Flay to close NYC Bar Americain

NEW YORK – Bobby Flay and Laurence Kretchmer plan to close their NYC Bar Americain in early 2018 due to the cost of renovating the space if they renewed their lease. The establishment opened in 2005 with its brasserie menu. The two also own Gato in Manhattan and another Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Vanilla prices go sky high

The price of organic fair trade vanilla is soaring this year going from the mid $60s to $245 a one gallon bottle, according to a published report. The beans are the seeds of orchids from Mexico and Madagascar and become vanilla through a lengthy process. While synthetic vanilla is less pricey, today’s consumers seek natural products and there are no long sufficient vanilla-producing orchids. In Madagascar, a cyclone early this year is said to have destroyed a third of the crop, causing prices to skyrocket.


Wine of the Week – Bonarda, Dell’Oltrepo Pavese, 2014

This wine comes from Lombardia where it is produced in Agienda Agricola Matilde. The grapes are originally from Croatina, a red variety from central northern Italy, which produce an intensely ruby red color. The wine is 10.5 to 11 percent alcohol content with a slightly tannic taste, dry, fresh with notes of berries and sometimes sparkling. The alcohol content ranges from a minimum of 85 percent for Croatina with a maximum of 15 percent Barbera, Uva Rara and/or Vespolina. The Oltrepo Pavese DOC became a separate DOC in 2010. The vineyard area is comprised of 6,662 acres.


Eat Drink RI launches Kickstarter campaign

RHODE ISLAND (October 16, 2017) – Eat Drink RI is excited to launch their Kickstarter campaign today to support the development of the West Park Food Hall in Providence. The Kickstarter campaign can be found at and runs until Wednesday, November 15 at 12 p.m.


Located at 235 West Park Street in the Smith Hill neighborhood, right at the end of the Valley corridor, the West Park Food Hall will be the first of its kind in Rhode Island. Made up of multiple small restaurants, community seating, an expansive bar, and a rooftop deck, the Food Hall building’s ground floor industrial area will also house a brewery, coffee roastery and other food & beverage production. The West Park Food Hall has a large parking lot that can be accessed via Jewett Street, the street above the building.


Having a hard time deciding on a restaurant that suits everyone’s tastes and budgets? The West Park Food Hall will be a place to meet, greet and eat. It’ll be a place to enjoy great food with your pals and your family. It’ll be a place where you can feel good about what you’re eating, knowing that you’re supporting local farms & producers, and helping local businesses thrive right here in Rhode Island. The Food Hall will be an experience of sights and sounds; a destination beyond your typical grab-and-go. Eat Drink RI anticipates a mix of familiar faces serving up some Rhode Island favorites with some newcomers to our food community.


Eat Drink RI has decided to crowdfund this first stage of the West Park Food Hall because of the enthusiasm from the public to see projects like this come to life in Rhode Island and an immediate need for pre-development funding. Creative projects all over the world have come to life through the use of crowdfunding: the use of various amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Kickstarter is an online platform that showcases these projects, allowing backers to pledge their desired amount of money in exchange for certain rewards. However, funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If the West Park Food Hall project is not fully funded, Eat Drink RI will not receive any of the pledges as backers will not be charged.


Eat Drink RI has curated an incredible list of one-of-a-kind reward packages that can only be experienced through this Kickstarter campaign, with something for every budget. Highlights include private tours and tastings at places like Narragansett Creamery, Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. and America’s Test Kitchen, a backyard barbecue for 100 guests by GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ, a multi-course dinner for eight prepared in your home by Rhode Island’s only James Beard Best Chef: Northeast nominee, Chef Benjamin Sukle, co-owner of birch and Oberlin in Providence, and many more.


The question on everyone’s mind will be, is this the Eat Drink RI Central Market project which has been in development for over three years? Eat Drink RI is still working on this project on state-owned property managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management at 25 India St., the address formerly known as “Shooters.” The Central Market plan includes shopping, a private event space, waterfront dining, and more, and is a much more expansive project than the West Park Food Hall. Eat Drink RI continues to work with Rhode Island state entities to move the India St. site toward development, and in the meantime is finding more rapid progress with this privately owned building for the Food Hall.


This first round of funding being sought through Kickstarter will be used for refining the pro forma, architectural design, site improvements specific to the Food Hall and production floor, branding and logo design, and legal requirements, such as lease structure, permits and licensing. Eat Drink RI is proud to be working with Providence-based Union Studio for design and architecture and plans to engage as many Rhode Island-based companies as possible to bring this project to life.


