Joanne’s Journey: Matunuck Oyster Bar Doesn’t Dissappoint

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There is nothing more pleasant than riding toward the shoreline on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy some fresh seafood.

This weeks’s journey took me to the Matunuck Oyster bar, nestled on Potters Pond in Wakefield, on Succotash road. I remember this road well, as my Uncle John owned a beach house not far from this location in Snug Harbor RI. This is always a pleasant ride, only about 45 minutes from Providence since traffic was light.

As we drove up  to this beautiful waterside restaurant, hoping to get in with eleven people, we realized we might have to wait because there was a crowd outside and inside. There were four people directing traffic into the parking lot to valet parking with ease. They do not take reservations, so we decided to relax and enjoy this beautiful Sunday afternoon with a nice summer breeze by waiting at the bar area for our table.

The Best Cosmos

I asked the bartender, who is named Evan, what drink was his specialty cocktail. He suggested a citron vodka cosmopolitan martini. Evan said he made the best “Cosmos” in the state. He didn’t disappoint us. The martini glass was ice cold and the cosmo was smooth and delicious with a just a hint of cranberry juice and lime.  It was just perfect for a  Sunday afternoon cocktail.

Matunuck Oyster Bar’s bartenders make the best cosmos.

The beer of the day was called a “Whaler draft ale” which the guys in our party enjoyed. Other cocktails that were enjoyed were the “Potter’s Pond Bloody Mary” and the “Pomegranate Sparkler”, which is pomegranate liqueur, champagne and a cherry.

Evan and his coworker Dillon were working hard at this bar. They seem to enjoy their work though. They were pleasant and friendly and their service was prompt and accurate.

The Rhode Island Appetizer(s)

As I looked around the bar area, I saw many eating appetizers such as fried calamari, steamed little necks in garlic and oil and boiled “Steamers” which are clams served with hot broth and butter.

Our wait was not long at all. It was only a half-hour. That’s not bad when compared to other restaurants that don’t take reservations.

Now that’s some tasty looking summer cuisine.

Our seats were outside with a beautiful view of Potter’s Pond. There was a nice breeze and scent of ocean air that filled the restaurant that made you feel like you were seaside. 

The menu is long, and the choices are plentiful.

Thank heavens for valet parking.

For appetizers we ordered an array of seafood delicacies. We had seafood platters with raw oysters, jumbo ice cold shrimp, and raw little necks.

Oysters: Many Varieties

An interesting fact about oysters is that there are several kinds. Among the oysters we chose were the “ Matunuck oysters” which are grown right in Potter’s Pond off the waterside deck where the restaurant is located. Most of the vegetables served are grown on Potter’s Farm, which is right near the pond. The restaurant even gives tours of their vegetable farm. What a unique experience! 

No seafood dinner is complete without trying a stuffed quahog, a RI specialty. All you have to do is watch Rhode Islander Seth Farland’s “The Family Guy” cartoon to know that. The stuffed quahogs were spicy and full of quahogs and a hint of chourico sausage. We also ordered the clams casino, which were a whole clam topped with a light coating of breadcrumbs, butter and bacon. This was my favorite!

Served with our appetizers were fresh baked dinner rolls with a hint of butter and parsley.   I decided on the fried whole belly clams for my entree with homemade cut French fries and coleslaw. The clams were a good size and the fries were hand cut and fresh. 

Lots of Appetizers

We also ordered boiled lobsters with fingerling potatoes, and a zucchini medley of vegetables. The lobsters were a good size but could have been a little bigger.

Other dishes we ordered were grilled seasoned swordfish, fish and chips, baked scrod, Grilled Atlantic salmon, Jambalaya and  lobster salad.

Joanne was rolling with a big crew last Sunday.

Now, I must say if you want something extraordinarily different, try the Jambalaya which is fried oysters, shrimp, chicken and sausage in a Cajun sauce over rice. This was delicious!

A Delightful Meal

No dinner would be complete without dessert. We enjoyed the key lime pie which was a special. It had a butter crum crust a hint of lime pudding and topped fresh cream. This light dessert was the perfect end to a hearty meal. 

All in all, our meal was a pleasant dining experience and a great way to enjoy our Sunday afternoon with family and friends. If you are looking for a good way to relax and enjoy some delicious fresh seafood, try it out!

It’s worth the journey! 

Joanne Giannini
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative from Providence. A freelance journalist, consultant and writer, she has previously written commentary for The Providence journal, GolocalProv and WPRO radio. Contact her at Pt3270@yahoo.com
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