Newport, RI recs?

I’m heading down to Newport RI for an annual ladies weekend in a few weeks. Somehow, I’ve never been there! I need a dinner recommendation for a place we can catch up with wine and a nice meal. Somewhere kids would be out of place… I don’t know of any dietary restrictions among the group of 4, and I would tend toward seafood/american rather than any sort of specific ethnic cuisine. Price point is probably mid-upper 20s for an entree, and we’d prefer somewhere not too loud. Oh, and needs to take reservations.

I’d also be interested in a brunch recommendation and a lunch or two. For those, anything goes. What’s not to be missed? Please, and thank you!

The Black Pearl is the spot I always look forward to visiting when in Newport. It is on Bannister’s Wharf just off Thames St.

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Thanks for the recommendation! I think we’re looking for something a little more innovative or newer. Anything in that category you can recommend? For example, we really liked Moxy in Portsmouth NH, Eventide Oyster in Portland ME, and Black Trumpet also in Portsmouth on other jaunts.

I enjoyed those restos, too! Newport is not a hotbed of innovative cuisine. Perhaps I missed something last time I was there. However, I am pretty sure you would enjoy the Pearl’s approach to their menu.

Revolving door had very innovative cocktails and the food menu is a bit different than other places in Newport; however, the food menu is extremely limited and did not match the menu on the website so you may want to call ahead to inquire.

We also really liked The Mooring. I wouldn’t call it innovative but it is definitely not as staid as some other places seemed to be in Newport.

I don’t doubt that we could have an excellent dinner there, but I guess this snippet from google kind of turned me off:

Recommended as Best Restaurants Because: The Black Pearl has remained essentially unchanged for 30 years, with fresh seafood and stunning views.

Will pass this one on to the group. Interesting concept with guest chefs. I am guessing you were there at a time when they had only their house menu and no guest chef.

Malt Whitman
whiskey, cherry, brandy, black walnut, maple

That was the cocktail I had and it was really expertly crafted. So well balanced and creative.

It definitely has a hip, trendy atmosphere. I didn’t love my entree (duck I think) but my husband loved his-- at the time I think the pasta was a black tagliatelle with seafood. The cornbread appetizer was delicious as was the soup we had.

I guess I assumed the guest menu was available all the time but that assumption was wrong. I’d be really curious to try it with the guest chef.

Just a suggestion. Black Pearl has never failed us. No matter. Enjoy your trip, and while there do not miss the newest Doris Duke Mansion tour, and the Illustration Museum.
Both are on or off Bellevue Ave…and please report back.

Shells and Scales. Not as hip as Eventide, but lots of of-the-moment seafood nicely prepared.

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A perennial favorite of mine and my family’s. Only downside for parsnipity is that they don’t take reservations so if you don’t want to wait in the small but lively and pleasant bar area, you have to show up at opening. (It’s been a few years since I’ve been so it’s worth calling to see if their policy has changed).

Their lobster fra diablo easily feeds 3-4 and is delicious.

Oh, and consider Red Dory (in Tiverton, about 20 minutes north). Steve Johnson’s new place. We adored his food at Rendezvous (and Blue Room before that). They take reservations.

We loved Rendezvous as well and have always wanted to try Red Dory, but haven’t made it yet. Some menu items are carried over from Rendezvous, last time I checked the web site. River views.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold