After a half a dozen cruises to Newport, I have developed a short list of four great restaurants and may never try another!
- The Fluke (our first)
- The Mooring (best location)
- Meg’s Aussie Milk Bar (great breakfast)
- The Midtown Oyster Bar
Obviously, that brings me to today’s review!
To get on my list, you need a great location. Midtown is straight off of 41 North and just around the corner from The Newport Yachting Center.
It’s a huge place with three levels. I’ve never eaten on the first floor, but that’s where the very large bar is located. The last time there, we ate on the second floor which has a dramatic 2 story ceiling.
Last August, we ate on the back deck outdoors looking out at the harbor. It was a great view and fairly well protected from the sea breeze.
Our most recent trip to Newport was a bit of a last minute affair. Since it was May, there was no issue getting a slip at The Newport Yachting Center, but landing a dinner reservation was another story. Keep this mind if you’re planning on visiting Newport; the top ranked restaurants book up a month in advance, even in the spring and fall.
My only options turned out to be restaurants that were a long walk, the Vanderbilt Grill at 6:15 or Midtown Oyster Bar at 5:00. I booked the Vanderbilt on yelp, but Midtown has their own reservation system, so I double booked (don’t tell anyone).
We had house guests for breakfast that morning, so I suggested to Mrs. Horne that we eat a hearty breakfast, skip lunch, and opt for the 5:00 reservation at The Midtown. She concurred!
Dinner At The Midtown Oyster Bar
As you might suspect, other than the crowd at the bar, the massive restaurant was fairly empty at 5:00. I asked the young lady who sat us what would have happened if we had just walked in at 6:00 and she said we might have been seated, if not, we would not have waited long.
Keeping with our lighter dining pattern, Mrs. Horne ordered a salad and the Clams with Linguine. I was hankering Fried Oysters and there were none on the menu. I asked our server Patrick if they were available and he said “they’re always available”. I ordered the appetizer portion with a side of Truffle Fries — yummy!
I gave up on Fried Clams years ago. Too much shortening and fried dough — gives me indigestion.
Last year, I discovered Fried Oysters at the Pilot House (Oyster Po Boy) and I’ve been hooked ever since.
The Fried Oyster at the Midtown offer everything I love. Big round bellies with minimal fried dough. Served with perfect tarter sauce on the side.
Making it Right!
All was well until Mrs. Horne’s Clams and Linguine arrived. It looked very watery and that’s because it was. After a few bites, she waived Patrick over and sent it back.
He returned and just like that. Mrs. Horne’s dinner review went from zero to excellent. Patrick came back in a minute to see how she liked (which was perfect). I asked him if the head chef was in the kitchen and he confessed he was not.
He apologized and said he had thought it looked too wet when he picked it up and never should have served it. The Linguine was not on our bill.
Needless to say, we would have preferred everything came out of the kitchen perfectly the first time, but hats off to the Midtown and Patrick for correcting a mistake with near perfection.
We’ll me back!