If food festivals, feasts and drinking events are any indication, Rhode Island is set to eat and drink its excessive way through the month of April.
Hotel Viking, the historic Newport hotel, starts the month off with Restaurant Week from April 4 though 13, when both lunch and dinner menus feature dishes using "Trace & Trust" suppliers, which follow sustainable practices as well as gluten-free dishes.
The Bellevue Burger features the Trace & Trust logo on the lunch menu because it features local Angus beef and Rhode Island oyster mushrooms. The Brie & Lump Crab Encrusted Salmon dinner entree is both gluten free and sourced through Trace & Trust.
Three-course prix-fixe meals cost $16 for lunch and $35 for dinner. For event information visit the Newport Restaurant Week Facebook page. To make reservations at One Bellevue restaurant in the hotel, call 401-848-4824.
Hotel Viking's Easter Sunday brunch on April 20 includes Strawberry Grand Marnier Stuffed French Toast, Spice Rubbed Sirloin with Port Wine Demi-Glace, all the trimmings plus the usual brunch foods.
Providence's Eat Drink RI Festival returns to that city for an expanded all-local food festival from April 24 through April 27. In its third year, it will feature more than 80 chefs, farmers, bartenders and producers including James Beard Foundation Best Chef Northeast semifinalists Benjamin Sukle of birch and Champe Speidel of Persimmon, eight top culinary instructors from Johnaon & Wales University, Gold Medal Cheese award-winning Narragansett Creamery, Blackbird Farm, two-time James Beard Foundation Rising Star nominee Chef Derek Wagner of Nick's on Broadway, Easy Entertaining Inc., Good Food Award winner Daniele Inc., Dave's Coffee, and Walrus and Carpenter Oysters, among others.
On Thursday, April 24, at Ellen Slattery's Gracie's, eight Rhode Island chefs from Johnson & Wales University, paired with eight culinary faculty members at JWU, will present a reception followed by a seated six-course dinner from the chefs, with over 300 years of combined culinary experience. Wines will be paired by Jonathan Edwards Winery and beers by Rhode Island's Revival Brewing Company. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit AIDS Project Rhode Island.
On April 25, Truck Stop presents 15 tastings from Rhode Island's best mobile restaurants, to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
In the Providence Biltmore Grand Ballroom on April 26, the Grand Tasting, a showcase of more than 40 local food, wine, beer and spirit exhibitors, presents Rhody Bites. Following this, on April 27, a Grand Brunch takes place in the Grand Ballroom.
Hotel Viking offers a special Gilded Age Group Meeting Experience recalling the period from 1870's to 1900 when the moneyed summered in Newport, and socialite Alva Vanderbilt Belmont turned her Marble House summer "cottage" into a meeting place for the Women's Suffrage movement. Viking's Gilded Age Meeting promotion includes a complimentary welcome reception with beer/wine and snacks, coffee break upgrade to afternoon tea including homemade scones with lemon curd, tea sandwiches and other treats, complimentary general session room, and two guests upgraded to Mansion Suites modeled after the famous mansion museums of Newport. The offer runs from May 31 to August 31, 2014.
If you are a beer lover, you should come to Newport on April 26, when the third annual Newport Craft Beer Festival takes place. Guests enjoy small samples of craft beers and chat with the makers of the brew, live bands provide entertainment and local restaurants offer food for purchase. For tickets, go to http://newportcraftbeer.com/.