News, Recipes, and Events we want to share
We will be hosting this late summer dining experience at Blackbird Farm in Smithfield Rhode Island. The farm is a gorgeous, airy backdrop to this very special dessert and cocktail multi-course experience.
The evening’s Tiki themed menu will focus on the incredible ingredients that this short and sweet late summer season has to offer, drawing inspiration from the fresh herbs, flowers, and fruits that define us during the summer in Rhode Island. Carefully curated cocktails will complement each course of the dessert tasting, and will also take center stage during the cocktail hour around the farm’s grounds.
Sucrée was born from the dream of former executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark, who oversaw the pastry development of Ellie’s as well as Gracie’s. Melissa was with Gracie’s Ventures for eight years, she brought an incredible attention to detail and deep artistic understanding of flavors and pastry aesthetics. When Denmark moved on it was to help tend to the farm her and her wife purchased in Rehoboth, a new home for Moonrose Farm. While Melissa is no longer spearheading the pastry programs for the two locations, her legacy is visible in many facets of Gracie’s Ventures, and Sucrée is a notable one.
Max: What was your inspiration for Sucreé?
Melissa: I met so many talented pastry chefs through different events, dining out and from working at Gracie’s and Ellie’s that I imagined an epic multi-course dessert experience that featured a rotating cast of creative pastry chefs. I knew I wasn’t the only one who would be thrilled to enjoy a night filled with sweets, and as soon as I started talking about the idea, the interest from guests and participating chefs was great!
Max: I’m sure it would be hard to pinpoint what was your favorite Sucrée, but what was one of the most rewarding experiences hosting Sucrée?
Melissa: One of the most rewarding parts of the experience was how much fun everyone had. Guests dressed up for the different themes and the chefs created extravagant and unique desserts that were specially designed for this event alone.
Max: What was your favorite dish you served?
Melissa: One of my favorite dishes was Halloween when I made a black and red dessert. The best part was the red plum sherbet that was covered in a black cocoa magic shell. (The full course was a black sesame pavlova, squid ink caramel, plum sherbet, black cocoa).
This summer’s Sucrée has been reinvented. Historically, community seating has been one of the many treats of the dining format during Sucrée, guests loved sharing the experience together. . In an effort to host this event safely and comfortably, we will be following thorough COVID-19 prevention guidelines to make sure everyone has a fun and healthy experience. We will be able to spread tables out in the beautiful fields at Blackbird Farms and really soak in the experience of being on an incredible farm. While it might be a little different than before, this Sucrée will be exactly what the soul needs after months of being cooped up indoors.
We can’t wait to see you at Blackbird Farm!
We are excited to share that Gracie’s will be opening her doors on Thursday, August 6th, for Dinner Service. In doing so, our primary mission is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for you, our guests, and our team.
While we’ve been away, we have taken time to rebuild and reinvent our nightly service, focusing on how our hospitality will translate into our new era. Many adjustments have been made. Below you can read about our COVID 19 policies and procedures.
We ask that you:
- Reschedule your visit with us if you or anyone in your party is feeling sick or show any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Wear a mask or face covering upon your arrival and while you are walking through our common spaces till you arrive at your table.
Teammates Safety and Well-Being
- We are screening for COVID-19 symptoms and following all the state regulations.
Employees have been provided with face masks and additional personal protective equipment needed to keep you and them safe as they perform their duties.
- We are taking and recording all teammates’ temperatures each day.
- High touch surfaces and all behind the scenes are being sanitized regularly throughout the day.
- Teammate workspaces have been adjusted to ensure physical distancing.
- In accordance with RI state regulations, we have developed an action plan for COVID 19 procedures.
Making a Reservation
- Dining at Gracie’s will be available by reservation only. We are currently unable to accept walk-in reservations.
- Reservations will be available by calling Gracie’s or online at http://www.graciesprov.com
- Upon arrival, you will be asked to review the RI Screening Tool’s questions and verify that you have not experienced any symptoms in the last three days.
- We may contact you about your reservation, so please ensure your email and phone number are up to date.
- Plan to arrive no more than ten minutes prior to your reservation time per the RI Department of Health regulations.
