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Saveur: Day in the Life in Food and Drink

11 03 14 - 12:56
Check out key events happening in Rhode Island this summer -- food, music, sports, etc!

Early mornings:
The owner of Bacaro restaurant in Providence, Brian Kingsford, is one of the best-regarded chefs in the state as he learned at the hands of George Germon and Johanne Kileen at Al Forno. Kingsford is obsessive about his ingredients, and has established a daily working relationship with Confreda Farms in Cranston, RI, a large working fruit and vegetable farm. Each morning, Kingsford goes to the farm and picks what he wants for that night's service. With one exception -- corn. Kingsford insists his corn is picked in the middle of the night, at 2 or 3 a.m., before the heat of the sun converts the sugar to starch. www.bacarorestaurant.net

Breakfast:
The Ocean Mist, South Kingstown
This bar/restaurant sits right on the beach and has survived about a dozen hurricanes in the past decades. It's a honkey-tonk, no-frills place that serves killer breakfasts -- French toast, burritos, etc.-- and has a back deck that is the most coveted spot on the coast on sunny summer mornings. www.oceanmist.net

4:30 p.m.:
Since 1888, Haven Brothers, a walk-in diner on wheels, has been driven to its nightly location at the corner of Dorrance and Fulton streets, next to City Hall in downtown Providence. It sits there until the wee hours of the morning, serving greasy-spoon-type meals to late-night crowds. Haven Brothers started as a horse-drawn lunch wagon, and is considered by some to be the first food truck in America.

Late night:
From wiener joints to food trucks to diners, Rhode Island has a very colorful late-night food culture. These are places that served well into the night, sometimes from a street corner near Brown University or from less-populated, industrial neighborhoods. Nevertheless, they are insanely popular and known for food that runs the gamut from greasy and heart-burn inducing to haute cuisine (especially some of the food trucks).

Best edible day trips:

Providence-Newport Gourmet Tours runs several two-hour-long tours in both Providence and Newport, RI. The owner and tour guide is a former professional chef. The Providence tour, for example, runs Fridays from 2-4 p.m. and features 5 stops at well-know restaurants, including XO, Hemenways, Pot au Feu, Ten Prime Steak and Sushi and The Dorrance. A maximum of 12 tour-goers meet the chefs, tour the kitchens, and sit for a small entree and wine or a cocktail. The Newport tour is similar and runs Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. Last year it won a "Best of New England" award from Yankee magazine. 401-787-4058; www.newportgourmettours.com

Savoring Federal Hill's Cindy Salvato runs a weekly food tour of Providence's Italian neighborhood on certain Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Stops include butchers, bakeries, a wine shop, a gourmet food shop and more. Along the way Cindy, a pastry chef and cookbook author, introduces tour-goers to chefs, butchers and other experts and guides them through a gourmet shopping trip. 401-934-2149; www.savoringrhodeisland.com

SUMMER EVENTS

May 17-18: Rhode Island National Open House and Air Show. This insanely-popular air show was cancelled in 2013, but returns this year with the finest air demonstration teams and static displays. As usual, the highlight is the US Navy's Blue Angels! Quonset State Airport, North Kingstown, www.riairshow.org

May 24- June 14: Gaspee Days. A two-week-long festival commemorating the first shot in the Revoultionary War on the British schooner HMS Gaspee. Events include an arts and crafts festival, a colonial encampment, a popular parade, a 5K road race, music and more. Everything takes place in Pawtuxet Village, a 17-century village in Cranston, along the banks of the Pawtuxet River. Participants, especially Revoultionary War re-enactors, take this even very seriously. www.gaspee.com

June 7: International Polo Series Opening Day. This royal sport has taken Rhode Island by storm. Polo matches take place every Saturday June through September. Spectators may rent tents or bring chairs and reserve space on the grounds for picnics. Matches are at 5pm, June through August, and at 4pm in September. Glen Farm in Portsmouth, www.nptpolo.com

June 13: Newport's Cliff Walk Reopens. Meandering along a cliff on the eastern shore of Newport, this public access walk combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport's gilded age -- the mansions and their sprawling laws are to one side, the ocean to the other. It was damaged during Hurricane Sandy but has been restored and in about to reopen. Other than its beauty, what makes Cliff Walk unique is that it is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District. www.cliffwalk.com

