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Watch Hill/Charleston/Naragansett Food Recs?

We've been going up for a few years and keep getting stuck in the same old places: Watch Hill...the restaurant with the waitresses in black and white uniforn (can't remember the name at the mo); Misquamicut: Paddy's - so everyone can have steamed lobster on the beach; and some awful fryup joint upstairs near the Block Island Ferry in Naragansett - actually, I think, Point Judith.
I'm sick to death of these ...we will be there again in August and would love some new suggestions. Obviously, seafood is the biggest choice but good food of all kinds in general is welcome.

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  1. Thanks for this post......we are in the same situation...I think the options are pretty limited. As much as we prefer South County, RI beaches, we find we go less and less because of the lack of food options!

    1. Narragansett- try the Coast guard house...new chef, new menu, new decor. Turtle soup... right next to the CGH, Amalfi...and soon the Cheeky Monkey will be next to the new belmont in the pier.Watch hill you may be thinking of Olympia tea room- still great. Down near the Ferry is Elliots, which is owned by Turtle soup, or Champlins for great seafood. Lilanas off of Tower hill road in the Holiday Inn has wonderful Italian food and on Main Street in Wakefield is Crave Seafood & Steak and Main Street Fish. Good Luck!

      5 Replies
      1. re: fruitlady

        Can you tell us more about the Cheeky Monkey? Moving from Newport, I assume. Any timetable besides "soon"? Have you tried the CGH (this year), or Elliots? Anything specific on one of these places or Crave Seafood & Steak would be appreciated.

        1. re: Betty Boop

          cheeky monkey is going in the old Woodys spot in the pier, next to the new Belmont Market-cheeky is leaving Newport due to their building had sold ( christies is going in their old spot.) I am not sure on a time frame. If you like Turtle soup you will like Elliots. Crave is the old Caylillys chef /owner is from The Boathouse in Tiverton. Everything is made there and I believe he is now serving wine from his family vineyard. He has recently gotten a great review in the Local paper. I still have yet to try CGH I do know they had really invested alot in upscaling their image(new dining room, new kitchen staff, new everything) and the deck is currently still under construction. When I hear more on Cheeky I let you know

          1. re: fruitlady

            So Cheeky Monkey has announced that they will open their Narragansett restaurant by the end of June, but their web site doesn’t yet reflect that news. They are telling us that we should not expect drastic changes from the menu in Newport. It will be good to have such an interesting restaurant in that location as long as Woody’s is not there. Woody’s did have a loyal following. What the heck happened to Woody’s anyway, and where are the Woody’s people now?

            1. re: Betty Boop

              The new Cheeky Monkey will be under new ownership. A young yet experienced Chef Jeff Cruff. He was the executive chef and manager of the Newport Cheeky, so expect great things. He is a rare talent that really knows how to run a restuarant. He and his wife (also a former Cheeky employee) are looking to open very soon. The delay on opening is due to the former owner of Woody's! I know the former owner/chef of Woody's and believe me that if you liked Woddy's, you will love the Cheeky. Can't even compare the two to be honest. See ya there!

          2. re: Betty Boop

            Just an update Cheeky monkey-Narragansett has just updated their website and have stated they will be opening September14

        2. Have you ever thought of The Nordic Lodge, its in Charlestown.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rhody Rogue

            Paddys has a great location, but what a tourist trap! Go to downtown Westerly for a nice selection of places. Or on route one on the way to Charlestown is Guytanos, Shelter Harbor Inn, and we have been enjoying the Cove on 1A in Charlestown near the General Stanton Inn, (Also good!) I hope they have the clambakes under the tent on week-ends again this year.

          2. Crazy Burger in Narragansett (a block or 2 inland from the town beach)- uber-casual, lots of vegetarian food/hippie vibe.

            Block Island - Harborside or The National when you get off the ferry (neither is gourmet but I'm also never disappointed) and The Oar out at New Harbor.

