Newport, Jamestown & Environs
We are headed toward Newport area in the near future for a few days midweek. Looking for clam shacks, Portuguese food and inventive seafood prep. Am familiar with some places in and around the town.
Thames St isn't all bad. Pronto serves up some great clams with pasta. There's also a seafood place near there that has some great fried/broiled fresh seafood. Their fried clams are quite good. But we like to avoid that area but for thsoe two places. I've heard that Flo's Clam Shack on the way to Middletown is supposed to be good. Any locals know for sure? Thanks
Flo's is a great local place across Easton Bay from Newport. Follow Memorial Blvd. east from Newport and Flo's is on the left with the word "Clams" on the building. Finding Wave St., can be tricky--it is the street just before Flo's--coming from Newport, make a left there and park behind the restaurant. It has fried food on the first floor and a raw bar on the second. You have to wait in different lines for both areas, but the first floor line seems longer. If there are 2 or more people, it is best for one person to grab a table while the other waits in line. Their seafood chowder is spectacular and the stuffies are excellent. We went twice, once during the day to avoid the crowds, but were disappointed that the 2nd floor raw bar was closed during the day and therefore we could not get the seafood chowder, so had to settle for the clam chowder, which was good, but not up to the seafood chowder.
We visited for a few days a month ago and found Newport restaurants to be generally overpriced. There were a few that gave you a good bang for your buck. We had a good local breakfast and lunch in the cafe at the Seaman's Institute, very good sandwiches at the Panini Grill, great baked goods at Katrina's on Bellevue-bread, cookies, etc., and good local ice cream at the Newport Creamery.
The Ocean Breeze Cafe charged $9 for an ordinary stack of pancakes and $11.50 for a very good omelet. On different websites people raved about the salad bar at Brick Alley--we found it to be a below average one for $9--you would do better to go to Ruby Tuesday if you wanted a salad bar. We tried the Indian Grill on Thames which looked like it was going out of business and well it should.
There were some that we would have tried if we had time--Red Parrot, Handy Lunch and the Sandwich Board. We loved Newport--the mansions, cliff walk, Ocean Drive, Bellevue Ave., historic buildings and churches, a good harbor cruise--it is also a very walkable city which made it fun to be there.
I am amongst the minority who does not like Flo's. I think it's one of those places that was good years ago but has since gone downhill. I can't recommend much in the way of clam shacks...I do like Evelyn's Drive-In in Tiverton, RI.
In Newport, my favorite restaurant is Scales and Shells on lower Thames Street. Another favorite is Salvation Cafe on Broadway (funky global menu, tiki bar in back). In neighboring Bristol, Persimmon and DeWolf Tavern are raising the bar for seaside dining. Quito's is the place to go for Portuguese/clam shack fare (right on the bike path/water). In Jamestown, I always stop at the Village Hearth Bakery and then eat lunch at Tricia's Tropi Grille (get whatever fish is fresh as a sandwich). Slice of Heaven is nice for breakfast food. I am always attracted to Simpatico but have never tried it. Enjoy!
In Jamestown, try the Jamestown Oyster Bar. Also Chopmist Charleys. Both offer good seafood selections in a small island town environment that is less hectic than Newport.
as someone who has lived in jamestown for quite a bit of time i have to disagree with the previous posts-oyster bar and chopmist charlies are awful-the service is bad and i always feel as though both places are dirty. the menus havent been updated in years....tricias is fun to go to-the food is ok, but again, horrible service. i loved simpatico-great service, beautiful and good food, if not a bit overpriced.
and i must agree, eveylns is great-if you are making the drive there, might as well go to grays ice cream afterwards :)
I also live in Jamestown -- and I have to admit, it was a long time before I tried Chopmist -- based on the looks of a tourist trap type place. That said I am now a fan. The menu is too long and as a result includes some items that they don't do as well as others, BUT, the fresh fish specials are always great. Sometimes the fish was actually caught by the owner. I am not a great fan of heavy sauces and have found that the sauces on the fish specials to always be applied lightly, so even if they sound rich, they do not overpower the fish.
Also, my guilty pleasure at Chopmist is the Buffalo style calamari. I don't even like calamari! Although occasionaly inconsistent, they are generally the most tender calamari that I have ever had (NOT like rubber bands!)
On Thames I have always had good meals at Cafe Zelda.
I usualy visit Newport off season so don't know how touristy it can be there. Since is way down on Thames, I think most of the crowd has stopped elsewhere.
I also have had some good meals at Atlantic Beach which I think is actually in Middletown - right near Flo's.
Also, although never mentioned here is Seafares American in the Brick Alley Marketplace. Decent food.
I have never heard good things about Flo's there, have heard it is better in the Portsmouth location.
Also, for some reason, not a big fan of Brick Alley Pub, but I think I'm in the minority on that place.
Bristol too as mentioned has some good places to check out.
Well, thanks for all the tips. I'll have to reconsider Flo's in Middletown. For clams, I'll guess we'll stick to Iggy's. Atlantic Beach House looks good too, as does Cafe Zelda's fare.
For Portuguese, Quitos is in Newport? Near what street?
I usually get my fill of fried clams then get into pasta with seafood or other prep's of fish. If we make it to Tiverton, will check out Evelyn's. Thanks once again.
Quito's is in Bristol on Thames Street, right on the water. Here's an excerpt about Quito's from the local arts/entertainment paper:
Two local hangouts that visitors eventually discover are Sam's Pizzeria and Quito's. The latter sits right on the harbor; the former is inland a few blocks. But Bristol is so small that nothing is very far from anything else - or from the Haffenreffer. Sam's is cheap and charming, because the interior hasn't changed much since Sam Mascena opened the place in 1949, with checkered vinyl on the tables and an old Coke cooler in the corner. The restaurant offers terrific Sicilian-style pizzas and pasta dishes. Try the Mr. and Mrs. Popeye (spinach and olives). Quito's is quintessential Rhode Island seafood: lobster dinners, fried clams, fish and chips, tomato-y seafood stew, garlicky clams in red sauce. In other words, moderately priced, each thing more delicious than the next. And check out that sunset on the water.