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Fried Calamari: Rhode Island's Official Appetizer

I must admit; I almost always order it. Where was the very best? It's a blur! I should take notes. A list for starters:
The Ur Calamari - Mike's Kitchen
Best ever? Could be Cafe Itri
Haven't been in a while but I think I miss it - Paragon
Place that screwed up the calamari - Hortons
Where should I go next?

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  1. If you are looking for great Calamari then try Vintage in Woonsocket. It is fantastic. Also Gian Carlos has a tasty Calamari but it can be inconsistent.

    1. I think Spain in Narragansett does a decent Calamari.

      1. Twist on Angell has awesome calamari.

        1. Caylily's in Wakefield, RI

          dusted with rice flower and pan fried with scallions, cilantro
          and jalapenos served with a soy sauce

          1. The Capital Grille, which started in Providence, has always had really good "RI-style" fried calamari with hot peppers.

            1. Isn't the official Rhode Island Appetizer the stuffed quahog?

              1 Reply
              1. re: GeoffD

                The quahaug is the official State Shell, adopted in 1987.
                Check with the Secretary of State-
                Sadly, it doesn't mention stuffing the State Shell, or Calamari for that matter.

              2. Mmmmmmmmmm Calamari=) Cassarino's on the Hill with the balsamic reduction gets my vote!

                1. Siena on Federall Hill does a calamari with a balsamic reduction as well- out of this world! Ten Steak & Sushi also has a great panko crusted calamari with a delicious aioli, served in a chinese takeout box.

                  1. Try it at 3 Steeple Street......always get it there. Good stuff.

                    1. Bouchers Wood River Inn, Richmond, RI.

                      1. Best Calamari in Rhode Island can be found at Nat Porter in Warren. Fried linguica 'chips' and house smoked tomato sauce really make their mark on this common dish, along with the traditional tangy banana pepper slices and ample seasoning. Delicious.

                        1. You are crazy if you have yet to have it at CAV

                          1. UP River Cafe!!! Asian Fried Calamari with banana peppers, peanuts, scallions, dried red chili, & crispy rice noodles tossed in a thai sweet chili sauce and served with wasabi aioli, DELICIOUS!

                            1. Caffe Dolce Vita on Depasquale Square on Federal Hill. Awesome Calamari....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ezra9876

                                the sadly closed Gertrudes Galley in middletown had portuguese style calamari,made with mozambique sauce that was out of this world.i really miss those tasty rings of love...

                              2. You cannot find better fried squid than at Mike's Kitchen (unless you hit an "off" night). We have tried it virtually everywhere; Mike's is king. We did come close in Taipei a while ago with a platter of delicate, ethereally-crisp squid eyeballs: with the optic nerve attached and the vitreous fluid having exploded in the hot oil, they looked like a heap of tiny golden tulips.

                                Vintage had excellent fried calamari when they first opened (huge, fresh, tender squid). With different suppliers & cooks, the last couple of incarnations have yielded smaller, greasier bits which shed their fragile batter all too readily.

                                As for the Nat Porter, I believe it is in receivership.

                                Keep us apprised of your further squidding adventures! Who knows what goodies await discovery?

                                1. Calamari is one of those dishes that I call "indicator dishes". If the restaurant does a good job with the squid, the rest of the seafood should be good. If you order calamari and you get a plate of greasy O-rings then ask them to slap a frozen burger on the grill.

                                  I'm kinda partial to the cornmeal dredged calamari at Legal Seafood. Too much batter takes away from the delicate flavor of the squid.