The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Newport Rhode Island

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Newport Rhode Island was a place I hung my hat on many a’ weekend when I lived in Boston. In my twenties, we had a house-share in the area for those summer weekend getaways — days were spent on the beach and we ate pizza at 2 am; our nights went as long as we could extend them. With the number of pubs and harbor-side bars, it was a perfect vacation spot to go with friends, sit out on the many decks and outside patios that Newport offers and breathe in the lovely summer New England skies.

I have countless positive memories of this well known New England seasonal resort town, from swimming and lounging on Newport’s beautiful sandy beaches to dancing in the pubs, usually with an Aussie or Irish sailor. There was no shortage of handsome Irish men with stories to tell and it was the spot for locals from Providence and Boston to go on summer and fall weekends. While we drank more beer and cocktails than we did wine or fine dine in our twenties, I recall plenty of mouthwatering experiences with creamy clam chowder, fresh raw oysters and Lobster.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of delicious and fun dining in upscale restaurants, cafe and bars in Newport that will be sure to delight and surprise anytime of year. Note that this list is a combination of restaurants we experienced this past August, my favorites from days gone past and strong recommendations from locals we talked to during our stay, including Mattie, the local fixture who loves to advise Wellington Resort guests (where we stayed for our first three nights in Newport) on the best places to eat and drink. I obviously didn’t capture them all, but this will get you started on a laundry list of where to go and how to plan your next trip to Rhode Island based on your personal preferences and tastebuds.

One Bellevue Restaurant @ The Viking

While this is slightly off the beaten path for downtown Newport (aka being a stone’s throw from the main port walking area), nothing in Newport is far and The Viking Hotel where we also stayed for a few days, is located in the historical district, which is kinda ironic given that nearly every building in this fun seaside destination is historical. Remember that Newport is home to the oldest restaurant in America — the White Horse Tavern, which is listed here in this guide.

Dating to the 1920’s, The Viking is a landmark hotel which houses One Bellevue Restaurant on the main floor and has both indoor and outdoor dining options, the outdoor courtyard a perfect choice during summer and warmer months.  The dining rooms and all-day lounge at One Bellevue are welcoming, yet sophisticated. The two main dining areas, the Salon and Garden Room, seat 40 and 36 people respectively; and One Bellevue Lounge accommodates 45 people at the bar and at small tables for two or more.

They have an award-winning wine list (I was thrilled that Ferrari Carano Chardonnay was available by the glass), high-end after-dinner liquors and very hip cocktail selections, such as specialty martinis named Strawberry Cheesecake, Almond Joy and Olive It Up.  Featuring foods that go great with wine and cocktails, the All-Day Menu is divided into four delectable categories: “Raw”,“Cured Or Marinated” and “Bites”. For “Raw” lovers, be sure to order the oysters on the half shell which are oh so fresh and delicious.

We were introduced to Peruvian Sweety drop peppers here; they add them to many of their vegetable and pasta dishes, including the bed of pasta that my Lobster sat on!

Appetizers include Asian wingers with a Teriyaki reduction, Lobster nachos, a Seafood Gratin (baked clams, scallops, shrimp, and Gruyere cheese), Mussels with toasted coconut in a curry cream sauce (divine!!), Grilled Shrimp Tapas and fried Calamari with Tso sauce, scallions, peanuts and banana peppers. They do a delicious Tuna Poke which is accompanied by a few scallions layered on top. We paired our oysters and tuna poke with a Louis Latour Chardonnay – Pouilly Fuisse.

We LOVED their French Onion soup, which they make with beef stock, caramelized onions, aged parmesan and provolone. Two thumbs up!

For those who love Caprese, be sure to order the Grilled Watermelon Caprese with mozzarella, basil and balsamic glaze. We tried the Cucumber and Almond Gazpacho, which apparently was a relatively new addition on the menu and has been popular among locals. We loved it so much we asked for the recipe to try at home. More on that later….

Non-seafood specialties include Charcoal Duck in a honey thyme butter, a Cavatelli Carbonara (they serve with gluten free rice btw, a pancetta cream, peas, fried egg and parmesan), and a Statler Chicken Puttanesca with Roma tomatoes, Kalamata olives, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

We went with their ocean catch selections. They encouraged us to try the Seafood Paella for two which we didn’t order for fear it would be too filling even though it sounded exquisite — they include a one and a half pound lobster, littlenecks, shrimp, mussels, scallops, saffron rice and chorizo. On the menu is also scallops which you can get grilled, blackened or fried and a Barramundi Korean fresh water bass with pineapple coulis and spice yams.

We went for the Newport lobster (it was absolutely perfect) and the Black Pearl Salmon (both pictured below), which is copper river rubbed and served with a chocolate balsamic reduction. We had a whole lotta wow moments on that warm August evening on the One Bellevue patio.

Desserts were out of this world as well….I’ll let the pictures do the talking….

