Best restaurants in Newport, Rhode Island
My GF and I are spending a couple of nights in Newport and were looking for some suggestions on restaurants. We're gourmands who live to eat and enjoy dining at the best places in NY every few weeks. We enjoy a nice setting and service, but food quality comes first. My endless research helped me narrow down my choices for dinner to the following four, of which I want to choose 2, in no order:
Muse @ the Vanderbilt
Fluke Wine Bar
Castle Hill Inn
Tallulah on Thames
A fifth option would be TSK
Also, if anyone has some lunch and breakfast suggestions, that would help too, more casual like sandwiches or lobster rolls.
Any assistance is much appreciated.
Thanks everyone, this was very helpful.
We ended up eating our two breakfasts at Rosemary and Thyme, the muffins and savory filled croisants were very nice. The coffee was good, though I could have gone for an espresso which they don't carry.
We had one lunch at Aquidneck Lobster Co. The Lobster rolls with fries were very good, though I didn't care much for the appetizers: steamed clams (the broth was a bit bland except for the brininess), clam cakes? (too doughy, insufficient clam flavor), and clam chowder (again insufficient clam flavor, though my GF liked it). Depsite bad weather the view was nice out on the pier in the back.
For dinner we narrowed our choices to Castle Hill Inn vs. Muse and Fluke Wine Bar vs. Tallulah on Thames.
The first night we tried Muse. When dining outside of Manhattan I try to set no expectations because I have been burned in the past, but even that didn't help me at Muse. The food was fine, but little stood out. The Butter Poached Smoked Lobster with Sweet Corn Puree and Paprika Butter Sauce was a disappointment as I didn't see any corn and the smoke overpowered the entire dish, texturally the lobster was great. My GF had the Lobster Bisque with Crispy Lobster Wontons and Cognac Crème Fraiche, which she found bland. For my entree, I had the Pan Seared Guinea Hen Breast and Quebec Foie Gras, Creamy Polenta, Garden Vegetables and Port Reduction. A solid dish, but at a place like this it should have been better. I think one of the problems was a consistent lack of salt in all the savory dishes, rookie mistake. Two things I loved were cherry Souffle and the complimentary chocolates, especially a truffle held its shape in your hand, but melted in your mouth, texturally superior to maison du chocolat. I wonder if the Chef was a former pastry chef. Overall good service.
On the second night we tried Tallulah which we enjoyed a bit more. Being underwhelmed by their appetizers, we split the summer squash agnolotti with sunburst squash, zucchini, parmesan-reggiano, summer onion soubise, a dish that was good, but not great. I wondered how the volume of pasta (6 total agnolotti could serve as an entree).
For my entree, I chose pat’s pastures sous vide chicken with pommes robuchon, summer onion, romano beans, baby carrots, squash, bacon jus over the scallops that I wanted when first reading the menu because I couldn't eat anymore seafood. The chicken was very good, but not good enough, my GF had the same. Full by dessert, we had the dark chocolate + cherry pistachio puree, cherry gel, milk chocolate crumble, kirsch foam which I thought was excellent. Better than average service.
I have had excellent meals at Muse, Fluke and Tallulah. The Mooring is also solid, though maybe not as creative.
If you time it right, the roof deck at Muse offers a great sunset view. They'll let you take drinks from the bar up to the roof. The dining room is the only real formal dining room of your list.
Castle Hill is good for the view. Pick brunch or afternoon cocktails.
Never been to TSK.
41 North is fun in the evenings, though it can get crowded. It is a nice place to go for late afternoon glass of wine and a snack.
Agree with others that Black Pearl is a fun place for lunch. You will likely have to wait for a table if you hit it at peak lunchtime.
Black pearl was always a place on my Newport to do list. Castle Hill is also a must visit but you should get input from the locals on if you should eat there. The view alone is something everyone should experience.
I used to rush to Katrina's bakery at the beginning of Bellevue near the stop and shop. Check to see if it's still there.
I used to go to Katrinas all the time when I was in that area then one day there was a security guard in the stop & shop plaza that wouldn't allow us to park there. The Katrina parking lot only has about 4 spaces and right next to it is this huge parking lot of the rest of the plaza with Stop & Shop being the main attraction. The guard was not allowing anyone to park there. No idea if there's still a guard, but I never went back because it was fairly annoying trying to argue over the fact you're running into a bakery for cookies and coffee and will be gone in 3 minutes. I do realize people try to park there and go to restaurants and the beach so there's a problem but come on...
For your lunch search, if the Black Pearl still exists, it has been there forever and always consistent. For dinner- did The Spiced Pear come up at all? Also you might get some good recs by asking the maitre ds at the restnts you're booking.If they are older and/or the owner (and not young summer staff) they can often be really helpful.