Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Jan 13, 2007 05:11 AM

Newport Clambake Caterers (B&M, McGrath's)

In my continued quest for a wedding caterer--I'm researching clambake caterers in the Newport area. Any opinions on whose food is the best? I've looked at McGrath's and B&M Clambakes and would love opinions on those (or any others). Top priority is terrific food. Thanks chowhounds!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Compton Clambakes is a great option. I just mentioned them in another thread, but feel they are good enough to mention again. They're based in Little Compton and do many clambakes on the island. The standard menu is an authentic clambake setup with clams, mussels, lobster, chowder, sweet corn, chourico, brown bread and other things I can't remember. They'll also include a raw bar or cheese table if you want. I've heard many raves about the quality of food and service.

    1. We used McGrath's for our wedding in Newport. We had them do the lobster boil package with lobster, chicken, sausage, steamers and such, boiled, rather than the traditional underground "bake". A little more economical.

      As the groom, I ate but don't remember the food in great detail. My guests said it was one of the best wedding meals they've ever had. Overall, we were very happy with the food and wait service, but some of their "policies" were questionable. Stuff not for this board.

      1. My company used to use McGrath's for a yearly function - I came on board the last year this function was held. I was NOT a fan. My strongest memory is of the "chowder" that was clams in CHICKEN BROTH not fish broth.

        Some coworkers attended a wedding where B&M catered a clambake and weren't impressed.

        1. There is Yawgoo bakes in Slocum (basically N. Kingstown) RI. Never been but they are well known:

          I also saw a Bobby Flay ( Forget which one of his shows) episode where he visited Newport to attend a clambake put on by The Rhode Island Quahog Company, looked good to me and he was impressed:

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sean

            That's great to know--thanks so much, all. I'll check out Compton and Yawgoo. McGrath's definitely has the most web presence, but the idea of chicken broth in clam chowder is horrifying!

            1. re: Duckwise

              McGrath Clambakes, Inc. uses a family recipe passed down from our grandfather. The clear broth chowder is made from quahogs (large clams) not chicken broth as posted above. This is the same chowder that Bobby Flay raved about on his Food Network show (also noted in a strand above) which was catered by McGrath Clambakes, Inc in July 2001 and frequently still airs. Sincerely, Colleen McGrath

              1. re: Colleen

                Colleen, I checked with our event planner - she confirmed that she always used McGrath's. Without posting specifics of my company on this website, I can tell you that at that function (late May, 2002, in Newport) the "clam chowder" was most certainly made with chicken broth. Was it some employee who did the wrong thing? Somebody ran out of something? I don't know, but it was terrible.

          2. Duckwise -- which of these companies did you end up going with? Which have you all found is the better choice between McGrath's and B&M? (Compton's is booked the dates we're planning for.) Thanks!

            1 Reply
            1. re: travlgal

              Just saw your post---so sorry I can't be of help. We ended up getting married in NY, so no clambake for us, alas!