Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I went to high school in Newport but it's been YEARS - I wonder if Zelda's is still there? (just checked, it is) Get a hot dog on the wharf at The Black Pearl - I worked there summers! That's all I've got - it's been too long - I would check YELP ...
I was in Newport this past summer and we had a wonderful lunch at The Mooring. It's a bit fancy-pants with the accompanying price tag, but the food was very good and the ambiance was very inviting. Plus the view of the water and boats is quite nice. The menu itself was pretty good. We had a few rounds of oysters on the half-shell along with lobster rolls, fish tacos, and a few cocktails. We were seated inside because it was a humid day and while the outside seating looked great, I wanted to enjoy my food in a cool and quieter section of the restaurant. It's pricey, but worth a splurge.
Castle Hill - even if just for a drink - you have to go and enjoy the view, it's gorgeous
I wanted to report back on my trip, for anyone who might have a similar Hotline question in the near future.
The first day, we had lunch at the Brick Alley Pub on Thames Street, across from the waterfront. Even at 2pm on a frigid day, the wait was 1 hour and the large restaurant and bar were packed. The service was very nice, and the food fairly good--we had fish tacos and a lobster roll respectively. The portions were huge.
In the afternoon, we drove over to Castle Hill for a drink. Unfortunately, the bar has no view of the water! When the weather is warmer, you can sit outside on Adirondack chairs. If you visit in cooler weather, it might be worth eating in the dining room--basically a glass room perched over the water, where watching the sun set is not terrible.
That evening, I'd reserved a spot at TSK (Thames Street Kitchen). The service was very disorganized: we were seated about 40 minutes after our reservation time. I also had no idea the restaurant was BYOB before arriving, although I suppose that's my fault. Still, the food was very tasty, on par with great restaurants in New York. It was restaurant week, and so we each had three courses: an impossibly rich and velvety broccoli soup, cut with candied meyer lemon and flash pickled turnips; a fluke crudo with candied orange and black olive tapenade; a perfectly cooked piece of cod, on top of soft lentils; and then homemade ice cream and warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I would recommend the food without reservation, but the inattentive and messy service was distracting.
The next day we went to The Mooring for lunch before heading home. Like HalfPint, we had Rhode Island oysters (very good), as well as a whitefish sandwich (ok) and sole (good). The restaurant was busteling and lively, and the service was very good.
On the way out of town, we stopped into a little shop called Le Petit Gourmet, and I went on a bit of a shopping spree (oops): dried strawberries, wild boar sausage, crackers laced with hazelnuts and raisins.. the list goes on. They also make sandwiches, so if you visit in the warm weather, it's a good place to plan a picnic.
I hope this will be helpful to someone!
Thanks for the trip report, cristinasciarra! We usually never hear back and I'm so glad you had a great time. Now I want to go back this summer and raid Le Petit Gourmet.
Ha, you totally should! I certainly did :)
cristina, i wonder if maybe you are unfamiliar with Chowhound.com? I would always steer a foodie like you to Chowhound and not Yelp (where posters are generally way less discriminating.) Chowhound has Boards for areas all over the country and the world, for discussing restaurants and vendors to recipes to general food topics. it is a huge site. The Southern New England Board covers Newport. Glad you found TSK; it has been raved on Chowhound. Here are some links which you may find helpful if you return there:
<a href="http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886072" target="_blank">http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886072</a>
<a href="http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837642" target="_blank">http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837642</a>
Aside from searching through the Chowhound(CH) site, you can also do the "chowhound and newport " google route.
Hi Le Bec Fin, I am familiar with Chowhound, and I do use it sometimes. (After a brief search, I can see it would have been helpful for my Newport trip.) Depending on what I'm researching, sometimes I find the advice on Chow to be a bit dated; although of course I could start my own post. I ask on Food52 because I feel a part of the community here, and because I trust this community's advice. However, I think I will expand my research to Chowhound more in the future. Thanks for the note!
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