Growing up in North Kingstown, I spent many days wandering the streets of Wickford. My parents and grandparents took me there to feed the ducks and grab some fresh fish or meat at Ryan’s Market. In high school, we often stopped in for a deli sandwich or a greasy cheeseburger at the Harborside where my best friend’s boyfriend worked. The former deli has now been transformed into a new restaurant called Wickford on the Water. Boasting water views and new menu, Wickford on the Water was one place I had to check out.
Wickford on the Water is located at 83 Brown Street. The newly renovated restaurant is spacious with a nice bar for relaxing and enjoying a cocktail. The real draw, however, is the deck overlooking Wickford Harbor. On the clear, day we were there, my friend and I enjoyed the cool breeze off of the water and the comfortable, well-shaded dining area. We were lucky enough to get a table right on the edge of the deck where we could see fish swimming below.
Wickford on the Water has an extensive cocktail list with drinks perfectly designed to complement the al fresco atmosphere. The family at the table next to us was thrilled with their cocktail selections, including a Hawaiian Sangria (blue like the ocean water) and a Blueberry Pomegranate Spritzer. My friend and I were more excited to find all of the draft beer selections were from local breweries, so we had beer. We sampled Westerly’s finest Grey Sail Captain’s Daughter (DIPA) and Pour Judgment (IPA), both served in frosty pint glasses to keep the brew cold on a warm day.
The appetizer selections featured usual waterside delicacies like chowder (classic New England or Rhode Island), clam cakes, steamers, calamari, mussels, and shrimp cocktail. For landlubbers, they also had chicken fingers, caprese salad, mozzarella sticks, and loaded tater tots. We split an order of the half dozen clam cakes. They were cooked well with a crispy exterior and a nice doughy interior, and they had several clams in each. We both commented that they were well-seasoned and didn’t need any extra salt.
The lunch and dinner menu are one in the same, which isn’t a bad thing.
There are a dozen or so sandwiches, including two types of lobster rolls. The entrées run the gamut from shrimp scampi to grilled salmon to lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and more. My friend ordered the New England Style Lobster Roll which means the lobster meat was cold and mixed with a dollop of mayonnaise, seasoned and it was served on a grilled brioche bun. It was accompanied by lightly seasoned Old Bay French Fries, so for $20, it was a good value, and my friend thought they were tasty. The Connecticut Lobster Roll was another choice, with the lobster meat served warm with melted butter. I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tacos and was rewarded with three large flour tortillas stuffed with the almost-raw, delicate fish. The tuna was fresh, encrusted in sesame seeds and seared to a perfect rare. The tuna was topped with a cabbage and carrot coleslaw with cucumber wasabi dressing, a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, and avocado. It was a lot of slaw and almost overwhelmed the tuna, and I wish it had come with a side of fries.
Summer in Rhode Island is made for dining outside. Wickford on the Water is the perfect place to do that. Generally speaking, restaurants on the water aren’t usually known for their good food, so I was pleasantly surprised: At Wickford on the Water, you can have a gorgeous view and eat well, too.
Wickford on the Water | 83 Brown Street, North Kingstown • 294-7900