Dockside Dining: Tavern by the Sea, Wickford, RI

Tavern by the Sea, photos/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.
Tavern by the Sea in Wickford. Photos/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

In the heart of historic Wickford Village in Wickford, Rhode Island, sits a sweet little restaurant called Tavern by the Sea. While filming an episode of New England Boating TV, co-host Tom Richardson, the crew and I had a chance to eat lunch there, and I can say that it is definitely worth a visit.

The tavern's Bloody Mary.
The tavern’s Bloody Mary.

Tavern by the Sea is an American-Mediterranean Bistro, and it just so happens that its owner, Kostas Karampetsosis, is also American-Mediterranean, having moved from Greece 16 years ago to attend Johnson and Wales University in Providence. Kostas fell in love with Wickford Village because it reminded him of home. A small tidal creek runs from Wickford Cove past the restaurant’s outdoor deck and patio, which does indeed give the place a Mediterranean feel.

There are 3 different, intimate areas in which to sit, and each has its own personality. There is indoor dining with charming décor, where you can appreciate the historic character of the building. There is also outdoor dining, including an upper-level deck and lower-level patio, both overlooking the water. We sat on the lower-level patio, where they had just finished adding a new granite outdoor bar. The bartenders were fun and engaging, and showed us some of their specialty drinks, including the Watermelon Mojito.

Fish & Chips
Delicious Fish & Chips

Because the atmosphere at Tavern by the Sea is so relaxing, it can quickly transport you to vacation mode. I can just imagine how nice it is to sit at either outdoor spot and sip a glass of wine and enjoy the Tuesday night summer concerts, held at the nearby Town Docks.

As for dining, the menu has a large varied selection. Items range from homemade hummus and stuffed quahogs to salads, grilled pizza, chicken souvlaki and lobster and scallop cardinale, presented in a brandy tomato cream sauce over linguini. Our crew enjoyed the clam chowder, fish and chips, penne chicken gorgonzola, Cape Cod salad and pork tenderloin portofino. Our Director, Gene Allen, hasn’t stopped talking about the pork tenderloin. The waitress recommended this dish, which was served over mashed potatoes with a port wine rosemary demi glaze. Gene said it was delicious.

Penne pasta with gorgonzola.
Penne with chicken and gorgonzola.

Tavern by the Sea is a nice restaurant with good food, beautiful views, a warm and welcoming owner and friendly staff. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and is open year-round. If arriving by boat, you can tie up at the nearby Wickford Town Docks for a few hours, and there is plenty of motor-vehicle parking on site. Entrée prices range $16-$18.

Contact Information:

New England Boating TV, sponsored by GMC and Boston Whaler and their network of New England dealers.

Pork tenderloin over mashed potatoes with a port wine demi-glaze.
Pork tenderloin portofino over mashed potatoes with a port wine demi-glaze.