Clear chowder is indeed the favorite in Rhode Island, though it can be found elsewhere around New England. It may be what the review of Noah's is referring to, for it is indeed briney - the clear broth allows the flavors of the clams, potatoes and salt pork to really shine. It tastes like a day at the ocean. Love it. Chowder with cream is ok as well and certainly popular in these parts too - who can object to cream? But it lacks the bite that makes clear chowder so great.
One variety that sometimes goes under the name of Rhode Island-style chowder does include tomatoes, although not to the extent of the abomination that is Manhattan chowder. It's more like clear chowder with some tomato mixed in, often along with diced linguica or chourizo. The sausage, along with the fact that I've mostly encountered this style east of Providence, leads me to believe that this more properly can be seen as a Portuguese style - the product of the large Portuguese community that spreads down from the East Providence area to New Bedford and the Cape.
One thing I cannot abide in clam chowder of any kind is bacon. Salt pork is the key, here as in baked beans. I know some like to use bacon, but to me it gives a jarring flavor that competes with the clams. Anything that distracts from the basic elements of the chowder generally doesn't work for me.
The best chowder with cream in it I have ever had or hope to is the fish chowder at Main Street Seafood in Wakefield, RI. This little fish market/restaurant offers an incredibly rich chowder that is filled with scraps from the seafood offered for sale: bits of fish, scallops and lobster, all in a thick, creamy soup...delicious.
The essential accompaniment for all clam chowder, of course, is a pilot cracker.