Address: One Bellevue Avenue, Newport RI 02840 

The Midtown Oyster Bar

Located in the heart of bustling downtown Newport, Midtown Oyster Bar offers the areas largest working raw bar as well as incredibly fresh seafood.  The two story historical building offer two bar areas, the first floor tavern and the second floor Burgee Bar. Three dining rooms and two outside decks allow for plenty of dining space as well as the availability for private parties.

While they specialize in oysters and you absolutely should try the Japanese Oyster Shooter made with sake, vodka, pickled ginger, cucumber and wasabi tobiko or the Torched oysters, which are lightly flamed native oysters made with Jalapeno bourbon butter and lime, there are also some great other seafood options on the menu, such as the Lump Crab Meat Cocktail, a smoked fish plate, Tuna Tartare Tacos, a smoked fish dip made with one of my favorites (bluefish), a Crudo Spicy Salmon or Yellowfin tuna ceviche, and cod chowder.

The seafood bar area is fabulous as well…

Address: 345 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

The Spiced Pear

The Spiced Pear is a luxe space in the historic Chanler Hotel, with fireside New England dining and a romantic terrace. They blend classic New England dishes and French influences together, all in a historical setting — the first mansion on the Cliff Walk. Think: private chateau ambiance.

Known for its signature “New England Tasting Menu,” they offer a symphony of six or nine courses of New England fare in addition to an à la carte menu. Imagine poached Maine lobster, grass fed New York sirloin, or free range duck breast all in an intimate setting.

Appetizers include Heirloom Tomato Salad with cucumber, focaccia, lemon thyme vinaigrette mint, basil and petite greens, a Sweet Maine Uni with sashimi tuna, alaskan king crab uni mousse and Crown Russian caviar, a Pan Roasted Berkshire Pork Belly with organic mushrooms, espelette pepper and cinnamon spiced Chicharrón sunny side quail egg and cider demi, and a Squash Blossom with herbed mascarpone, ricotta salata, and a roasted heirloom tomato puree. You can also get Caviar by the ounce.

They offer a delicious Surf and Turf with house made pasta, “Strube Ranch” wagyu oxtail ragout pan seared Morrow Bay and California red abalone, a Butter Poached Maine Lobster with local asparagus tips, celery, wild mushrooms fennel celery mousseline, fava beans and black truffle, Narragansett Bay Striped Bass with baby zucchini, Romanesco, baby sunburst squash, and sauce Romesco.

There’s also a Jumbo Gulf Shrimp dish with Maine Diver Scallops, the Muscovy Duck Breast with summer bean cassoulet, duck sausage, duck bacon, tomato confit petite artichoke, Cippolini, baby fennel and tangerine saffron jus and a Painted Hills Natural Sirloin with roast garlic pommes puree, grilled asparagus, and bone marrow bordelaise. So delish!

Address: The Chanler at Cliff Walk, 117 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI 02840

Forty 1 North Marina

Overlooking Newport Harbor, this upscale, eco-friendly resort and marina is a must try if you want a trendy “seen and want-to-be-seen” spot to have drinks with friends. I’d describe it as chic and urban but right on the harbor and only a nine minute walk from the Block Island ferry and an eleven minute walk from the Long Wharf Mall Shopping Center.  Forty 1° North offers two uniquely-styled restaurant options, from casual family fare, to cocktails, to intimate upscale dining, at either The Grill or Christie’s, the latter of which is a great locale in the heart of summer where you can sit outside and sip on specialty cocktails, martinis and incredible wine.

“The Only Thing Better Than a Great Day on the Water

is a Great Meal on the Water…”

Below, the delicious Marisa Tomei, which is made with white rum, whiskey, pineapple, amaretto and grenadine.  Other fun cocktails worth trying include their super fresh martini made with vodka, cucumber and basil and a drink they call the Bee Sting, which is made with tequila, rye, honey and apple cider.

The outdoor ambiance is exquisite in summer – in comfy chairs or bar tables, or simply sitting at the outdoor bar, you’ll have luxe yachts on one side and the sea in the distance.

The outside ambiance is ever so chic and really where it’s “at” during the summer months….

Christie’s serves traditional New England coastal fare with a twist like Fried Oysters and Lobster Mac & Cheese – there are also playful menu items like White Clam Flatbread Pizza and Lobster & Crab Deviled Eggs.  From Calamari, a burger with American cheese, Fried Chicken with warm chive buttermilk biscuits and maple chili butter, and Smoked & Fried Wings with house hot sauce to a Pigs in Blanket Niman Ranch hot dog, Grilled Thai Chicken Salad cashews, with ginger lime dressing and homemade Meatloaf and Mash peas, with carrots and mushroom gravy, there are small bites and casual fare to choose from. Be sure to also try their Kale Slaw.


Address: 351 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840 

22 Bowens Restaurant & Grill

Presented a la carte, all of their meats and seafood are thoughtfully sourced, hand-selected and aged to perfection from the best programs available such as USDA Prime and sustainable farms. They’re known for both their steak and their seafood and all steaks and chops are served with a sauce choice: Bearnaise, Bleu Cheese Butter, Bordelaise | 22B “Steakhouse”, Horseradish Cream Porcini-Shallot Butter, Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc or Hollandaise.

