Personal favorites of where to wine & dine during Newport, Rhode Island’s restaurant week
There are two things that I look forward to during Newport’s off-season—the slew of clearance sales in January/February and Newport Restaurant Week in the spring and the fall.
Newport Restaurant Week 2017 starts this spring on Monday, March 27 and ends Saturday, April 7, then will start up again in the fall on Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 12. It’s running a bit longer than past seasons, but I’m not complaining about having more opportunities to enjoy Newport on a more reasonable budget.
I always love going to different restaurants downtown, but these are the places that I always come back to…
Clarke Cooke House
Everyone knows the Cooke House. Recognized as a legendary social venue for sailors, the acclaimed restaurant attracts both locals and tourists who want a raw bar, cocktails and fine dining all under one perfectly located roof in downtown Newport. Most of the sailors are out of town—racing in the Caribbean or somewhere else far away from the New England cold—but Newport Restaurant Week is a great excuse to experience classic Newport without the summer crowd.
If you want to eat healthier choices or have more dietary restrictions, Fluke is your spot. Ordering the prix-fixe menu will also encourage you to order the best cocktails in downtown Newport…
White Horse Tavern
The country’s oldest tavern can be romantic over a candlelight dinner or it can be a relaxed night while sitting at the historic bar. If it’s a cold and gloomy weekday, this is a great place to come for a heartwarming lunch.
Speakeasy Bar & Grille
I had only been to Speakeasy a few times for drinks by the time I tried the dinner menu for Newport Restaurant Week. This is a cool, low-key place to enjoy dinner before the bar crowd starts rolling in. If you’re a light eater, brace yourself—the portions are huge.
Castle Hill Inn
… I really don’t feel like I need to explain this choice. See and taste for yourself.
I have always said that I will eat dinner here since I started going to Newport Restaurant Week. During warm spring evenings or Indian summer nights, I’ve longingly walked past Sarah’s Bar. I was even given a vase of hydrangeas from the manager one night as I walked by because they were getting more flowers the next day… It’s been approaching 7 years and I still haven’t been to either Bouchard or Sarah’s Bar.
If you’ve already done NRW in downtown Newport, there are other participating restaurants in neighboring towns. Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and the rest have their own spots well worth the drive—check out the NRW website and change the filter for “Towns” to select your destination.