It’s not every day your dinner menu has a prologue. Sea Craft, Narragansett’s newest waterfront restaurant, tells a three-course story: an introduction, body of work, and conclusion. As the prologue puts it, “The menu is, and will always be our story, an explanation of who we are and what we want to show you.”
A friend and I shuffled into Sea Craft on a chilly night, using the side entrance at first (as we’d been accustomed to when the restaurant was Turtle Soup) and caught a glimpse of The Shore House, the historic inn built in 1901 that houses Sea Craft. Turning a corner, we were met with the sophisticated black-and-white motif of the dining room, including a large bar easy to imagine overflowing with raw bar lovers on a summer night. We chose a quiet table by a window and settled into our rattan chairs.
Before diving into the “Introduction” or appetizer course, we took our time perusing a selection of classic beach cocktails and settled on the Agiros Pera’ and an Aviation. The former was Sea Craft’s take on a spicy margarita featuring chile-infused tequila, which our server Matt explained was steeped for three days to get the right amount of heat. Accompanied with spiced pear, orange liqueur, and lemon, the drink was as tasty as its star anise garnish was lovely. The Aviation, which was served in a coupe glass, was a stunning shade of purplish blue. With London gin as the base, the violet liqueur stood out with floral kick.
For our app, we selected the Torched Taleggio and were immediately delighted by the approachability of the fry bread, best described (at least for New Englanders) as a tiny doughboy. We spread each piece with a sweet yet tart plum jam, topped with a generous spread of the torched cheese. Similar to a brie, the taleggio had a thin, rough exterior with a smooth and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth inside. Between the cocktails and this elevated comfort-food bite, it’s safe to say we were warmed from the seaside chill.
From root vegetables and vibrant salads to fish and steak dishes, the “Body of Work” section of the menu has something for everyone. Still craving cozy, my friend opted for the Goat Ricotta Anolini. The broth, a mushroom brodo, was subtle and soothing, pairing perfectly with the freshness of the goat ricotta and savoriness of the salt pork.
For my entree, server Matt swayed me to try the Whole Spanish Mackerel when he described the creaminess of the chickpea puree on the side. The fish was perfectly crispy and salty on the outside, soft and light on the inside, and neighbored by a generous serving of beets topped with zesty gremolata parsley sauce. Next to it was the chickpea puree (as creamy and delicious as described) carefully lined with urfa pepper, a satisfying surprise accompanying yet another warming course.
Full and content, we almost stopped there, but remembered no story is complete without a conclusion. For dessert, Matt offered a final suggestion – the Chocolate Budino. The cool chocolate pudding was topped, to our delight, with a toasted mezcal meringue and paired with a crumbly shortbread-like sable cookie. Finishing this culinary story with, essentially, an elevated s’more felt symbolic of our entire experience – comfortable enough to settle in, surprising enough to come back for more.
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