Order this... tapas and entrées at the Atlantic Inn

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 9:15am

The words “new” and “exciting” describe the new chef, the new menus, and the exciting food at Restaurant 1879, located at The Atlantic Inn (which opened in 1879).

Executive Chef Adi Mandel is new to Block Island (and is now a proud Block Island homeowner), but he is not new to overseeing sophisticated menus and kitchens like Restaurant 1879 and Eli’s (a story for another edition). During his career, Chef Mandel has participated in the opening of three hotels and seven restaurants. At Restaurant 1879, and Eli’s, he oversees a large staff that includes two sous-chefs, a pastry chef, and, because Restaurant 1879 is a teaching kitchen, six students from various culinary programs. 

Chef Mandel has developed exciting menus for the indoor restaurant and for the large, gracious porch and sloping lawn (a beautiful site for a wedding) where appetizers, tapas and drinks are served. And, in addition to the standard menus, there is a vegetarian menu and daily specials. The new menu focuses on sea-to-kitchen dishes, fresh vegetables, and homemade pastries, all of which, he explained, showcase his Argentinian background and love of fresh fish and seafood and the Mediterranean style of cooking.

As you might suspect, with this introduction, we could not wait for our tasting. It was worth the wait.

It was a beautiful day and we were served on the porch from which you can see the neighboring farm, the town and Old Harbor, the beach, the ocean and the sky beyond. The view was equaled only by the Sizzling Garlic Shrimp appetizer, the amazingly tender and tasty Espresso Bean Filet entrée – espresso-rubbed filet of beef – with sweet potato and ‘Nduja hash, caramelized red onion, blue cheese custard, and a mushroom cabernet jus — all followed by a (really) chocolate cake filled with strawberry buttercream and coated in toasted marshmallows (presented by Pastry Chef Courtney Segal). Does the meal sound delicious? Indeed it was, in all respects!

The Atlantic Inn and Restaurant 1879 are open from the beginning of May until mid-October. Both dinner and tapas are served seven days a week — dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. and tapas from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information see www.atlanticin.com or call (401) 466-5883. 

 Becky Ballard and Ruth Perfido