The personal touch at The Surf Hotel

The Surf Hotel, so dear to so many locals and visitors, has been transformed in recent years. This familiar landmark, still owned by the Cyr family, sits solidly in its own history, but it has also confidently positioned itself as one of Block Island’s not-to-be-missed dining choices.

On the day we visited, Chef Gerry Sinotte greeted us with a variety of items from his menu — all beautifully displayed, plentiful and inventive. There’s a range of delightful choices, but especially for those who are in search of great seafood, the Surf Hotel is a fine place to go.

Rhode Islanders will appreciate the plate with snail salad (made with tender scungilli snails, celery, lemon juice and a little red wine vinegar) surrounded with big Blue Point oysters on the half shell. You’ll think you are right up in Federal Hill on Providence.

There’s a grilled Ahi tuna as well as blackened tuna tacos, a savory baked haddock, and crab cakes “made with 98 percent crab.” Another tuna dish that shows Chef Gerry’s style is the Sesame Seared Tuna Martini served on a plate along with crispy sweet potato and plantain chips, wasabi aioli, pickled ginger and soy sauce.

We can say that the Surf’s good food is not just served with a view, but in the view. The sea rolls right up to the beach below the newly refurbished, covered deck. The awnings keep the wind out, but the sea, the salty air and the sand are very much present and are all part of the experience.

Lorraine Cyr said, “We have learned so much. We have great staff and management, and have always tried to do what people want.” Look for Lorraine, her cousin Mitch Chagnon, Chef Gerry and Manager Pat Vaicaitis on your visit to the Surf. They and their staff all enjoy talking about their fine restaurant and meeting their guests. — Becky Ballard

The Surf Hotel is located on Dodge Street. The phone number is 466-2241.

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