Note: the top part of these Dining Out in Rhode Island blog posts concern themselves with the restaurant / eatery. The bottom parts are my travelogue, and are only there for side interest…
Spain of Narragansett: 1144 Ocean Road, Narragansett, RI 02882.
I could easily spend my entire time in Rhode Island consuming nothing but seafood and some associated veggies. Purposely, however, I checked around for other style of venue, and in this case, near my motel in Narragansett (Point Judith area). Enough driving! (I did drive to it from the motel, but this wasn’t that far.)
This restaurant opens at 4:30 pm for dinner – I got there at 5:30, and I am glad I did. By 6, a line was beginning to form. I was seated next to a wall-high water feature, the backing of it all tiled – again I’m appreciating good tile-work, as I’m having my future home tiled at this point!
Other than the garlic soup, I ordered specials not ordinarily on the menu. The service was very attentive, and very professional. Seating is indoors, and comfortable. Warm bread was served – three slices of a white, and three slices of a loaf with currants cooked in. I tried one slice of the currant bread – very nice and tasty. (Unlike lunch, this wasn’t going to be a gluten-free meal.)
The soup arrived – this, too, was not gluten-free. Definitely, everyone at the table should order the garlic soup – or, no one! Garlic breath! Yes, it lives up to its name! It’s in a red sauce that is definitely not tomato in origin – maybe a mild roasted red pepper? The soup was awesome, pretty close to a five star.
The special appetizer I ordered was described as a smoked salmon dish with a couple shrimp, lettuce and capers. There were no capers – I didn’t personally mind one way or the other, but if you say you are putting capers on a dish at an expensive restaurant, they should be there, somewhere. The lettuce was mixed greens, and they were very good. The smoked salmon was top notch and not overly salty, and was served with small splashes of sour cream rather than cream cheese. This was an interesting change, and I approve. However, the shrimp – these two shrimp were really huge, and I wonder what mangrove-despoiling farm they were raised up in. They weren’t that great, and one of these shrimp still had most of its vein in it. I could have done without them. This dish is what has seriously downgraded my rating for the restaurant.
For my main, I chose the lamb chops, asking for them medium rare. Two of the three came tender, cooked to perfection, with a tasty mound of mashed potatoes, some nicely blanched green beans, a yellow summer squash section, and a couple of carrot slices. And more garlic. Those chops were meaty and not fatty. Unfortunately, the last of the three (it had to be the last one???) was tough, and I barely got through it.
I also ordered a glass of Spanish red – I was told the label, but didn’t write it down so it went into the black hole of my memory. It was a very smooth and good wine — but I’m always a sucker for a good Spanish red.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Garlic soup, please!!
Before Dinner: (the Travelogue continues)
After my abortive attempt at finding the John H. Chafee Wildlife Refuge, I settled for a venture to the Narragansett Rune Stone, something I found recommended to visit on the Roadside America website. This is a fun and quirky website that recommends (or at times, smartly simply just mentions, without recommendation) odd sites off the regular beaten track. Roadside America recommends a variety of places in Rhode Island to visit — somehow I could hold off on the Mr. Potato Head Parade Mascot, the House of Edgar Allan Poe’s Girlfriend, and the Cow Vomit Rope On Display, but I was seriously tempted to visit the museum that houses the apple tree root that ate Roger Williams in Providence. (Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams are two of my favorite Colonial figures, and they both lived for a time in Rhode Island.) The New England Wireless and Steam Museum, in East Greenwich, may have also been an interesting destination. Yup, I missed out on all of those!
I was informed that the Narragansett Rune Stone is now located on Brown Street, Wickford. So, I wheeled up to North Kingstown, in which the Wickford district is located.
Wickford is a pleasant area, with (mostly) affordable-looking homes, but once you get to Brown Street, you recognize this area for its combo of upscale and/or quirky shopping potential. (You probably can’t afford to buy on or adjacent to this street!) There’s water access on the right side of the road as you cruise up north — and a plethora of recreational boats in dock. There’s also great parking, which was also free.
Most shops are for the quirky at heart — I really wanted to try on some clothing but my leg was bothering me. So — if it couldn’t be tried on for my upper torso, I wasn’t going to do so. I did find a wonderful, colorful sleeveless dress, but it wasn’t going to cover my really bad, swollen knee, so with regrets, I declined. I do admit, it was also a bit tight in the arms. I stopped at a more-touristy spot (most of the merchandise said “Rhode Island: or “Wickford”, or some such), and got directions to the Narragansett Rune Stone, which is about mid-street, and located at the back of the Old Library Park. (NO, I do not know if there is a New Library Park, or not…) I did pick up a refrigerator magnet…
I did get to see pipefish, and some great scenic sailboats. I also really appreciated the Narragansett Rune Stone, no matter its provenance.
Nice statuary at the Old Library Park. I’m reserving this photo for some serious hard core LightRoom improvements, but I don’t have the time right now for anything more than the basics.
And, of course, I did get to the Narragansett Runestone. It was discovered prior to 1964 — maybe as early as 1939. It cannot be determined when the runes were carved — a relic of the original Norse explorers, or perhaps something carved within the past two centuries by Scandinavian immigrants? It was originally discovered in the tidal waters of Narragansett Bay, at Pojac Point.
I booked my nights at the Lighthouse Inn of Galilee. The place was cheap, considering we were still in season here — season sort of ends at the end of Labor Day weekend. But it did say Free WiFi. Yay team! There is also a swimming pool, which would be possible for me. Well, that was cool, but apparently the WiFi ended up being accessible only when one was seated at the really humid pool area. Potentially, anyway. I wanted to get “home” in my own room at the end of the day, relax, and just chill out on the computer. Writing up food / dining out / touristy blogs. Surfing on my Kindle as I drowsed out. Not to be. Okay, first world problem, but note that’s a major reason these RI Dining Out posts are staggered out so late.
The other downside of this place — this is really the Jonathan Livingston Seagull Motel. And they don’t wear diapers or use litter boxes. And the entire extended family shows up. This was likely why the motel was very much budget-oriented!