While Newport, Rhode Island is known for its beautiful beaches, sailboats, Cliff Walk and glamorous mansions once occupied by the Vanderbilt and Astor families, its seafood and restaurant offerings add another incentive to visit this adorable city. Here is a guide below to some of the best restaurants in Newport and places not to miss for a weekend getaway: The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Perro Salado and Flo’s Clam Shack.
THE MOORING SEAFOOD KITCHEN & BAR:
This restaurant which is apart of the Newport Restaurant Group is located on Newport’s waterfront with views of Narragansett Bay, yachts and sailboats docked at night. The restaurant feels like you are in one of the city’s larger homes making it cozy and impossible not to keep looking around you. While it does feel a bit touristy, it is a a place you must experience and request outdoor seating. The staff is on and the service is consistent and appreciative. The menu is full of unbelievable and delicious options from Executive Chef Bob Bankert. His magic touch brings you intriguing dishes such as: a Bag of Doughnuts with Lobster, Crab, & Shrimp Fritters with Chipotle-Maple Aioli. You’ve never had anything like this before, and the appetizer is delivered in a brown paper bag making it more fun to peek inside at your awaiting dish. It would be impossible not to go nuts over these, and they are portioned well to give your metabolism a kick before your entree. I loved the “award-winning” Native Scallop Chowder. It’s a light-style clam chowder and made with better ingredients. While the New England Seafood Stew with blue cod, mussels, shrimp, kale and spicy tomato broth matched my expectations for a solid Bouillabaisse meal, the winner of the night goes to the Seafood Pie. It dominates with a flaky pastry crust, baked scallops, shrimp, lobster and a light shellfish cream. If you are afraid of the heaviness of pot pie, have no fear, as this one is not as creamy. If you don’t get this, you’ll end up trying to steal your neighbors…get it, don’t regret it. Stick to more seafood and skip dessert. The Mooring is the kind of restaurant that leaves a smile wiped across your face and the feeling of accomplishment when you walk out its doors.
Believe it or not, some of the best Mexican food DOES exist in the East Coast and in Rhode Island. Perro Salado is located in a cute little 300 year-old cottage with bright, yellow walls and outdoor seating with olive green stools and tables. It almost feels like California as there are chile pepper overhead lights and a tree growing through the outdoor deck. The farm-to-table ingredients and vegetables taste so fresh that what would be a greasy meal elsewhere feels lighter here.The full Migas plate with cheddar, jack tomato, and tortilla chips are the jam, and the traditional Chilaquiles casserole with beef, salsa, melted cheese making the tortilla chips soft and mix together is laughable its so amazing. I couldn’t get enough of this one and it goes down well with a Watermelon Margarita. The only danger here is that I will forever crave this dish, and I don’t have anywhere here to get it. The Scallion-Cheddar biscuit is as big as your face and soft but it was a bit too cold for enjoyment. The staff is chill and everything in the world seems to make sense here on this porch.
FLO’S CLAM SHACK:
Drive right into Newport heading towards Easton’s Beach (free admission), and pull straight up to Flo’s Clam Shack for a quick bite. Grab yourself a divine Lobster Roll which a la carte is only $13.95 and overflowing with fresh meat that isn’t tossed in any saucy junk and just pure bliss. The Fried Oyster Po Boy is awesome too with a huge portion of the fried guys that taste fantastic dunked in cocktail sauce. You can basically get anything fried here: Clams, Clam Strips, Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari, etc. Fries aren’t anything special, and orders come out fast. You will receive a lobster shaped buzzer to alert you when your food is ready. Definitely sit on the deck or up on the roof to catch views of the beach.
Growing up in Texas, I never thought I’d make my way to this baby state which is 257 times smaller than my homestate. I have officially fallen in love and anyone else will, too! Definitely put this on your list to visit and if you live in NYC, you have no excuse to make the 3.5 hour drive for a weekend.