September 17, 2014
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Area restaurants serve up tasty treats at Rotary gala
Warwick Beacon photo
GALA PLANNERS: Janis Constantine and Dean Scanlon, co-chairs of the Rotary Gourmet Gala as pictured at last year’s event.

If we said you have the chance to help the local community by feasting on a variety of food like bourbon-braised pulled pork, oysters, chicken mascarpone, porchetta sliders, stuffed ravioli, hummus, chowder, egg rolls, penne bolognese, cabernet glazed short ribs, shrimp macaroni and cheese, and more, would you take it? Oh, samples of wine and beer are included, too.

The answer should be a no-brainer, as the Warwick Rotary Club, along with help from Radisson Hotel and the city’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Development, presents the third annual Rotary Gourmet Gala. It will take place tomorrow evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the University Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel Providence Airport at 2081 Post Road.

The mouth-watering event will benefit non-profit organizations and showcase approximately 20 of the state’s top restaurants, as well as a few alcohol venders. Last year, the gala welcomed more than 300 guests, and raised $8,000 for local charities.

“This year, we’re hoping to eclipse $10,000,” said Dean Scanlon, a Rotarian who owns L’attitude Modern Eatery at 2190 Broad Street in Cranston. He’s also participating in the gala as a business, and is one of the event co-chairs. Another Rotarian, Janis Constantine, a travel consultant at Global Excellence, is co-chair of the event with him. She enjoys the fact that the public and local restaurants get together not only to sample tasty treats, but to better the community.

“It’s good for the restaurants, too,” said Constantine. “They’re giving back and making themselves known in the community. I’ve had people say to me, ‘I never heard of that restaurant before the Gala.’ And we have a lot of fun doing it.”

Scanlon agrees. He said the event is a great opportunity for people to learn more about the Rotary Club and its mission.

“I had no idea what the Rotary Club was until I joined,” said Scanlon, who has been a member since 2005.

Every year, Rotarians support non-profit organizations and offer scholarships to groups in need. Through their holiday celebration, members purchase and donate gifts and hold a holiday party, complete with musical entertainment and food for local elementary school children. They also hold an annual drive to donate dictionaries to schoolchildren.

“There’s nothing better than going in with the dictionaries and the Christmas parties,” Constantine said. “You can see the excitement on the kids’ faces.”

As for tomorrow’s gala, businesses that have participated in the event since it began will serve up delicacies. They include the Capital Grille, L’attitude Modern Eatery, Sophia’s Tuscan Grille, Carousel Grille, UNO Chicago Grill, Pinelli’s, Pachisea, Iron Works Tavern, and Besos Tea House. The Rotary is also welcoming a handful of newcomers, such as Eggroll Café, Vanity, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Cork and Brew and Spirits Too. As noted, they will be offering samples of wine, beer and cocktails, plus educational words of wisdom from wineries from around the globe. The selection of wine, along with other beverages, will be for sale at the bar, as well.

“We have all these great restaurants,” said Scanlon, pointing out that Libations, the restaurant located within the Radisson, will also be serving samplings. “Everybody gets all dressed up and has a fabulous time. It’s a great event.”

Tickets are $35, and can be purchased online at www.centralrichamber.com, or by sending an email to business@centralrichamber.com. Tickets are also available in person at Global Excellence at 20 Veterans Memorial Drive.


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