On the channel at the entrance to Galilee Harbor, where the ferry leaves for Block Island and where Rhode Island’s largest fishing fleet is berthed, Champlin’s is a place for in-the-rough seafood lovers. Everything is served on disposable plates and customers carry their own food from the kitchen window to bare-topped tables, many of which are perched on a deck overlooking the boats.
The menu is southern-shores Yankee: a few burgers and sandwiches, whole lobsters, steamers, raw clams, and a long roster of fried things. While the fried clams are good, we were far more impressed by the fried flounder, a broad filet of sweet, moist meat encased in an elegant crust. The flounder is available by the piece or as half of a fish and chips plate with good French fries. Boiled red potatoes are a terrific option; they are cream-textured with an earthy spud flavor.
One strange thing about Champlin’s is the kitchen’s apparent aversion to garlic. There seems to be none in the snail salad, that Rhode Island specialty that is customarily radiant with a garlic halo, nor in the linguine with white clam sauce which, while quite respectable, was ultimately bland.
Note: The days Champlin’s restaurant is open vary with the season. The retail fish market is open seven days a week.