via Discover Newport.
More than 45 restaurants throughout Newport and Bristol Counties are expected to participate in the upcoming spring edition of Newport Restaurant Week, April 5 to 14, 2019. The event will have a focus on the symbiotic relationship between local chefs and their circle of nearby farmers, growers, foragers and fishmongers.
Rhode Island is home to more than 1200 farms which comprise 10% of the state’s land. With the abundance of farmers markets, initiatives like the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative and its Rhode Island Seafood brand, and programs like Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which all champion the local food system, chefs and growers are connected more than ever.
Chef Andy Teixeira at Brix, located at Newport Vineyards in Middletown, has been cultivating relationships with local farmers for years with diners reaping the rewards on their plates. “At its core, Newport Vineyards is an agriculture business. We grow our own grapes over 100 acres of preserved farmland and make estate-grown wines, so it only makes sense for the culinary program to follow that philosophy,” explains Teixeira. “We are 100% made-from-scratch in our kitchens here. We brine, we bake, we smoke, we pickle, we preserve everything from scratch – right down to the ketchup, spices and sauces. It’s no small task, but it’s just the way food is meant to be. Our ingredients are also 100% farm to table and I’ve become friends with all our farmers. From Simmons Farm chevreto Aquidneck Farms beef, microgreens from Wishing Stone Farm or Garman Farm beans and their bounty, and the list goes on, they’re all part of our extended vineyard community. Using local ingredients and doing things from scratch is my passion and it goes hand in hand with the heart that Newport Vineyards was built on.”
Throughout its Newport Restaurant Week outreach, Discover Newport will be encouraging participating restaurants to include the names of Rhode Island farms they source from on their menus or in a public viewing space if they are not doing so already. Discover Newport will also ask restaurants share which local farms they are sourcing from so that the organization can include this information on each restaurant’s respective listing on DiscoverNewportRestaurantWeek.org.
“A few restaurants in our destination already publicize the local farms they source from, but far too many source locally as part of their regular practice and don’t necessarily share this with their customer as they are busy with everyday operations,” says Brittany Lauro, Discover Newport’s social media and content manager who organizes Newport Restaurant Week. “It’s a missed opportunity as more and more consumers want to know where their food comes from, how it was made, where it was grown and by whom. Local flavor is what gives each destination its sense of place. Our goal is to expand the positive social impact communities experience with food transparency.”
Diners, chefs and restaurateurs can interact with one another throughout the event by using the hashtag #NPTRestaurantWeek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For an ongoing, real-time observations and images throughout the destination, users can include the hashtag #TheClassicCoast in their posts.
Newport Restaurant Week is proudly sponsored by Discover Newport, OpenTable and the Rhode Island Seafood Initiative.