Warren, RI has become quite the food town in the last few years, and those of us looking for new and exciting dining experiences without traveling to Providence (and without the stuffy atmosphere of fancier places) couldn't be happier.
Restaurants like Chomp Kitchen and Drinks (burger and brew heaven), Metacom Kitchen (creative dishes and a full bar), Eli's Kitchen and Simone's are just a few that are making it happen in this small town. But bywater has become my favorite.
Now open 7 days a week, with buck-a-shuck clams and oysters on Mondays (all night, not just for an hour), bywater is where you should be heading for creative food and drink in a relaxed setting.
Sure, the parking sucks at bywater. The lot is small and people can't seem to figure out how to get the most cars in a very small space. And the restaurant is small, too, so reservations are highly recommended. They will open some outdoors tables soon, once the weather cooperates.
They do have a nice bar you can sit at, but if you're a cocktail snob like me, you'll find that the booze selection is very limited. (For example, Tito's is the only vodka.) On the bright side, they've got just enough high-end stuff to create their own line of fun drinks that are worth trying.
But you go to bywater for the food. The menu isn't huge, but there's so much you shouldn't miss: the smoked trout plate and duck tacos are my personal favorite appetizers. The main courses change often, but recently I had the grilled NY strip, cooked to a perfect medium-rare...absolutely delicious. My daughter demolished the spaghettini puttanesca, pasta with guanciale, broccoli raab, capers, anchovies, olives and pecorino. And anytime they have fresh fish on the menu, just order it.
And, of course, it being a Monday, we enjoyed a nice selection of $1 Cotuit oysters and local littlenecks.
bywater is located at 54 State St., on the corner of Water St., in Warren, across from Trafford's. Make it a point to get there!