Order this... the rich flavors at Eli’s
Every once in a while something special happens that you don’t expect. Well, this week it was our interview at Eli’s. It was late morning and no one was in the kitchen except for Adi Mandel, Executive Chef of The Atlantic Inn and Eli’s, and us. So, sitting on a high stool, we chatted with Chef Mandel as we watched him perfectly prepare and beautifully plate three very different but equally exceptional dishes — one appetizer and two entrees.
We then moved into the cozy restaurant, with its newly painted walls and new floor and lights, for our tasting.
The appetizer was an unusual charcuterie plate — not a typical meat and cheese plate — but a delicious seafood charcuterie, which was chilled mussel salad, scallop mousse, and smoked baby octopus with roasted carrot hummus.
Our first entrée was Pan Seared Halibut with preserved lemon caper gremolata, roasted fingerlings, and creamed broccoli and spinach pie (his mother’s recipe). It was superb, with the halibut cooked to perfection and the pie a real “don’t miss.” This was followed by a wonderful Grilled Pork Belly Steak with Kentucky spoonbread, sautéed rainbow chard, and a bourbon molasses glaze.
As we tasted, we talked with Chef Mandel and Brad Marthens, who with his wife Anne, has owned Eli’s since 2001 and who has just added a new partner, Rosemary Tobin, a member of the front house staff for a number of years. We also learned that the menu changes on a fairly regular basis and that all desserts are made in-house. The current offerings sound delicious so hurry in for blackberry crème brûlé, dream pie (chocolate, of course) or sweet corn cheesecake.
Eli’s is open from mid-March until mid-November. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. It reopens for New Year’s Eve with a pre-fixed menu, so reserve early! Please call (401) 466-5230, or visit elisblockisland.com.
—Becky Ballard and Ruth Perfido