Yummy appetizers at this Burrata with English Peas, Snap Peas, Heirloom Tomatoes, Tarragon, Baby Greens, Lemon Aioli and Cracker Bread, Goat Cheese Polenta Fries with Arugula, Tomato, Shallot, Basil, Roasted Corn, Pesto and Lemon Emulsion, Crab Cake Oscar with Tarragon-Shallot Aioli, Asparagus, Pea Tendrils and Lemon Oil, Fried Calamari with Three-Pepper Mint Relish and Narragansett Steamed Mussels with caramelized Leek, Sherry Garlic Butter, Potato Sticks and Smoked Tomato Aioli.

There’s also Sea Scallops with Pork Belly, Creamed Corn, Cumin-Tomato Jam, Jicama and Mache, Escargot with Bone Marrow, Herb Pistou, Vol Au Vent, Frisee, Radish and Truffle-Citrus Vinaigrette and an Artisan Cheese Board which they serve with Fig Jam, Cape Cod Cranberry Mostarda, Candied Salted Cashews and Cranberry Bread and Lavash — wow right?

Like most places in Newport, you can get a traditional Shrimp cocktail, Littleneck Clams,  Oysters and a Shellfish Sampler. They also offer Steak Tartare (one of my favorites), served with Shallot, American Caviar, Caper, Fingerling Potato Chips, Horseradish Aioli and a Truffle-Citrus Vinaigrette and a Tuna Tartare, which they prepare with Carrot Miso, Ponzu, Jicama, Scallion, Sesame and Won Ton.

The healthier among you will love their salad offerings, from classic Caesar salad to a Baby Lacinato Kale with Roasted Mushrooms, Marinated Haricot Vert, Red Mustard Greens, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette and a Sherry Gastrique. Oh so delish!
Specialties include a Green Circle Chicken with Roasted Baby Carrots, Buttered Turnips and English Peas, Fingerling Potatoes, Citrus Pate Brisee and a Sauce Supreme and a Colorado Lamp with Merguez Sausage, Eggplant Goat Cheese Puree, Rosemary Fennel Farro, Kale and a Harissa-Tomato Jus!  Seafood lovers will want to try their Swordfish with Zucchini, Tomato, Quinoa and Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc, Atlantic Salmon Fillet with Whole Barley, Glazed Baby Beets & Turnips, Rainbow Chard, Cucumber Dill Yogurt and Caraway and fresh Scallops with Black Pepper Hominy, Buttered Baby Corn, Fava Bean, Charred Baby Leek and tossed in a Fresno Chile-Peach Vinaigrette
Address: 22 Bowens, Bowens Wharf, Newport, RI 02840 

The healthier minded will be thrilled about the roasted beet and goat cheese salad, the Arugula and chopped salads, the blackened mahi mahi, the caramelized sea scallops with warm greens, fennel and olives, an oven-roasted twin lobster tail dish with butter and whipped mashed potatoes, a grilled shrimp peri peri with a warm grain salad, and the pan-roasted chicken with lemon garlic and rosemary olive oil. For steak lovers, they have a 12 ounce choice cut New York Sirloin strip steak.

Mama Luissa Restaurant

This longtime eatery on Thames Street has a few quaint rooms in an oh so intimate atmosphere. They offer classic Italian fare and great wines from the region. A few selections to give you an idea of just how authentically Italian this place is, starts with their salads, from an Esotica Radicchio Salad made with arugola, dates, walnuts, goat cheese, grapes, and dressed with honey mustard vinaigrette, a simple Mista di Campo and a traditional Caprese al Pesto Fresh mozzarella.

Other great apps include a Zuppa di frutti di mare with Sardinian couscous, crushed red pepper, roasted garlic, fresh parsley and tomatoes, Prosciutto e Melone Fresh cantaloupe with mozzarella and olives, Carpaccio di Bresaola with parmigiano, fresh mushrooms, capers, arugola and marinated artichokes, Antipasto Misto all’Italiana Prosciutto with salame, mortadella, assorted Italian cheeses and marinated vegetables and Bombette Pomodoro with homemade ricotta and spinach gnocchi.

For pasta, how about the Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese made with egg ribbon pasta with hearty meat sauce in the traditional style of Northern Italy, their Penne made with Arrabbiata Spicy marinara sauce with garlic and fresh parsley, a Spaghetti Carbonara with pancetta, eggs, pecorino cheese, a touch of cream and black pepper, Garganelli Boscaiola Short made with rolled egg pasta, porcini mushroom, peas and pancetta in a tomato-cream sauce, Spaghetti alle Vongole with roasted garlic and fresh parsley and the Tagliatelle with sautéed shrimp and sea scallops with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and basil.

 
As for the ambiance, how can you pass this up?

