The Block Island Times

Order This... The personal touch at The Surf Hotel

Sep 14, 2013
Photo by: Kari Curtis

The Surf Hotel’s executive chef Gerry Sinotte said it was owner Lorraine Cyr’s “energy and personal touch” that led to a summer of success for this well-loved Block Island establishment. “We got off to a great start and it just snowballed,” he said.

It was the history of the Surf that first piqued Sinotte’s interest, but meeting the Cyrs convinced him that he wanted to live on the Island and “be a part of its culinary force.” He is planning to live here year-round, do some catering over the winter and volunteer with meals at the Community Center and for shut-ins.

Sinotte grew up as the oldest of 12 children in Pawtucket, R.I. His mother was 100 percent Irish. When it came to meals, “if it wasn’t boiled or microwaved, we didn’t get it.” Maybe that’s why he decided to cook for himself. He went on to become part of the first graduating class of Johnson & Wales in 1975, and has gained plenty of experience in restaurants since then.

We were there to talk about the Surf Hotel’s popular breakfasts — especially “Chef Gerry’s Corned Beef Hash,” as it’s listed on the menu. The dish gets his personal touch. Whole beef briskets are roasted for about four hours, then sliced and hand chopped. Onions, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, butter and seasonings are added along with Chef Gerry’s secret ingredient, red pepper relish.

The result is rich and full of flavors — especially with the zip of the relish — which would win the approval of any New Englander. It’s served with your choice of eggs, home fries and toast. “I put my name on it, so I know it’s gonna be good,” said Sinotte.

The Surf will be serving three meals a day, seven days a week until Columbus Day. Call and ask about their home style special of $9.99 dinners of pot roast, baked lasagna, stuffed peppers and more. — Becky Ballard

The Surf Hotel is located at 32 Dodge St. Please call (401) 466-2241 for more information.

Order this... is a weekly column celebrating the delicious food and drink available at restaurants, pubs and hotels on Block Island.

This is our last column for the season. Thanks, and we’ll see you next spring!

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