Sink Your Teeth Into Chomp

Photo: Our new Harvest Margarita...No better way to enjoy a crisp fall day! #craftcocktails #cinnamonsugarrimTo say that Warren, RI, has a shortage of high-quality eateries would be a mistake. The secluded coastal town is home of the original Blount Clam Shack, Trafford, The Cheese Plate, and Square Peg, to name a handful. What it never had, however, until late July, was a gastropub.

Chomp Kitchen and Drinks introduces a marriage of atmosphere, craft drinks, and upscale sandwiches and burgers to the East Bay. “I had the unique opportunity to grow up in one of the most successful restaurants in the Northeast, Horsefeathers, located in North Conway, NH,” explained Sam Glynn, owner and operator, of his culinary roots in his father’s restaurant. “Once we signed the lease [to Chomp], my dad and I took everything down to the studs, literally. We had a vision for the way we wanted Chomp to look and wouldn’t settle until it was perfect,” Glynn continued.

The Glynns’ toilsome work resulted in a modish, yet intimate meeting place, hold the snobbery. On a Tuesday evening, normally the slowest of the week for restaurants, the room buzzed with classic and alternative rock and booming conversations and laughter – every seat in the house was filled. The minimalist design of the small space pays attention to detail with reclaimed wood lining the walls, floor, tables and bar – some of it 400 years old.

Attention to detail is a running theme through their drink menu as well. The bar frequently rotates through eight beers on tap as well as 12 different bottled and nine can selections. The menu itself is interactive. With a scan of the provided QR code, adventurous beer tasters are taken to BeerMenus.com for info and descriptions. Can’t pick a beer? Grab a flight.

For the cocktail enthusiasts, Chomp puts their touch on traditional craft cocktails along with their own seasonal concoctions. Their fall mix, the Harvest Margarita, is unexpected and unpredictably exquisite – Lunazul tequila, apple cider and ginger beer with a lime garnish and cinnamon sugar rim. The sharp, nutty and mild cinnamon notes of the tequila pair almost flawlessly with the cider while the bitter tang of the ginger beer kills its sharp after-bite.

However, “Our food is what sets us apart from the pack,” Glynn boasted. “We have an incredible chef, [Jeremy Bradbury], who shares our vision and more importantly, our passion for creating something in the East Bay people will be proud of.” Chomp keeps its menu short and sweet with starters, salads and burgers/sandwiches. Photo: Have you tried the Fast Louie yet? Goes pretty awesome with a Finch's Beer Company Fascist Pig! See you tonight...

As a starter, the Crab and Cucumber Cups, served with a watermelon jelly, are given an avant-garde twist. The crab salad has a subtle spice and a freshness that is apparent from its mild flavor of crab. It is served in chilled cucumber cups that provide a nice alternative to crostini without eliminating the crunch. The sweetness of the watermelon jelly is muted by the spice of the crab, creating a unique, balanced flavor.

Chomp does modern and experimental extremely well. Even the French fries are served with a flavorful chili aioli sauce instead of ketchup. Nevertheless, unconventional is not always better. A simple grilled cheese with American and Cheddar is a popular classic because of its simplicity. Chomp misses the mark here by serving the sandwich on Cuban bread. What theoretically sounds fantastic falls short when the melted butter on the outside of the bread can’t permeate the crusty exterior of the Cuban roll, leaving the cheese melted, but eliminating the crunch that grilled buttery bread creates – it is simply warmed bread.

Despite a couple of missteps, a trip to Chomp is well worth the drive. The atmosphere is welcoming, the menu is interesting, and the cocktails are not to be missed.

Chomp is at 440 Child St  Warren, RI 02885

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