Address: 673 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

Salvation Cafe

While we didn’t dine here, I got enough kudos from locals to warrant putting it on the list. My esthetician from Castle Hill Inn said it’s one of her favorites for vegetarian options — she called it eclectic, fun, creative and healthy. The atmosphere is indeed funky, a natural go to place for the healthy minded and artists alike.
A view from the outside….
Some of the starter options include vegetable risotto with pecorino cheese and truffle oil,  calamari with sweet and spicy vinaigrette with wasabi cream, a cheese plate, a delicious Lobster pizza with lobster tarragon cream sauce, shallot confit, ricotta salata and lemon arugula, Baby Back ribs with soy, star anise, garlic, ginger, sesame and Napa slaw, Tuna Poke with sesame, soy, cucumber, scallions, avocado lemon aioli and wonton crisps, Shrimp and Grits with beech mushrooms, melted leeks, bacon and white corn grits, a Sweet Corn Bisque, a Chopped Lobster salad with grape tomatoes, lobster, red onion, jicama, bacon, cucumber and lemon-tarragon dressing, and a Roasted Beet Salad which they make with a Goat cheese fondant, red beets, yellow beets, chiogga beets, local greens, pistachios and toss it in a citrus  vinaigrette.

Entrees include a local fish with vadouvan spice, seasonal vegetable ratatouille with an orange fennel salad, an organic chicken with fingerling potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, Swiss chard and basil pesto, a Chili Rubbed Sirloin with mashed potatoes and chimichurri butter, a Pad Thai with rice noodles, cilantro and peanuts with a choice of tofu, chicken or shrimp, a Teriyaki Salmon with lemon coconut rice, crispy spinach and pickled ginger, a Pasta Bolognese with pork and veal ragout and a Narragansett Creamery ricotta.  Sides include Truffle Fries, Cheddar Grits, Crispy Spinach and Lemon Coconut Rice.

Address: 140 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840

The Red Parrot Restaurant

The Red Parrot building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places in Newport. It was built in 1898 and early on, it was apparently a meat packing house where it employed hundreds of people during the era known as the “Gilded Age.” Trading from the Caribbean and the South Seas, it has always been a key part of Newport history and the pineapple — when sea captains would return from the Pacific, they’d bring back a pineapple and place it in front of the Captain’s home to signify a safe return home. What a cool tradition.

We love the history of this place as well as the ambiance and the food.  A must try is the lobster nachos which includes sweet lobster meat sautéed in garlic and butter with sun-dried tomato cream, baked with mozzarella and Monterey jack cheeses melted over tortilla chips and topped with scallions. Can you say decadent and scrumptious – OMG!

 

Other scrumptious sounding appetizers include Thai Spring Rolls, Siamese Sticky Wings, Calamari Risque, which is breaded calamari served with hot cherry peppers tossed in garlic and olive oil, delicious soups and salads, and a grilled chicken with a Jamaican Jerk marinade on a bed of romaine with red onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes, and cheddar and jack cheeses (below).

For the more decadent among you, go for the Cape Cod Lobster Bisque and the healthier minded should try the Tuxedo Tuna, which is a black and white sesame seed encrusted tuna steak sliced and served rare over wild greens, mandarin oranges, and crispy noodles with a strawberry balsamic dressing. Oh so yum!

One delicious pasta dish worth mentioning for the seafood lover among is their linguini and clams which they simmer in garlic white wine broth, add a touch of parsley and red pepper.

There’s also fish and chips, Mandarin Coconut Chicken, a Blue Iron Steak,  grilled swordfish steak topped with shrimp and scallops, capers, tomatoes, garlic and butter served with Jasmine rice, grilled chicken, lobster meat served in tortilla chips and fresh mussels.

Oh yeah, and the cocktails are fabulous as well!

Address: 348 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

Brick Alley Pub

This is a cozy iconic watering hole with eats ranging from nachos to lobster rolls and over 250 wine vintages. While I haven’t eaten here in years, I remember it being an iconic place for years and this time around, was a stone’s throw from our first hotel — the Wellington Resort on Thames Street across from Brick Market Place. I came here in the winter once and it was a lovely place to be fireside on a colder evening. In the summers and early fall while the weather is still warm, they have a nice tree-shaded courtyard as an outside option to dine.
Think comfort and casual fare, from Newport Clam Chowder, Fried Point Judith Calamari, Nachos, Beef Short Ribs and Pasta Pomodoro. They have a menu dedicated to pizza but plenty of salad options as well, from Hot Buffalo Chicken Salad, Nona’s Italian Tossed Salad, a Greek Salad, a Harvest salad with Great Hill Bleu Cheese, dried cranberries, sliced apples and walnuts or you can create your own lettuce wraps.
Photo credit: Zagat
They have what they refer to as complete dinners also, which include chicken, pork and seafood as my favorite picks. Traditional dishes include a Chicken Parmigiana which is pan-fried with tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella, a Lemony Chicken Piccata with white wine, lemon butter and capers,  a T-bone pork chop that is pan-bronzed with Cajun spices, and Baby Back BBQ pork ribs.
Fish lovers can order salmon or scrod fillet “your way” with a few different sauces (pan-bronzed Cajun, lemony piccata or broiled Teriyaki pineapple glazed, an oven roasted New Bedford scrod with chourico, kale, chopped tomatoes, white beans, garlic and crushed red pepper, a Baked Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp with bread crumbs, white wine, butter, crabmeat, chopped scallops, mushrooms and Jack cheese, and an old fashioned Baked Stuffed Fillet of Sole to mention a few.
Address: 140 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar

