the last time i visited newport, i stayed in a victorian-era apartment with three girlfriends. it was the middle of summer, and we spent our days eating del's frozen lemonade, soaking up precious vitamin d, and letting salty air hit our golden skin. it was perfect. since then, i have dreamed of visiting this new england seaside loveliness again.
the opportunity arose for a weekend with some of my yogi friends. plans i had had for this particular weekend were cancelled last minute, so i threw a bunch of yoga gear and sweaters into a bag and made my way to newport. i treated myself to a much needed massage, (ever feel a filmmaker's shoulder knots?) and enjoyed some really good food. visiting in the winter was nothing close to my last mid-july visit, but absolutely beautiful in its own right. before hitting the road home, we had a chance to check out the ocean. although i couldn't go into the water, it was pretty powerful to stand on the cliffs looking out on the overcast winter sky and stormy blue waters. the waves licked the black rocks, yellow moss illuminated the stoned walls to the sea, and i could vaguely taste the salty mist from the enormous waves crashing into each other as they raced to the shore.
MIDTOWN OYSTER BAR, 345 thames st.
this was our first meal in newport. it was st. patrick's day and so there were a lot of kilts. i like kilts. we made our way through the plaid and green and were greeted by a very gorgeous, nautical restaurant interior. my favorite part of our table's location was the large, vintage american flag that draped across the wooden scaffolding. i am a sucker for patriotic touches anytime i see them. i'll start by saying that i truly wished i had a bottomless bank account or knew the chef, because every single item on this menu looked as if it would completely blow me out of the water. the lucky thing was that we were a group of six, and it was our first night, AND it was our friend's birthday celebration, so we ordered two bottles of wine and several appetizers. we shared the smoked fish dip, which featured bluefish and a row of saltine crackers for dipping (i, of course, being gf and awesome forked the stuff directly into my mouth. so, so yummy). i ordered pork cracklins and wasn't sure what to expect, but what i was presented with was better than anything i could have imagined. pork belly strips were cooked to just above a jerky consistency--the strips were chewy yet tender, and seasoned perfectly. the fat rendered just enough that it flavored the meat with caramelized goodness. please proceed to dip one in the side of blue cheese sauce. with this, i had a chopped salad with fried oysters (i swear i'm still gluten free...) and a lobster risotto. holy chunks of lobster.
so go here.
PERRO SALADO, 19 charles st.
tucked away and absolutely perfect. perro salado is filled with warm candlelight and colorful details. we ordered the chips and guacamole (because you should always order guac if its on a menu). the chips were dusted with an incredible spicy seasoning that elevated the entire guac-eating experience here. we also ordered avocado fries--creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and the holy of holiest were the blue cornmeal-crusted calamari. each bite was an explosion of flavor. naturally i was already stuffed by the time my entree came, but the appetizers proved that i obviously had to eat everything i was served here. my main squeeze were the super tender short ribs that sat atop a bed of black beans and a crispy corn tortilla. moral of the story: i fucking love mexican, and i really love mexican that does it right.
MEG'S AUSSIE MILK BAR, 111 bellevue ave.
the last time i was in newport, we passed this little shop and i made a mental note to return. completely decorated with australian paraphernalia at every turn, this place had me dreaming of a trip to koala land. i am (not so) secretly a koala bear, and they were well represented here. we were post-yoga and pre-breakfast and i needed more coffee. after taking a test shot of the macadamia milk, i opted for a flat white made with macademia milk (australian origin) and the special--a house-made roast beef omelette with sliced avocado and homefries. i chewed away at this delicious meal while taking in all the wonderful, collected decor. we felt right at home thanks to the hospitable staff. i really could've chilled there all day, sustaining myself solely on macadamia milk flat whites forever and ever, amen. my next trip to newport will land me here first for that coffee, i swear it.