At The Fisherman Restaurant and Lounge, diners drink in sweeping views of Fishers Island from the dining room or cove-side patio as they peruse a chef’s tasting menu teeming with fresh, local seafood. Amorous couples or rival sea captains hoping to bury the hatchet warm up with orange-and-mango firecracker shrimp or indulge in a decadent version of a childhood favorite with the creamy lobster mac 'n' cheese. White tablecloths set the backdrop for main dishes of top-sirloin fillet steak, whose shallot-and-blue-cheese crust hypnotizes taste buds in much the same way a snake charmer mesmerizes a cobra with a pocket watch. A fillet of sole and native clams bathe in miso vegetable broth, or veal meatballs bob in slow-simmered basil marinara. Guests plunge spoons into gingersnap bread pudding or savor biscotti with vanilla-bean ice cream for an ending sweeter than the director's cut of Romeo and Juliet where the poison and dagger are replaced with biscotti and vanilla-bean ice cream.
Over a plate of fresh Maine lobster that they brought back to the city themselves, husband-and-wife duo Ralph Gorham and Susan Povich wondered aloud, “Why doesn’t someone in New York start a fresh-seafood business?” Their destiny as restaurateurs was realized the moment those words were uttered: they opened Red Hook Lobster Pound a mere six months later. Gorham began traveling to Maine every weekend, scoping out catches and making deals with fisherman, choosing only those that partook in environmentally sustainable practices. Meanwhile, Povich experimented with recipes in order to add to an already lengthy repertoire of lobster-based recipes she learned while growing up in the Northeast. Word of mouth helped spark interest in their eatery, and before long, the demand compelled them to expand their storefront to include a picnic-style dining room. They’ve even added a food truck––nicknamed "Big Red"––that brings lobster-based dishes to diners across the city. According to The New York Times, success has had little effect on Red Hook Lobster Pound’s menu: “It tastes as fresh as can be, which matters when you’re dealing with a trend that’s growing so fast.” Their lobster rolls—served on split-top buns and garnished with just enough homemade mayo—have been lauded by Zagat, Bloomberg News, and Gourmet.com. Other popular dishes include lobster bisque, lobster mac-n-cheese, and a lobster dinner, served with homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and fresh, lake-caught corn.
Located steps from the state pier, Portuguese Fisherman has been reeling in noshers with the scents of Portuguese and American breakfast and lunch specials for more than a decade. The portuguese sweet-bread french toast starter is baked to perfection ($6.55), and the linguica, egg, and cheese sandwich ($5.45) distracts mouths from shouting epithets at passing squirrels. Overworked palates can sleep late and munch on midday entrees such as the kielbasa roll served with french fries ($7.65). American favorites include the tuna melt ($7.65) and chicken-salad sandwich ($7.10), as well as the Gobbler sandwich, which pays homage to competitive-eating pilgrims by uniting Thanksgiving fixings such as fresh turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing into one sandwich ($10.18).
The friendly folks at Dad's Restaurant think of each other as family?and that kind of attitude shapes every diner's experience. A welcoming bright-red exterior beckons visitors inside, where the cooks prepare locally beloved breakfasts of fluffy belgian waffles topped with fruit and cool whipped cream, as well as custom three-egg omelets plated alongside home fries and toast. Dad's is also open for midday and afternoon meals of rib-eye sandwiches and stacked triple-decker clubs.
The Fish Market takes full culinary advantage of Rhode Island's convenient ocean access to craft a sea-centric menu of fresh catches, indulgent pastas, and succulent steaks. The fried seafood platter ($28.95) is composed of fresh cod, calamari, clams, shrimp, and scallops cooked to a perfect tawny brown using only trans-fat- and cholesterol-free oils and accompanied by hand-cut fries and coleslaw. The raw bar brims with oysters (market price) and clams ($1.50 each) on the half shell, as well as massive lobsters (market price) that threaten shucking to scare lunch money from the smaller molluscs. The Fish Market's signature stuffing tops off a dish of deep-sea scallops baked in white wine, butter, and fresh herbs ($21.95) and diners delight in sushi-grade yellow fin tuna ($21.95) grilled to request and painted with a cucumber wasabi sauce. Land lovers can feast on chicken parmesan with fresh herbs, buffalo mozzarella, and house-made marinara ($15.95) or sink teeth into a hand-cut filet mignon ($26.95) paired with potato or rice and a vegetable or hollow broccoli stalk with another filet hidden inside.
Sun brings to life the goldenrod walls and vases of cut flowers in Tavern By The Sea's dining room, which opens onto the sailboat-speckled mirror of Wickford Harbor. Crisp linens cloak tables and serve as positive role models for young ghosts, and the sizzle of oil drifts into the dining room, laden with the scent of fish 'n' chips breaded in Sam Adams. Drifting strands of steam unfurl from bowls of lobster bisque, and chowders don crowns of cracker crumbs to add textural accents to New England clams and cream. During the summer months or the reign of rogue meteorologists, the eatery's deck opens for business and fills with chatter drifting from beneath a colorful battalion of umbrellas.