The Mooring incorporates catch of the day seafood which is locally grown and organic produce into their menus on a daily basis and they tout award-winning wine lists that feature more than 600 fine labels. The decor is classically traditional and all things New England inside so a great pick regardless of season. It was a haunt we’d occasionally go for that fabulous glass of wine when I lived in Boston many years ago.

If you’re a raw bar lover, they’ve got you covered with fresh oysters on the half shell and you can also get lobster claws, shrimp, littleneck clams, a whole chilled lobster, fresh crab from Maine, and a variety of soup and salad options.

Other delicious appetizers include an Andouille sausage, braised leeks, marinara, focaccia 12 galilee squid flash-fried rings and tentacles, Pepperoncini peppers, olives, roasted garlic and lemon aioli, crab and shrimp fritters with chipotle-maple aioli, scallop Wellington scallops, mushroom and spinach in phyllo, lemon-thyme beurre blanc, Tuna Tartare with a pomegranate-soy dressing, sweet & sour cucumbers and wonton crisps, an Artisan cheese plate with candied walnuts, dried fruits, honey, crackers and crostini and a crab cake oven roasted with veggies and an aurora sauce.

Seafood lovers will be thrilled by their diversity from North Atlantic Sole, Portuguese roasted cod, scallops, yellowfin tuna, Atlantic Salmon, and of course, traditional Maine lobster, my ultimate favorite.

For those who aren’t into food from the sea, there are plenty of other options as well, including a delicious gnocchi with roasted oyster mushrooms, wilted greens and riesling jus, a pork tenderloin grilled, with succotash and raisin mustarda, a Yankee pot roast slow braised beef, Angus beef filet whipped roasted garlic potato, and a New York strip steak. Two thumbs up!!

Address: 1 Sayers Wharf, Newport, RI 02840

White Horse Tavern

The reason White Horse Tavern makes it on this list is for its ambiance and its deep rooted history although their food is exquisite as well. I love that they’ve been sourcing from Local Farms and Waters since 1673. It was one of the first places I visited when I came to Newport for the first time, which is now over 25 years ago.

Touted America’s Oldest Restaurant, they serve fresh fish, clams and lobsters from Narragansett Bay along with just-picked produce from local Rhode Island’s farms. From delicious artisan cheeses, honeys to prime cuts of beef and local fish right off the boat. If you love history, you’ll love this Colonial tavern that’s literally been serving America for over 350 years.

We didn’t hit it this time around except for to take a quick peak around, but this 17th century Tavern is one not to miss on your next Newport trip. Note to newbies: jackets are not required but collared shirts are expected and they ask that you remove hats and turn off your cell phones – it’s a bit like old England in that way and while I typically hate rules, I love the fact that they’re maintained this over the years.

Because its Newport after all, you’ll find Narragansett Bay Littlenecks and local New England Oysters on the menu as well as a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, and shell fish samplers. If you want to venture outside of the traditional seafood starters, a must try is their Strawberry Gazpacho soup (below) — look at how beautiful the presentation is as well.

Photo credit: bostonfoodie.blogspot.com.
While we’re on the topic of beautiful presentations, take a look at their exquisite Lobster Risotto…..
Photo credit: bostonfoodie.blogspot.com.
A delicious salad here that many talk about is their Waldorf which they serve with red grapes, apple, celery, candied walnuts and Great Hill Blue Cheese and Buttermilk-Herb dressing. A great plate to share as a group or family is their housemade Charcuterie with locally sourced cheese and pickled vegetables and house made relish and sauces.
Or, how about something very European to start like a Dutch Scotch Egg which they wrap in Duck sausage, bread it and then deep fry? There’s also a decadent housemade Sriracha and Honey Bourbon Sauce Crispy Brussels Sprouts with a Maple-Tahini Dressing, Sesame Seeds and Shaved Cured Egg Yolk. You’ll also find fried calamari and a Micro Celery Crispy Heritage Pork Belly with a Peanut Butter Vinaigrette (yes, really), Sesame Seeds, Toasted Nori Dressing and Pickled Carrots.
Some of the entrees include a Beef Wellington, a Foie Gras Pâté with a Perigeaux Sauce, a Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette Grilled Wagyu Ribeye Steak with Herb and Beer Mustard, Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon, Marinated Grilled Vidalias and Chimichurri Steak Frites, a Prime Flat Iron Steak with Au Poivre Sauce and Hand Cut Fries, a Royalton Farms Berkshire Pork with Summer Vegetable Succotash, Confit Potatoes, Micro Herbs and Chorizo Vinaigrette, a Native Swordfish Au Poivre with Herbed White Beans, Broccoli Rabe, Citrus and Peppercorn Sauce, the Sumac Crusted Tuna with Toasted Fregola, Golden Raisin and Bell Pepper Agro Dolce, a Roasted Fennel and Black Garlic Aioli Pan Roasted Gianonne Chicken, a Crispy Duck Breast with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Whipped Pinto Beans, Sorrel and Bacon Dashi Butter and of course a Poached Native Lobster with Rhode Island Grown Mushrooms, Asparagus Tips and Shaved Asparagus. A wow is in order in the Whitehorse Tavern’s dining room.
Below, the Tuna Tartare
Photo credit: bostonfoodie.blogspot.com.
 Their delicious beet salad beautifully prepared….
Photo credit: bostonfoodie.blogspot.com.

