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just returned from 5 night stay

New York City, New...
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just returned from 5 night stay

My husband and I just returned form a 5 night stay in Newport.

First of all, for all you Asterick fans out there... not to worry. I got the story from the restaurant itself. I am happy to report they are not for sale and are continuing business as usual. Their bakery (Boulasserie on Spring Street) that supplies freshly baked bread to Astericks is also continuing business as usual. They had their sister restaurant, La Petit Auberge, up for sale but have rescinded the sale of the restaurant. Apparently, it was not doing well as La Petit Auberge (Country French cuisine) and they changed it to A&O fish house. Business is better and they have decided to keep it going as A&O.

We stayed at Castle Hill in a beach house. It was a wonderful stay as usual. The weather was better for this trip then is was when we stayed this past July. During July is rained every day but during our stay this time it was sunny and temperate. We were able to enjoy sitting on our porch watching the waves crash and hike the craggy sea shore.

We tried a new restaurant on this trip and although it was good it wasn't great. We went to Mamma Luisa's. The bread on the table was not good at all, not expectable for Italian fare anyway. We started our meal with brusetta, made on the same bread, it was so, so. My husband had an appetizer size Pasta Carbonara... much too salty. I had a special, baccala (basically reconstituted, salted cod)again... much too salty. It needed more attention in it's preparation. My husband had stuffed pork loin for his entrée and it was very good. All, in all an OK meal, not great. Our best meals during this visit were at Astericks and West Deck. At West Deck I had sautéed scallops with linguine (a special), it was delicious. My husband had the filet mignon, also delicious. At Astericks I had a butternut squash, pumpkin soup (very fall like) and filet of sole Wellington (filet of sole, encrusted in crab meat and baked in a pastry shell.) My husband had lobster bisk and steak. It was very good. For desert (which we usually do not indulge in) we had crape suzette, also excellent.

All in all is was a great trip and the down time we needed. I highly recommend trying Newport in the off season. It is a pleasant experience.

Newport, RI
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1. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Newport and even better to hear that all of your dining experiences were along Lower Thames Street. I think Lower Thames is a really special part of Newport, although the area is not as well travelled as the Wharf areas. With the majority of the shops and restaurants being owner operated, it lends more of a personal touch to the shopping/dining experience.

And I'm glad that you set the record straight on Asterik. I had noticed that A & O Fish House was on the market for a little while, as a copy of the listing had made it into our mailbox a few months ago. However, I feared that if Asterik was actually on the market, that we might lose the beloved Boulangerie too. I don't dare divulge how many croissants of theirs I've eatten.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

NewportLocal... I agree about the Boulangerie and Lower Themes. We always make a point of visiting the shops on Themes and always make the Boulangerie our last stop when leaving town. Ham and Cheese on those delicious croissants and a Cafe for the road. Delicious. It wouldn't be Newport without it.

Berkshires
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3. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

2firenze:

In another post, dated November 14, you recommended Puerini. Why did you visit Mamma Luisa and not Peuerini? Would you still recommend Puerini? We're visiting Newport over New Year's and I'm really tossing up the two restaurants.

You also didn't recommend Rhumbline in a post of October 6th. Please tell me why. We would like to eat there also. Thanks.

Newport, RI
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4. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

Dana, just an FYI, but quite a few of the restaurants in Newport offer a prix fixe limited menu for New Years, so before making a reservation, you may want to check into the pricing and special menus.

Berkshires
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5. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

NewportLocal, thanks. We have tickets for the Breakers on New Year's Eve (6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.). We were thinking about stopping in at the Red Parrot or Busker's after the Breakers. Do you think we'll have a problem getting seated at around 8:30 P.M.?

Newport, RI
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6. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

Dana, although I know where Buskers is located, I have never dined there and can't tell you much about it. However, I don't believe I've ever driven by & seen a line at the door.

On the otherhand, The Red Parrot does not take reservations and it is likely that you will have difficulty getting a table, especially if Newport is host to a heavy visitor base for the holiday weekend. Again, as many restaurants require reservations & offer prix fixe menus on New Years Eve, those looking for a more casual dining experience will be filling up restaurants like the Red Parrot.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

I prefer Puerini to Mamma Luisa. We went to Mamma Luisa during our last visit because in all our visits we had never been there and it came highly recommended on this site. It was good but I prefer Puerini. We have been to Newport during the New Year celebration and it is a very busy time. We have been to White Horse Tavern, Castle Hill and the Clarke Cook House for this celebrations. I would not return to Clarke Cook for a few reasons. Parking is impossible. There is parking in the Mooring for a $10.00 fee but they don't tell you this before hand. We parked there but it was very congested and there was a lot of confusion. I found the Host at Clarke Cook extremely rude. I find when you are going out to dinner, especially for a holiday, you want a pleasant experience and I find rudeness unacceptable. It is not my problem if they overbook tables and then have a problem seating you. They actually told us we had a time limit to eat. I don't remember how long the time was but I found it inappropriate. The White Horse was lovely on New Years Eve but VERY PRICY. I think we got a bottle of wine (not very expensive) and our bill was $300.00. It was New Years eve and I didn't mind but wanted to give you an idea of the price range for the better restaurants on New Years Eve in Newport. Castle Hill was expensive as well but I find it to be a very pleasurable experience. You are away from the crowds. Parking is no problem. It is a beautiful and elegant atmosphere. You must dress up for this evening if you choose Castle Hill. All of these resturants have Prefix menus for New Years Eve. Have fun!

New York City, New...
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8. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

Sorry Dana... Forgot Rhumbline question. I think there are so many better restaurant choices then Rhumbline in Newport I wouldn't bother. It is OK, nothing special. If you would like a run down of my favorites, let me know. I will post.

Berkshires
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9. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

2firenze:

Thanks. That would be great. :)

New York City, New...
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10. Re: just returned from 5 night stay

Dana,

Here is my opinion on some of the restaurants in Newport.

Castle Hill - Excellent food, excellent service. Best location in Newport. Spectacular views. Very romantic. Pricy. Excellent wine list. Not in town. Ocean drive.

White Horse Tavern - Very Good Food, excellent service. Cozy colonial atmosphere. Historical building. A quintessential New England experience. Very expensive. A little out of center of town.

Clarke Cook House. - Although the food is usually very good it can be inconsistent. I have had very good meals here and not go good meals here. I would not go during a busy holiday. Too congested. They prepare a very good lobster dish. Very nice atmosphere. What you would expect, as far as atmosphere, in Newport. In town.

Astericks - Very good food and service. On lower themes. I would consider this in town. Hip, trendy atmosphere. Excellent bar with great cosmos and espresso martinis. Hang out for locals. Sunday evenings there is a jazz ensemble.

West Deck - Great good. On Waits Warf. In town (lower themes). Very unassuming atmosphere. They serve up some very innovative dishes and are always eager to please. Fresh seafood and great filet mignon.

Puerinis - Very good Italian food. Fresh ingredients and some innovative twists on old favorites. Memorial Blvd. Not far from town.

Scales and Shells - Very fresh seafood, simply prepared. Many grilled seafood dishes. No meat items on menu. Very casual atmosphere. Very popular. Lines form during high season. If you like seafood you should probably try it. Lower Themes.

Mamma Luisa - Good food. Lower Themes.

Black Pearl - Great clam chowder. In town. Would go for lunch. Other nice lunch items like lobster salad, steamed mussels or crab eggs benedict.

22Bowens - I would compare this to Ruth Chris Steak House. I find I can get much better steak in my area and we were there 3 times and it was OK. Not great. Expensive and not worth it in my opinion. There are those that disagree with me. In town.