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Matunuck Oyster Bar

JaneRI Aug 27, 2009 08:50 AM

I'm in love, it's my new favorite place. Been twice, last night I had a dozen local oysters, a PERFECT lobster roll, and 2 glasses of prosecco. The setting on the salt pond couldn't be nicer. Anyone else been?

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  1. j
    JaneRI RE: JaneRI Aug 27, 2009 08:53 AM

    Nice article w/a pic. Sorry for not specifying, this is on Succotash Road on the way to East Matunuck State Beach in RI.


    3 Replies
    1. re: JaneRI
      coastalgypsy RE: JaneRI Aug 28, 2009 08:12 AM

      I went last week, the cherrystones were delicious and the location is great - but the waitress brought me the wrong entree, which was annoying because I was starving ... so I had to wait an hour to get the right dish. I hope that was just a fluke, because it seems like a nice place.

      1. re: coastalgypsy
        Sean RE: coastalgypsy Aug 28, 2009 04:14 PM

        Yes, service is in need of improvemennt and the owner knows it. My neighbor works at Cap'n Jacks across the street and she informed me that the owner has inquired with Cap'n Jacks management about how to improve service. Apparently this is his first restaurant and he appears to want to have it succeed...

      2. re: JaneRI
        Sean RE: JaneRI Aug 28, 2009 04:11 PM

        My wife and and I have been twice this past month, very good, she really loves the place...

      3. t
        Trnrbrnr RE: JaneRI Aug 29, 2009 09:33 AM

        My neighbor tried to go Thursday night and couldn't get in. Sounds interesting, though, have to wait until the crowds thin out after next week.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Trnrbrnr
          Frank Terranova RE: Trnrbrnr Aug 29, 2009 11:32 AM

          I looked at the menu its ok the usual Seaside fare.

          1. re: Frank Terranova
            basachs RE: Frank Terranova Aug 30, 2009 08:15 AM

            If executed well, this menu fills a great void in this state. The seafood restuarants here are woefully pathetic. cant wait to try this place.

            1. re: basachs
              JaneRI RE: basachs Aug 30, 2009 12:43 PM

              That's what I think sets this place apart. It's fresh seafood, simply and well-prepared. That coupled w/the fact that they highlight their own local oysters (from the pond you're looking out at), and they have that great outdoor seating. I don't think looking at a menu online tells you THAT much about a place.

              1. re: JaneRI
                chefjohn RE: JaneRI Aug 30, 2009 01:13 PM

                Menu looks good to me. But I love seafood. Frankly, I worry about anyplace that has a lot of items on the menu as the turnover of ingredients could take longer and not be fresh.

                1. re: chefjohn
                  Frank Terranova RE: chefjohn Aug 30, 2009 01:25 PM

                  Interesting comment John ,,

                  I dont want anyone to think I am bashing this place, but as a chef also We do think alike.

                  1. re: chefjohn
                    JaneRI RE: chefjohn Aug 31, 2009 06:39 AM

                    Maybe they'll have to adjust come fall, but for now the place is bursting at the seams every single night. From what I've seen, a random Tuesday is no different from a Friday, due to so many people staying down there in beach cottages.

          2. t
            Thirstyboots RE: JaneRI Aug 31, 2009 04:28 PM

            It is my husband and my new favorite place! We just love it too! We have been there 4 times in the last 2 weeks. Thought we might keep it a secret (getting crowded!) but, oh well. We have always had friendly, reasonable service, though it was a bit slow last Thursday. I attribute that to the end of August depletion of staff. We didn't mind at all, since we were on the deck and it was just before sunset!. We love the shuck-a-buck $1 Matunuck oysters (4-6 Mon-Thurs) . We get a dozen or so oysters, and then either extra appetizers to make it a dinner, or dinner entrees. Or, we just dine on oysters! The fish there is so fresh. The striped bass special a couple of weeks ago was outstanding, and the swordfish is always really good. I intend to try the lobster roll next!. Even though there are lots of people waiting for tables, it does move rather quickly, and you can have a drink and appetizer outside while you wait, as long as the weather holds. I do think that next year it will be impossible to get a table there.
            Jane- I always thought you must be a part owner of UpRiver, since you are constantly singing its praises! Just kidding. Matunuck Oyster Bar is a lovely place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Thirstyboots
              JaneRI RE: Thirstyboots Sep 2, 2009 09:27 AM

              Oh, my beloved Up River! I haven't been in so long, since they stopped serving lunch. I live in northern RI, so lunch worked out much better for me. I need to put it on my agenda before the outdoor dining season is over.

