Sunday to Wednesday of last week, I was at a conference in Newport. My colleague and I quickly learned that the best networking was done at the events outside of the conference, not actually attending the panels. With more than 900 people signed up to attend, there was rarely more than 100 people attending a panel.
So, on the Tuesday, I went for lunch with an old industry friend that I hadn’t seen in ages (we estimated that it’s been maybe 8 years!) And we went all out. It was a feast.
Then, to start, a dozen oysters. We had two of each of the oysters on the menu. My favourites were the (very different from each other) Walrus & Carpenter and the Cockenoe.
The calamari (very good, big pieces of squid with not too much fried-ness surrounding them)
The swordfish tacos… I’m not a huge fan of swordfish (I find it too dense, and typically, bland), but these were very good – the swordfish gave the dish some substance… and, well, the creamy dressing made them delicious.
And the tuna tartare. I am embarrassed to say that we ordered so much food, I didn’t even get a chance to try this. But it looked very good. Nick had a small bite and said that it was fine, but nothing particularly exciting.
As far as I was concerned, the main dish was the best part of the menu. Which is almost never the case… typically you have very tasting appetizers and a larger, more one-dimensional main course. But in this case, the dish had a lot of dimensions and different tastes.
For me in general, adding corn to a dish (especially roasted corn) is a win. This dish had several pan-fried scallops (large and juicy), served over some bits of grilled/charred corn, a corn pudding (maybe this is what put me over the edge, I could have eaten this all day), a lobster frisee (lettuce and lobster bits, what a great pairing, topped with a bacon vinaigrette), and a carrot puree.
I could go on and on about that dish. It was amazing. It made my day. It was a great catch-up with Nick after so long, so nice to sit out and have a long, leisurely lunch between events, and at such a great restaurant. Nick, thank you so much!
PS. This is a picture of Nick later on, at the Spouting Rock Country Club. They were serving bacon with melted brown sugar on top as a canape. Genius. Nick thought so too and decided this merited a picture. I can’t tell whether the waitress is laughing with us or at us.
A few other places to try while in Newport:
The Smokehouse (low-key BBQ joint with great cocktails)
The Clark Cooke House (upscale seafood and other continental)
41 North (upscale seafood and other continental)
Diegos’ (low-key bar and Mexican food)
Gas Lamp Grille (low-key with a huge menu (and damn good macaroni and cheese), with Tuesday night karaoke)