Taste of the town

A guide to Savor Providence
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  August 26, 2010


The third annual Savor Providence event, a benefit for Trinity Rep, will take place on Saturday, August 28 from 11 am to 3 pm, as foodies choose 10 restaurants to visit (a book of 10 "tastes" is $35). There are no tents and, hopefully, no lines, since attendees go directly to each restaurant to see what they are offering. Participating restaurants include: 10 Prime Steak & Sushi, Aqua, Aspire, Bluefin Grill, Blue Grotto, Bravo Brasserie, Café Noir, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Gracie's, Harry's Bar and Burger, Hemenway's, Luxe Burger Bar, McCormick & Schmick's, Mill's Tavern, Nancy's Fancies Cakes, New Rivers, Parkside Rotisserie & Bar, Pot au Feu, Red Stripe, Rick's Roadhouse, Temple Downtown, the Terrace at the Biltmore, and Trinity Brewhouse.

In addition, Narragansett Creamery and Sakonnet Vineyards will be presenting a wine and cheese tasting in the lobby of Trinity Rep, and there will be three local chefs demonstrating their craft in a tent at Market Square.

First up at noon is Chef Rob DeLuise of Hemenway's Dockside in East Greenwich. DeLuise will prepare seared beef tenderloin served over a sweet corn and sun-dried tomato polenta cake, garnished with micro basil and spicy chili oil; plus a ginger pecan-encrusted tuna steak, with a potato and summer vegetable rösti (crusty pan-sautéed). On the side of the tuna dish will be a daikon, radish, cucumber, arugula salad, tossed in a fresh raspberry vinaigrette.

The latter is particularly representative of Hemenway's reputation for seafood. When the new Hemenway's opened, DeLuise tried to pick some highlights from the 25-year-old Providence flagship (whose ownership changed last year to the Newport Restaurant Group).

"In establishing our location," DeLuise explains, "we thought it would be a good fit to bring a lot of those items down here to the Bay. We are also a big farm-to-table establishment, working with local purveyors and farmers to incorporate their products into our menu. We [also] re-did our steaks, to not just be labeled as a seafood restaurant but as a creative fine dining spot."

At 1 pm, Chef Dave Jackson of 10 Prime Steak & Sushi will demonstrate pan-seared Scottish salmon, chai spaetzle, and grated summer squash sautéed in cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, a favorite dish at the restaurant.

"I think people haven't seen spaetzle, a German pasta," Jackson notes, "and it's so easy to make at home. When you read recipes in a magazine, it's different than when you see someone making it. I've also done a lot of sushi demos, and when you have people do it with you, it's lots of fun. There'll be kids who are really good at it."

Wrapping things up at 2 pm will be Chef Derek Wagner of Nick's on Broadway, with special guest Curt Columbus, the artistic director of Trinity Rep. Wagner plans on cooking pan-roasted scallops and sautéed summer vegetables and then showing how to make a couple of sauces for them, perhaps a salsa or a vinaigrette.

"My customers ask a lot of questions about sauces," Wagner mentions, "and I want to show them that these are simple and fun. I want to make it less stressful and also healthy and quick. The seasonality and simplicity of the ingredients — that's the essence of what I do at Nick's."

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