Address: 26 Marlborough St • Newport, RI 02840

The Black Pearl Restaurant

The Black Pearl is an atmospheric wharf bar and formal restaurant with nautical decor, famed chowder and a busy summer patio with tons of great ambiance. When we had a house share in Newport in my twenties, we used to sit here for hours in the afternoon and order local beers and cocktails. In other words, during the warmer months, be sure to sit outside — it’s great for people watching. During colder months, the inside bar is historical and eclectic and there are plenty of choices, from cocktails and spirits to beers.
This truly historical bar is located in the heart of the city’s bustling waterfront on Bannister’s Wharf, and their classic cuisine for your foodie list is from their Commodore’s Room and Tavern as well as the al-fresco Waterside Patio and raw bar. Be sure to order a dozen oysters on a hot summer afternoon with a Margarita. During the evening, their patio ambiance is wonderful as well.

Like so many Newport establishments, it boasts a lot of history and its building was constructed in the 1920’s. Decades ago, back before Providence had a restaurant scene, elegant dining in Rhode Island was epitomized by The Black Pearl, which back then, had tuxedoed waiters.

Since it is located right on the water, the seafood is oh so fresh. There’s littleneck clams on the menu as well as grilled and steamed Lobster, shrimp and crab, smoked salmon, Nantucket scallops, Swordfish steak, shrimp scampi, sauteed soft shell crabs, and Black and Blue Tuna. Soup lovers should try their homemade creamy clam chowder which my friend Carol and I had one afternoon – it’s apparently been voted one of the top ten clam chowders in the country.

Photo: Yelp, untagged

Meat lovers will appreciate their Prime New York Sirloin, Filet Mignon, their Moulard Duck Breast, the Calf’s Liver, Karabuta Pork Chop Milanese, Free range Statler chicken breast with a green peppercorn sauce or the Rack of Lamb which they serve with a Vacluse sauce. Accompany any of these with one of their varied healthy salad options and add a protein.

Photo credit: BiteoftheBest.

Address: 1 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport, RI 02840

Rosemary and Thyme Cafe

This great find is a homey, European-style cafe and bakery offering an array of creative, seasonal sandwiches and pastries. They are most known for their salads and their Artisan soups. While I have never eaten here, we couldn’t get enough high fives on this place from locals regardless of who we asked.
Oh yeah, and their bakery is divine — they offer a ton of options and some people say that it’s worth going just try one of their homemade (fresh every day) pastries or muffins. Take a look — could you say no to any of these homemade baked treasures?
Address: 382 Spring Street, Newport, RI 02840

Bouchard Restaurant

This quaint restaurant which is also an inn, is a ten minute walk from the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum (worth getting a tour of) and 1.7 miles from Easton’s Beach. At the inn, pastries and yogurt parfait are served in-room each morning. The on-site restaurant is oh so French in style, cooking and ambiance.

Delicious choices include a Pate de Foie facon, a tower of cold shrimp garnished with a Shredded Brussels Sprout Slaw with three sauces: Tomato-Cumin, Blood Orange-Curry and Chive and Mint and Jalapeño. This one is a must: Carpaccio de Filet Mignon a L’Huile de Truffe garnished with arugula, Caper Berries, Truffle Oil and Sea Salt. Oh so decadent and scrumptious!  Lighter options are also divine, such as their seafood apps and salads – portions are small but beautifully prepared and ever so tasty!

Other dishes worth mentioning include a Lobster Bisque with basil and garlic, their Foie Gras with a raspberry reduction sauce, a warm tomato tart with Boursin and goat cheese topped with a Truffle Aioli, and Escargots flavored with parsley and garlic, topped with a Mousseline sauce. Oh so delish and, the ambiance is top notch as well.

