If you drive up the coast from Rhode Island to Maine, here are six restaurants chefs recommend with great food and waterfront views.
Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown
"Any place that is on Succotash Road makes me hungry already. Perry Raso is an oysterman extraordinaire. He founded the Ocean State Aqua Farm in 1992 on Potter Pond in the seaside Rhode Island community of East Matunuk.
An attraction at farmers markets across the state, Perry's oysters are representative of the caliber of seafood that New England is known for. Juicy, briny, luscious and fat, these oysters are some of the best in New England, as Potter Pond benefits from a brackish environment, where clean coastal Atlantic Ocean water washes into the pond and bathes the oysters in Rhode Island terroir.
A true believer in sustainable aquaculture, Raso gladly gives tours of his oyster farm and after you’ve pulled the waders up to your neck, trudged around in the pond, and seen what it is he does so well, you should make time to dine at his Matunuk Oyster Bar. At the oyster bar, Raso pulls from locally procured ingredients and his chefs create simple, but delicious food. The best part? The seafood comes in daily, fresh off the boat - allowing inspiration for constantly evolving menus.
Belly up to the raw bar for the best of what Raso has to offer and watch it get shucked right in front of your eyes. Order a bottle of carefully chosen (and well-paired) Pouilly-Fuisse, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or even a local Chardonnay from Sakonnet Vineyards - I think you’ll find they complement your native oysters perfectly. Sitting on the deck, watching the boats, slurping oysters and sipping wine. Life ain’t so bad, after all."
FED Pro > Chef Matt Jennings of Townsman in Boston
629 Succotash Road, South Kingstown, RI 02879
T: 401.783.4202 | www.rhodyoysters.com
Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop
Sit outside overlooking the water with a view of Logan Airport and downtown Boston at this iconic seafood shack. It used to be located in East Boston, but they moved to a new home and tripled their original size. It is more spruced up, but still serving the same casual New England staples like oysters, fried clams, and their much loved half-pound lobster roll.
"Come here for a crazy good lobster roll. They pack so much meat in there, you could probably share with a friend. Grab it to go, pick up a six pack of beer and enjoy your lunch on the beach."
FED Pro > Chef Cassie Piuma of Sarma in Boston
"Belle Isle Seafood for the best lobster roll."
FED Pro > Chef Anna Sortun of Oleana, Sofra Bakery and Cafe, Sarma in Cambridge
1 Main Street, Winthrop, MA 02152
T: 617.567.1619 | www.belleisleseafood.com
The Barnacle in Marblehead
This classic waterfront seafood house serves a traditional menu with their signature chowder, fried calamari, steamers, lobster, haddock au gratin, scallops, fish and chips and a few selections from the land like chicken and steak.
"Come here for brunch or lunch. You'll be sitting literally on top of the harbor on their deck."
FED Pro > Chef Tim Wiechmann of T.W. Food, Bronwyn in Cambridge and Somerville
141 Front Street, Marblehead, MA 01945
T: 781.631.4236 | www.thebarnaclerestaurant.net
Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth
"French technique. World influences. Local and sustainable purchasing. New England sourcing. These are all traits that executive chef and owner Evan Mallett, brings to his upscale, casual bistro.
Besides having a really cool personal history, Evan can cook the shit outta almost anything. His menu is broken down in to small, medium, and large plates, which allows you to graze or go hog wild. Either way, you will come away a believer.
Ground lamb kebabs with herbed Brookford Farm quark and Peruvian black mint, house-crafted charcuterie including country pate, duck pastrami and sausage, roasted oysters, and quail adobo. There is plenty for vegetarians too: leek and cheddar tartlet, heirloom vegetable salad, and one of the Northeast's best rotating selections of artisanal cheeses.
The wine list here is killer too and it all compliments Evan's food perfectly. While there are wines from around the world, I’m always partial to Alsatian varieties, always my choice for the type of just-right-rich, fat-meets-salt, flavor-polooza that a menu like Evan's provides. Visiting New Hampshire? Heed the trumpet's blow."
FED Pro > Chef Matt Jennings of Townsman in Boston
29 Ceres Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
T: 603.431.0887 | www.blacktrumpetbistro.com
The Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth
They are located 9 miles south of Portland on the beautiful coast of Maine and have been making lobster rolls since the 1920s. You can either sit inside their dining room with large windows or outside on the picnic tables overlooking the picturesque rocky shore. The menu features lobster, but you can also get a hamburger if you're there for the view and not the seafood.
"Get the lobster/crab roll or fried clams. This is a good seafood 'shack' with amazing views, set right on the water."
FED Pros > Chefs Damian Sansonetti & Ilma Jeil Lopez at Piccolo, Blue Rooster Food Co in Portland
"For seafood and lobster rolls overlooking the ocean."
FED Pro > Chef Krista Desjarlais of Bresca and The Honey Bee in New Gloucester
"If our 'from away' friends insist on lobster, we take them to The Lobster Shack in the summer months."
FED Pros > Chef Samantha and Don Lindgren of Rebelais Books in Portland
225 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
T: 207.799.1677 | lobstershacktwolights.com
Portland Lobster Company
Located in Portland's Old Port overlooking the docks, you can order a lobster or lobster roll and drink a cold beer sitting outside. What could be better?
"They have an outdoor deck right on the water, freezing cold beers, and a lobster roll worthy of a James Beard award. A half lobster caught that day on a toasted bun brushed in butter (the way life should be), and mayo on the side."
FED Pro > Chef Erik Desjarlais of Weft & Warp in Freeport
180 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
T: 207.775.2112 | www.portlandlobstercompany.com
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