Fall is the perfect time to discover Southern Rhode Island’s beaches and beachside cuisine. The ocean water is warmer, and the tourists have all gone home. On the weekdays, you don’t have to deal with the kids or the teachers who are back in school. The seaside restaurants that are bustling midsummer have seen their crowds thin out. So, if you find yourself in Misquamicut and feel like a bite to eat or a cocktail, Gino’s By the Beach is now open.
Gino’s is located on Atlantic Avenue, just feet away from the state beach. If you look closely, you can make out a view of the ocean in the distance. The owners completely renovated the space, making it brighter with clean lines and a beachy vibe. Large windows let in the sunlight along a row of comfortable booths, and the dining room tables are well-spaced. Stylish bar seating is also available. Gino’s has air conditioning, which is a luxury at beachside restaurants. For additional seating, there’s a large outdoor deck, perfect for autumn al fresco dining.
Looking over the cocktail list, I was surprised to see how pricey they were, until I ordered one and saw how big it was. I went with the Bonfire Margarita – Jose Cuervo Tequila, jalapeño, lime, mango, and pineapple juices. The beer list has one local beer on tap, Grey Sail’s Captain’s Daughter. If you’re going to have one local beer on tap, that’s a great choice.
Gino’s is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was there during lunch with my mom and a school friend. The menus aren’t extensive, but they include everything a beachside place should offer. At lunch, the menu included chowder, lobster bisque, fried calamari, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. As a starter, the fried calamari was flavorful and had texture – a nice combination of rings and tentacles. It was served with hot peppers and a side of marinara sauce.
Since the restaurant was in such close proximity to the beach, it was almost imperative that someone ordered the lobster roll, so I went for it. They serve the lobster rolls cold or warm with melted butter, and I picked the latter. The lobster meat was served on a delicious, grilled New England-style bun, and it was all meat (no pesky vegetables thrown in). All of the burgers and sandwiches were served with sides of fries. The fries were plentiful and piping hot. My mother ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with pesto, melted provolone, and sliced tomato, all served on a brioche bun. My friend is a vegetarian, so she was thrilled to find they had the Beyond Burger on the menu. If you aren’t familiar with the Beyond Burger, it’s a meatless, plant based burger that looks like, cooks like, and satisfies like meat. She had it prepared medium-well and said it tasted better than what she’s had in the past. Since they grilled it, it had that charred, smoky flavor that you get right off the barbeque. The sandwich came topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and my friend added avocado for $1 more.
We were full after our meals, but managed to make room for dessert. We split a small piece of key lime pie that was tasty, sprinkled with toasted coconut on top. The three of us polished it off and rushed back down Route 1 to beat the beach traffic back to North Kingstown.
Whether you want to grab breakfast in the morning before hitting the beach or need a quick lunch or dinner break after some boogie boarding, the new Gino’s By the Beach has you covered. You had better go soon because winter is coming.
Gino’s By The Beach
144 Atlantic Ave., Westerly • 388-8400