Order this... Miso salmon at The Harbor Grill
Text and photo by John Albert
The Harbor Grill presents itself right as you step off the ferry; sitting on the center of Water Street and providing one of the best views of Old Harbor. The restaurant is known for its spacious front porch, along with the view and, most importantly, the great food.
Chef Andy Brushett greeted me with a firm handshake and a welcoming smile. He has served as the executive chef at the Harbor Grill for the past 10 years. While Chef Andy is a master of the trade, he is always looking to learn more. He explained that during the off-season he travels and works at various restaurants for a few months at a time, to simply learn more. Just this past winter, Chef Andy traveled and worked in Louisiana and Florida. Hearing a head chef speak so passionately about his process was a refreshing reminder of why Block Island is home to many incredible restaurants.
After some small talk with the staff, Chef Andy presented me this year’s Summer Special, the Miso Salmon served over wilted spinach with lemon and, pickled Thai vegetables, partnered with jasmine rice with a roasted red pepper aioli. Through this dish, you can fully understand how Chef Andy’s diverse experience works in his favor with an array of flavors that complement each other. The mixture of the miso marinade, the fresh grilled salmon and the pickled vegetables that start sweet and end savory, with a bit of kick at the end. The distinct flavors are matched with various textures. On the outside, the salmon had a crisp layer protecting the rest of the moist, flakey fillet. The jasmine rice and roasted red pepper aioli combo complimented the neighboring salmon with a hint of spice.
After trying the dish, I stayed seated and took in the view and atmosphere of the restaurant. Even though most of the tables out on the deck were occupied, the space didn’t feel overpowered by the usual dinnertime chatter.
I could actually hear the natural sounds of the island, as well as the occasional hum of a moped passing.
As I was walked out of the restaurant I overheard another dinner guest say “This has been the perfect day,” — the food from the Harbor Grill must have topped their day off.
The Harbor Grill is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with a build your own Bloody Mary bar Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For reservations and more info call: (401) 466-2828.