Five Things: Hemenway’s Dockside Dining, East Greenwich
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
When well-known Providence seafood restaurant Hemenway's came under new ownership, heads turned. So when a second Hemenway's turned up on the East Greenwich harborfront a month ago, heads turned again. Had high-quality seafood docked amid the yachts? Culinarian Sean DeBobes checked it out. Here are the five things he wants you to know.
I was happy to see a very well executed Clams Casino on the menu. RI is credited with its debut but it has fallen out of favor on a lot of menus. Sometimes you just want a simple but well-prepared appetizer. The steak house (but with fish) concept that Hemenway’s is going for is well represented with this dish.
Two. Service & Setting.
My server Debbie was excellent. Extremely friendly and helpful. Though much of my experience at Hemenway’s was not as charming, Debbie was a bit of a saving grace. Situated in historic Greenwich harbor, my dockside table was thoroughly enjoyable, though on a busier harbor day it might be too loud for a relaxing meal.
Three. Underwhelming Entrees.
I was very disappointed with the entrees. Each one was sub-par. I went out with three friends and none of our entrees was enjoyable (think ordering fish at a diner at 2am). The grilled Atlantic Salmon was completely flavorless. The shrimp scampi had overcooked shrimp and all I could taste in the sauce was oil. The taste of the grilled yellowfin tuna (at $28) made me wonder how long it may have been sitting around. Not a good thing.
Four. Below the Bar.
Appetizers were a mixed experience. I already talked retro, but my other ventures didn’t stand up with the clams. The crab and lobster cakes were very generic; the best part of the dish was a traditional corn relish (which shouldn’t have to save the focus). The beef Hemenway’s with garlic herbed cheese didn’t sparkle either. Rare tenderloin is wasted when it is slathered with cream cheese.
Five. Bring Me Home.
Essentially I’m saddened and dissatisfied. Rhode Island DESERVES better. When you serve a lobster Caesar salad as an entrée and use croutons that tasted as if they were from a box with cheese reminiscent of a bag, that is NOT okay. Hemenway’s Web site states, “We invite you to join us, relax and enjoy the best of what the Ocean State has to offer.” I’d say, I’ve enjoyed a lot better.
Would I go back? No. And frankly, you shouldn’t either. The food is overpriced for what is being offered, and even with lower prices the food was simply flawed.
Hit Save: Hemenway’s Dockside Dining, 28 Water St, East Greenwich, 336-3920. Reservations strongly recommended.
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