- Face masks are required while dining, except when eating or drinking. We will refuse seating and service to individuals without face coverings. Please make sure you are wearing your mask when your server approaches the table, or social distancing cannot be observed.*
- Tables have been spaced appropriately and will be set only upon your arrival.
Seating at the bar is currently unavailable.
- Tables and seating will be sanitized prior to each visit.
We are excited to announce our Team Share Model
The hospitality industry is evolving every day around the country and especially now. One of our biggest challenges as an industry has been providing a competitive living wage to our valued team members.
During these challenging times, we, like most organizations, have taken the opportunity to review our practices and reimagine how we do business. As part of reinventing our organization, we knew it was the best time to revisit our compensation model in order to maintain and attract the most talented team and compete in a tight labor market. We looked at several models over the last couple of months, weighing the pros and cons. We determined that the “team share model” is the best approach to ensure that all of our team members are fairly compensated and that we will be able to continue attracting top talent. We also believe that this model will ensure that our guests continue to receive an outstanding experience and our organization is well-positioned for the future.
What is a service charge? A service charge is a set percentage added to every guest check. The total amount of the service charge is the property of the restaurant and will be used to help pay for labor and benefits for all employees. The service charge may be viewed by guests as a substitute for a tip, however, guests will be free to add an additional tip if they choose. We have chosen a 20% service charge based on industry standards and the average tips leading up to this transition. We have been charging a service charge for years for parties of 6 or more and for our events. We are now simply extending this model for all party sizes.
What are the benefits of a team share model? The shared team model allows the proceeds collected from the service charge to be used for the pay and benefits of ALL team members. Our team is made up of professionals that have made hospitality their career choice. They are family members, homeowners, and active members of our community. The shared team model ensures a sustainable model for our team to continue to receive consistent compensation and benefits. Our research shows that this model helps create a more united culture throughout the team.
Numerous studies have concluded that there is little to no correlation between the quality of service and the amount of tip. We do believe that the quality of our service will continue to grow new heights. https://static.secure.website/wscfus/5261551/uploads/managing_tips.pdf
Every team member from dishwasher to cook, bartender to the server, is involved in serving our guests. If the dish or cocktail you order comes to the table carefully prepared and in a timely fashion, that’s good service, that service results from the efforts of the entire team. Rewards that can be shared by the entire team make sense.
We believe in what Danny Meyers calls “enlightened hospitality” – that providing good service is its own reward. We want our team to provide the best possible service, but we want the motivation to provide this great service to come not from the hope of a big tip but rather from pride in a job well done. We are confident our team members and guests will benefit from this more enlightened model.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to our home on Washington Street!
Later this month, Congress will consider their final coronavirus response bill for 2020. From the beginning of this pandemic, the National Restaurant Association has led the charge in Washington for a comprehensive solution to our industry. We have made steady progress, but Congress needs to do much more for the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer.
By the thousands, you responded to our survey identifying the priorities you need for this industry. By a 50/50 tie vote, you identified a $120 billion recovery fund and a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding as the top goal we should pursue in our advocacy agenda.
We heard you – and we are proud to release our new Blueprint for Revival for the industry. It represents a strong, far-reaching plan for how Congress can advance restaurants in every city and town in this country.
Restaurants have lost more revenue and jobs than any other industry, but there are a lot of competing interests before Congress. We are shouting here in Washington, but policymakers need to hear your voice directly.
Tell Congress to support restaurants and employees. Tell Congress to pass the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival.
We have given Congress a roadmap for action – that calls for either enacting our Restaurant Recovery Fund or implement a targeted second-round of PPP for our industry – as well as other asks that will allow us to keep our doors open for the long haul, and serve the communities we call home. We need your support to bring this effort over the finish line.
Please take action to share your story and lend your voice to this campaign. Every voice counts!
We can’t thank you enough for everything you do.
Executive Vice President of Public Affairs
National Restaurant Association
Between brand new à la carte and tasting menus at Gracie’s, we currently have an impressive array of new offerings inspired by high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients that are currently coming to their prime here in New England. Please join us for a fresh and delicious take on late summer/early fall cuisine!
Here are some of our favorites from both menus.
