Trap and Safehouse Owner Buys Besos

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The Town Council Monday night approved the transfer of the Besos liquor, victualing and entertainment license from Kristin and Mike Della Grotta to TJ Martucci, owner of Forge Road restaurants Safehouse and The Trap.

Simultaneously, Besos restaurant manager Dana Wronski is leaving the restaurant at the end of the month. Wronski, a singer when she’s not working in restaurants,  is moving to Nashville.

“It was the right time and he was the right person to take the restaurant to the next level,” said Della Grotta Monday.

Martucci said he wasn’t planning big changes for the restaurant and, in fact, was working with Wronski to make sure there is a smooth transition. The staff and head chef are staying put, he said.

Martucci said he’d admired Besos for a while.

“If all the restaurants on Main Street were for sale, I would still choose Besos,” said Martucci.

Wronski said the decision to leave Besos and East Greenwich has been bittersweet.

“I am very blessed to have been a part of this unique and wonderful experience at Besos,” she said. “Kristin and Mike’s goal was to create a beautiful place in the town where the hospitality is paramount and the offerings are delicious and creative – a place that makes a positive impact not just within the four walls, but out in the community as well. I believe we succeeded and for that, I am very proud. And I’m confident in handing the reins over to TJ.”

Wronski added, “I will forever cherish my days at 378 Main Street and most certainly miss my precious restaurant family and loyal guests. Thank you for the love everybody!”



 

New Home for Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar

Greenwich Bay Oyster BarAfter months of renovations, Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar has opened up in its new space at 240 Main Street, just a couple doors down from its former location, with a little more space in the dining room, a more efficient kitchen and the same seaside details that lent the old space its charm.

Owner David Spaziano said he got extra encouragement to move when his old landlord (just two doors down) planned to raise the rent.

As before, there’s a prominent oyster bar. Seafood remains the focus.

“I was born and raised in Rhode Island. I’m always on the bay and in the water. Rhode

Oysters at Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar.
Oysters at Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar.

Island has some of the best waters to fish. There’s also a duty to keep the local economy going,” explained Spaziano.

He said in light of those things, a seafood restaurant “came naturally.”

While Spaziano is a chef, the restaurant’s head chef is Rob Caramonte. The restaurant features $1 oysters from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, among other specials.

Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar, 240 Main Street, East Greenwich, R.I., (401) 398-2462, www.greenwichbayoysterbar.com.


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Breakfast – Best Meal of the Day

Breakfast is the best! I just love creating a good and healthy breakfast, enjoy some of my favorite recipes.

Banana Bread Oatmeal
Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Gluten free, sugar free and vegan

1 c. gluten free cooking oats
1 c. water
1 c. almond milk
1 tbsp. or so goji berries
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp.  pure maple syrup
1-2 tsp raw cacao powder
½ a mashed banana
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp or so of chopped walnuts

  • Cook oats in almond milk and water with goji berries, until liquid is absorbed and goji berries are plumped.
  • Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder and maple syrup. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in mashed banana
  • Divide into 2-3 servings and top with chia seeds and walnuts.

Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start off the day, it’s quick, easy, healthy and you can customize it to your liking. I love creating oatmeal dishes, another one of our favorites is oatmeal with pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate chips, a dollop of yogurt, drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of chia seeds. The way dark chocolate chips melt into oatmeal is just to die for.

Coconut Lemon Zest Pancakes with Blueberry Reduction

​Coconut Lemon Zest Pancakes with Blueberry Reduction
​Coconut Lemon Zest Pancakes with Blueberry Reduction

Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free

1 c. coconut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
4 eggs
½ c. coconut milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut nectar
lemon zest from 1 small lemon
1 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
coconut oil (spray) for cooking
¼-½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1-2 tbsp. water
pinch of stevia

  • Whisk together coconut flour, baking soda and salt
  • Whisk in eggs, coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut nectar, lemon zest and shredded coconut until you have a consistent batter.
  • Put blueberries in small pot with water and pinch of powdered stevia or 2-3 drops of liquid stevia and boil down on medium- high. Should become thick as syrup can mash blueberries to make a compote (if using ¼ c. blueberries use 1 tbsp. water;  ½ c. blueberries use 2 tbsp. water)
  • Spray on or add coconut oil to griddle set to 325 degrees.
  • Pour pancake batter onto griddle and cook pancakes 3-4 minutes each side. These pancakes will cook slower than normal pancakes. Batter will make 6 medium pancakes.
  • Plate and top with blueberry reduction optional: drizzle pure maple syrup. Serving 2-3

I decided to add lemon zest and coconut to pancakes about a year or so ago, they are so delicious and what a match with blueberries or blackberries! I suggest to always use organic blueberries as berries contain the most pesticides. This time of year I generally buy frozen organic berries. I also suggest to use organic lemon as the peel contains pesticides and you want your zest to be fresh and chemical free. There is no need to make pancakes from scratch all the time, this recipe can easily be made with boxed pancakes. Follow directions on box and add lemon zest and shredded coconut to batter and top with berry reduction.

