It’s finally summertime! Whether you are looking for a nice little getaway, full vacation or a quick day trip, Rhode Island is the perfect destination to enjoy some great food and drink. Find lovely waterfront views and an unreal, exciting atmosphere! Check out some of the best restaurants to visit with a group of friends, for a romantic date, or for a night out with the family:
THE REEF | NEWPORT, RI
The Reef in Newport, Rhode Island had a soft opening pre-pandemic, and has now officially opened on Newport’s waterfront. Discover gorgeous views of the Newport Harbor. The Reef has a new Culinary Director and a new menu with international influences. Check out the fresh new interior and new patio! This is the perfect picturesque setting for intimate gatherings, a night out with friends, or large celebrations, as they have a 500-guest capacity!
The Reef’s menu offers all of the local favorites with a unique and thoughtfully curated spin. If you are a seafood lover, you cannot go to The Reef without indulging in the Shrimp Po Boy and Seared Karen Elizabeth Sea Scallops. Crisped to absolute golden perfection, The Shrimp Po Boy comes with house coleslaw, tartar sauce, as well as a toasted brioche. This is the most ideal sandwich to treat yourself to during the warm, summer months. What is better than fried shrimp on the water? The Seared Karen Elizabeth Sea Scallops come with cauliflower puree, capsicum chili pepper, charred chorizo, and asparagus vinaigrette. This exquisite dish is bursting with flavor and tastes even better than it looks!
To complement The Reef’s menu, check out their wide variety of cocktail, wine, beer, and liquor. The Reef has a cocktail for everyone, whether you are craving something citrusy, fruity, or chocolatey! When visiting, be sure to try the Basil Lemon Fizz. This drink consists of Hendrick’s Gin, muddled basil, limoncello, lemon juice, and agave syrup. As someone who loves anything lemon-related, this drink is right up my alley! Make sure to try the Caribbean Passion: a mixture of Mount Gay rum, Caribbean mix, a combination of orange juice, passion fruit juice, and guava juice, and finished with Goslings dark rum. This cocktail will immediately put you into vacation-mode. Lastly, you can never go wrong with the drink that doubles as a delicious dessert – the Frozen Mudslide. It consists of 3 Olives Vanilla vodka, Café Aztec coffee liquor, Brady’s Irish Cream, and topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
STONEACRE BRASSERIE | NEWPORT, RI
Make a stop at Stoneacre Brasserie, a classic neighborhood restaurant elevated to completely blow your taste buds away. The restaurant features a curated and always evolving seasonal menu. All products and ingredients are thoughtfully sourced from local farmers, butchers, and fishermen. Every dish prepared at Stoneacre Brasserie is approachable yet features a French twist, and is capped off by a cultivated wine list that highlights boutique French wine producers. Have a blast hosting your events here, whether a large-scale full restaurant buyout or casual cocktail-style reception, with the capacity being up to 40 guests.
When it comes to the menu, you are guaranteed to be “wow’d” by the aesthetically-pleasing dishes that you will be served. If you are in the mood for fish, you must order the Grilled Loup de Mer, Ratatouille, Salsa Verde, Fava Beans. Try out the The Loup de Mer, French for Sea Bass, a great light choice for the summer months. The dish comes served over a mouthwatering, richly-flavored Ratatouille and topped with Salsa Verde for a tangy, zesty flavor. For steak lovers, the Steak Frites is a must-try, and will very easily become the best you have ever had. The Steak Frites are served with Maitre D’Butter and Arugula, as well as a pile of golden-brown crunchy French fries.
Not only are their dishes downright stunning, but Stoneacre Brasserie truly delivers on the presentation of their cocktails as well. For the summer months, try the perfectly flavored and refreshing Tangerine Whiskey Smash or Queen’s Park Swizzle. The Tangerine Whiskey Smash contains fresh tangerine juice, Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Honey, and fresh tangerines. Looking for something a bit more citrusy? Try the Queen’s Park Swizzle, mixed with aged and silver rum, lime juice, mint, as well as Angostura bitters.
THAMES WATERSIDE BAR & GRILL | BRISTOL, RI
If you are in Bristol, Thames Waterside Bar & Grill is one of the most fun, gorgeous spots to visit. It is located right downtown and open all year. The restaurant offers fresh local seafood as well as all of your favorite classic comfort foods. Plus, they have a great bar scene with a variety of wines, hand crafted cocktails as well as local craft beer. Not to mention, Thames Waterside has outdoor seating that offers the best views of the sunsets! If you are looking for entertainment, visit Thames on the weekends when they feature local artists on their rooftop deck!
Some of my favorite items to order at Thames Waterside include the Nachos, “Buffacue” flatbread, as well as the Strawberry Cheesecake. The Nachos can be served with vegetarian Korean BBQ quinoa or golden BBQ pulled pork and come with house made chili, cheddar jack cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, as well as pickled jalapenos. The “Buffacue” flatbread is topped with grilled chicken, BBQ-buffalo sauce, bacon, caramelized onions, and scallions. The “buffacue” sauce is hands down the most mouthwatering and tasty sauce that you can get on a flatbread pizza. And of course, you must finish off the meal with a delicious, thick slice of cheesecake, with an optional topping of fresh strawberries.
For a refreshing fruity beverage, be sure to order the Blueberry Raz cocktail. Mixed with Blueberry vodka, Bacardi rum, lemonade, a splash of club soda, and a sprinkle of sugar, this cocktail is the perfect blend of fruity and citrusy. A perfect choice for a beverage on the water!
RICHARDSON’S KITCHEN AND BAR | WARREN, RI
Richardson’s Kitchen and Bar is a gastro pub located Warren, Rhode Island, a beautiful seaside town! Experience delicious food in a fun, warm, comfortable atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. Richardson’s is owned by Mike and Kelley, Mike being a self-taught chef who has been cooking since he was a teenager. He was inspired by his grandmother’s cooking. Richardson’s menu reflects the attention to detail that Mike notes as “the recipe for an amazing dining experience”. Richardson’s truly offers something for everyone on the menu; most notably known for their famous handmade sausage, homemade pasta and crispy hand-cut French fries.
While you will find satisfaction with any menu item, you must give the Veal Bolognese, Steamed Mussels, and Fish Tacos a try. The Veal Bolognese comes with Fresh Cavatelli, basil, and a parmesan crostini. This is the perfect, hearty dish for Italian food lovers! For seafood, try the Steamed Mussels, served with a buttery white wine sauce, shaved shallot, and fresh herbs. Choose from lemon or spicy tomato garlic broth, abruzzi pepperoni, or basil crostini. In the mood for Mexican cuisine? Try the Fish Tacos, served in grilled tortillas with the Catch of the Day, pineapple pico, guacamole, lime, green onion.
For cocktails, Richardson’s does not disappoint! All of their cocktails are carefully and uniquely curated with there being something for everyone’s palette. For spicy lovers, the Sweet Heat Margarita contains Patron, simple syrup, cayenne pepper, fresh lime juice, and a salted rim. Looking for something a little sweeter? Check out the Peanut Butter Jelly Time, mixed with Screwball Peanut Butter whiskey, Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur, bitters, and finished with cherries. Lastly, for something light and refreshing (the perfect summer beverage!), check out the Rox Refresher. The drink contains Tito’s vodka, pureed watermelon, your choice of Sprite or soda water, and finished with a delicious watermelon wedge!