Some reviews you look forward to for the food, some the drink, others surprise you for a certain server that goes out of their way, or for another patron near you who engages you in conversation; but for this week’s installment, I’d been looking forward to participating in the, “Paint and Sip,” night at Amigo’s in Westerly because every variable mentioned above would come into play, and then some!
First, it has to be mentioned that Amigo’s just took the RI Monthly “Best of Rhode Island” awards for “Best Taco,” and “Best Tequila,” in the state and for good reason. I opted for the scallop tacos, they come with a mango-papaya slaw, and of course you top it with your personal amount of guac and salsa, not to mention an assortment of hot sauces, and you think you’re biting into dinner somewhere between Cabo san Lucas and Puerto Vallarta it is so fresh and delicious. And as for the tequila, the bar staff is constantly outdoing themselves with new creations, infusing tequila with jalapeno and rimming the top of the glass with chipotle; or using cucumber and cilantro, and ginger, basil and habanero; and coming up with 15 different brands of house sangria. The kitchen staff is just as creative, the menu is ever-changing too, and they make the best use of local ingredients in season.
The night’s entertainment was outstanding. Local artist, Jeanette Vertentes, took on her largest class ever (50) at Amigo’s, in honor of Shark Week and had her subjects try to paint a stylized version of a shark. At first glance, a first-timer would think, “There’s no way, I’m ever going to be able to do this,” but the instructor is precise with her direction, proceeds at a good pace, and allows anyone to slow her down to ask questions if she starts moving along too quickly. She also moves about the room, looking at how things are progressing among her students, helps out with a brush stroke and color adjustments where needed, and even slows things down to allow the canvas to dry at certain point before continuing on. And as she states early on, there’s nothing that can’t be painted early that can’t be covered later after it dries with something darker. When all was said and done, she had 50 students, ranging in age from 10-70, who were all very satisfied with their finished products.
Finally, the third piece of the “Shark Week,” puzzle there to educate us that night was Keith Crowley from the Living Sharks Museum in Westerly. He’s the curator and educator there and gave us a little informational lecture about sharks before we got started, acting as their advocate. Mind you, this was shortly after Misquamicut State Beach was closed because of a sunfish, and the hysteria created that it might have been a Mako shark.
So, even if you’re nowhere near Westerly, you should make a trip down to try the tacos, and all the delicious offerings, at Amigo’s; but if you intend on trying all those tequilas, make sure you designate a driver! You can find Amigo’s at 2 Canal St. in Westerly (401) 315-5800 and www.amigosri.com and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amigoswesterly/
For Paint events, or even art lessons, feel free to call Jeanette Vertentes at (860) 625-8132 or go to www.jvertentes.vpweb.com. And check out the Living Sharks Museum at 53 High St., Westerly. livingsharks.org.