Food

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Gourmet pantries, perfect birds and chocolate brunches

The Bay Magazine ·

Nick and Tracy Rabar have broken into the local foods market with their newest venture: The Pantry at Avenue N, which is located next to their popular Avenue N restaurant. The Pantry focuses on providing customers with Rhode Island-based produce, fruit, hand-cut meats, eggs, fresh dairy, seafood and farm-to-table items. In addition, The Pantry offers lunch (soups, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, sides) and prepared foods to go. 11am-6pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-4pm, Sat. 20 Newman Avenue, Rumford. 401-228-6691

Score the Perfect Bird
November 22 marks the return of Thanksgiving, bringing with it the glorious indulgences of good food and drink, and shopping for that perfect bird. Seekonk’s Belwing Turkey Farm is the go-to source for scoring a quality turkey.

“At big organizations, when turkeys are killed, they leave the body [alone] until it achieves a certain temperature dictated by the USDA,” says Roslyn Dickens, who co-owns the farm with her sister Phyllis. “Then they bag it, seal it up and put it in the freezer. We don’t do that. All our turkeys are fresh killed and packed on ice, not frozen.”

Roslyn explains that freezing a turkey halts its natural aging process and hinders the breaking down of the meat’s fibers, which prevents the turkey from becoming more succulent and tender. “The aging process that a fresh turkey packed on ice achieves is generally not seen in frozen turkeys,” says Roslyn. “Also, a frozen turkey could have been killed in January or March. It’s frozen; you don’t know. Our turkeys are killed within a week of a customer’s purchase date and never frozen.”

Individuals interested in a Belwing turkey are encouraged to call as soon as possible, because all must be ordered in advance. Walk-in orders are not allowed. 773 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-9142.

If Seekonk is too far of a drive, there are other farms that sell fresh turkeys: Middletown’s Simmons Farm (1942 West Main Road. 401-848-991), a certified organic family farm and Tiverton’s Helger’s Turkey Ranch (2554 Main Road. 401-624-4087), a 22-acre farm that’s been in operation since 1939.

Dine Well for Less
From November 2-11, more than 45 participating restaurants throughout Newport and Bristol Counties are participating in Newport Restaurant Week, serving up extraordinary cuisine at affordable prices. The ingredients are sourced from local farmers, foragers and fisherman, creating prix fixe menus priced at $16 for a three- course lunch and $30 for a three-course dinner. In addition, the 10-day event features culinary lodging packages, cooking classes, culinary walking tours and more.

Eat Dessert First
On November 4, the Visiting Nurse Services (VNS) of Newport and Bristol Counties return with their always popular Chocolate Brunch, a fundraiser feast of sweet and savory chocolate fare. Tickets cost $85, with proceeds supporting the mission of the VNS. The event runs from 12-3pm at the Oceancliff Resort. $85. 12-3pm. 65 Ridge Road, Newport. 401-682-2100 or www.vnsri.org for tickets and information.

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