-annual “Buy One, Give One” promotion which benefits the MLK Center in Newport. From November 20 – December 23, for every full lasagna purchased (serves 6-8), Giusto will donate one to the MLK Center. Lasagnas are $75 each (plus tax) and there are both meat and vegetarian options available – and they are amazing. Ready to bake (with full heating instructions), you’ll look like a chef with this on your Thanksgiving table! Ordering begins on November 13 and requires 24 hours-notice for pick-up.
Hunky Dory, Warren, Rhode Island
What do you get when you cross fun, approachable food that celebrates the bounty of New England with a heavy dose of southern influence? Hunky Dory in Warren, a local favorite. When it comes to their snacks, give the unexpected crab rice a try. Made with Carolina Gold Rice Middlins (pieces of broken Carolina Gold Rice known for its rich, nutty, floral flavor), crispy ham, tomato jam, bottarga (a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe pouch) and local crab from Andrade’s Catch in Bristol, Rhode Island, this dish is a marriage of North and South with each savory bite. For a heartier dish reflective of November’s bounty, you can’t go wrong with the grilled pork chop with potato pavé (like a creamy little brick of thinly sliced potato), brie, country ham and apples. But, if you’re looking to dine while making a difference, Hunky Dory’s friend chicken sandwich with pimento cheese, red pepper honey, and pickles is a winner and $1 every sandwich sold is donated to Haus of Codec in Providence which assists queer and trans youth in need of stable housing.
The Kitchen at The Shack, Narragansett, Rhode Island
Since reopening after a major renovation, The Surf Shack Bed & Breakfast, a seven-room B&B in Narragansett, Rhode Island has been winning rave reviews – but insiders know its restaurant is equally impressive. The Kitchen at The Shack is a cozy eatery open to the public, and it has serious street cred. Serving dishes with a French Polinesian flair with a hint of Asian inspiration Thursdays through Mondays, the restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite. This bountiful season, try the hearty braised lamb neck with tender bites of lamb immersed a butternut squash purée, stone fruit mostarda (a fruit-forward, full-flavored, Italian chutney made from dried and fresh fruits plus mustard or ground mustard seeds), and glazed baby bok choy. It’s the mastermind of Chef MoMo Camara who hails from Cote d’ Ivoire who came to Rhode Island by way of Johnson & Wales University. Pair your dish with a “Fall Spices Old Fashioned,” made with Goslings Black Seal Dark Rum, allspice, demerara sugar, a hint of pumpkin, and orange bitters. Cheers!
PVD Noodle Bar, Providence, Rhode Island
November in Rhode Island is when we officially hunker down for the coldest months, but the warmth of dishes like handmade ramen helps soften the blow. PVD Noodle Bar, owned by Johnson & Wales University alumni, serves a unique range of authentic Asian noodle dishes.
November’s bounty brings a flavorful seasonal dish: Galbi Tang. Sip, savor and slurp short rib in beef broth with quail egg, yu choy, red onion, scallions, and spicy garlic on the side. Asit takes time to prepare, this dish is made to enjoy while dining in, and for dinner.
JB’s on the Water, Jamestown, Rhode Island
Overlooking Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge, JB’s on the Water in Jamestown is still a new name to many, but the space is very familiar to locals. Housed in what used to be The Bay Voyage, famously moved across the bay from Middletown via a barge in 1889, the restaurant has a new look and old roots. November’s seasonal bounty includes a roasted acorn squash salad with baby, kale, candied, pecans, red onions, seasoned tomatoes, and maple vinaigrette dressing. Plus, there’s an extraordinary vegan spaghetti and “meatballs” featuring eggplant meatballs over spaghetti squash topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil.
Besos Tapas & Wine Bar, East Greenwich, Rhode Island
An East Greenwich favorite, Besos is simply irresistible. Tapas tastings Mondays through Wednesdays are perfect for light bites, and Thursday’s Paella Nights allow you to build your own paella from a variety of proteins and veggies, made right in the dining room by Chef Annie Camachs – it’s a must-do this winter. But for a heartier meal reflective of the season’s bounty, cozy up with their Cocido, a traditional Spanish salmon stew made with garbanzo beans, chorizo, and patatas bravas. YUM! And for a seasonal sipper you won’t soon forget, try November’s Drink of the Month – the “Filthy Dirty Chai” – made with fresh espresso and chai-infused bourbon.
Blackie’s, Smithfield, Rhode Island
“Comfort food for the chilly months” is the mantra of Blackie’s fall menu, and it doesn’t disappoint. But just because you’ll find hearty favorites including stacked high sandwiches, burgers and indulgent apps, doesn’t mean you can’t eat clean here. Blackie’s fall menu includes a ton of options for vegans, gluten-free diners, soy-free diners, and paleo-practitioners, plus mix and match proteins, clean carbs, clean sauces and fresh sides like bok choy with coconut aminos, house-made napa cabbage and Asian pear kimchi, and more. Try the chicken marsala stuffed ‘shrooms made with cremini and shiitake mushrooms cooked in garlic butter, and chicken breast braised in a Marsala wine and a rich beef demi mixed with parmesan, pecorino, whipped garlic herb spread and spices cuddled into mushroom caps and baked in a parmesan, wine and butter broth. Finish it off with a piece of salted caramel cheesecake nestled in a chocolate crust and topped with gooey, maple pecan sauce.
As November unfolds, the flavors of autumn come alive on the plates, offering a diverse palette of tastes, textures, and aromas. This journey not only satiates the taste buds but also provides a glimpse into the passion, creativity, and dedication that define Rhode Island’s culinary identity. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a culinary experience that leaves a lasting impression, inviting food enthusiasts to savor the unique and delicious offerings of the Ocean State.