The West Park Food Hall Kickstarter will run from today, Monday, October 16th, 12 p.m. through Wednesday, November 15th, 12 p.m. Please support Rhode Island’s local food economy, a robust and diverse community that creates jobs and helps small businesses grow, with a pledge to Eat Drink RI’s Kickstarter campaign.


Check out the details, including a video and all the rewards here:



Cat Cora teams with Aramark on new concept

PHILADELPHIA – Cat Cora, author, restaurateur and TV personality, teams with Aramark for the second time on a project to create a healthy, savory non-commercial concept, Wicked Eats. It’s her second collaboration with the on-site dining company for universities, schools, healthcare outlets and stadiums. Described as a street eats concept, it offers street foods from Greece, Morocco, Spain and the Middle East with pita wraps, couscous bowls,”topped fries” and salads. It’s the second collaboration with Aramark for Chef Cora who created OLILO by Cat Cora, now in 300 client sites in Aramark’s portfolio. Go to and

Kings Dining opening in Boston’s Seaport

BOSTON – Kings Dining & Entertainment opens in the Seaport with the newest version of its concept as a “retro-modern bowling alley with comfort bites, cocktails and soda-fountain treats. Check out


Bowen’s Wharf Seafood festival returns

PROVIDENCE – The Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival returns Oct. 14-Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event offer fresh local seafood, signature cocktails and cold beer along with live music and family events. Proceeds from the festival benefit Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhode Island’s new 200 ft. official sailing education vessel berthed at Bowen’s Wharf Marina and available for visits. Admission is free and food and beverages may purchased at participating vendor booths. Go to

Wine of the Week – Pouilly-Fuissé Solutré 2014

This lovely Pouilly-Fuissé from Vins Auvigue comes from fifth generation winemakers Jean-Pierre and Michel Auvigue in Maconnais, Burgundy. Their grandfather was one of the first in France to commence domaine bottling in the 1940s.

This wine has good minerality and spice, and you’ll detect scents of fruit (apples and peaches), citrus notes, white flowers and even hazelnuts. The winery uses only organic products. The vines are planted on heights above the village on former pastures with poor soil.

The wine is rich and “round” and will be good through 2020. Wine Spectator gives it 91 points. The suggested retail price is $36.99. Visit


Destileria Serralles initiates hurricane relief efforts across the globe

PONCE, P.R. –  In the aftermath of Hurricane María and its devastating path through Puerto Rico, Destilería Serrallés, Inc., producer of Don Q, Puerto Rico’s #1 family of premium rums, concentrated its initial efforts on ensuring the whereabouts and safety of its employees. Immediately thereafter, the distillery quickly shifted its focus towards restoring its operations and assisting Puerto Rico with much needed aid.

“As in other parts of the Island, the southern region, where the Distillery is based, is still offline in terms of the telecommunications infrastructure, making the company’s recovery efforts very challenging. A total lack of electric power and communications are the greatest obstacles that we are currently facing, along with the personal challenges and difficulties our employees are dealing with”, says Philippe Brechot, president and CEO of Serrallés.

On September 24th, the company launched a fundraising program throughout the United States, including Miami, New York, Houston and over a dozen other cities. Each participating bar in that program is crafting a special drink menu with Don Q Rum where net proceeds will be matched by Serrallés and all proceeds donated to relief efforts. The company is working with Puerto Rico Rises, an initiative led by first lady Beatriz Rosselló, and the nonprofit ConPRmetidos, in partnership with Foundation for Puerto Rico to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane María. At present more than 40 fundraisers are currently under way with additional events being scheduled every week.

Serrallés is also actively collaborating in helping facilitate temporary work on the mainland for local bartenders who have been out of work for several weeks as a result of Hurricance Irma and Hurricane María. The bartending and hospitality community’s response has been immediate and overwhelming, supportive and eager to help in any possible way. At present, 21 bartenders have signed up to receive the company’s support and more than 80 bars in the mainland have offered help via temporary employment or housing local bartenders during this emergency.

The company’s stateside employees in Miami, Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas have also been very active in organizing collection centers for Puerto Rico Rises to collect a wide variety of basic necessities to help families on the Island. Other grassroots efforts are underway.