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May 26, 2007 04:13 PM

Newport - Need Restaurant down town

We will be in Newport at the end of June with a senior group but will be on our own for dinner one evening. Can anyone suggest good, decent food (preferably but not exclusively seafood). Someone told me about the Black Pearl, but after reading some of the comments/reviews I'm not interested. All suggestions would be very much appreciated. Many thanks.

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      1. re: Sean

        Many thanks to all....In looking at menus (and close approximate to where the group will be let off and picked up) I think we will try The Mooring. Varied menu with lots of seafood and innovative preparation....also their emphasis on local providers and organics appeal to me. I will let you know at the end of June what our experience was like. Thank you very much.

        1. re: bmgjrg

          You will LOVE the Mooring, They ARE very big on supporting the Local farmers and businesses! Great choice & enjoy!

        2. re: Sean

          Such great suggestions on this thread! I have to add my two cents. We went to West Deck this evening for cocktails and decided to eat at the outside bar. The food definitely underwhelmed me. Chowder was thick and gloppy with very little clam or potato. I couldn't finish my scallop ceasar salad. Scallops were billed as "grilled" but they had no visible grill marks, no coloring at all to suggest they were cooked. Just a weird yellowish color. Ewww. They didn't taste old per se, but were rubbery. I can't imagine that they were microwaved, but that was the impression I got. DH's rare tuna with seaweed salad and wasabi sauce was outstanding, though. I would go back for that. Maybe the food inside the restaurant is better?

          I love, love, love Rhumbline! We have been going for years and it never disappoints. The Mooring is our go-to place when we want a reliably good meal with a view and want to take our kids. Not that it's a uber-casual place, but they do have a kids' menu and we've never felt out of place there.

          We went to Tucker's Bistro for the first time in February and loved it. What a fun space!! And each time we go to the White Horse Tavern, we look at each other and say "we should have gone to Bouchard's"...

          1. re: Bivalve88

            When I looked at Rhumbline via the website that Sean included, I couldn't get a sense of the food...I mean, I couldn't pull up a menu. All I was able to see were pictures of 3 dishes so I didn't go further. The restaurant itself looks wonderful. What kind of food have you had there? I would love to give it a try next time in Newport. Also I definitely want to try Tucker's but for this trip with the Seniors, Broadway looked too far away and we don't have a lot of time to get there, eat and then back to the meeting place for the bus. So much for not having a car, but another time definitely.

            1. re: bmgjrg

              They bill themselves as "contemporary American" cuisine. Lots of seafood (of course), but also chicken, duck, and beef entrees as well. The crab cakes are great. Usually some kind of "world" influence on the menu, whether Asian or Cajun or some sort of twist on a traditional preparation, but they also have some standard items as well. Everything is very fresh. My only complaint has been the piano player on the last couple of visits - he's very good, but the placement of the upright (and delightfully slightly out of tune) piano right in the dining room makes the music very loud and it can be hard to have a conversation. I'm not sure if he just plays early in the evening (when we usually go) but you might want to call ahead to ask.

              BTW, we took my 80-year-old mom there last month and she loved it. There's maybe one step up into the dining room. She stuck to appetizers (light appetite) and was delighted with her meal.

        3. The Mooring & 22 Bowens are both excellent.Also, The West Deck and Pronto on lower Thames, Tuckers bistro on Broadway, and... The Rhumbline on Bridge street are all terrific. enjoy!

          7 Replies
            1. re: Frankie811

              Its too bad that you've ruled out the Black Pearl. I suppose that some might view them as being "the same old, same old", but for my money there isn't a better chowder in Newport.

              1. re: Keefer Lucas

                I wouldn't suggest a large group go there simply because the chowder is so good. That is the type of place you grab a bowl of chowder and peoplewatch outside....but (for me) not to go inside and eat. And actually, I've always preferred the scallop chowder at the Mooring. Not sure if they've changed it since the remodel.

                1. re: JaneRI

                  Yes, scallop chowder is still on the menu at the Mooring from what I can see.

                2. re: Keefer Lucas

                  I definitely agree with your take on the chowder...a coworker who goes to Newport often always goes there for the chowder, but I don't usually have hot soup in the summer, love it in the fall/winter. I just loved the menu posted for the Mooring, different but not over the top with fru fru.

                  1. re: bmgjrg

                    Of all the links I have provided for Newport restaurants, Rhumbline is by far the favorite of my wife and I. Unfortunalely they do not have a website but has an older menu posted to give you an idea of the type of food that is served:

                    1. re: Sean

                      Sean, thanks very much for the Rhumbline menu. WOW....I'm salivating just reading it. They have such a different twist on how they combine different ingredients and flavors. And from what I've read, they can hold their own with many of the NYC restaurants with far better prices. It's on the list for our next trip to Newport. Thanks again.

            2. Black Pearl is a WONDERFUL restaurant with great chowder and THE BEST french fries this side of french fry heaven. The singularly WORST meal I have ever had in Newport was at the Mooring. I didn't know such things could be done to shrimp and I bet the shrimp didn't either. Tucker's Bistro is quite good and the Clarke Cooke house is, as always, divinely consistent....

              1. One thing to keep in mind, bmgjrg, is that you should make reservations. With Newport being a seasonal tourist-centric town, restaurants -- especially the ones mentioned -- fill up fast. I'd skip the Rhumbline: bad service, poor location, bad food, icky/dirty interior.

                If you've never been to Newport, focus your walking around on Thames/America's Cup Ave. and if you see another spot that interests you, try it. The Black Pearl is on Banniester's Wharf and fun for people watching at the outdoor bar before dinner (The Moorings is next wharf over and a great spot) Or you could have drinks and appies at Clarke Cooke House at the Midway bar (another great spot for watching folks go by outside) and have dinner there (2 dining rooms, 1 takes res, the other doesn't), but expect inconsistent service. Have fun and enjoy!

                2 Replies
                1. re: dpnpt

                  DPNPT, per your suggestion, I've made reservations for The Moorings...thanks very much. I hope gato's experience was "just a bad day on the part of the moorings", cause it's the only bad review I've had so far. Well, we shall see.

                  1. re: bmgjrg

                    SO hope you enjoy our little town. Let me know how you liked The Moorings! Enjoy!

                2. Have you thought about Asterisk? Not exactly downtown...more like a short hike up Thames Street, but worth the trip. I make the trek to Newport a few times in a summer just to have the Lobster Bisque. It's a true LB, the real deal. The restaurant is a converted garage and is full of energy, atmosphere and fun.