Fall 2019 Scoop: Dining & Food News

New Restaurants

Bottega Bocconi: This cozy Italian deli, café and market from the acclaimed former executive chef at Pasta Beach sells product directly imported from his homeland and items from local farms. Prepared foods include fresh baked pastries, breakfast bruschetta, sandwiches and prepared dishes to heat at home in addition to fresh pasta, sauces, broths, soups and sides – and Aperol Spritz! Italian culinary workshops offered for individuals and groups. 36 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown.

Il Forno Italiano: Quick-serve wood-fired pizza and Italian dishes including pasta, lasagna and more. 372 Thames Street, Newport.

Lobster Roll Heaven: Quick-serve style restaurant serving lobster rolls from freshly caught lobsters and traditional New England fare to grab and go. 370 Thames Street, Newport.

The Reef opened in mid-July, touting a menu that merges traditional New England cuisine with unexpected Caribbean flavor. A raw bar, cervices and other items highlight local seafood while specialty cocktails make an impression at this waterfront restaurant which offers indoor and outdoor seating, a patio bar and live entertainment. Chef Jake Chabot, best known for his time at the helm of Jamestown Fish, will change menu items with the seasons. 10 W. Howard Wharf, Newport.

Sprout and Lentil: Plant-based meals for pre-order and take-away including from-scratch veggie burgers, soups, vegan “cheeses” and more. A small eat-in area is available and an industrial classroom kitchen will host cooking events. 796 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown.

The Taco Box: Savor tacos with a twist from this vintage trailer turned taqueria on wheels in Warren. Fresh, from-scratch ingredients can be found in everything from cheesy quesadillas to flavorful taco bowls, plus dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven. 75 Child Street, Warren.

Tijuana Burrito: Quick-serve cozy Mexican cantina coming later this month. 66 Broadway, Newport.

Viesté Simply Italian: Inspired by the charming coastal town of Viesté located in the Apulia region of southeast Italy, Viesté offers simple Italian dishes that can be beautifully paired with a careful selection of Italian wines or domestic craft beers as well as libations. 515 Thames Street, Newport. 

New Chefs

The Chanler at Cliff Walk has welcomed Jacob Jasinski as the new Executive Chef of the boutique hotel and its two restaurants, Cara and The Café. As a native New Englander, Chef Jacob brings world-class culinary skills and a unique sense of place to the menus backed by his experience at acclaimed restaurants in the U.S. and Europe including Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin. He has also held high-level positions at prominent hotels and restaurants including Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine; Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; and Castle Hill Inn here in Newport. 117 Memorial Blvd., Newport.

One Bellevue at the historic Hotel Viking has been renovated in addition to introducing a redesigned menu under the command of new Executive Chef, Joe Thompson, who boasts more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality and culinary industries. Chef Thompson brings to the historic 208-room property a keen expertise, passion for food and a successful track record leading restaurant teams. 1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport.

The Vanderbilt has welcomed new Executive Chef David Crone who has joined the boutique hotel from its sister property, The White Barn Inn, located in Kennebunk, Maine. Crone will oversee The Vanderbilt Grille and the property’s seasonal ventures: the Garden Terrace and Rooftop Deck. Crone brings with him more than two decades of culinary experience at luxury properties. Also, The Vanderbilt Grille has introduced Afternoon Tea offering “Classic Grace” tea service with sweets and savories, and “Vanderbilt High Tea” featuring the Classic Grace experience plus decadent chocolate bonbons, chocolate covered strawberries and your choice of a Mimosa, Bellini or glass of sparkling wine. Tea service is 12pm to 3pm, Monday - Friday (reservations required) and Saturday and Sunday (reservations accepted but walk-ins accommodated should room allow). 41 Mary Street, Newport.

New Culinary Events

An Evening at Belcourt with G. Love & Food Network Chef Kev D. on Sat. Dec. 4 -- Savor this evening of historical tours, music and food at Belcourt of Newport featuring music legend G. Love and Chef Kevin Des Chenes as seen on Food Network's Chef Wanted, Great Food Truck Race & Beat Bobby Flay, as well as The Today Show.

Fluke Newport’s Supper Club: enjoy a three-course meal for $29 Wednesday through Friday and Sundays from 5pm to 6pm at Fluke Newport. Chef Eddie Montalvo continues to lead the way, offering his innovative menu in a new, fun and affordable way. What's the catch? You have to be seated for dinner before 6pm.

Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet’s Cookbook Club: Every third Thursday of the month, gather at the gourmet and make a handful of recipes from that month’s book (there will be vegetarian choices!). Discuss the book’s layout, design and content, as well as how easy it is to follow and how successful one is likely to be in making the recipe. Finally, snack on what you and discuss the ideal wine pairing to go along with the meal. (Wine tasting included).

A Venetian Holiday at Castle Hill Inn on Saturday, December 7 -- Executive chef and co-owner of Boston’s SRV, Kevin O’Donnell, will be manning the helm at Castle Hill Inn’s kitchen for a memorable event highlighting the tastes of Venice. Served in Castle Hill Inn’s stunning dining room, elegantly outfitted for the holiday season, the five-course tasting menu will feature a modern interpretation of Venetian cuisine, paired perfectly with wines from Famiglia Pasqua of the same region. The five-course prix fixe dinner, including wine pairings, is available for $125 per person. Other holiday events at the inn, including Christmas on the Hill, Teddy Bear Tea and New Year's Eve can be found here. 

On the Horizon

The owners of Newport’s iconic Brick Alley Pub are currently renovating the Middletown Grange building dating back to 1935 to house a quick-serve style restaurant to be called Plumby’s, serving some of their Newport flagship restaurant’s favorites including hamburgers, lobster rolls, clam chowder and salads in addition to other items. Expected opening: Late winter 2020. 499 East Main Road, Middletown.