            2. t
              Trnrbrnr RE: JaneRI Sep 4, 2009 07:54 PM

              Went Thursday (It's the new Friday). Loved it. The place got packed. Wonderful atmosphere. Four oyster eaters went through 3 dozen oysters. Very good food. Some of the reviewers here comments that the menu looked too varied, but the menu they gave us was on one page - no problem there. Oyster po' boy got a good review, so did the fish and chips. My clam linguine was good. The stuffies were not as good as home-made, but at least had good sized chunks of clam in them - they appeared to be made on location. The menu advertises locally-grown produce, which gets a nod from me.

              The oysters- better than average. Very good flavor. The waitress explained that they were a bit small because they've been spawning.

              I think that this place sets the standard for seafood in South County.

              1. c
                chowmensch RE: JaneRI Sep 8, 2009 08:47 AM

                We were there Friday (9/4) for lunch. Based on all the rave reviews here we had high expectations and unfortunately we were disappointed. Looking back on it, I think we just didn't order well. My wife had the oyster po boy sandwich and said the oysters were so overwhelmed by the roll and the breading that she couldn't even taste them. I had the fried cod sandwich which was okay but no better than similar sandwiches elsewhere. In retrospect, I think my wife would have been better off selecting oysters from the raw bar. In similar restaurants I usually order a lobster roll. The menu at Matunuck, however, described the lobster roll as just nuckels and clawmeat, no tail meat so I stayed away from it. I applaud their candor though for detailing the lobster roll's contents. We liked the ambiance and the outside seating and based on all the raves we will definitely return for dinner some night.

                4 Replies
                1. re: chowmensch
                  chefjohn RE: chowmensch Sep 8, 2009 04:47 PM

                  Just A FYI Chowmensch, That is the best of the lobster meat. The tail meat is tougher. I think the idea of saying what lobster meat they are using is a selling point. I eat a lot of whole lobsters and will trade you the tails for the other meat any day.

                  1. re: chefjohn
                    chowmensch RE: chefjohn Sep 9, 2009 05:57 AM

                    Thanks, John. I know it's subjective and I respect your opinion having read a lot of your posts but I would make that trade with you. :-)

                    1. re: chefjohn
                      JaneRI RE: chefjohn Sep 9, 2009 09:13 AM

                      I agree chefjohn, it was a selling point, not them admitting the sandwich is inferior (personal tastes aside). I will say it was the best lobster roll I've ever had.

                      I went back on Sunday but was disappointed to be handed a menu full of fried crap, nothing like that nice dinner menu....the waitress checked and said no problem to order off the dinner menu, so we did. I had tuna, my friend had swordfish, both were great meals. I asked my for tuna to be prepared in the style described for the swordfish (grilled not pan-seared, roasted red potatoes & asparagus rather than zucchini & rice, a blob of tomalley butter on top)....excellent, all of it. For some odd reason there was an upcharge mentioned apologetically by the waitress (I forgot to check how much).....I found that odd since all of the fish entrees were the same price ($18), so why would they do that? Oh well, still had a great dinner.

                      1. re: JaneRI
                        chowmensch RE: JaneRI Sep 9, 2009 01:42 PM

                        I respect your opinion quite highly, Jane and appreciate the many other places you have recommended. I generally agree with you. We also are not fans of "fried crap." I actually asked the waitress if the kitchen could do the cod sandwich grilled instead of fried. She said she would check but came back and said they couldn't do it. If I knew ordering off the dinner menu was an option I surely would have done so. As I said, we will return for dinner and I am looking forward to it.

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