1035 Douglas Avenue, Providence
(401) 831-0066
carrieslobsterri.com

Carrie's Seafood is somewhat of an anomaly—a clam shack in an urban environment, with nary a seagull or beach blanket in sight. It's a successful anomaly, though, if longevity and good reviews are any measure. When chef Michael O'Brien bought the place around 1979 it was just a little fish and chip shop that seated thirty-two people. The restaurant's name was that of the previous owner's wife, but O'Brien kept it because, as he stated in a 2004 Providence Journal article, "I was only twenty-two years old and didn't have enough money to change the sign."

O'Brien added to the menu and eventually expanded the seating to accommodate 110 people in two dining rooms, and a small take-out counter captures the on-the-run crowd. A fire in 1999 interrupted commerce at the Douglas Avenue location for two years, but business continued at two satellite locations, dubbed Carrie's Seafood Express, that catered mostly to the take-out trade. (As of 2007 only the Smith Street satellite is still in business). In 2001, the original restaurant reopened, better than ever.

Menu items of note include moist and tender three-pound baked stuffed lobsters; Carrie's Seafood Bisque (which took first place at the 1991 Newport Chowder Cookoff); and the House Special, a "chef's selection of local seafood tossed over linguine [with a] choice of marinara, fra diavolo, or white garlic sauce." They also serve red and white chowder, clam cakes, and snail salad, plus many other sea- and land-based dishes.

What drew our attention to Carrie's, though, were their delicious stuffed quahogs, which we first sampled at the 2002 Warren Quahog Festival. The stuffing is a lot like a traditional Thanksgiving sage stuffing, except with big chunks of clam. Yum!

Update, January 2017: Carrie's posted the following on their Facebook page: "Happy New Year! Carrie's will be open Friday's for takeout only 3/9. We closed our dining room on Christmas Eve. Lobsters are by reservation only with a credit card #. Please let us know a few days in advance so we can order." After thirty-nine years in business, the owners are ready to retire, so, as noted, the dining room is closed and take-out is available on Fridays only. The limited take-out menu still includes many clam shack favorites, but sadly, not the stuffies we enjoyed so much. The restaurant is reportedly for sale.

Carrie's Seafood and More is open Fridays for take-out only, 3-9pm.

Awards

Great Chowder Cook-Off: Best Seafood Chowder (1991)
Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island: Best Lobsters (2002)

What’s nearby

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