Expect the expected at Finn's Harborside

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"Have a Finntastic Day!"

Expect the expected at Finn’s Harborside


Nothing beats a Rhode Island holiday weekend without a little fried food. What would it be - clam cakes - doughboys - calamari?  Would we stand at a take-out window or dine? We decided that we wanted seafood and we wanted to be on the water. Two requests easily fulfilled in Rhode Island.


Finn’s Harborside is on Water Street in East Greenwich Harbor. It was a hot noontime drive, and we wondered just how hot it would be on their deck and if outside eating would be a good idea. They have three seating options at Finn’s.  Inside dining/inside bar seating, as well as covered but open sided deck seating, and a few tables at the end of the deck that are in full sun with umbrellas that only provide minimal shade covering.


We opted for seating #2 - a little fresh breeze and clear view of the boats and water. It was a packed marina with very little activity on this day after the “Fourth”. Patrons ranged from 20s, to families with babies and children, to couples, to seniors, all enjoying this day where “expectation” and “familiarity” provides an easy comfort.


It was getting pretty warm, so our thought of chowder vanished, and we opted for the Stuffies. Portuguese chourizo, or linguica, was the overwhelming ingredient and they were tangy, and we opted for a little bowl of lemons as well. “The best I ever had,” came from one reviewer, with a pile of spent lemons on her plate. We then ordered classic fried clams, the full bellied ones, complete with heaping amounts of skinny fries and a little too sweet tartar sauce, and perfect coleslaw. Our other meal was fried scallops. With the same side treatments.  More lemons, please, and vinegar, too.  One of us is affectionately known as the “condiment queen”. The food was more than plentifully portioned, with enough for that great local treat - some to take home. Again, the food was prepared hot and not greasy, a perfect answer to our fried food calling.


When we asked Will, our waiter, where did the scallops come from, he said - ‘here’ - pointing to the water.  But knowing the fish is fresh and local is a big selling point for us. When we asked where, exactly, we were, another waiter pointed a short distance away and said, “that’s Goddard Park”.  Ever directionally challenged, we got it.


By 1pm we were way too hot and on a mildly hot day, with little humidity, we wondered if there was something they could do to cool down this seating area that holds about 80 people, because it’s prime seating for summer dining.


Prices were reasonable - though we did notice something we’ve never seen - anywhere.  A $125 lobster roll - it was billed as Finn’s Ultimate Lobster Roll - 2 pounds of chilled claw-knuckle lobster meat lightly dressed in mayo & mixed with chopped celery, served over lettuce on a fresh loaf ciabatta bread. Okay!


When you go to Finn’s know that the entire place changes atmosphere around 5pm when almost nightly bands and entertainment take over and the dynamics are altogether different. We’ve also attended business and social functions in their spacious event space on the second floor. We imagine the food stays pretty much the same, regardless of which Finn experience you have.


But for lunch, we agree with the greeting on the shirts of the waitstaff, “Have a Finntastic Day”! 


Reviewers: Nancy Thomas & Alexandra Slack, for RINewsToday.com