Archive for the ‘Portsmouth’ Category

June 2014: Farmstead has been sold and will no longer be run by Chef Matt Jennings


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Recently, I was interviewed for Mystery Meet’s Find Dining Podcast to share my restaurant recommendations in Providence. To listen to the podcast, visit Mystery Meet Podcast Episode 26: Farmstead Inc. in Providence.

Also, check out some of the links to our blog posts for some of the places mentioned:

Farmstead, Inc.
Nick’s on Broadway
Plouf Plouf Food Truck
Pawtucket Winter Farmer’s Market
Waterfire
Delekta Pharmacy’s Coffee Cabinet
Diners/Delis in RI
Flo’s Clam Shack
Siena

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The simply plain lobster roll at Flo’s.

‘Tis the season for the lobster roll — and I’ve started with my personal favorite from Flo’s Clam Shack in Middletown (across from Newport’s First Beach). It’s no frills — just chunks of plain lobster meat in a hot dog bun with iceberg lettuce. They serve the Hellmann’s on the side, which is perfect for those (like me) who’d rather go without.  And don’t forget to throw in a side of clam cakes — their fried cornmeal balls with clam mixed in.

Of course, this meal makes more sense when following hours of swimming or surfing, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Flo’s Clam Shack
4 Wave Avenue
Middletown, RI 02842

Park Avenue
Portsmouth, RI 02871

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A lobster roll at Champlin's.

In my experience, there are no two lobster rolls created equally.  Sometimes they have mayo, sometimes they have butter, and other times, neither. I’m willing to try them all, but I only like a few.

In Rhode Island, my favorite remains Flo’s Clam Shack, which makes the plainest lobster roll I’ve ever had — unadorned lobster meat on a hot dog bun with lettuce. You can add the mayo yourself (I don’t).  Knowing that dessert at Frosty Freez is not far away, makes it even better.

Recently, I tried the lobster roll at Champlin’s Seafood, where they mix the lobster meat with mayo and celery. Of course, you can’t beat the location — as my out-of-town friends gazed at the boats in the water at Galilee, they said, “This is exactly what you think of when you think of New England.” I also had them order one of my local favorites — clam cakes (think hushpuppies with clams mixed in) — which were a huge hit as well.

As a local, perhaps my favorite part of Champlin’s is the seafood store downstairs, where you can buy fresh scallops, tuna, swordfish, shrimp, etc. to cook at home. And if you pick up some fresh-picked corn at a farm on your way home, you’ll really have the perfect summer meal.

Flo’s Clam Shack
4 Wave Ave
Middletown, RI

Park Avenue
Portsmouth, RI 02871
www.flosclamshack.net

Champlin’s Seafood
256 Great Island Road
Narragansett, RI
www.champlins.com

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Homemade pizza with dough from Olga's Cup + Saucer.

Homemade pizza with dough from Olga's Cup + Saucer.

Olga’s Cup + Saucer began in 1988 as a seasonal bakery on a farm in Little Compton.  Over 20 years later, their popular Providence bakery makes delicious homemade breads,  scones, bagels, and other pastries using ‘traditional Artisinal techniques’.  Open for breakfast and lunch, their dishes like french toast, pulled pork sandwiches, and black forest ham pizzas all feature their homemade breads and doughs.   With their seeded bagels (more of a bready texture and covered with sunflower and other seeds) and their blueberry muffins (one covered with almond slices), you really can’t go wrong.

You can also find a selection of Olga’s pastries, breads and pizzas (as well as the ready-made dough) at a variety of farmers markets throughout the summer — Coastal Growers Farmers Market in Saunderstown, RI on Saturdays; East Greenwich Farmers Market on Mondays; and Aquidneck Growers’ Market in Newport, RI on Wednesdays and Portmouth, RI on Saturdays.  Yesterday we made a few pizzas with Olga’s thin pre-rolled dough — Geoff took the dough out of the freezer; added market tomatoes, local basil, fresh mozzarella from Narragansett Creamery, and some grilled mushrooms; and set them directly on the grill for a quick, smoky, and delicious pizza.

Olga’s Cup & Saucer
103 Point Street
Providence, RI
www.olgascupandsaucer.com

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The local harvest arrives Saturdays at the Aquidneck Growers' Farmers' Market in Middletown, RI.

The local harvest arrives Saturdays at the Aquidneck Growers' Farmers' Market in Middletown, RI.

The Aquidneck Growers’ Farmers’ Market takes place Saturdays during harvest time on the field next to the Newport Vineyards & Winery.  Although today we’re about halfway through the season, there still aren’t many fruits — except blueberries, of course, as well as some pretty hard nectarines and peaches.  But I did find an abundance of locally grown vegetables and leafy greens from local farms such as Simmons Farm, Sweet Berry Farm, and Paradise Hill Farm.

This morning, I bought tomatoes, beets, squash, garlic, corn, and red onions.  Geoff bought radishes and hot dogs.  I also spotted eggplants, onions, carrots, kale, swiss chard, green beans, and plenty more.  Having now tried both the corn from Paradise Hill and Simmons, I can now officially declare my preference for the corn from Simmons.  There are also a variety of bakeries (Olga’s Cup and Saucer has excellent pizza doughs and blueberry scones); creameries (try Narragansett Creamery’s Atwell’s Gold or ricotta cheese); and even one butcher (Pat’s Pastured sells top-notch poultry and pork).

Hey, I love avocados too, but I’d almost always rather buy something at a Farmers’ Market than the supermarket.  Shopping at farmers’ markets isn’t cheap — it’s a bit like gambling in that you should arrive with the money you’re prepared to lose.  Even so, it’s always worth it — you certainly get the freshest produce and products, in addition to the satisfaction of supporting local farms and producers.

Aquidneck Growers Farmers Market
June 6-October 24, 2009
Saturdays 9am-1pm at Newport Vineyards & Winery
909 East Main Road
Middletown, RI
www.farmfresh.org/food/farmersmarkets_details.php?market=1

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