À La Carte
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Bursting with bright and bold flavors and textures, the new Cucumber & Tomato Salad on our à la carte menu is an homage to the traditional salads that Chef Matt ate in Greece a few years ago. We pair a variety of sweet, ripe heirloom tomatoes with crunchy cukes, salty kalamata olives, marinated feta, pickled onions, smoky paprika, and a touch of quintessential oregano to create a veritable celebration of tomato season!
Georges Bank Sea Scallops & Atlantic Halibut
For those seeking a seafood fix, our second course offers several beautiful, bountiful fresh fish options. The Atlantic Halibut is a high point on the menu, with luxurious salted, grilled eggplant, juicy cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sauce Grenobloise.
Lobster-and-bubbly is the theme of this month’s truly exquisite pasta course. The dish is a house made saffron chitarra with native lobster, uni butter, and leek; minimal and simplistic with strong, rich flavors that are lifted by the pairing of Gramona ‘Imperial’ Gran Reserva Cava.
This Snake River Farm Wagyu Strip is “one of the best bites of beef” according to Chef Josh (we think you’ll agree!). It’s being served with chanterelle, marrow butter, and roasted eggplant and sungold tomatoes from Pastry Chef Melissa’s Moonrose Farm; a lovely locally grown touch.
Pastry Chef Erin dreamt up this intriguing melon-inspired dish that is at once sweet, salty, and herbaceous. Melon olive oil cake is joined by watermelon kernel granola, feta mousse, and cilantro melon sorbet and drizzled with a touch of honey. Local Charentais melons from Nest and Song Farm in Westport, MA are being used for the sorbet.
Discover these dishes and much more by joining us for dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5pm. Reservations can be made online at https://graciesprov.com/ or by calling 401-272-7811.
The harvest this time of year features an abundance of garden vegetables, herbs, and juicy fruits all ripened to perfection and perfect for drinking down as we await the arrival of cooler temperatures!
Our new cocktail menu celebrates some of our favorite late summer ingredients, allowing them to shine in all their succulent splendor. From plums to peaches to melons to peppers to berries, let these seasonal sippers ease you effortlessly from summer into fall.
It’s peak season for blackberries, which are featured here in the form a blackberry shrub. Plantation 5 Year Rum combines with Golden Falernum, blackberry, and anise hyssop for a delightfully warming and spiced, stirred-and-boozy beverage that drinks like a tiki drink.
Toast to summer’s twilight with this clever pepper-based tequila drink that’s both bright and vegetal with a hint of spice. Featuring Los Altos Blanco Tequila, peppers, Ancho Reyes Verde, and smoked Maldon sea salt, it was the favorite of our photographer!
Plums are still going strong until about early October, and made the perfect pick for this month’s version of our ever-changing Crop Meyer Lemon Vodka cocktail. This dangerously delicious drink features Crop Meyer Lemon Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, roasted plum, and lemon.
Sweet, juicy, beautifully ripe melons shine in this exceptionally easy-to-drink (and easy-on-the-eyes!) combination of Roku Gin, honeydew melon, Midori, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, and lime.
Last but not least, this peach bourbon cocktail plays off a classic combination that oozes Southern charm! Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon meets peach, Aperol, lemon, and iced tea for a cold, refreshing, and sweet sayonara to summertime.
Fall has arrived, and we’re marking the change in seasons with a change in menus at both Ellie’s and Gracie’s! See how we’re making the most of our favorite seasonal fare with these new menu highlights.
Quintessential New England fall produce graces the menu at Ellie’s, with autumn vegetables like cauliflower, kale, and squash adding heft to the sandwich menu. Our new Chicken Confit Sandwich, for example, features roasted delicata squash from Wishing Stone Farm along with gruyere cheese, pickled cranberry, bacon dressing, and arugula on ciabatta bread.
The Roast Cauliflower sandwich is a delicious and warming vegan option that will delight herbivores and carnivores alike. The cauliflower is joined by Vadouvan curry, Tuscan kale, roasted red pepper, caramelized garlic and hummus on sourdough. Who said vegan has to be boring?
