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“Sparkling waters and superb oysters!"”

Matunuck Oyster Bar
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Charlestown, Rhode Island
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Sparkling waters and superb oysters!"”
Reviewed August 22, 2011

I thought going to this popular place at 4 in the afternoon on a Saturday would ensure a no wait. Wrong! The place was hopping and now I understand why. My daughter and I decided not to wait for seating outside, which is right on a lovely little estuary. So we were seated inside immediately and it afforded a lovely view of the sparkling waters where the FRESH oysters are bedded. We had a sampler with the perfect wine for oysters. They were all equally tasty and of an interesting diversity. The lunch I chose of seared scallops was excellent. My daughters lobster roll was perfect. The prices are extremely reasonable for the location and Stephanie our server was equally superb and knowledgeable. All in all I was absolutely delighted with our outing.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ReneBene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,043 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Milford, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Loved it”
Reviewed August 9, 2011

This was our first time here and won't be our last. We arrived between 5 and 6pm on a Sunday night because we know the place is popular and it was already crowded. We were told the wait would be an hour- maybe less - so we got a glass of wine and hung out on the outside deck that overlooks Potter Pond. An inside table for 2 opened up in 20 minutes and since we didn't care if we ate inside or outside we took it. The service was great and so was the food; I had yellowfin tuna and my husband had jambalaya. Looking forward to our 2012 visit.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Radiopam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A Perfect Lunch”
Reviewed July 28, 2011

The Matunuck Oyster Bar is my new summer favorite. Be sure to enjoy a fabulous lunch on thier enormous deck. They offer a variety of local oysters they farm themselves. Their lobster roll is my personal favorite.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kripri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Freshest seafood in Rhode Island!”
Reviewed July 22, 2011

My family and I are life-long Rhode Islanders and thus are very discerning about our seafood. In Rhode Island, fresh seafood is like a birth right. Too often, seafood restaurants try to be either too glamorous or too down-home (i.e., sandy floors, greasy fried food). Matunuck Oyster Bar is the perfect balance of an excellent dining experience in a homey environment. Located on the docks of an unspoiled, quiet fishing community, the restaurant attracts locals and tourists alike. It is fun to watch the owner of the restaurant toot off in his little motor boat to pluck the oysters from the water, and then come back and shuck them right in front of your eyes. Prices are relatively high, but you get what you pay for. The oysters, clams, fish and lobster are all top notch. This is my go-to restaurant when I want to impress out of towners with a non-traditional night out. After all, it's not every day that people make the trek out to a dock in little old Matunuck, RI for dinner!

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Frank-404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Rhode Island
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“When success breeds indifference”
Reviewed July 18, 2011

Word has it that the Matunuck Oyster Bar used to be a sleepy little undiscovered gem, with the freshest of seafood and postcard-worthy views. But after attempting to eat there on a recent Saturday night with out-of-town guests, I've come to the conclusion that success is not always a good thing. I say we attempted to eat there, because after waiting for two hours and 15 minutes for a table, we finally gave up and left. We have never been treated at any restaurant with such utter neglect and indifference.

When our party of four first arrived at 5:45 p.m. on a sunny Saturday, the place was obviously busy, and we were told it would be about a 45-minute wait for an outside table. We wanted to sit outside, not only because the view is so pleasant, but because the inside of this restaurant is cramped and noisy. Conversation inside is impossible. OK, we thought, 45 minutes is no big deal.

There are a couple of bar-style tables on the dining deck and a few picnic benches in a separate area where customers can wait. The area with the picnic tables, however, is clearly labeled "no alcohol allowed," a rule which was widely ignored as the evening wore on and more and more people gathered with no other place to go, gamely waiting for a table. We managed to get one of the bar-type tables on the deck, and ordered drinks from the outdoor bar: a diet Coke, which turned out to be a flat, regular Pepsi; a Merlot that bordered on being hot (I know red wine isn't supposed to be chilled, but when the bottle is sitting outside in 90-degree heat, a little ice might be in order); and two draft beers that seemed to be fine.

As we had our drinks and watched the overflow area with the picnic tables fill up, we had a sense of foreboding. How was this restaurant possibly going to serve all of these people, with their limited seating both inside and out, before closing time? We felt lucky that we had arrived as early as we did. After about an hour, one person in our party of went to the hostess to find out our status. We were told it would be 45 minutes, that there were just two more parties ahead of us. Another forty minutes later and we went up to check again. We were told it would be about 45 minutes, that there were only two parties ahead of us. Get the picture? Meanwhile, we had watched several parties who appeared to have arrived after we did get seated before us. The restaurant staff was just shoehorning people in at this point, putting parties of five and six at tables that were clearly meant for no more than four. Despite our predicament and desire for a table, we took pity on the two women seated at a table by the outdoor bar, who had to eat with the rear ends of waiting customers practically in their faces.

We are patient people, but this situation was beyond ridiculous. We were thankful that one person in our party had brought crackers, or we suspect the other diners on the crowded deck would have had to make way for the rescue squad and stretcher. Finally, after having waited more than two hours, with no sign of a table opening up in the foreseeable future, we went to check on our status and were told, "Oh, sorry, we seem to have skipped over you, but we assure you the next table will be yours." No real apology, no attempt to make things right, just a matter-of-fact statement that they had made a mistake.

How foolish would we have had to be to believe them at this point? So we left, and drove another 15 minutes to the Shelter Harbor Inn in Westerly, where we were seated immediately and had a delicious meal. The whole experience at Matunuck Oyster Bar left such a bad taste with us that we will never go back. Clearly this place does not care about its customers, because it doesn't have to. With 100 or more people waiting for the few available tables, if one party leaves, another will quickly take its place. But the stress of long waits, and having to eat while dozens of people hover around waiting for you to leave, will surely eventually take its toll on this restaurant.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank wanderer26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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