I admit it, Mrs. Horne and I have been working hard to make up for lost time on Vigilant due to the wave of hurricanes that messed up the second half of September.
Last week we ended up spending 3 days in Vineyard Haven thanks to some pea soup fog.
This week we threw together a last minute overnight cruise to Newport with our #1 crew – Gail and Rudy.
On the way down we stopped behind Gooseberry Island for a little gunkholing and “The Captains Rubens”.
My Rubens are unique in that I use lean “black” pastrami rather than corned beef and I make them on a rustic white pane bread that’s a lot like ciabatta.
Benjamin’s Raw Bar
Our destination was The Newport Yachting Center and dinner at The Moorings, but that’s not the story. The real story underlying this trip is Benjamin’s Raw Bar – my newest favorite restaurant in Newport.
We stopped in around 3:00 in the afternoon and although we didn’t think we were hungry, we ended up sampling their seafood and more.
Rudy and I shared a dozen local oysters ($2/each).
The girls split an order of steamers ($27.95).
Tons of Fun
We sat at the bar upstairs and we were very well cared for by a lovely young lady named Kelsey.
I think seasoned bartenders (old and crusty) tend to keep to themselves asking customers a series of canned questions designed to simulate hospitality.
Not Kelsey. She engaged us in a very interesting nonstop conversation sharing her interesting life and genuinely interested in ours.
It was the afternoon following the tragic massacre in Las Vegas and she relived her experience on 9/11/2001.
We also talked about golf (her dog’s name is Bogie) and her late boyfriend who grew up on Block Island and fell victim to the drug epidemic sweeping the country. If I lived in Newport, this would easily become my “go to” bar.
One of the bar specialties is vodka infused with pineapple.
She serves it by shaking it with ice – martini style and then adding a splash of seltzer water.
Breakfast at Benjamin’s
Although we did have dinner at The Moorings, we loved Benjamin’s so much we returned for breakfast.
I like to try out unique or signature dishes and Kelsey had tipped me off to their Crows Nest breakfast house special.
The Corned Beef Hash was an excellent rendition of the classic dish. The potatoes were also unique in that they were spicy. I’d guess a little cayenne was involved.
Rudy went “all in” on the Hash and ordered it with an egg on top.
We had breakfast downstairs and two other interesting aspects of Benjamin’s jumped out – the walls are covered with bottles of Grand Marnier.
Sadly, Benjamin’s had to draw the line at 363 because they didn’t have space to put up more bottles.
As I mentioned above, the raw oysters we enjoyed on Monday afternoon were perfectly shucked. This is no easy feat. After breakfast we noticed this guy shucking quahogs like greased lightening.
We started talking and learned his name was Steve and he’s an honest to goodness nationally recognized clam shucker. If fact, he’s going to compete in the Clam Shucking National Championship in Maryland next Month.
Tuesday Buck a Shuck
Yesterday was Tuesday and Tuesday is Buck a Shuck Day at Benjamin’s. If you’re anywhere near Newport on a Tuesday, do yourself a favor and indulge in the fruits of Steve’s labor.
October Dinner Plans
I already love Benjamin’s after just sampling the raw bar and breakfast – I haven’t eaten dinner there yet. As we were eating breakfast yesterday, I pulled out my iPhone, called up Yelp, and discovered Benjamin’s Raw Bar had moved to #4 in their Newport Restaurant Rankings.
That was enough for me. We’re back in Newport for the Seafood Festival in October with our friends Peter and Mary Lee along with Ellen and Paul on-board the Dulcet. I had booked one of Newport’s famous waterfront venue for dinner, but I changed my reseravtions to Benjamin’s.
A Video Travelogue
My latest favorite app is iMovie on my iPhone 7 Plus. I snapped a few video clips and assembled a brief travelogue of our trip from Mattapoisett to Newport. I hope you like it.