Island freshness and ambience at the Old Island Pub
“Where do the locals like to go for a drink or to grab a bite?”
On Block Island, one of those places is the Old Island Pub, where Chef Phil Walsh is serving up fresh food for lunch and dinner every day of the week.
This is a place where locals hang out and visitors come to grab a snack, relax with a sandwich and watch a sports game or two on the big screen TV. A small bar downstairs has stool seating for some, and around it are tables for bigger parties or quiet twosomes. An outside patio and upstairs porch area allow for even more socially-distanced seating when the weather permits.
The Pub is currently working on making the upstairs event space an even larger dine-in area, hopefully in time for the winter months as they’ll be the only lunch and dinner restaurant open every day of the week. Take-out is also offered and has been quite popular, especially on Taco Tuesdays. You can get pizza, appetizers, sandwiches and entrées to-go anytime. Specials are added daily to round out the menu.
Chef Phil makes everything from scratch, from the smoked bluefish dip to pot roast, to chicken blue plate specials to the pickled sides that make most dishes ‘pop’ with flavor. Comfort food favorites chicken and eggplant parm are here along with stews, soups, salads, sandwiches and chili. The smoked bluefish dip, served with crostini, house-made pickles and tomato onion jam was yummy; a hearty appetizer that tasted creamy, crunchy — and those pickles? Wow. Pickled carrots, beets, spicy cucumber pickles, milder dill pickles, pickled green beans—paired with the sweet jam and the smoky fish, there was something for every taste bud in this app. Beef stew was hearty and packed with vegetables and slow-cooked meat that deepened its flavor. The green crab bisque was outstanding—Chef Phil procures green crabs from the Great Salt Pond and makes the sweetest, most flavorful stock that becomes a decadent treat of crab, cream and ocean freshness. It is the perfect marriage of a Maryland crab soup and Block Island ingenuity, and it’s great to support a restaurant using these invasive shellfish to make such a delicious treat.
A classic Cuban is done right at the Pub; nice slab of roasted pork and ham are enveloped by melted Swiss cheese, mustard, house-made pickles and grilled on a Cuban roll. Those pickles are carried through the Broccoli Reuben, a fantastic vegetarian alternative to the traditional sandwich. Meaty chunks of broccoli replace the typical corned beef, and paired with pickles, Swiss cheese, mustard and toasted rye bread, this sandwich hits all the buttons for taste and satisfaction.
If you’re looking for a night off from cooking or you’re yearning for a friendly face, take-out or stop in at the Old Island Pub this winter and enjoy a home-cooked meal made with care by Chef Phil.
For daily specials and take-out, call (401) 466-2400.