Photo: untagged, Yelp

Address: 505 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen

This gem of a find in Newport offers seasonal modern American dishes (particularly savory snacks & local seafood), as well as fabulous harbor views. We dined at Fluke on our next to the last night in the area so we didn’t leave this harbor vacation spot without making sure we hit a Newport favorite with great wines. Every great wine bar and restaurant has a delicious cheese and charcuterie plate to choose from and Fluke is no exception. YUM!
Photo credit: Fluke
Starters worth mentioning include Fluke Ceviche with Red Onions, Peruvian Corn, Aji Amarillo and Coriander and Lime, Jonah Crabcakes with Red Slaw and Mustard Aioli, Grilled Vegetable Tarte made with Herbed Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion and a Balsamic Glaze, Crispy Wellfleet Oysters topped with a Mango Pepper Relish and Red Chili Mayo, and a house made Ravioli filled with seared Foie Gras and Medjool Dates in Parmesan Broth.
We went for the Grilled Beet salad, served over Arugula with Pistachio Pesto, and Goat Cheese and tossed in an Orange Vinaigrette, the Mesclun Green salad with watermelon radish, shaved feta, egg, red onions, and croutons tossed in a red wine vinaigrette.

Scrumptious mains include Pan Seared Scallops with Jasmine Rice, Baby Bok Choy, Green Beans, Chili and Lime Glaze, Local Skate with Pastrami Spices, Leeks, Savoy Cabbage, Eggplant, Mustard Seed and Lemon Caper Sauce, Lobster Ravioli with Brandy Cream Sauce and Citrus Zest (this is a WOW dish), Roasted Monkfish with White Beans, Chorizo Secco, Kale and Roasted Tomato Shellfish Broth, and a Vegetable Farrotto with Seasonal Vegetables, Farro, Parmesan, Fresh Herbs and Herb Oil.
More traditional dishes include a Roasted Chicken with Baby Rainbow Carrots, Spinach, Fingerling Potatoes with Natural Jus, Grilled Pork Belly with Sauteed Collard Greens, Sweet Potato Puree with Stout Chili Glaze, and a Grilled Australian Lamb Rib Chops with Sauteed Kale, Chive Mashed Potatoes with a Citrus Honey Glaze. Meat lovers will want to try the Grilled All Natural Ribeye with Morel and Oyster Mushroom Demi Glace with Herbed Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus.
My favorite was the Rabbit Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes, Fava Beans, Caramelized Onions, Spinach, Herbs and Parmigiano Reggiano — oh so delicious!!

Also worth mentioning is the Striped Bass with roasted tomato and corn and Baby Bok Choy, tossed in a Black Garlic Vinaigrette. Out-of this-world (still thinking about this dish a few weeks later) is their Long Island Duck Breast with wild rice and corn, Rainbow Swiss Chard, in a Red Wine Cherry reduction.

A must try small plate dish is the Sea Bass Crudo with Jalapeno, Frizzled Leeks, Fresh Lemon and Yuzu/Ponzu sauce and the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with scallions, Jalapeno, Wasabi cream and wontons. If you have kids in tow, go for the French Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli.
Desserts were out of this world as well — bravo for the Goat’s Cheesecake with Blackberries, the Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts and Blueberry Bread Pudding with whipped cream. Or, how about their Fluke Cafe, which is made with hot coffee, B&B, Khalua, Maison Rouge Cognac and whipped cream. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, go for the Cheese and Charcuterie plate.

The cheese and meat plate was pretty amazing as well, either as a starter to share with the table or at the end of your meal!

Address: 41 Bowens Wharf, Newport, RI 02840

Sweet Berry Farm 

Sweet Berry Farm is owned by Jan Paul and Michelle Eckhart and comprises approximately 100 acres with 80 acres under cultivation just outside Newport.

In 1980, they started as a hobby farm growing just a few acres of strawberries and Christmas trees.  Then they joined a few local farmers markets, began adding other crops to their repertoire and became more and more passionate about growing.

From just a farm stand set up under a few white canopies, next to an old goat shed, they have come a long way. Back then, their jams and jellies sat on shelves and racks and cut flowers were stored and sold in the shelter of their house. Although they are not certified organic, the majority of their crops are pesticide free. A few crops are minimally treated, often with organic sprays. They practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and sustainable agriculture techniques.  We loved the vibe of this place — from sunflowers and tomatoes in the garden to Apple trees, there’s a lot to take in!!

Address: 915 Mitchell Lane, Middletown, RI 02842

Pasta Beach Newport

This is a special Italian gem in Newport (with restaurants also in Providence and Boston) that in my opinion is under rated. Marco is the king here — original owner and chef from Bologna who believes in pure sauce, one which isn’t overdone with garlic and simmering, but with a two step process, which we learned about from a chat with him after our dinner on a most perfect August night at his Newport locale.

His perfect sauce is one that includes a sauteed and simmering of carrots, onions and celery and then only a day later does he add the sauce. Oh so delish, from the basic tomato sauce he adds to his Pizza’s to his Calzones, Focaccia, apps and pasta dishes. Below is by far my favorite pick of the evening, the Pappardelle al Cinghiale with wild boar, mixed vegetables and herb ragout.

