When I was invited to a ladies’ luncheon in East Greenwich, I couldn’t think of an afternoon better spent than connecting with friends new and old over delicious seafood along the coastline. And though the day was met with stormy weather, Water Street Kitchen & Bar was a warm respite. On arrival I was promptly greeted by one of the new restaurant’s general managers, DJ O’Brien, who led me up the stairs to a beautifully decorated table complete with tea lights and floral arrangements, in an elegant space overlooking the marina. Not even gray skies could dampen the cozy atmosphere.
East Greenwich’s foodie scene is well known, with everything from trendy vegetarian eateries to seafood and family-friendly spots. Main Street and the surrounding areas are buzzing with opportunities for adventurous eating. Open seven days a week serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Water Street Kitchen & Bar fits right in, offering American-style cuisine with a modern New England twist. A patio lined with heaters welcomes patrons to enjoy sweeping marina views well into the chilly season, or for indoor dining, modern subway tile and banks of windows create a bright and welcoming atmosphere perfect for Sunday Funday brunch or a family dinner.
The cocktail list is complete with a variety of signature libations – including winter flavors in the form of a Chai Latte Martini, infusing vanilla, Baileys Irish Cream, espresso, and chai with Tito’s Handmade Vodka – along with classic spirit mixers. Our server Frankie was very knowledgeable on the vast wine list, so I went with one of his recommendations: a glass of locally bottled Anchor & Hope Riesling.
The upside to dining with a group passionate about sampling and capturing photos of interesting and visually appealing plates (as this luncheon of women certainly was) means I was able to dip my fork into plenty of dishes. From an array of fresh and colorful sushi to Rhode Island-style calamari, the table was embellished with plenty of options for seafood lovers, but my personal favorite was something a little more earthy. The Roasted Mushroom Tartine was served on a crusty baguette with a medley of mushrooms, black truffle aioli, and olive oil-dressed arugula to lighten up the hearty dish.
For my main, I chose the Sherried Chicken and Penne. Pro-tip for vegetarians – you can opt out of the chicken, as I did, for a version of this dish that’s satisfyingly robust but not too heavy. The creamy sauce was a complex marriage of flavors: green onion, mushrooms, and sherry. Serving sizes aren’t overwhelming, though there was enough pasta left for me to ask for a take-out box.
Despite the smattering of options I sampled, I left knowing I’d have to plan a return visit to let the friendly staff walk me through more suggestions. Perhaps dining outside and under sunnier skies next time, I’ll definitely save room for a bite of the Coffee Milk Budino!
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