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Jun 2, 2009 06:03 AM

Block Island

Any suggestions for good eats on Block Island?

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  1. Just returned from a weekend on Block Island myself. We had two dinners on the Island, one at the restuarant at the Hotel Manissis (Spring St.), and one at Eli's (Chapel St.). I think the consensus is that these are the two best dinner options on the island. The Manissis was very good, albeit overpriced. I had a filet that was cooked a perfect medium-rare and came with grilled asparagus and blue cheese-scallion mashed potatoes. My girlfriend had their version of peking duck, which was entirely unlike a traditional peking duck, but was very good, nevertheless. They have a fresh herb garden outside, which is always a good sign. Again, this is a nice restaurant with a good atmosphere, but certainly overpriced (that's often the trend for food and drink on the Island--bring your own alcohol!).

    Eli's was also good. My girlfriend and I split an order of tuna nachos that were good, not great. She had an arugala salid with warm goat cheese that was fresh and big enough to fill. I had grilled swordfish in a navy bean ragout that I thought was good, but slightly bland. All and all we had a nice meal.

    We also had a light lunch at The National, but it's nothing to rave about. Bad, overpriced drinks and fried seafood, mostly. I'd steer clear. I hear good things about Three Sisters for lunch (a sandwich shop), but we had a good breakfast buffet included with our hotel package, and were never hungry for a real lunch. Which reminds me, I would recommend the breakfast buffet at the 1661 Inn. I believe that those who are not staying at one of the participating hotels can still pay to eat there. One last recommendation would be to at least get drinks or coffee on the porch at the Spring House. Definitely the best view of the Atlantic of any of the hotels!

    Enjoy! It was our first visit to Block Island and we thought it just beautiful.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DawesWilliams

      An old econ professor of mine was a william dawes

      1. re: DawesWilliams

        Sorry to nitpick, but the correct name is Hotel "Manisses." This might in future searches for other 'hounds.

        1. re: DawesWilliams

          Going to 2nd Manissis. Better than Spring House. Haven't tried Eli's.

          We were at Manissis last week, brand new menu (which was too bad, I was looking forward to that duck, but its not on the menu now.)

          I like the Mohegan, right across the street from the ferry on the main drap, good bar food, good seafood. As with all, overpriced. Their housemade beer is pretty good too.

        2. Block Island is not a haven for foodies. You have to ask around when you are there about the best restaurants. The consensus seems to change each year, because the chefs change each year. The Beachcomer and Sharkies are always favorites, but definitely not gourmet. For a big splurge you might enjoy treating yourself to dinner in the garden at Manisses one of nights that you are on Block. Sometimes you can make a reservation for the garden in advance and sometimes you can't. Try making the reservation in person on a weekday in the morning on the day that you want to go.

          3 Replies
          1. re: aldente1

            There is no restaurant by the name of "Beachcomer" on Block Island. Did you mean Beachead?

            1. re: aldente1

              For what it's worth:
              Was on the block Jun 9th and 10th. Ended up eating at the Harborside (with my band mates) which to our delite was pretty good and fairly priced.

              I had a Haddock ,which was lightly batterd and fried, served with a fresh salsa like topping, (almost like vera cruz style) which sat in a ginger aoli. Also had a few plates from the salad bar.

              Other group members (3) had grilled tuna, fish and chips, Spinach salad with side of onion rings.

              I would not think twice about eating there again, perhaps not a destination but the food was good.

            2. Dinner on the Block is one thing - a restaurant is more comfortable, and that's what I've generally done (except for the time I went camping there with the scouts). The restaurants have a captive audience, and they have been OK, but that's all.

              For lunches, I recommend checking out the grocery store and finding the makings for an alfresco lunch. They have a good selection of deli stuff, dry cured sausages, smoked fish, probably even decent fresh shellfish. Last time I was there, we loaded up pretty well, then went over to the liquor store and got a couple of bottles of wine, and enjoyed an epic meal up at the SE light.

              I think Block Island is all about the views, and finding the food to go along with that is the right think to do,

              2 Replies
                1. re: Sean



                  The 1661 Inn and Hotel Manisses
                  5 Spring St
                  Block Island, RI 02807
                  (401) 466-2836

              1. It's great to have lunch on the deck of the Spring House. It has a wonderful view.
                For a romantic dinner, try to get a table in the garden at Manisses.
                Sharkey's, Beachhead, and the Oar are fun places. They specialize in fried food, but you can find some food that's not fried on the menu. I had local bluefish at the Beachhead. Eli's and Mohegan Cafe are both pretty good.

                1. Check out Block Island Scones.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: James c

                    Just so readers don't get the wrong idea...

                    Block Island Scones are available at the town's Farmers Market during the summer. Pat and Tom also sell the mix online:


                    Most, if not all of the restaurants mentioned above are closed during the week offseason, or closed all together - a little due diligence will go along way.

                    If you go out during the week, and get stuck for lunch, see Gary behind the deli counter at the grocery store (yes, there is only one). He'll make you a damn good sandwich!