Over at Gracie’s, the new à la carte offerings showcase rich, developed flavors across a variety of dishes. The Blackbird Farms pork is a guest favorite, with Brussels sprouts, local delicata squash, roasted apple, and pickled cranberry in a savory jus. The pork is lightly brined to allow the natural flavors to shine.
The Dry Aged Creekstone Ribeye is another dish that boasts tender, concentrated flavor. At 12 ounces, this entrée won’t leave you disappointed! The steak is served with cippolini, Schartner Farms broccoli, parmesan butter, bone marrow, and black garlic bordelaise. The broccoli provides the perfect caramelized, crispy, crunchy, nutty bite to complement the meat.
The Rhode Island Monkfish is a downright celebration of fall flavors between the braised red cabbage, butternut squash, pomegranate and sage brown butter that appear on the plate.
Another outstanding seafood option are the Bomster Sea Scallops, a simple and straightforward yet elegant and delicious dish. Scallops from Stonington, CT are seared and served with La Ratte potatoes from Little City Growers along with pearl onion, romesco, preserved lemon and parsley salad. Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce originally from Spain that was made by the local fisherman to enjoy with their catch!
Also on the menu are delightful seasonal preparations of Atlantic Cod Loin and Crescent Farms Duck. Join us for dinner and explore the full menu by making a reservation at: www.bit.ly/graciesreservation!
Fall Hard for Chef Melissa’s Autumn Dessert Recipe!
The wonderful Motif Magazine recently interviewed Gracie’s Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Denmark for their Food section, where she shared her recipe for Pumpkin Praline Semifreddo (and answers to fun questions like “If you could be any spice, which spice would you be?”!). You can read the full interview here, but look no further for the delicious recipe, which we’ve included right here on our blog.
Melissa told Motif, “I chose a pumpkin praline semifreddo, which is similar to a no-churn ice cream, because I want something that people are able to get their hands on during the season and it’s a flavor that is so nostalgic for so many people.”
Pumpkin Praline Semifreddo
Yield: 1 9 x 5″ loaf pan, serves 8
7 eggs, yolks & whites separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1. Place egg yolks in a stand mixer and whip on high until frothy.
2. Place maple syrup in a microwave safe container or small sauce pot and heat until it begins to bubble.
3. Slowly stream in the maple syrup while the egg yolks are whipping. Continue to whip until very pale and fluffy. Move into another bowl and set aside.
4. Clean and dry the mixing bowl thoroughly and add egg whites to the bowl. Whip on low until bubbles begin to form.
5. Slowly add the granulated sugar while whipping until all the sugar is added and mixture appears foamy.
6. Turn to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form.
7. In a large bowl, whisk spices into the pumpkin puree. Then, gently fold the whipped egg yolks into the pumpkin mixture.
8. Gently fold whipped egg whites into the mixture in three additions. Be careful not to overmix and deflate your semifreddo.
9. Clean and dry the mixing bowl thoroughly and whip heavy cream to medium peaks. Then fold it into the mixture in three additions.
10. Fold in chopped pecan praline (recipe below).
10. Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap, then pour in the semifreddo to fill the loaf pan.
11. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
12. To serve, either unmold the semifreddo onto a plate, remove the plastic wrap and slice into 8 slices, or use an ice cream scoop and serve from the pan.
3/4 cup pecans
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix everything together, place on a sheet pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until pecans become fragrant and the sugar starts to bubble.
4. Cool completely before chopping to fold into your semifreddo.
We will be hosting this late summer dining experience at Blackbird Farm in Smithfield Rhode Island. The farm is a gorgeous, airy backdrop to this very special dessert and cocktail multi-course experience. The evening’s Tiki themed menu will [...]
We are excited to share that Gracie’s will be opening her doors on Thursday, August 6th, for Dinner Service. In doing so, our primary mission is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for you, our guests, and our team. While we’ve been [...]
Later this month, Congress will consider their final coronavirus response bill for 2020. From the beginning of this pandemic, the National Restaurant Association has led the charge in Washington for a comprehensive solution to our industry. We [...]
The harvest this time of year features an abundance of garden vegetables, herbs, and juicy fruits all ripened to perfection and perfect for drinking down as we await the arrival of cooler temperatures! Our new cocktail menu celebrates some of [...]