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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hot new restaurant opens nearby

Tops for seafood
By Cathy Collette

The Sea Goose Grill and Raw Bar may be the best seafood restaurant in South County. I know this is a blog about Charlestown, but for those of you willing to venture 1.9 miles south of the Charlestown line on Route 1 you will not regret the trip. The Sea Goose opened recently at 265 Post Road in Westerly at the site formerly home to W B Cody’s rib and barbecue restaurant.

New owners Jennifer Gibson and Andrew Nathan, who also run the popular Cooked Goose in Avondale, gutted and opened up the old restaurant space, painted the ceiling dark blue, and created a welcoming and attractive new place. The other welcoming feature is the friendly, well trained and attentive staff.

With considerable pride, Andrew told us that he hired 62 new people and that the number might hit 100 by the end of summer.

But let’s talk about the food. The fish and shellfish are from local waters. My husband Will raved about the freshly shucked Ninigret oysters, and swears that the Point Judith Fried Calamari is the best he’s ever had (and Will orders fried calamari everywhere).

The really unique thing about the Sea Goose can be shown by the way they do the calamari. Lots of restaurants in our area serve fried fresh fish, but this dish is perfectly fried in a light and never greasy batter, and they also fry the olives and hot peppers in the same way. What a simple but great idea. And they offer an Asian version we haven’t tried.

We’ve been there three times now. Twice for dinner and once for lunch. The lunch menu has most of the highlights of the dinner menu, but the evening choices are expanded to include even more tempting entrees.  

We were there on Sunday night with our friend Rep. Donna Walsh, one of the co-sponsors of a bill to make fried calamari the official State Appetizer.  I’m not kidding.  Rhode Island supplies the whole East Coast with squid, and this bill will help the local fishing community.

Donna was impressed with the calamari appetizer, but the highlight of her meal was an amazing dish of Sautéed Gulf Shrimp with house made bacon, white grits, poached egg, and Hollandaise Sauce.  She said it was one of the best sea food meals she had ever had.

My two favorites are the Extra-large lobster roll which can be done hot with buttered sherry sauce (my brother loved it), or cold with a very light mayo and lemon dressing. Both come with hand cut fries. It costs $18, but it is much larger than other restaurants in the area at a similar price.

The other dish I felt obligated to try on your behalf, dear readers, was the Fisherman’s Platter. It is fried in the same light and non-greasy batter, and the fresh fish, scallops, and shrimp were amazing.

Of course, the Sea Goose also has grilled fresh fish dishes, all with an inventive touch that makes them special. And for the non-seafood lovers in the gang, poor things, they offer a few beef, chicken, and vegetarian dishes. OK, before you write bad comments, some of my best friends are vegans, and I respect the lifestyle. I’m just saying they are missing out on the best this delightful new restaurant has to offer.

Given how good our appetizers and entrees were, we couldn’t resist at least a taste from their dessert menu. On two occasions, we had their Peach Shortcake, which is served as a tart and fresh tasting peach filling inside a light, delicious homemade biscuit with whipped cream. Wonderful, and enough for three to share.

The Sea Goose is a serious sea food restaurant in a well-designed if just a tad noisy space. It has a first-class wait staff and a kitchen staff that really know what they're doing. You’d expect to pay a lot for that kind of food and service. However, on all three trips, we were pleasantly surprised. There were three of us for the two dinners where we had appetizers, entrees, drinks and dessert for under $130. Lunch for three totaled around $90, again with no skimping.

Try the Sea Goose on your next evening out, but if you go for dinner, make a reservation in advance at 315-0788 or on their website. They are open daily for lunch and dinner. You can also see their lunch and dinner menus on line.