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Editors' Pick
Best Calamari With An Asian Accent

Up River Café

You want to tread carefully when you change a calamari recipe in Rhode Island. The unofficially official state appetizer is regarded with a reverence that residents usually reserve for their mama's ethnic home cooking. So any restaurant that messes with it can be considered unpatriotic, with the dark consequences that implies. The UP RIVER CAFÉ has taken a deep breath and given it a shot. The deep-fried squid rings are still tender and lightly battered, accompanied by golden banana pepper rings, an acceptable variation on the equally common pepperoncini. But the crunch is complemented by fried cellophane noodles, which remain unwilted after being tossed with a Thai sweet chili sauce. And oh that gently torturous wasabi aioli, you bad boy. New England Puritans might have permitted Italian fried calamari, but they would have burned this version at the stake. | 37 Main Street, Westerly | 401.348.9700 | theuprivercafe.net

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