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    Thursday, February 02, 2023

    There are plenty of reasons why the Bridge in Westerly is popular

    The Grilled Organic Salmon at the Bridge (Ann Baldelli/Special to The Day)
    The Bridge patio (Ann Baldelli/Special to The Day)
    The Grilled Squash Sandwich at the Bridget (Ann Baldelli/Special to The Day)
    The Bridge’s Buffalo Wings (Ann Baldelli/Special to The Day)

    Call me a fool but I did it anyway. Our garden is overloaded with summer squash and zucchini that we have prepared every imaginable way and we have given equally as much away, but on a recent visit to the Bridge, I ordered the Grilled Squash Sandwich.

    It is so flippin’ good. I’ve had it before and I will order it again. I imagine I could duplicate it at home, but it’s worth every penny of the $14. They combine thinly sliced yellow summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, caramelized onions, pesto, arugula, and cheddar cheese, and grill it all between two slices of buttery rye bread. Every bite is a luscious reminder of the season.

    Bridge is that riverside eatery you pass as you leave Pawcatuck and enter Westerly on your way to Watch Hill and Misquamicut. It’s a great stop to or from the beaches, or wherever you are going, especially at this time of year when the expansive patio and bar overlooking the Pawcatuck River is so inviting.

    We dined on a recent Wednesday evening and were delighted to learn that on Wine Wednesdays everything but the house wine is half price. We indulged. But it was the food that we came for. Seated outdoors on the patio on a delightful summer evening, we were happy we had made a reservation, as tables quickly filled up all around us. We have dined at the Bridge before, and know the place is popular.

    As we sipped our vino, we sampled the Buffalo Wings, $16, and the Rhody Style Calamari, $15. The wings were really not Buffalo style, at least in our estimation, but they were delicious. We couldn’t taste any vinegar or hot pepper sauce, but the wings were flavorful, plump and moist, and served with a side of blue cheese dressing. Best of all, they were baked or broiled, not deep fried.

    The calamari was also good and tossed in garlic butter with spicy pickled peppers.

    In addition to the squash sandwich, we tried the Grilled Organic Salmon, $26, which was a generous piece of Faroe Island salmon nestled on a bed of house-made sweet corn succotash and topped with basil pesto. This dish had summer written all over it, too.

    The succotash had just the right crunch, and the pesto on the salmon drizzled down onto the corn and lima bean mixture and amped up the flavor. We would definitely order the salmon again on a future visit.

    The Bridge has been around for quite some time and has a lot to offer. They have weekend brunch, a raw bar, a pub menu, a kids’ menu, and expansive bar offerings.

    If you have a small boat, you can access the Bridge by water, or arrive by vehicle as most people do and just sit and watch the river run by. There is a schedule of regular live entertainment, and options for dining and imbibing indoors or outside. There is also space for private parties. The night we visited, there was the wine special, and we saw a sign for a prime rib special on Thursdays.

    There are many good dining choices in the Westerly/Pawcatuck area, and the Bridge is a top contender on that list. On past visits, we have tried the Wedge Salad, $14, the Buddha Bowl, $17, and the Swordfish Tacos, $22, and have enjoyed them all. When you’re there, and sitting on the patio, it’s easy to forget the steady stream of traffic passing by out front on Main Street. Give it a try.


    37 Main St., Westerly

    (401) 348-9700

    Find their website at bridgeri.com and search their name to find them on social media.

    Atmosphere: At this time of year at the Bridge, it’s all about dining and drinking on the patio perched on the Pawcatuck River. Yes, there is ample space inside for dining as well as a good-sized barroom, but it’s summertime, so most patrons are enjoying the outdoor seating at the riverside bar and tables, some under umbrellas and others nestled in a mini forest of trees.

    Alcohol: Full bar service

    Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch, 10 to 3, Saturday and Sunday dinner, 3 to 10 p.m.

    Service: The waitstaff is terrific.

    Prices: Affordable with a wide range of prices, from Griddled Corn Bread with butter and honey at $10 to Grilled Swordfish with white rice, sauteed spinach and pineapple salsa at $32.

    Reservations: Yes, and since the place is always busy, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

    Credit cards: Yes

    Handicapped accessible: Yes

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