​Fried Egg, Cheddar and Avocado Sandwich
​Fried Egg, Cheddar and Avocado Sandwich

Fried Egg, Cheddar and Avocado Sandwich

Vegetarian, gluten free optional

1 egg
pinch of cracked pepper
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1  slice yellow onion
¼ of an avocado sliced
2-3 roma tomato slices
1 english muffin toasted or gluten free bread toasted
1-2 tsp olive oil
coconut oil spray or oil

Coat frying pan with olive oil over medium heat.

  • Add sliced onion and cook until translucent and browned (about 5 minutes) then set aside
  • Place english muffin or bread in toaster. (or grill)
  • Recoat pan with coconut oil
  • Crack egg into pan cook a few minutes until whites are white and edges are golden.
  • Flip and add slice of cheddar, cook another minute or two until cheese has just melted.
  • Add a twist or pinch of cracked pepper.
  • Plate toasted english muffin or bread slice, top with egg, caramelized onions, roma tomato and avocado slices, finish off with another bread slice. Makes 1 sandwich

This is a hearty and mouth watering sandwich, enjoy it with some slices of grapefruit for a complete meal. There is no better place to get farm fresh pastured eggs then right here in EG at Pat’s Pastured.  http://patspastured.com/


Kristen Beaulieuis an art educator that lives in and owns a small business, Figgy’s Art Studio, in East Greenwich. She has a deep passion for food and cooking, believing strongly it’s another form of creative expression.

Back to Our Roots: Potato-Leek Soup, Roasted Carrots w/Goat Cheese

As we approach the winter months rooted vegetables are plentiful and are a treat to cook with. A trip to Coastal Growers Farmer’s Market and my last harvest of carrots from my personal garden inspired this meal.

As an eater and a provider of meals, I try to put the best healthiest whole foods into my family’s bellies. It’s important to me to try to shop as organic as possible and shop locally. We choose not to eat meat very often if at all (once every couple of months) and recently have been gluten free. The recipes I provide are vegetarian/vegan and gluten free, but always can be altered to suit your tastes.

These two recipes are easy, delicious and comforting. We enjoyed them together and it made for a great chilly-day lunch. The soup would also make a great starter and the carrots make a great starter as well or side dish.

IMG_1860

Potato Leek Soup (vegan & gluten free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 large or 2 medium or 4 small leeks sliced (white and dark green parts cut off and discarded)
  • 5 russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • pumpkin seeds for garnish

IMG_1852

  1. Heat oil in large pot on medium, add garlic and leek, saute until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add vegetable broth and potatoes bring to boil then reduce to simmer until potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes).
  3. Transfer soup into blender and puree until smooth (about 1 minute).
  4. Return soup back into pot and add coconut milk, salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with pumpkin seeds.

Need the meat? Substitute vegetable broth with chicken broth or add cooked, chopped bacon when adding coconut milk. Not a fan of coconut milk? Use ½ cup of heavy cream instead.

IMG_1861

Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese (vegetarian)

Ingredients:

  • Carrots cut to equal thicknesses (½ inch)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • hulled (no shells) raw sunflower seeds
  • creamy goat cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  1. Place carrots into bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss.
  2. Spread out carrots evenly without overlapping onto parchment paper-lined cooking stone or cookie sheet. On the same sheet spread out hulled sunflower seeds, again so that none are overlapping. Put into oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until carrots are tender.
  3. Plate carrots, top with crumbled goat cheese and then sprinkle roasted sunflower seeds. Serve hot.

Where’s the protein? I hear that all the time . . .

1 cup potatoes > 2g
4 carrots > 2.5g
1 small leek > 1.3g
1.5 tbsp sunflower seeds > 1.5g
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds> 3g
1 oz goat cheese > 5.2g

Back to School Bento Box Ideas

School in East Greenwich is back in session and everyone is getting into the swing of things. Kids are at bus stop corners, parents are driving kids to soccer, and the smell of new pencils and paper is in the air. As a child, one of my most favorite times in school was lunch (go figure!). By nature, I am a food lover. My whole life revolves around food. I love to plan meals, cook food and watch my family enjoy eating the things I’ve made for them. School lunches are part of that.

After being yelled at by my very “green” sister for packing my son’s snack in a zip-lock baggy during art class this summer, I decided to hit the stores in search of some “bento boxes” for my family. While at TJ Maxx I found just what I needed – five colorful bento boxes made by Sistema. I am in love with this company as they have great Tupperware-like products for children and adults. After washing the new boxes I immediately started to brainstorm ideas of what to put into them. Bento boxes are a fun way for the whole family to get creative and eat healthy. They have compartments for different food items and keep everything separate – which makes eating from them exciting, especially for kids! I even bought them for my son’s teachers this year – they made a great back-to-school gift.

