Review: Breachway Grill

A meal with a view
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 12, 2011

There's yet another restaurant down at the South County shore, adding to those giant summertime sucking sounds, with busy Narragansett Bay fishing boats at one end and Charlestown tourists slurping up oysters at the other.

The Breachway Grill is a sparkling clean place, with a tile floor you could eat off of. There are counter seats straight ahead as you enter, and an array of beer taps and wine bottles on display, but plenty of space available if they get a full liquor license. To the left is a dining area for people escaping the summer heat, and to the right is a patio for those enjoying the cool sea breeze.

We weren't done taking in deep breaths of salty air, so we sat outside under one of the beer-brand parasols. The Red Stripe one seemed tropically fitting. The spanking new picnic tables and benches looked like they were on display for sale at Home Depot. A tall propane patio heater was awaiting winter like a skier poised with his Nordicas.

Breachway Grill | 401.213.6615 | 1 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown | Mon-Thurs, 11:30 am-10 pm; Fri-Sun, 11:30 am-11 pm | Major Credit Cards | Beer + wine | Sidewalk-Level Accessible
There is a broad spectrum of clientele for a place like this, from gotta-have-seafood-at-the-seashore folks to pizza-or-nothing holdouts, and they even have barbecue. I don't know that I've ever stepped into a place expecting a seafood restaurant and found barbecue.

They have a raw bar, of course, but Johnnie craved steamers, so a piping hot bowl of softshell bivalves it was — a pound of them ($11) in a lake of delicious, buttery broth. I don't know why I don't have these more often; maybe because they're messy and require a little bit of work — thumbnail under the bottom of that black, sandy siphon and zip, slip it off. These weren't overly chewy, as they can get, so the kitchen had taken care to not over-steam them. I asked for bread to soak up some of the abundance of flavorful broth, which at home I would have saved for a chowder base — it was that rich.

There are 10 New York-style thin crust (but with thick borders) "pizza rustica" offerings. We chose the pricey White Russian ($15). With more ricotta than mozzarella, it was faintly garlicky, topped with sparse scatterings of mushrooms, baby spinach leaves, and mostly red onions. Basil leaves would have come through better than spinach. Not a choice we celebrated.

The Breachway's half-pound burgers have a good rep, and the ones passing by certainly looked appetizing, one of them piled with a tangle of onion rings. (It must have been the Blue Moon, which also has cheese, cherrywood smoked bacon and BBQ sauce.) The burgers are served with hand-cut french fries, which I guess is less of a distinction these days — hasn't every place that serves frozen fries been hounded out of business by now?

Speaking of which, those barbecue offerings consist of St. Louis ribs, Jamaican-style pulled pork, and Southern-style chicken, presumably fried. Their BBQ guy was out, so I couldn't sample. But in the same spirit of not ordering the catch of the day in Kansas City, I was there for seafood, anyway.

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