Appetizers include Bruschetta, Broccoli e Pecorino – broccoli, garlic, red pepper flakes and shaved pecorino romano,  Bufala mozzarella with fresh tomatoes, oregano and basil, Parmigiano prosciutto with parmigiano reggiano and fresh mozzarella and our absolute favorite: Parmigiana di Melanzane, which is a baked eggplant, smoked scamorza, fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce and pesto.

Salads include a mixed greens verde mista, an Insalata mista with tomatoes, a tre colori arugula with radicchio and endive and a Tre Sapori arugula with cherry tomatoes and parmigiano reggiano. There’s also a classic Caprese salad that is to die-for — can you say authentically Italian? We love your cooking Marco!!

Fun options include a Napoletana homemade baked eggplant, tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and mixed greens (below), a Nizzarda Niçoise, with potatoes, green beans, olives, eggs, tomatoes, tuna, anchovies and mixed greens, a Pollo grilled chicken with tomatoes, roasted red peppers and mixed greens, the Gamberi shrimp with cherry tomatoes and arugula, and a Fagiolata tuna with white beans, red onions and mixed greens.

They have a choice of soups and a wide range of pasta dishes.  Pasta Beach uses only Pasta “De Cecco” and fresh egg pasta and they serve their pasta “Al Dente” and oh btw, Marco makes sure of it.

Some of their more delicious incredibly fresh choices include Penne all’Arrabbiata with tomato sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley, Tagliatelle Asparagi e with Prosciutto asparagus, Parma prosciutto, cream, parmigiano reggiano and parsley, Tagliatelle ai Funghi with champignon mushrooms, garlic, cream, parmigiano reggiano and parsley, Bucatini all’Amatriciana with tomato sauce, bacon, onions, white wine and parsley, Spaghetti alla Carbonara with crispy bacon, egg yolks, black pepper and parmigiano reggiano and one of my all time favorites, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese in a classic Bolognese meat sauce.

If you’re a pizza lover, go to town here, from a basic Margherita with fresh sauce, mozzarella and basil or the Ortolana with endive, artichokes and onions, Del Povero with Pepperoni, olives, fontina, oregano and basil.

Other delicious pizza choices include Napoli with capers, anchovies and oregano, Sarda with tomato sauce, mozzarella, olives and ham, Prosciutto Funghi and di Parma with ham, arugula and mushrooms, Salsiccia which is with tomato sauce, mozzarella and sausage, Spinaci, a pizza plate with tomato sauce, mozzarella, spinach and garlic (oh so yum!) , a Rucola with tomato sauce, mozzarella, arugula, and parmigiano regiano or a simple Vegetariana (a vegetarian’s delight), which is made from simple tomato sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini and red peppers.

They also make a homemade Gnocchi al Pesto Genovese with basil pesto, green beans and potatoes and seafood lovers will want to opt for their Spaghetti alle Vongole which is with clams, garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley or their Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare which includes clams, mussels, shrimp, tomato sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley.

Pasta Beach also has simple but scrumptious sandwiches made with fresh baked Pasta Beach focaccia and the thinner Italian Focaccia crispy pizza crust pies with olive oil, salt and rosemary, or Bologna ham and pistachios. How can you pass this one up?

BTW, I don’t normally make a note of the coffee but the coffee here was out of this world and I mean out of this world (I had 2.5 cups and we didn’t leave until around 11 pm). Bravo to Marco and his culinary team. I LOVE THIS GEM and can’t wait to try his Providence and Boston locations.

Address: 7 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI 02840

Wally’s Burger & Rotisserie Bar

Full disclosure for the more fine dining foodie among you, Wally’s is a very casual burger joint along Thames Street in downtown Newport that caters to a younger crowd although it also appeals to families as well – there’s a bag toss game in the front of the restaurant which is a fun thing to do on an August evening with kids.

As casual as it may be, they have a wide array of burger options to choose from when you’re in that burger mood, including American Kobe and Bison. Other options include Texas burgers made with Angus beef, Ahi Tuna Burgers, Turkey Club burgers and Black Bean burgers to name a few. They always have a daily special board which includes additional options as well. When we were there, they had a Caprese burger option as well as one topped with Goat Cheese and mushrooms. YUM!

Also known for their Chicken Rotisserie and they’ve apparently won awards for their fries, which are crispy and tossed in a Rosemary sea salt. Fried food lovers should give their Sweet potato fries a try.

We ordered salads and burgers and sides of their pickles and my favorite, their oh so creamy crunchy cole slaw, which is a must on a hot summer night.

The dish that you’d least expect to find at a burger joint in Newport isn’t actually a dish at all, but an Espresso Martini, which is popular with locals. Two thumbs up — it was fresh, perfectly chilled and has a delicious espresso coffee flavor, a perfect substitute for a dessert.

Address: 599 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840

 

 

 

 

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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