So head out to find your own bento box or order online. The fun you can have with these boxes is endless and kids (adults too!) will love helping you pack their own snack/lunch. It will encourage healthy eating as well … always a plus!

Here’s the website for Sistema bento boxes: http://amzn.to/1lYcjLa. Happy Back to School!


 The Ragosta Family’s Favorite Bento Box Ideas

We always try to eat a balanced meal when eating from the bento box. The compartments make this easy to do!

1. Roast beef sandwich
2. Strawberries
3. Yogurt to dip fruit

1. Pizza cut into strips
2. Carrot sticks
3. Hummus

1. Pepperoni wheels
2. Cheese cubes
3. Diced mango

1. Ham or turkey roll ups
2. Crackers
3. Cheese slices

1. Grilled chicken skewers
2. Cherry tomatoes
3. Black olives

1. Tuna sandwich squares
2. Pickle
3. Grapes

1. Egg salad sandwich triangles
2. Orange slices
3. Pita chips

Blueberry Pie          

blueberry pie

By Kim Ragosta 

Berry picking is a family favorite in our household during the warm summer months. Whether it’s heading to Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown to pick strawberries or Rocky Point Farm in Warwick to pick blueberries, we just love it! I usually start off with a story the night before about berry picking. For strawberry picking I read Jamberry and for blueberry picking I read Blueberries for Sal. Both are great books for young children and it definitely got my children pumped to pick!

Most recently we headed to Rocky Point Farm where the kids picked blueberry after blueberry for two hours straight! Our daughter Lily ate about ¾ of what she actually picked – green ones included! And my boys were humming blueberries at each other during the last 15 minutes of picking. But all in all it was a great adventure free of cell phones, television and leap pads! So to me, it was a success!

Each time we come home from berry picking we make something yummy for our family to enjoy. We made strawberry jam after strawberry picking and blueberry pie after blueberry picking. The kids have a blast getting stained with berries and I am happy knowing my children are enjoying making something from scratch with the very hands that just picked these fresh berries! It makes me smile to see the pride they feel as they create something delicious to eat. And my most favorite part is sharing a piece of warm blueberry pie with my three messy cutie pies!

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients

3/4 cup white sugar

3 TBS cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 cups fresh blueberries

pie pastry (store bought)

1 tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over berries.
  3. Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp edges.
  4. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. You may need to put a piece of foil on top to prevent crust from burning…so watch carefully!
  5. Enjoy!

 

Garden Fresh Kale, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Wrap

 kale wrap

By Kim Ragosta 

Something I have always wanted as a child is my very own garden. I can remember my grandparents having a small garden on the side of their house and the joy I felt from picking fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes. The taste of eating a fresh green bean or cherry tomato off of the plant on a hot summer’s day was something that will always tickly my taste buds and tug at my heart. I get a nostalgic feeling when I work in my garden now. I love it! It also brings me much happiness playing in the dirt while feeding goodness to my family. My children are able to see the process of a growing plant which is a beautiful thing. They each worked in the soil to prepare the grounds before planting and now are able to help mommy pick the fruit of their labor. This whole process really helps them to enjoy the vegetable that they are eating. Whether it is chives in their omelet, onions on their pizza or kale in their wraps…they are learning to love vegetables!

One of my most favorite things to grow is kale. Not only is it easy to grow but it is one of those vegetables that my entire family enjoys. Whether we cook it for a wrap, juice it, or turn it into chips, it is definitely a family favorite. In the summer I tend to cook quicker meals as I find that the summer nights are busy with summer tutoring or swimming with the children. Easy has become the name of the game when it comes to cooking in my house! I am always looking for healthy and easy summer recipes. I came across this recipe in my Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook. What I like about this recipe is that you can easily substitute any vegetable for the ones in the recipe – which works for me as my garden vegetables are ever changing. I just picked my last bunch of kale today and this was a big hit with everyone tonight! May you enjoy your family, cooking and eating!

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 small shallots (I used onions/scallions from my garden)

2 medium leeks, white and pale green part only, rinsed and thinly sliced

16 oz white mushrooms, sliced

½ kosher salt

½ freshly ground black pepper

10 oz kale, steamed and coarsely chopped (you can buy bagged kale at Trader Joe’s or use kale from your garden! Farmer’s market kale is great too!)

¼ cup vegetable broth

½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (sweetened okay if you can’t find them unsweetened)

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled at room temp

8 multigrain wraps

Directions

  1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks, mushrooms, salt and pepper.Cook stirring frequently until veggies are soft, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add kale and cook until wilted, about 8 minutes
  3. Add broth and cranberries. Bring to boil for 1 minute and scrape up brown bits. Turn off heat.
  4. Divide filling among wraps and sprinkle with goat cheese. Wrap them up and serve hot!