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“Never going back”
Review of Scales & Shells

Scales & Shells
Ranked #45 of 236 Restaurants in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $25
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Farmingdale, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
152 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Never going back”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

Excellent staff. The rest was not. Ordering from a blackboard is not our idea of how to order in an expensive restaurant. The place was so noisy it was hard to hear anyone speak to you. The wait for food was long. My husband's dinner was bland and the linguini was cold. The prices are higher then stated on this site. My dinner were over $30 dollars. At these prices having to pay cash really hurt. Had we known before we ordered we would have left. For once we should have believed all the negative reviews.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hacheta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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398 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
192 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Calling All Seafood Lovers”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

If you’re a seafood lover, I highly recommend Scales & Shells. This was our first visit to Scales & Shells, as it came highly recommended and it didn’t disappoint. The fresh menu is written daily on a Blackboard. If you are unsure of a menu item, just ask, the staff is very knowledgeable and eager to assist. I recommend the Swordfish or if you’re feeling adventurous the Monkfish. The fish can be prepared several different ways to suit your taste.

The dining room is “tight” with tables fairly close to each other which at times can make it very loud.

TIPS:
Be aware, it is a Cash Only business. However, if you forget there is a Bank of America ATM across the street.
Ask for a table away from the Blackboard or you have people standing around you all night.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DodgerMom668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“So so”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

First the menu is on the wall which is not the best. People have to go to the back wall and try to decide with really no explanation of what you might be getting. Not a method I prefer to select my meal
So so decor. Loud
The pop dispenser was being changed and I never received my drink
The grilled shrimp was bland. The grilled asparagus was too firm and bland
My husband thought the swordfish was fair
The best part was the desert
No credit cards, cash only
Would not go back
The service other than ever getting my pop was good

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Robben4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Fresh, fresh, fresh - best seafood around!”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Don't miss this restaurant. The food is so fantastic, the service is perfect and the bartender makes great drinks. They don't take reservations, so if you get there late, prepare to wait & bring your cash, as they don't take credit cards.
By far my favorite dish in the place is the Lobster Fra Diavolo, a perfect dish for two! Put on your bib as you'll need it! It comes to the table still in the pan with plenty of napkins and bowls for your disgarded shells.
There are many restaurants in Newport, but it is hard to resist going back here again and again. Also, the oysters are always fresh too-- we usually get half a dozen at least.
I hope you enjoy!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank manzie16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
188 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Nothing but Fish”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I love this place. I really do. I dine here every time I'm in Newport, and it never fails to delight me.

It doesn't have a big dining area (at least in off-tourist-season, when the upstairs is closed), and you might have to wait for a table, but the food is well worth the wait. It's almost always packed and, when you're looking at a largely local clientele, that's a good thing indeed.

The basics ... decor is minimalist, with a large chalkboard menu on the wall, open kitchen and a separate bar, and nothing much else besides tables. The open design is somewhat lacking in noise abatement, hence the low "Romance" rating.

Service is great. Attentive but not fawning, and I've never been hustled by a waitress so she could flip the table.

Prices are a bit on the high side, and they don't take credit cards. You'll need at least a Benjamin to cover dinner for two with wine and tip.

On to the food. Scales & Shells serves up a wide range of impeccably fresh, perfectly cooked fish and shellfish. These take the form of pasta dishes, grilled options, or other preparations. One of my favorites is the Clams Roberto, a healthy-sized appetizer of clams in a spicy marinara sauce. On one visit, the waitress 'fessed up that the sauce is simmered with lobster shells to infuse it with seafood goodness. Shrimp and scallops, in all their manifestations, are also done extremely well here, and the pasta dishes are cooked to al dente perfection.

A final note ... there is literally nothing but seafood on the menu here. My wife, who doesn't eat anything from the sea other than smoked salmon, boasts that she can always find SOMETHING on the menu in a place like Scales & Shells. Wrong! The best she's able to do is angel hair pasta in red sauce. No steak, no chops, no burgers, nothing. Don't take someone with a seafood allergy here.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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