When my cousin, her husband, and two children (now three!) were staying with us while visiting the U.S., my family and I tried to show them around to let them try new things. Sometimes the best way to immerse people in another country is to have them try that country’s food. On this occasion, we opted for taking them out for seafood. Of course, they eat seafood like fish and shrimp, but my cousins tended to be more averse to trying things like oysters (raw or cooked) or even lobster. For them, lobster looked a lot like what it may have looked like to the first fisherman that pulled one out of the ocean – a giant insect. After many reassurances, my more adventurous cousin-in-law, agreed to have a lobster roll with me and Quito’s is where it happened.
Quito’s Restaurant and Bar
411 Thames Street
Bristol, RI 02809
Service and Atmosphere
Quito’s gets pretty busy in the summer, which makes sense because they serve fresh seafood by the water. There is often a wait during the day on a weekend, but luckily if the weather is nice, you can take a stroll or lay in the park next door while you wait. Just take a look at the view near the restaurant!
The service is friendly and accommodating at Quito’s. For example, we had two young children with us and we had no problems finding child seats or cups with lids on them for the kids. They have outdoor seating in the summer, which I recommend because the tent keeps the sun at bay, while the water brings in a nice cooling breeze.
I wouldn’t call Quito’s a clam or seafood shack, but they do similarly specialize in fried seafood. There are other non-fried seafood options on the menu though. Among the notable items on the menu, my family and I tried the calamari, the Fried Seafood Platter, and the Lobster Roll.
Calamari – I thought the calamari at Quito’s was a solid dish. The breading wasn’t too heavy or too greasy, but it still held it’s shape providing a crispy coating around the calamari. They were lightly seasoned and not overcooked. The part I liked the most was that they provide the marinara sauce as well as the peperoncini rings (pickled hot peppers) immersed in olive oil with spices on the side. This allowed anyone to eat the calamari as they wanted, whether plain, Italian style with sauce, or Rhode Island style with the peppers. All too often, restaurants make you choose one type of side/topping for calamari and even more often, if you choose RI style, you get a greasy, soggy, peppery mess. Quito’s does it right.
Fried Seafood Platter – Once again, the breading on the seafood (haddock, scallops, shrimp, and clam strips) wasn’t too heavy or greasy as far as breading goes. The seafood all tasted very good and not over-cooked. Yes, this dish is a gut-bomb, but everything tasted pretty good.
Lobster Roll – This is the touchstone by which I judge many seafood restaurants. Considering that this was literally the first time that my cousin would be trying lobster, I really hoped that Quito’s did a good job with their lobster roll. Overall, I have to say that the lobster was on the good side, but not quite as good as a handful of other restaurants that make a truly amazing lobster roll. It is definitely overpriced at $18 for what you get. The lobster meat itself was chunky, but still a little more shredded or cut up than I would like. The dressing was a little bland, which is strange because lobster usually speaks for itself. Nonetheless, other than a cool, refreshing flavor, and lobster texture, I didn’t get much else from the lobster. The bun was toasted and larger than a normal hot dog bun, so I thought it went well with the sandwich. Even if I wasn’t blown away by the lobster roll, I did enjoy it, and more importantly, my cousin enjoyed it!
Generally, I had a good experience at Quito’s. The menu prices are a little all over the place with some items reasonably priced and others a bit on the high end for what you get. The fried seafood is done pretty well because it’s not too heavy or overcooked. I would recommend Quito’s because it’s hard to go wrong when serving fresh seafood along with a great view!