"Retail, wholesale, eat in, take out!"
If you're wondering if Anthony's is any good, consider this: The restaurant was formerly located on Waites Wharf in Newport, but a move to its current location, miles from open water, hasn't made it any less popular. Quite the opposite—it's more popular than ever.
Anthony's began in 1956 as a wholesale lobster company on Spring Wharf in Newport. Anthony T. Bucolo was the owner and namesake. In 1966 Bucolo purchased nearby Waites Wharf and expanded the business to include fresh fish. One thing led to another. Fresh fish begat processing facilities, which in turn begat the building of a pair of custom lobstering/fishing boats to help ensure a steady supply of product.
A retail seafood market, the next logical step, made the scene in 1972. But there was still one aspect of seafood sales that Bucolo had not yet tackled, and he remedied that in 1980 when he and his eldest son, Stephen, opened the S.S. Newport, a floating dockside restaurant. And that was just fine until 1986 when Bucolo retired and sold the seafood market along with all of Waites Wharf.
The new owners apparently made the mistake of trying to fix what wasn't broke. They ditched the wholesale and retail seafood operation and transformed the market into a restaurant called the Shore Dinner Hall. That didn't work out so well, and in 1989 the Bucolos stepped back in to save the business from ruin. Another decade of success followed. By 1998 Bucolo's sons, Stephen and Michael, were firmly in charge, and they decided it was time to move to a more accessible spot, away from the congestion of Newport's narrow streets (and a unfavorable lease). And that's how Anthony's Seafood came to be located on busy Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown.
Markets—wholesale and retail—are still a major part of the operation, so if you're looking for "ambiance" Anthony's ain't for you. It's strictly a paper plate, Styrofoam cup, and plastic fork kind of place. But you're probably waiting to read about the best part: the restaurant menu. Rest assured it includes all of your baked, grilled, boiled, and fried favorites. They got yer chowders: white, red, and clear, and a Portuguese fish chowder made with shrimp, scallops, cod, and chourico. They got yer clam cakes, they got yer stuffies (two kinds: mild and hot), they got yer fish and chips. Of course there's lobster: boiled, baked, or in a roll. For hearty appetites there's the full shore dinner of steamers, mussels, chourico, corn, potatoes, and onions. Want something different? Try the Kung Pao calamari made with hot peppers, peanuts, scallions, and a plum chili sauce. If you like puns you might enjoy the Grilled Salmwich, a salmon fillet topped with pesto marinara and mozzarella cheese. Customer reviews on Yelp! for these and other items are uniformly positive.
Anthony's Seafood was featured on the October 8, 2012, episode of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. During his visit host Guy Fieri witnessed the creation of Anthony's chorizo stuffies and Kung Pao calamari.
Anthony's Seafood is open Monday to Thursday, 11am-8pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am-8:30pm; and Sunday, noon-8pm. Call (401) 846-9620 or check the website to verify as hours change seasonally.
- One of the ten best clam shacks in Rhode Island, Rhode Island Monthly, 1997.
- Best Seafood Restaurant in Newport County, Newport Life Magazine, 2008.
- Best Stuffies in Newport County, Newport Life Magazine, 2008.
- Best Fried Calamari Yankee Magazine's Best of New England Editor's Choice, 2009.
- Best Seafood Restaurant in Newport County, Newport Life Magazine, 2009.
- Best Local Seafood Market in Newport County, Rhode Island Monthly's Readers' Poll, 2010.
- Best Lobster in Newport County, Newport Life Magazine, 2012.
- Best Best Seafood Dishes in Newport County, Newport Life Magazine, 2012.