Beloved Island restaurant Coop de Ville hasn’t missed a beat this pandemic as they continue to serve up their famous wings, and offer some great new additions, like their new Shuck Shack raw bar.
It’s hard to say you live here if you’ve never been to Coop de Ville. The reason this restaurant is so popular with both residents and visitors is the quality of the food they offer, paired with the laid-back waterside atmosphere that’s perfect for sunset watching. The friendly service and good-humored waitstaff are an added plus.
Upon arriving at the Coop, I sat near a friendly patron named James who was enjoying a big ol’ basket of wings. Can you guess what he recommended I try? That’s right, “you really have to try the wings, they’re the best on the Island,” he said.
That was already the game plan, but James’ suggestion made my mouth water even more as I decided which wings I wanted.
After reviewing my options for longer than I care to admit, I decided to go with my all-time favorite, the original Buffalo wings. A single serving of wings comes with 10 wings and costs $16.50. You get to choose your flavor and level of heat.
The Buffalo wings were delicious, with just the right crunch-to-sauce ratio, and let me tell you, they were sizable. I figured I would do myself a favor and try another flavor of wings, so I went with the Jamaican jerk dry rub. Whenever I go to a wing joint, I always try a liquid sauce wing, and a dry rub wing. With dry rubs, the wings shouldn’t be too salty, and the spices have to be balanced, not overpowering. The rub was crumbly, and the spices complemented the savory flavor of the wings well.
My best friend came along to help me out with the massive amount of food I anticipated ordering (what a trooper), and he decided to get a fish sandwich with a side of popcorn shrimp.
He said the fry on both orders was perfectly light and crispy, and the fish tasted tender and fresh. I had to try some, so he cut me off a piece of the sandwich, and I popped a couple of the popcorn shrimp in my mouth.
The fish tasted like it had been caught yesterday, and at one point I caught myself eating the popcorn shrimp as if I was in a movie theater with a bucket of popcorn.
If you can’t tell already, my buddy is a huge seafood fan, so he decided to try out the brand-new addition to Coop de Ville, the Shuck Shack.
He ordered two plates with six locally raised oysters on each. The shuckers are $2.50 per piece, $14 for a half-dozen, and $25 for a dozen. They were smooth and not overly briny, and were accompanied by horseradish, cocktail sauce, and lemon wedges.
To wash it all down, I finished with a Further IPA by Progression Brewing ($8), which wasn’t quite as tame as a session beer, but not as hardy as a New England craft brew — it was a nice middle ground between ABV and hoppiness.
Coop de Ville has been an Island landmark for almost 40 years, and owner Petey Berndt said he is proud to be in it for the long haul. He noted the Shuck Shack raw bar as being a unique but necessary addition to the restaurant. “We are the only harborside raw bar on the Island,” Berndt said. “It took a lot of hard work and money, but we thought this would be a perfect thing to offer for outside seating.”
He said the restaurant spent thousands of dollars to ensure the safety of customers and staff, including putting up Plexiglas barriers and installing a handwashing station out front. In the near future, Berndt says he looks forward to utilizing the new space for different business initiatives, such as possibly having outdoor seating to watch college football once the season starts.
“We have been in it for a long time, we are still in it, and we are in it for the long haul,” Berndt said. “It was definitely not easy to do all this, but now that we accomplished so much, I’m excited to see what we do in the future.”