June 13-15: The 160th Annual New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta. The NYYC, based in Manhattan and Newport, is one of the most prestigious private clubs in the nation's history. It is the original home of the America's Cup. Members have included John Jacob Astor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, JP Morgan, Walter Cronkite, David Rockefeller, and Ted Turner. Boats include IRC, One-Designs, 12 Metres, 6 Metres, S-Class, Classics and Etchells in an around-the-island race. www.nyyc.org

June 20: Newport to Bermuda Race This big-deal race is a 635-mile ocean race, usually lasting three to six days. It crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather. It starts from the gorgeous Castle Hill Light, Newport, www.bermudarace.com

June 23-28: Annual Block Island Race Week If you love sailing, you love this event. World class sailboat racing for big prizes. Hundreds of boats race near and around the island. Past participants include Billy Joel. www.blockislandraceweek.com

June 27-29: 19th Annual Newport Flower Show America's premier summer flower show with the theme Journey: Grand Vistas. The show offers themed floral exhibits, horticultural entries and garden designs all on the grounds of the stunning mansion, Rosecliff, Newport, www.newportflowershow.org

July 4: 229th Annual Bristol 4th of July Pararde The nation's oldest Independence Day celebration features thousands of visitors and marchers and dozens of floats, bands, veterans, patriotic organizations and military units. The entire town comes out for this parade, and homes along the route are decorated for weeks before. Bristol, www.july4thbristolri.com

July 5-13: Hall of Fame Tennis Championships Thirty-two of the top men in pro tennis on the ATP World Tour will be in Newport to play on the only competition grass courts in North America. International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, www.tennisfame.com

July 12-13: Annual Wickford Art Festival The country's oldest open-air fair features more than 250 artists from around the country and around the world. Fine art painting, sculpture and photography. Wickford Village, Route 1A, North Kingstown, 401-294-6840, wickfordart.org

July 17-20: The Monster Shark Tournament The 28th Annual Monster Shark Tournament is the preeminent sport fishing event in New England. It is moving to Newport this year after 27 years at Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. Run by the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, it attracts spectators from all over. "Jaws" lives on. www.bbgfc.com

July 25-27: Newport Folk Festival One of the most well-regarded music festivals in the nation. Folk music has been a presence in Newport since 1959, when the Newport Folk Festival was founded by George Wein. Backed by board members Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, and Albert Grossman, the Festival introduced performers who went on to become major stars, most notably Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park, Newport, www.newportfolk.org

Aug. 1-3: Annual Charlestown Seafood Festival Seafood, lobster, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, clam cakes, raw shellfish, corn on the cob... all the best of a Rhode Island summer. One of the biggest and best seafood fests in the state, it's taken places for decades. You can smell the ocean from the park. Ninigret Park, Charlestown, www.charlestownrichamber.com

Aug. 2-3: 60th Annual Newport Jazz Festival The sister to the Folk Festival, this too is legendary. Three-day outdoor event featuring a dynamic mix of jazz legends and emerging artists, set up on an outdoor stage overlooking the Newport Bridge and Narragansett Bay. Bobby McFerrin, David Sanborn and the Brubeck Brothers are included in this year's lineup. Past performers have included... well. Everyone in the world of jazz, from Miles David on down. Inernational Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park, Newport, www.newportjazzfest.org/

Aug. 30-31: IYRS Classic Yacht Regatta The International Yacht Restoration School, IYRS is a world-class experiential school dedicated to teaching highly technical and deeply craft-oriented skills such as boatbuilding and restoration. The school has not only become known for training fine craftsmen and technicians, but IYRS is a destination stop, enjoyed by the public. Its doors are open to all those who want to see how craftsmen train and how the history of making and building things has occurred.
The regatta features a parade of over forty classic wooden vintage yachts and offers a weekend of camaraderie and competition that draws meticulously restored classics and spirit-of-tradition yachts to Newport. www.iyrs.edu

For more information, email Mark Brodeur, Rhode Island Director of Tourism


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