Our last night on Block Island we stumbled onto a secret gem – the restaurant at The Surf Hotel. Yep, that’s it’s name. It’s a great restaurant that doesn’t even have a name!
A Little History
I was struck by The Surf Hotel when we first visited Block Island on Tenacity in 2016. It’s right on the beach and such a cool old place. My cousin Sharon told me she use stay here before she bought her own house.
Here’s a little history from the website:
The Surf Hotel was originally built as a residence for Dr. T.C. Mann, the island physician, who dubbed it “the Surf Cottage”. In 1876 it was purchased by C.W. Willis, who expanded on the original building and turned it into a hotel.
The Cyr family, Ulric and Beatrice, with their daughters Barbara and Lorraine, bought the Surf in 1956. For over 62 years the Cyr’s have painstakingly renovated this property with patience, persistence and hardwork. Lorraine continues to run the hotel in her family’s tradition.
The hotel itself is bubbling over with old school charm (if you’re into that). To me, the reason to dine at the restaurant is the view off the back corner porch looking southeast of Old Harbor.
My photo doesn’t really do the view justice. The bar that the fellow in the green tank-top is sitting at is kitty-corner such that the bartender faces the building the drinkers face the ocean.
The interesting thing about this restaurant with no name is that it actually has great food. Sure, you can still get Fish and Chips, Chicken Wings, or a Clam Roll here, but you can also get a great steak and some really spectacular fine dining dishes.
After a week on the island I was ready for a good steak. I ordered the Ribeye with Blue Cheese (medium rare) and it was as good a steak as I’ve had the big name steakhouses.
Sadly, it was so mouthwatering that I dug in before taking any photos. I did harvest Yelp, Facebook, and the hotel website to come up with some nice photos of their more popular dishes.
As much as I love all the great restaurants in Old Harbor, I have to say that the view, the menu, the refined cuisine, and of course the steak lead me to conclude that this may be the best restaurant on Block Island!