PROVIDENCE As part of continued efforts to support growth of the local food economy and in honor of Rhode Island's fishing heritage, Governor Gina M. Raimondo today declared March 26 to April 1, 2018 Quahog Week in Rhode Island. Governor Raimondo joined federal, state and food-industry leaders at a special celebration to mark the quahog fishery's importance to the state's history, culture, and economy.
"Rhode Island seafood is among the best in the world," said Governor Raimondo. "As residents of the Ocean State, we are fortunate to have a thriving local food scene, world-class eateries, fishermen, and food-based businesses all in one place. Quahog Week is an opportunity to celebrate the vitality of our shellfish industry and the many riches of the Bay."
Rhode Island is known for its food and diverse food cultures. Our booming local food sector supports more than 60,000 jobs and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and innovators. The local fishing industry has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the equation. The commercial industry, which includes both wild harvest and aquaculture operations, generates close to $200 million in annual sales, supports nearly 7,000 jobs, and generates about $150 million in annual income. Last year, more than 22 million quahogs (off-the-boat value of $5 million) were harvested from Narragansett Bay and local coastal waters. To support continued industry growth, the state, along with its partners, developed the RI Seafood brand to uniquely identify local seafood in the marketplace and to provide a brand under which local seafood events and activities can take place.
"Quahogs are part of the fabric of Rhode Island's heritage, economy, and environment. But the best place to admire them is on your plate. From stuffies to clam cakes to chowder, you can't go wrong. Each year, Quahog Week gives us a chance to try something new along with old favorites. I can't wait to see what our local restaurants and Quahog Week partners have cooked up," said Senator Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who has worked at the federal level to fund efforts to clean Narragansett Bay and invest in research and science to help Rhode Island's growing shellfish industry.
"I'm pleased to join local and state leaders in dedicating this week to an iconic Rhode Island staple the Quahog," said Congressman Langevin. "Quahog Week is a time to celebrate our state's beloved delicacy, the local fishermen who harvest the shellfish, and the restaurants that serve these delicious local clams. I'm proud to support our local fisheries that help make our state a culinary destination and fuel our food economy."
"As one of our most distinctive natural resources, quahogs are a flagship product of the Rhode Island fishing trades that employ hundreds of hard-working men and women across the state," said Congressman David Cicilline. "Quahog Week is a great opportunity to celebrate this unique treat and to draw attention to the challenges facing its future. Rhode Island has grown alongside the quahog, and we have a responsibility to continue to protect its natural habitat at the same time as we share it with more people across the country and around the world."
Throughout Quahog Week, over 20 establishments across the state - from Narragansett to Newport to Providence - will offer special menu selections that feature the native Rhode Island clam. Dishes range from traditional preparations to the adventurous. Among the featured items are quahog carbonara at The Mooring in Newport; quahog bruchetta at Trio in Narragansett; littlenecks, clams casino, and littlenecks with chourico at Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown; quahogs over angel hair tossed in red or white sauce at Harmony Lodge in Harmony; New England clam chowder with quahog cakes at Federal Taphouse and Kitchen in Providence; and unique versions of stuffed quahogs at 22 Bowen's in Newport, Gulf Stream Bar & Grille in Portsmouth, Hemenway's in Providence, Providence Oyster Bar in Providence, 15 Point Road in Portsmouth, and Plouffe's in Pawtucket.
"Whenever I go out to eat, I look for Rhode Island shellfish," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "I know I'm not alone. Our flavorful clams and oysters are enjoyed all over the world. Going out on the water with our local fishermen has made me appreciate the hard work and dedication at the heart of our fishing industry. Quahog Week is a special opportunity to step back and celebrate our wild harvest shellfish ? as well as our state's amazing array of eateries. I look forward to sampling the many tasty dishes that will be featured by our partner restaurants and preparing my own at home. I hope everyone joins in the fun during Quahog Week."
Participating Restaurants & Markets 15 Point Road Portsmouth 22 Bowen's Newport Coast Guard House Narragansett CRU Cafι Newport Dave's Marketplace Rhode Island Diego's - Newport Federal Taphouse & Kitchen Providence Gas Lamp Grille Newport The Greenville Inn Greenville George's of Galilee Port of Galilee The Gulf Stream Bar & Grille Portsmouth Harmony Lodge Harmony Hemenway's Providence Massimo Providence Matunuck Oyster Bar South Kingstown Merienda Warren The Mooring Newport One Bellevue Newport Plouffe's Pawtucket Proof Narragansett Providence Oyster Bar Providence Red Stripe East Greenwich Statesman Tavern Bristol Trio Narragansett