My husband and I recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on January 1st. This year, my husband surprised me with a weekend in Newport, just the two of us! We got married in Newport so there is special significance to this location. After some debate, we ended up only going for one night this past weekend…since we’ve never been away from our girls at the same time, we figured we’d start slow with one night away. Technically it was for 27 hours.
I love Newport. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Even in the winter, it was great. If you planning a trip to Newport, even a day trip, check out where we ate…we highly recommend these spots (maybe not all the specific dishes but the spots are great):
Dinner: The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar – My husband chose this restaurant for dinner because it is one we’ve never been to. One of my favorite things from the weekend was being able to enjoy a 2 hour dinner. We take our children out to dinner all the time, but usually at 5pm for a quick 60 minute or less dinner. We had a 7pm reservation but arrived at 6:30. It was quiet when we arrived, but within 20 minutes, it was packed. A good sign on a freezing cold, windy Friday in January! We started off with a few appetizers, soup and salad to share.
We started with the Tuna Tartare, the Bag of Doughnuts , the Scallop Chowder, and the Autumn Salad.
The Tuna Tartare was a great start and the Ponzu vinaigrette was light and tasty.
The Bag of Doughnuts was interesting. Lobster, crab & shrimp fritters with chipotle-maple aïoli…we felt we had to try them, but we were underwhelmed. They came out of the kitchen piping hot. When I cut into them, I expected to find larger chunks of seafood, but I did not. The aioli didn’t seem to work either. I never met a donut I didn’t like…until this one.
Next. The restaurant’s Scallop Chowder is “award-winning” and it did not disappoint. It was fantastic. Even though it is a cream based chowder, it didn’t feel super heavy. And it was full of scallops.
The Autumn Salad was fantastic. Local greens, toasted pepitas, sun-dried cranberries, poached pears, gorgonzola cheese with honey black pepper vinaigrette. It was a great contrast to the creamy chowder and offered nice flavors. I wish the pears were larger but overall it was a great salad.
On to the entrees. My husband ordered the Acadian Red Fish, which was bacon wrapped and oven roasted stuffed with crab meat, served with sautéed spinach and tarragon beurre blanc.
He said the spinach was the best part, which isn’t probably the best compliment….but overall said it was okay. I ordered the Mooring Scampi, pan-roasted lobster, shrimp, sea scallops, tomato, garlic-herb butter and angel hair pasta.
It wasn’t great. I think the scallop chowder was SOOO good, that any other scallop dish paled in comparison. I feel like I needed a filet or something totally different. I would not get it again….but I do compliment them on the amount of seafood in the dish. There was a full lobster tail, lots of scallops and shrimp. We enjoyed our appetizers so much, we were just let down with the meal a bit.
On to dessert. I ordered the Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake, served with fresh berries, whipped cream and mint. It was like a flourless chocolate cake, very rich and dense. Not my favorite.
But that could be because of my husband’s dessert. It was a special I think because it is not on the online menu. It was a Limoncello soaked angel food cake with some sort of frosting and maybe some white chocolate. It was DELICIOUS!!!!! Oh wow, it was amazing. I’d definitely recommend this.
I know I was hard on some of the dishes, but I am just being honest. I would definitely go back to the Mooring, I would just order differently. If we go back, I’d order as follows:
- Selection of oysters
- Scallop Chowder
- Autumn Salad
- Lobster croissant
- Dessert of course
They also offer a season 3 course tasting menu during the week, along with a Paella special on Thursdays that sounds amazing.
Breakfast: Franklin Spa – My husband is a fitness nut and eats very healthy…so when he said he wanted a greasy breakfast, I was shocked! I did a little research and found Franklin Spa. It was a quick walk from our hotel. We arrived at 9:15 and grabbed a table right away. Within 15 minutes, there was a line out the door and people waiting outside. Considering it was about 15-20 degrees out, I was so happy we arrived when we did.
My husband opted for a sweet, anti-oxidant packed breakfast (funny considering he was the one wanting a greasy diner type!). He started with a bowl of granola, yogurt and berries, then moved onto a berry topped buttermilk waffle. He said both were great.
I, on the other hand, went for the true diner fare. Two poached eggs, over corned beef hash and english muffins, topped with some Hollandaise sauce. Oh and don’t forget the potatoes on the side. It hit the spot but I was only able to eat about half of it. The portion was large.
I would definitely go back to Franklin Spa…it was a great spot. They don’t have a website so if you are interested, here are their menus (they even had a kids menu!).
Lunch: Diego’s – It’s pretty hard for my husband and I to pass up Mexican food. It doesn’t matter where we are. So our little trip to Newport was no different. Diego’s came highly recommended to me by a friend who summers in Newport. We visited a few years ago with my in-laws and decided to stop back again. We had such a big breakfast, we just needed a snack, so this was the perfect choice.
We sat at the bar which we obviously never do with kids so it was a fun departure. I also ordered a “fun” drink, which I never do…typically stick to wine or champagne. I sought advice from the bartender who recommended the Franklin Bog, which consisted of fresh cranberries muddled with lemon, fresh ginger and apple liquor, topped with ice, Triple 8 Cranberry Vodka and a splash of ginger ale.
It was delicious. Such a great flavor combination. The fresh ginger was a great addition that did not overpower the other ingredients. I would definitely order this again. My husband ordered club soda with a lime…no offense honey, that drink doesn’t warrant a photo!
We decided to just get some snacks and ordered the Braker’s Guac and the Crispy Pulled Pork Ancho Springrolls.
The guacamole was delicious and miraculously, there were the perfect amount of chips to scoop up all the guac. The spring rolls were forgettable. But we’ve been here before and had a full meal and everything was great so I definitely recommend this spot. I recognized some of the waiters and many have worked there for a while…so ask them for some popular favorites if you are looking for suggestions.
If you’ve been to Newport, what are your favorite restaurants? We go all the time and are always looking for new spots to try!