Where to eat in Newport
Newport, Rhode Island is known as a hot summer destination in New England. What is even better is when you can explore it by boat. Newport Harbor offers protected sailing grounds and a perfect jumping off point to cruising Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, the Mansions and beyond.
Newport’s long and rich history as a port-of-call for commercial and pleasure boats as well as its popularity as a summer vacation spot for the wealthy has ensured that there are many historical sites and buildings to see. The Newport Mansions, Touro Synagogue and The Cliff Walk provide you with a sense this place’s importance in not only the U.S., but throughout many parts of the world.
It is safe to say that the City By the Sea has a lot to offer in terms of sites and places to see, but all that walking around will work up an appetite. So where should you eat in Newport?
Luckily for you, there are plenty of great eateries around town that provide for a wide range of tastes.
The White Horse Tavern
The White Horse Tavern is purported to be the oldest tavern in the United States. Established in 1673, the building was originally a two-story home. It was later converted into a tavern, which was also used as a meeting place of the Colony’s General Assembly, Criminal Court and City Council.
The restaurant offers contemporary American-French cuisine with everything from clam chowder to Steak Frites. Executive Chef and Rhode Island native Rich Silvia uses many local ingredients in his dishes like mushrooms, fresh fish and lobsters. The wine list is robust with international vintages.
The atmosphere is cozy. There is an outside patio as well, which is open during the warmer months.
Stoneacre Brasserie offers great locally sourced flavors and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a café offering freshly brewed teas and coffees. The type of cuisine is lightly influenced by northern Spanish/Basque cuisines, although there is a wide variety of dishes to choose from ranging from Croque Monsieurs to creamy polenta with local mushrooms.
Stoneacre is located along Washington Square, which is considered Newport’s arts and culture district since the Opera House is here as is the Jane Pickens Theater and Island Moving Company, the local ballet troupe.
The Clarke Cook House
You could not talk about Newport without talking about The Clarke Cook House. The restaurant is located on Bannister’s Wharf in downtown Newport and has several levels to it. The main floor has an oyster bar as well as regular dining and bar. When it might not be warm enough to be outside, the bar at the Cooke House is a great spot because you can look out over the harbor through the ceiling-to-floor windows.
Upstairs, there are more tables as well as another bar. Up another flight of stairs, you will find yet another bar that opens up in the summer and overlooks the comings and goings of tourists mulling around the shops below. There is another level where tables are available by reservation only.
Besides seafood, there are many other dishes available from beef carpaccio, sushi and sirloin steak au poivre. To finish of the night, a “Snowball from Hell” is a best. Ice cream layered in chocolate, this dessert is decadent and easily shared by two or more people.
The “Boom Boom Room” is in the basement of the building and gets going later in the night. Here you will find night owls and youngsters partying it up well into the night. Not everyone’s scene, but worth a visit if you are looking for more nightlife.
The Grill at Forty 1° North
The Grill is a perfect spot to grab a drink and watch the sunset or have a delicious dinner. There is both inside and outside seating and this place is often missed by the larger crowds that aggregate on Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf. That is not to say that the experience is any less, in fact, I would say the food is better than many of the other usual grub spots.
There are plenty of caviar and oyster combos to choose from. There are plenty of seafood options as well as great steak, duck and chicken dishes for those who aren’t so keen on fish.
Castle Hill Inn
Located a little off the usual Newport visitor path, Castle Hill is a true taste of Newport summer living. Whether it is just enjoying a glass of rosé as the sun sets or settling in for a delicious meal, Castle Hill Inn’s restaurant is not to be missed. The property overlooks the entrance to Newport harbor, making for beautiful views of boats sailing in and out of the harbor, as well as overlooking Newport Bridge.
There are two dining options at Castle Hill: The Dining Room and The Lawn.
For lunch, there is The Lawn, which looks out to the Newport bridge and harbor. Weather permitting, it offers an al fresco dining experience and arguably cannot be beat in all of Newport. Menu choices include salads and sandwiches, while the bar offers a robust range of cocktails and liquors.
The Dining Room offers cuisine as a prix fix menu with wine pairings. The menu is constantly changing depending on what is seasonally available. Executive Chef, Lou Rossi started his career locally, and then went on to work at Thomas Keller’s 3 Michelin Star restaurant, Per Se.