A Foodie Tour of the Farm Coast
It’s amazing to me just how quickly I fell into the Rhode Island frame-of-mind regarding travel. As a native Midwesterner, I was used to driving 45 minutes to visit a friend, and that was considered “just down the street!” But when you move to New England, your sense of distance seems to shift; “Drive all the way to Tiverton (http://www.tivertonfourcorners.com/), just for the day?—that’s crazy talk.”
So…I guess that is the excuse I’m using for waiting this long to finally venture from Providence to the coastal region of Rhode Island and Massachusetts encompassing Little Compton, Tiverton, Dartmouth and Westport, known as the FarmCoast (http://www.farmcoast.com/). Although there are beautiful beaches, gorgeous open spaces, and cute towns…I was there for the food, or more specifically, to experience the local food scene through vineyard and farm visits.
I began my day with coffee and a freshly baked raspberry muffin at Provender (http://www.farmcoast.com/restaurants.html), a great little breakfast and lunch cafe in Tiverton.
Caffeine fix in check, I continued westward, stopping at Young Family Farm’s (http://www.youngfamilyfarm.com/) seasonal farm stand, where I stocked up on fresh-from-the-field produce to last me through the week.
Continuing down the road, I decided that noon was none to early for a wine tasting, so I swung into Sakonnet Vineyard (http://www.sakonnetwine.com/), which is just one of five vineyard included on the Coastal Wine Trail (http://www.coastalwinetrail.com/). Their gorgeous vineyards make for the perfect afternoon stroll, and if you are interested in the wine making process, you can wander indoors and watch a video on the history of the vineyard. Coop Cafe (http://www.sakonnetwine.com/coop.cfm), on the grounds of the Vineyard, offers the perfect lunch option, with plenty of fresh, local food choices.
From there, I worked my way over to the quaint, harbor town of Westport, where I could see the fishing boats coming in to dock. I was lucky enough to chat with the folks from Riptide Oysters (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Riptide-Oysters/183591322101), a new oyster farm operating out of Westport. It was fascinating to learn the process behind farm raised oysters…I will appreciate them a bit more now, when I slurp them down with gusto.
Mustering up my last bit of energy, I trekked over to Round the Bend Farm (http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farm.php?farm=2092) in Dartmouth, to see their 52 acres of open fields where pigs, cows and lambs graze contently. I ended up stocking up on freshly butchered lamb and chicken…ensuring farm fresh meats for the weeks ahead.
By the time I hit the road, I was in desperate need of a little pick-me-up…a stop at The Art Cafe, a tiny, charming little coffee and sweet shop, was in order. Cappuccino and lemon cupcake in hand, I happily made my way home to Providence, promising myself that I wouldn’t wait so long to return…after all, it is only a mere 45 minutes down the road!