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Dec 14, 2006 09:29 PM

New England Style Calamari

I just recently took a trip to Providence and had the best Calamari. The waitress told me it was New England style and it comes served tossed with chilies, garlic, banana peppers & lemon butter. This was far superior to marinara sauce IMO.

Does anyone know of a restaurant in Baltimore that would serve calamari this way... I would hate to have to drive 7 hours to get it!!


also... does anyone know if is this actually true -that this is "New England Style"? or was she just making fun of a "southerner!!"...

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  1. The fried calamari at Capital Grille is a bit like what you're describing. I've really enjoyed it. And if you don't feel like sitting down for an expensive steak dinner, you can just order it in the lounge for a less expensive cure to your craving.

    From their menu:
    "Calamari sautéed in garlic butter until golden crisp.
    Then tossed with a house blend of (cherry)peppers and scallions for a nice, fiery finish."

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoshInDC

      Legal Seafood serves it this way- one of two options on how it is prepared.

      1. re: cocoagirl

        Thanks... also a 5 minute drive for me... any preference between Capital Grille and Legal Seafood?

      2. re: JoshInDC

        Sounds perfect... and a 5 minute drive!! thanks so much... this craving has been driving me insane!

        1. actually, Rhode Island style would be more accurate. The Capital Grille, which started in Providence around 1990, really popularized this preparation of squid.

          the good news is that all Capital Grille locations seems to serve it the same way. I've had it at CG in downtown DC, Tysons Corner, and Milwaukee, of all places.

          1. Providence has Portuguese influence from immigrants. Lots of spicy food setting it apart from the rest of New England.
            Emeril is originally from there, I think. He's not from Louisiana.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MakingSense

              Close -- Emeril is from Fall River (to really go native, pronounce it "Fau Rive'"), which is just across the line in Massachusetts. In fact, it was once part of Rhode Island. In the late 1800s, RI swapped Fall River for the eastern half of Pawtucket, which was then in Mass. Not sure who got the better of that deal.

              Emeril's roots are definitely visible in his cooking (and audible in his accent).

            2. I agree, specific to Rhode Island. In Vermont, it is generally breaded (cornmeal and flour mix) , deep fried, and served with an aioli and/or marinara. I like to throw a couple whole garlic cloves and red/green pepper slices in the fryer with the calamari and finish it with fresh lemon, parsley, and sea salt. Also, I find soaking the calamari in club soda for 10 minutes before breading makes it more tender.

              4 Replies
              1. re: TonyO

                sounds yummy... I have never considered making... I enjoy eating but the prospect of cleaning it doesn't appeal to me. I have seen that way too many times on the food network to know that it is something that I can do without!! I know this is an obviously naive question but...Can you buy pre-cleaned squid anywhere?

                1. re: tapas gal

                  Absolutely, fresh and frozen. Just about any supermarket/fish monger will have. In fact, I see it cleaned more often than not. It generally runs between $4 - $6 per pound. A pound makes a healthy portion for two or three.

                  1. re: tapas gal

                    "Forwarned is Forarmed" if you do decide to clean any squid make sure you don't break the ink sac!!!! One of the most disgusting smells you may ever want to experince!!

                  2. re: TonyO

                    FWIW, Legal Seafoods started in Boston (or actually I think Inman Square in Cambridge) before turning into a big chain. Though I suppose it's quite possible they adopted a Rhode Island style recipe for calamari. New England is all in the family, after all....