Food

Barrington's New Neighborhood Hot Spot

The latest in local seafood

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If you’re not a Barrington or Warren resident, you might have a little trouble finding the Bluewater Bar + Grill. (It was formerly known as The Tyler Point Grille at the end of Barton Avenue.) At first glance, you may think you’ve driven into a boatyard, which in fact you have. Bluewater is surrounded by yachts of just about every size and type; though there’s a nice sea breeze, the massive hulls block any real water view.

Except for new signage, Bluewater itself looks just like the Tyler Point restaurant it’s replacing. The unpretentious white, single-story building has outdoor dining in summer and a spacious indoor venue year-round. On a warm, humid Friday evening, most of the outdoor seating is taken. Indoors is almost full, too, and there’s plenty of high-energy emanating from the bustling open kitchen.

A few years ago, Chef Brian Thimme opened the popular Stella Blues on Miller Street in Warren. Bluewater is his latest venture. It’s slightly more upscale and the menu still retains some of the Tyler Point favorites. There’s a raw bar, of course, o Necks, Blue Point Oysters, and a Raw Bar Sampler that includes four shrimp, six little necks and four oysters for $23.

Some of the other starters include: a Seafood Chowder with shrimp, scallops, crab, corn, potatoes, lobster and light cream; Prince Edward Island Mussels with shallots, pancetta and Dijon cream; and grilled Margherita or Prosciutto Pizzas.

To begin, I ordered the Fried Oysters Rockefeller. The battered-bivalves were just the right balance of crispy and soft and the rich, creamy spinach was subtle enough not to overpower that unique oyster flavor. The menu stated that the dish includes Pernod, but I could not single out that taste. However, the addition of melted parmesan cheese was the perfect touch.

Our other starter was The Bluewater’s Heirloom Beets Salad. The ingredients included arugula, goat cheese and caramelized onions tossed in a honey lemon vinaigrette. The balance and interplay of flavors made this creation more than just your everyday fresh salad.

Some of the other salads could easily be considered a meal, with choices like Grilled Avocado and Crab or Arugula offering Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Narragansett Little
and Panko Fried Chicken Breast with red onion, diced tomato shaved radicchio with a house balsamic vinaigrette.

The entrée menu is a nice mix of seafood and carnivore classics, and if your preference is a combination from the land and the sea, there’s a Surf and Turf Bruschetta dinner that includes a 7oz. sirloin, three grilled shrimp, Tuscan bread, heirloom tomatoes, Yukon potatoes and herb butter.

For my entrée, I chose Bluewater’s Pistachio Encrusted Salmon. The crumbled nut crust was a perfect companion for the nicely grilled fish, and the accompanying salad with baby spinach, heirloom cherry tomatoes, red onion with a balsamic glaze added just the right touch of sweetness.

Our other entrée was a Chicken Gorgonzola, which featured thin slices of chicken breast with pancetta covered in a rich gorgonzola cream laced with tidbits of shallots, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. The addition of some thin-sliced Yukon potatoes, though nicely done, seemed a bit superfluous for a dish already so rich.

Some of the other entrées definitely worth returning to Bluewater for include Linguine with Little Necks done simply with garlic, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, white wine and fresh herbs in season; Chatham Cod in a panko crust with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, yellow toma- toes, asparagus, lemon caper butter and potatoes; Grilled Sea Scallops with fresh pea tendrils, fried polenta, goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes; Grilled Seafood Risotto with shrimp, scallops, lobster tail in a creamy Newburg sauce; Wild Mushroom Ravioli roasted in a garlic cream sauce and accompanied by grilled asparagus topped with shaved parmesan cheese; Shrimp and Linguini Fra Diavolo with banana peppers, fresh herbs in a zesty marinara sauce; Veal Marsala, a classic with scallopini veal accompanied by wild mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sweet Marsala wine and Yukon potatoes; and of course the other seafood classic – a one-and-a-half pound Baked Lobster stuffed with shrimp, scallops and buttered panko crumbs (available on Fridays and Saturdays only.)

Entrée prices run from $17 to $28. Appetizers range from $2.50 for a jumbo shrimp cocktail to $13 for a grilled Prosciutto Pizza. Salad prices range between $7 and $19.

The dessert menu offers an enticing variety including Salted Caramel Vanilla Crunch Cake; a Ghiradelli Brownie Sunday; Chocolate Pudding Cake; Fried Banana Caramel Cheese-cake and local Handmade Ice Cream.

The Bluewater is just getting started and obviously its kitchen staff has had to make some adjustments to the menu as it evolves. It will be interesting to see how “experimental” Chef Thimme becomes and to see if the loyal fans of the former Tyler Point Grille will continue to patronize this neighborhood favorite.