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Jul 11, 2007 09:22 AM

Block Island RI Eats?

Will be on Block Island for 3 nights. Looking for your best suggestions for lunch & dinner. Like innovative seafood (not just baked/stuffed or fried), but all suggestions welcome! Anything not to be missed?

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  1. BI is pretty straight-forward, not much in the way of cutting edge cuisine (but if I'm mistaken, hopefully someone else will weigh in). The most innovative I've had was fish tacos w/cilantro for lunch at The Oar in New Harbor.

    1. For innovative seafood try Eli's, The Harbor Grill and the Mohegan Cafe - especially their daily specials. Finn's caters to the "baked/stuffed or fried" fans. Ballard's caters to the "I want to get very drunk" crowd.

      New on BI this summer is Harry's Cafe, next to the post office. It's owned/operated by the same folks who own Harry's Cafe or Harry's Place (not sure which or perhaps both) in Vermont. I heard just yesterday that they do a very good fish stew. A bus-girl I know says the food is "delicious." If you go, please report back. (Note: If you go for dinner, it is a BYOB place.)

      For a lovely out-of the maddening crowds place for lunch, go to the Springhouse. The atmospere may outweigh the food but the views and the breeze are worth it. Last summer, word on the beach was that their "gourmet" pizza is very good, but I haven't tried it.

      BI has lots of little lunch places, and over the past few years it seems as if they have been trying to outdo each other in the creative sandwich department. Examples are Three Sisters and Froozies (all vegetarian). The Oar seems to have a reputation on these boards for THE place for a great lunch, but I'm not sure if that is still true.

      Mexican on the Deck (at the Yellow Kittens) has a growing following for fish tacos (striped bass) as well as other offerings. They're open for lunch only.

      Not to be missed: donuts (aka sinkers) from Payne's Dock.

      Block Island often takes a bashing for the food, but we do have our little gems. (For instance, you could do a quest for the best clam chowder.) Plus it is always good to bear in mind that since it is a seasonal place (and therefore very hard to make money), there can be frequent turn-over in owners and chefs.

      8 Replies
      1. re: clamscasino

        Wow, thanks for all this wonderful info!

        1. re: SEH

          I hope I'm not too late to be of use in your planning. Dear Eye Dick's on Payne's dock is a good choice , both in terms of food, service and ambiance (right on the inlet to the Hog Pen at the end of Great Salt Pond. There is another restaurant of the same name on the mainland so I guess it could be called a chain but I can't see that as a negative. Very enjoyable!

        2. re: clamscasino

          Ballard's used to be very good a few years back but since has changed owners again. Now I would have to agree that they just cater to the ones who want to drink all day in the sun and get some cheap eats. If you are interested in a Clambake they actually have a pretty good one on the menu, but you can get that anywhere. In years past they did offer some great fare such as Fresh Tuna Steaks, great Clam Cakes and many others, but now, unless you want just the basics, stay away from here. I am not sure of the name of the place on the corner but that always seemed like a perfect place with nice atmosphere, not cheap, a little of a wait, but very nice. I think that was Mohegan.

          1. re: Jimbosox04

            Jimbo, Ballard's hasn't actually changed owners, it's just that the management has moved down a generation. If you could describe "the place on the corner" a bit more I could maybe help identify it. The Mohegan isn't really on a corner but it does have the distinction of being the only place on the Block that brews its own beer.

            1. re: clamscasino

              And I will add to that clamscasino....while the boys are very heavily involved, mom is still on-site and overseeing everything.

              1. re: JaneRI

                tell her to bring it back the way it was about 10 years ago... The place I was thinking of on the corner is when you get off of the ferry from Point Judith and look to your right, It is a huge white hotel.

                1. re: Jimbosox04

                  There are two white hotels: the Harbourside and the National. The National is the larger but a bit further from the ferry. If you are thinking of the one with the bar on the porch, that would be the National.

                  1. re: clamscasino

                    Yep, thats the place....I was thinking the Executive or something like that but you are correct....I love Block Island !!! I think The Oar is pretty decent also but I liked Ballards about 10 years ago, not so inviting anymore, I think it was the staff and waitresses last time I went that kinda turned me off. Also it seemed like the menu turned into burgers and chicken fingers instead of the wonderful dishes they used to have. I will say they had the one and only best tuna steak I ever had.