            In Westerly (Watch Hill area) I highly recommend The Up River Cafe - gorgeous patio so go when the weather is nice.

            I'm thrilled to read of updates at The Coast Guard House - can't wait to try it.

            1. I grew up in Westerly and spent every summer in Narragansett right near Point Judith. I can't believe you've been frequenting Paddy's -- ick. Please, please don't judge us on that! I go to the Cape a lot and I know how hard it is to scout out the real gems where the locals dine. So I'll help you out! Actually my out-of-town friends always marvel at our food when I take them to my favorite places:

              Westerly - 84 High Street. WOW. This is just excellent every time. You can walk through the park after dinner or check out the cool little train station nearby.

              Sandy's Emporium (across from Stop and Shop, Rte 1) for excellent sandwiches and delicious salads to take to the beach.

              Up River Cafe for more upscale in Westerly - also downtown right on the river separating RI and CT. Lovely.

              Personally I avoid eating anything in Misquamicut -- ick. Watch Hill is overpriced and bland. As mentioned above, stick to specific suggestions in downtown Westerly.

              Charlestown -- Shelter Harbor Inn. This is a lovely old inn, offering an upscale dining room menu as well as a lighter bar menu. Good for a chilly evening - rooms with fireplaces, lined with books, very charming.

              Narragansett - Crazy Burger for breakfast and ask to sit on the back patio. They make the most divine dense little chocolate cookies served with their chai or get some to take with you. BYOB for dinner but I think breakfast is better. Regardless, a really cool fun little place near the pier.

              Turtle Soup -- Fun bar, pretty good food, ocean view, more touristy but I do like their food (not as good as the places I mention in Westerly though). On 1A in Narragansett and you can sit on the patio looking out over the ocean. They have a late night snack menu that is far superior to the other greasy bar food offered in the area.

              Iggy's is the best for clamcakes and chowder or fish sandwiches. Long lines in the evenings but it's easier and faster to get food there at lunch time - right near a couple of state beaches and the lighthouse so you can take it to go. There is absolutely no ambiance at the place itself so do take it to go and enjoy one of our many ocean views.

              Town Meats in downtown Wakefield if you're going to grill anything yourself, and nearby Belmont's for excellent produce or the URI farmers' market.

              Sweet Cakes in Wakefield for dessert or breakfast goodies. They make amazing little scones, muffins, cakes, buns. Good coffee too.

              Have fun! ** Welcome back to RI!

              13 Replies
              1. re: foxy fairy

                This and the other posts on this board have come in incredibly handy -- we've been staying in Narragansett the past couple of nights and are driving home today via Westerley. So thanks everyone.

                A couple of places I was wondering about -- on our way to Pt. Judith we passed a big place called Spain. The parking lot was packed last night. I don't remember seeing anyone's comments about it, and I was wondering if people liked it. I'm imagining an Iberian take on local sea food, I'd love to hear more about it.

                Also, I saw an ad for a bbq place around Westerly - don't remember the name. That's not the first kind of food I think of when I'm on vacation in New England, but I'm still curious. I've pretty much sated my need for fried seafood. I might scope it out for lunch today, along with the places in the post just above. If I do, I'll report back.

                1. re: Helen F

                  Spain was good once upon a time (15 yrs ago?), is horrid now. Sad too, since the location is lovely. I gave it one more shot last summer - if a place called Spain can mess up paella, I'm all done. But keep it in mind for drinks? Good sangria.

                  Is the BBQ place the one right off Rt 1? WB Cody's I think it's called? If so, I had a burger there once years ago, I don't really recall. Family type place.

                  1. re: JaneRI

                    Yes, that's Cody's for barbecue in Westerly, right at Dunn's Corners. We were all SO annoyed when Applebees moved in --- ick!

