Staff Picks: Newport Restaurant Week

Rhode Island Monthly staffers name their mouth-watering picks.

This season's Newport Restaurant Week, running now through March 29, is sized to fit all appetites. (Fifty restaurants, no kidding.) Can't decide where to splurge or save? Here are a few tips from our expert staffers:


Jamie Coelho, associate editor + editor of the Dish food e-newsletter: I am currently in seafood research mode (in New England, when am I not?). So I am looking to try some of the best spots that feature tasty treasures from the sea. I am hoping to hit up Fluke Wine Bar and Kitchen (41 Bowen's Wharf, Newport, 401-849-7778, RW menu) and Tallulah on Thames (464 Thames St., Newport, 401-849-2433, RW menu), and maybe I’ll go for the butter-poached lobster at Benjamin’s (254 Thames St., Newport, 401-846-8757, RW menu). Those lobster spring rolls sounds fantastic!

Carolyn Marsden, art director: A while back, we did a photo shoot at the Vanderbilt Grace, and I absolutely loved the atmosphere! I’d really enjoy checking out the Conservatory (RW menu). 41 Mary St., Newport, 401-846-8200. We’ve also photographed more than once at Thames Street Kitchen (RW menu) – I always try to sneak a bite of what we’re photographing if I can, and it’s always out of this world. 677 Thames St., Newport, 401-846-9100. Finally, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that I love a good burger. I’ve never been to Willy’s (RW menu), but I’m guessing the kobe burger would really hit the spot. 599 Thames St., Newport, 401-841-8898.

Jen McCaffery, associate editor: I’m a fan of some of Newport’s more laid back restaurants. I always like Perro Salado (RW menu) the beautifully warm authentic Mexican eatery tucked inside a former eighteenth-century home. 19 Charles St., Newport, 401-619-4777, I’d also like to check out Cafe Zelda (RW menu) where the nautical vibe will help me channel warmer winds. 528 Thames St., Newport, 401-849-4002. Finally, Caleb and Broad (RW menu) has an inventive menu and looks like it would be a fun place to hang out after dinner. 162 Broadway, Newport, 401-619-5955.

Casey Nilsson, associate editor: I'm aiming to eat at a few county outliers. First, I've said for ages that I wanted to get to Boat House in Tiverton (RW menu) both for the views and for the paella, which I hear is very tasty. 227 Schooner Dr., Tiverton, 401-624-6300. Also, I'd like to revisit Persimmon in Bristol. It's been years since my first time and this season's Restaurant Week menu is irresistible. 31 State St., Bristol, 401-254-7474.

Josh Aromin, Special Publications associate editor + digital media coordinator: A Newport bartender I spoke to recently was singing the praises of Hope restaurant (RW menu). I know nothing else about this place, but trying new places is the point of all restaurant weeks, right? Chicken empanadas and grilled pork belly are right up my alley. 10 Broadway, Newport, 401-849-6676. If I can get together a date night before Restaurant Week ends, the Spiced Pear might have to be my go-to (RW menu). I’ve walked past it many times while on the Cliff Walk but have never eaten there yet. Spectacular view, tasty food and great company — sounds like a pretty sweet night. 117 Memorial Blvd., Newport, 401-847-2244.