Grow Local: Aquidneck Lobster Co.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
You have to walk a bit to get there, but you'll be glad you did.
At the end of Bowen's Wharf in Newport sits a large warehouse, which doesn't looks remotely gourmet. But: inside lies a bounty of the region's best, freshest local seafood.
Aquidneck is owned by Newport institution Ron Fatulli and Jack O’Donnell, who started working there right out of college 33 years ago, and is now General Manager. O’Donnell says he grew up, a Navy brat, on fresh seafood, and that it transformed him. This is a man who says he could eat fresh, beautiful seafood every day for a month and never eat the same thing the same way.
Lucky he runs Aquidneck Lobster Co. In addition to its namesake crustacean, Aquidneck sells crab, flounder, cod, haddock, littlenecks, steamers and other seafood. O’Donnell’s favorite, though, is still the lobster. In addition to selling them live, fresh-caught that day, Aquidneck Lobster Co. will go an extra step for you. If you’re looking for convenience (or perhaps you’re a little squeamish), you can buy your lobster
Now, about that deck out back. Aquidneck Lobster Co. isn’t just open to the public to buy fresh fish and shellfish but they treat their spot on the water as a public right-of-way. So take a walk down Bowen's Wharf this summer, check out the trap boat and other fishing gear around the dock, watch the sun setting from the back deck and head home with some fresh seafood from Aquidneck Lobster Co.
Aquidneck Lobster Co., 31 Bowen's Wharf, Newport, 846-0106
Photos David Dadekian
Make It: Lobster with Joe's Spicy Portuguese Sauce
If you’re looking for something a little different from dipping lobster meat in butter (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or making the usual mayonnaise-based lobster salad, have I got an interesting recipe for you. I first saw this when my friends Denise and Lenny of Chez Us posted it on their site last summer and knew I had to try it: Joe’s Spicy Portuguese Sauce. I like it best with lobster meat mixed in like a mayonnaise-free salad.
Joe’s Spicy Portuguese Sauce (from Chez Us)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3T fresh crushed red pepper (if you can find Portuguese use that, if not harissa works well)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Parsley, handful, minced
Olive oil, a good Portuguese one
Red wine vinegar
Procedure: This is really made to taste. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except vinegar and olive oil. Adjust crushed red pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil over, just enough to combine everything together. Sprinkle a little red wine vinegar over the top and give a good stir.
Note: This is a very spicy, so if you don’t love spicy, use a lot less fresh crushed red pepper. To make your lobster salad, mix with as much or as little lobster meat as you’d like.