Sushi at The Oar

Under The Oar’s distinctive arbor, you’re dining while you watch the sun glimmer off the water, boats lying at anchor, and all the rest of the action in the New Harbor. It’s beautiful — relaxing — entertaining. Could there possibly be anything missing?  The Oar’s manager, George Venezia, was sure it was sushi, and he has turned out to be right.

George found Jared Graves, who is now returning for his third year as sushi chef. There’s no doubt that Jared knows his way around a sushi roll. He designed his sushi bar and menus, and has done all the training and hiring. This summer, with his five assistants, he is hoping to keep up with the demand for this popular menu item.

“When the Japanese sit down together for a meal, they greet each other with ‘Itataki mas,’” said Graves. (In English, “Let’s eat.”)

Top picks are the California and Shrimp Tempura rolls, but the variety is almost endless, and the greater the demand, the more choices Jared offers. Most of the rolls are with seafood, some are without. There’s the spicy-hot for those who like a bit of fire, but other types are tangy with crisp, clean flavors.

Each light, fresh roll is a meal in itself, as artistic as it is flavorful. Pick your style — chopsticks, a fork or your fingers. Ask about the “funchops” for beginners. They clip on to the sticks for a better hold — sort of like training wheels for a bicycle.

To complement your sushi, The Oar offers both hot and cold sake in porcelain cups and a variety of Japanese beers.

Look for the new menu with more shushi boats, platters and Bento boxes, or create your own party with Jared’s special to-go platters. The hours for the sushi bar will be extended until 10:30 p.m. this year.

Itataki mas.

— Becky Ballard

The Oar is located at 221 Jobs Hill Rd. Phone is 401-466-8820.

“Order this …” is a weekly column celebrating the kind of delicious food and drinks that can be found at restaurants and pubs on Block Island. If anyone has a recommendation that you’d like to share with our readers, contact Kari at or 466-2222.

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