                    I agree on Spain for drinks and a cool almost lounge-y vibe. It is so much more pleasant than nearly any other local spot for a nightcap and an elegant mood.
                    For a much, MUCH more low-key drink, the deck upstairs at Champlin's is cool for watching the lobster boats and ferries come in, breathing in the salt air. This would be breezy/fun during the week and unbearably touristy on the weekends - actually I like it best there in September. They make great lobster bisque too but I stick with Iggy's for all other seafood.

                    There's a cute ice cream shoppe in Galilee too - Goody's I think it's called now.
                    Don't forget about Brickley's for ice cream in Wakefield - a local favorite!

                    I used to enjoy the specials there but I haven't been in three summers. It is always packed. Sometimes the waiters are incredibly high on themselves, in my recollection -- annoyingly so.

                    1. re: foxy fairy

                      I'd have to say that we were a bit disappointed by Brickley's -- a fun place, but of the 4 flavors we tried we thought 2 were just so-so, and the sundaes were a bit light on the hot fudge.

                      Last night we had dinner at Champlin's. It was on the late side, and the deck was pretty empty, but the tables we saw devouring lobster dinners seemed pretty happy. The place was better than I had expected it to be. The fried clams were not bad, and I really liked the clam chowder - the milky kind. No apparent flour, so not gummy, and unlike much other chowder I've had, the clam pieces were not cooked into an ultra-rubbery condition. We had a fine time.

                    2. re: JaneRI

                      We are regulars at Spain and out of all the years they have been in Narragansett and Cranston we have always been very happy, perhaps it was just a fluke that you had a disappointing experience. The kitchen staff is the same as it has been since they originally opened in the Pier. You really should give it another try,they have a lot of other great things on the menu...and the service has always been terrific.

                      1. re: fruitlady

                        Fruitlady, I've had at least 3 disappointing episodes there and won't be back. The paella wasn't blah, or so-so, it was downright horrid. Undercooked, hard rice, loaded w/salt, just awful.

                    3. re: Helen F

                      For lunch today? On this beautiful day? I'm probably too late but.....get thee to Up River Cafe!!! A gorgeous patio right on a river. LOVE it.

                      1. re: JaneRI

                        Hi Jane!
                        You and I always seem to end up on the same posts, lets do lunch!! Such a pretty day, going to 84 High St tomorrow eve with Sister, hope for a drink and app at Up River first. (Birthday month!) Have you tried the Cove in Charlestown lately? Nice specials, great service from bartenders, (we are bar eaters!) I have never been let down by Guytanos either. Don't let the strip mall location fool you, lol!!
                        Have been to WB Codys too many times to count, great people, I think they are feeling the pinch from Crapapplebees, yuk! Tried that awful chain 2x, never again. Salad looked like it was scraped off other peoples plates. Strange texture to chicken.

                        1. re: katerina

                          I'll look for you on the boards next time I'm heading down to that end....I'm based in northern RI (so you know Westerly is a daytrip for me! haha). Seriously though, did you see Bluebird's post (it's a sticky) about dinner at Vintage on June 16? Last I heard 6 Chowhounds said they could make it. But Woonsocket is a haul for you for dinner.

                          Applebee's....once upon a time I was quite happy there (10-15 yrs ago).....was it better, or did I just expect less back then?

                          1. re: katerina

                            What is the Cove in Charlestown? Never heard of it but like the sound!

                            1. re: JaneRI

                              In Narragansett a new restaurant just opened up on Main street (where Caylily's used to be). It is called Crave. I have been twice so far and have enjoyed both trips. It is mid-priced, eclectic cuisine. The duck is very good...

                              1. re: JaneRI

                                The Cove "used to be Halmacks") or something like that! Cute, cozy and great stuffies. Bartender took the clams casino off the bill last week because he didn't like the way it looked after we had asked to have it heated! Sometimes you just want really good fish and chips and this place never has failed.

                            2. re: JaneRI

                              Well, we ended up at 84 High St, and were very pleased that we did. An excellent lunch, delicious salads and panini. Then we went across the street and took a beautiful stroll through the beautiful park. A lovely afternoon before hitting 95 back to NYC.