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The Best 5 Lobster Dishes in Rhode Island

Thursday, July 14, 2011


There was a time when lobster was so plentiful in Narragansett Bay that they washed up on local shores and were fed to prisoners and slaves. Luckily, someone discovered they were delicious, and they’ve been a delicacy ever since. Here are some of our top picks for enjoying luscious summer lobster.

In Soup: Hemenway's, Providence

For decades we’ve been fans of this classic Providence restaurant’s take on this classic New England bisque. Unlike most preparations, which are heavy on sherry that imparts a bitter taste, Hemenway’s version is more like a chowder—and that’s what it’s called here. Creamy, thick light in color, there’s nothing that gets in the way of that sweet lobster flavor. It comes in two sizes, and there have been days when we have not been ashamed to start with a cup of the chowder and pair it with either Hemenway’s fabulous lobster salad plate, or their lobster basil ravioli. Lobster in the city never tasted so good. 121 South Main St, 351-8570. www.hemenwaysrestaurant.com  

On a Roll: Matunuck Oyster Bar, East Matunuck

Chef and aquaculture pioneer Perry Rasso is a true Rhode Island hall of famer. Raising the bar on shellfish quality was his first mission, but bringing great farm-to-table dining to South Kingston was his master stroke. The wait at the Oyster Bar can be a little long, but the food is always worth it. The menu balances the classics we all want mixed with awesome creative dishes. A recent visit introduced us to the incredible lobster roll that Perry and his staff have absolutely perfected. Let's begin with the bun: buttery, toasty goodness that offers the perfect platform for claw and knuckle lobster meat held together with the slightest bit of

mayonnaise. The perfect, hand cut fries that come alongside are just the frosting on this cake. Oh yeah, and some of the tastiest oysters on the East Coast make a perfect appetizer... or dessert for that matter. 629 Succotash Rd., East Matunuck, 783-4202, www.rhodyoysters.com 

Special Treatment: De Wolfe Tavern, Bristol

Sai Viswanath at the De Wolfe Tavern is one of the truly great chefs in Rhode Island. Sai and his wife have created a warm and relaxed setting, overlooking the beautiful Bristol harbor, to enjoy the world of flavor that the kitchen produces daily. Chef Viswanath also features one of our absolute favorites when it comes to lobster dishes. Several times a year we make the trip for the lobster popover alone. The humble popover is a favorite amongst chefs and the treatment at De Wolfe is outrageous. Take a perfectly light and airy popover, split it down the middle and fill it with half of a lobster that has been shelled and sauteed with sherry and herbs. A close second on the menu is the tandoori lobster. Crispy and smoky and lush, this is a great lobster! 259 Thames St. Bristol, 254-2005, www.dewolfetavern.com 

All You Can Eat: Nordic Lodge, Charlestown

There are few places in the world where you can actually push the limits of just how much lobster you can consume. The Nordic Lodge is just that kind of place. Almost mythical in nature (make sure the G.P.S. is handy to find this place,) The Lodge is a big-eaters paradise. The all you can eat lobster buffet is truly one of a kind in Rhode Island and attracts people from all over New England looking for a night of lobster love (look for the busses in the parking lot that bring in large groups!) Sure, the Lodge has every kind of beef, pork and chicken that you could ever want, but why get in the way of all that buttery lobster goodness. Some of the freshest lobster in the state is steamed to perfection, cracked and ready for all that butter. We like to sneak in a curry/ginger powder to mix into the melted butter for a little Asian twist on the norm. It will cost you $85, but if you adore lobster, that’s deal, right? 178 E. Pasquiset Trail, 783-4515, www.nordiclodge.com 

Best Deal: One Bellevue at the Hotel Viking, Newport

Summer in Rhode Island features everyone from fine dining restaurants to sandwich shops featuring lobster deals. Most of these deals feature sub-par lobster that gives new meaning to tough and rubbery, but not so at the Viking. Chef Kevin Thiele is a master at the fine art of lobster. "Lobsterology” is the hotel’s celebration of this local delicacy and the simple way to prepare it. A three course tour de force featuring a salad, a local 1-1/4 pound lobster dinner, a dessert and a glass of wine for $19.95... in Newport... during the summer. Believe us, it's worth the trip over the bridge. When you're done, head up to the rooftop bar, The Top of Newport, and enjoy the view from the highest point in Newport and a frozen drink from Federico Luzzi's attentive staff. 1 Bellevue Ave, Newport, 847-3300. www.hotelviking.com


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