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Rehearsal dinner in Newport, RI

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Hi everyone. I'm looking for a great place to have a rehearsal dinner in Newport. Our plan is a bit unorthodox: We'd like to have a regular rehearsal dinner for family and the wedding party, then invite all out-of-towners to a cocktail reception later in the evening. Is there anywhere that could smoothly accommodate that request?

I've searched the boards and found these old posts, which were helpful:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/405371
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/442791
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/521750

Right now, our top choices are the Clarke Cooke House, The Moorings (we had lunch there a few weeks ago when scouting wedding venues and loved it), the White Horse Tavern, and 22 Bowens. Anywhere else we should consider?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. When are you looking?

    3 Replies
    1. re: invinotheresverde

      This fall, mid-October or so.

      1. re: ScienceMike

        Do you want the cocktail reception in the same room as the dinner or could it bein the lounge?

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          We'd be happy to do it in a different area. In fact, that may be preferable.

    2. The White Horse Tavern is your best bet.

      1. I think the Clarke Cooke House is your best bet. I feel it has a great atmosphere which will accomodate both your family event and the more upbeat event after. The food is very good. White Horse is a bit more reserved, The Moorings is okay, 22 Bowens is very pretty, but the Cooke House can probably even give you a private room if you need it. The Cooke House also has the Boom Boom Room!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Alica

          If it's a mixed group (all ages), I'd probably go with The Mooring. While the food (basic seafood) isn't anything that's going to knock your socks off, it tends to be fairly consistant. On the plus side, the view is great.

          1. re: Alica

            Yeah, we took a look at the space upstairs that they would be able to give us at the Clarke Cooke House and really liked it. I think we're going to head back up to Newport next weekend to check out the others.

            1. re: ScienceMike

              What about the Castle Hill Inn?
              http://www.castlehillinn.com/

              I haven't been there in a long time, but just the view alone is worth a look into.

              1. re: hummingbird

                Actually, that's where we're having our reception! From everything I've heard and seen, it should truly be great.

                1. re: ScienceMike

                  All I can say is WOW! What a beatiful place for such an event!

          2. if you're still looking, email me at emily@maxsmarket.com I can' give you some other interesting options.