Fresh fish is the star at Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar — not unexpected, given the name, but even when things get a little fancied up away from the raw bar, the chefs at this East Greenwich restaurant don’t let too much get in the way of the main ingredient: locally sourced seafood.
Exhibit A: the very popular lobster risotto, where the three grilled diver scallops on top almost feel like a bonus once you start diving into the rice, which swims in a mild cheese sauce that never overwhelms the delicate flavor of the lobster meat generously distributed throughout the dish.
Have you had grilled lobster in the Caribbean? If so, you’re familiar with the smoky, charbroiled flavor that livened up a nightly special that found a 1.5-pound lobster perched atop gnocchi in a spinach and cognac cream sauce: the latter stood alone as a delicious leftover even after the lobster was long gone.
Sitting at the bar we had a fish-eyed view of the raw bar, and even though we’re not huge shellfish fans, we were impressed by the giant oysters and even bigger shrimp: the small shellfish platter ($16.95), with a pair each of oysters, littlenecks, cherrystones, and jumbo shrimp seemed like the deal of the day to us. Oyster shooters offered a way to mix a shot of vodka, gin, or tequila with the fruit of the sea, but we opted for the Classy Manhattan ($11), stirred with Woodford Reserve, sweet vermouth, bitters, and a cherry — a slightly sweeter take on the classic cocktail.
The atmosphere at Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar was loud and lively on a Saturday night, but we were able to slide easily into a pair of seats at the bar, where we traded dining tips with some newfound barmates and soaked up the energy from a nearby table of 10 celebrating a birthday. There’s oysters aplenty at this popular Main Street restaurant, but with a fun menu that includes po’ boy sandwiches and calamari pizza alongside more formal entrees, there’s a world of non-oystery goodness to explore here, as well.
Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar
240 Main Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818