Inspired by friend Brian Leosz’s success with Butterbang Croissants, pastry chef Miguel Allis founded local confection company Hawt Chocolate over the summer, handcrafting artisan bars and bonbons. Allis and his husband are recent Rhody transplants, having just moved from Boston where the Mexico City-native climbed the ranks to pastry chef at Flour Bakery under renowned owner Joanne Chang.
Allis’ filled chocolate is inspired by his extensive travels, with flavors like PB&J reminiscent of American nostalgia while Strawberries and Cream is based on a treat he had as a kid. The menu changes seasonally, and fall flavors include a whiskey caramel in a dark chocolate shell and a pumpkin spice latte encased in milk chocolate. He sells his lush chocolates at Hope & Main’s Wednesday market and expects to roll out online ordering soon. “I love how excited people get when they try the chocolate,” he says. Warren, HawtChocolatePVD.com
“We’re excited to be back in full force,” says Adrienne Krueger, the events manager at Bowen’s Wharf. This year, their annual Newport Seafood Festival is bigger than ever, with an expanded footprint into Market Square, which is closed to traffic to house more vendors and, for the first time, food trucks. In addition to the gastronomical delights from local eateries, homegrown bands perform live while shoppers visit the many retailers along the wharf along with a carefully curated selection of vendors.
This family-friendly event is free to attend and, while summer crowds have dwindled, it’s a popular weekend for the locals. “The vendors are ready at 11am. Come by early, especially if you want to make sure you get that lobster roll from Matunuck Oyster Bar,” Krueger advises. “If you live locally, try to walk or ride a bike over. [Newport] still gets crowded on the weekends.” Newport, BowensWharf.com
Cheese lovers rejoice! Wedge, a new cheese shop, is opening on Water Street in Warren. During the pandemic, owner Sasha Goldman used her extra time at home to craft intricate charcuterie boards for her family. The Columbia University-trained journalist realized there was nowhere in the area to purchase the specialty items that graced her boards and thought other people might feel the same.
Since deciding to open Wedge, Goldman’s scoured New England for the best regional products – from cheese to meats to preserves and other confections to stock, including bonbons from Hawt Chocolate. Wedge can craft custom grazing boards for folks too busy to DIY. Mocktail mixers from local maker Kristi’s Kraftails are available, and Goldman is happy to suggest local beer and wine pairings for items. Pop in to sample cheese flights and other offerings. “We want to make it a fun vibe,” she says. Warren, WedgeRI.com
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