Last week we enjoyed a mini vacation in Newport. Monday and Wednesday were gorgeous. Tuesday started out nice, but turned to spotty rain showers by cocktail hour.
Mrs. Horne and I keep foul weather gear on the boat and thus we were ready to venture our for dinner. That said, since Vigilant was docked at Bowen’s and we were sticking to home on this wet evening, we decided to go back to the Fluke for the 3rd or 4th time.
Being a wet Tuesday in May, the crowd was light and they gave us the best table on the second floor with a magnificent view of the harbor.
As soon as we sat down, our server took our drink orders. Mrs. Horne had her usual.
I was in the mood for a good Cabernet, but all they had by the glass was a pedestrian Kenwood.
I told our wonderful “blue eyed” server my dilemma and she quickly brought over two glasses and had me try a nice Pinot and some other red variety I’d never heard of.
The red with the strange name was incredible. I took a picture so I didn’t forget what it was.
It was from Portugal and tasted like a high end Napa Cab. Even better, at $11 it was the least expensive glass on the menu!
When we cruise, we tend to have three meals a day and just try to make them small.
Mrs. Horne was coming off a tough weekend and decided to “go off the reservation” and order an appetizer and a full meal.
Although she ordered a lot of food, it was very lean and she knew I’d be tasting everything so she wouldn’t have to worry about “over ordering.”
Her first course was the mussels appetizer. Mrs. Horne loves mussels, but they’re probably my least favorite shellfish, but not the Flukes.
They were the most plump I’ve ever had – the size of a Louisiana oyster, and served in a Fennel broth with two pieces of artistically grilled toast.
I toyed with the idea of ordering a full meal too, but decided to “graze” the small plate end of the menu since I knew I’d be sampling much of Mrs. Horne’s meal.
I went with two appetizers and a side. The first was the Tempura Green Beans with a wasabi soy aioli.
I’ve had this somewhat healthy dish at Turks and several Chinese restaurants, but I have never seen such plump and juicy beans.
Mrs. Horne followed the mussels with Duck Confit over Cous Cous. As I sampled both the breast and thigh, we discussed all the great duck dishes we’ve enjoyed over the years. Mrs. Horne place this one at the top of her list.
It’s worth noting that these were fairly large pieces of duck and we never finished the dish.
Cooking is my hobby. I love to tackle new dishes and experiment until I come up with a winning recipe. People tell me I’m pretty good and when we’re not out cruising on Vigilant, we seldom go out to dinner.
For this reason, I seldom order anything in a restaurant that I can make well at home. My reputation for sending back poorly prepared dishes is legendary and it makes Mrs. Horne cringe! This leads to eating a lot of deep fried food in restaurants, but that’s not all bad.
Knowing that I’d be fairly full by the time my dinner came around, I concocted a mini fish and chips dish by combining the Fish Bites appetizer ($8) with a side of fries with spicy aioli ($6).
The Fish Bites turned out to exactly that – 5 bite sized pieces of delicate white fish lightly fried with more aioli. It was great and the perfect portion for me. I do think it’s a little small to be shared with someone else.
The Fries, on the other hand, were a massive portion; perfectly crispy and hot.
Like the duck, we left about half the fries uneaten.
I love, love, love The Fluke!
NOTE: This is a May 2018 update to my original report on Fluke from 2016. You can read the original report below…
Fluke – Newport Original Post
Has this ever happened to you?
You had a late lunch in Newport, your wife wants a light dinner, but your buddy is looking forward to a great 3 course meal!
If so, I have the place for you – Fluke.
Like pretty much all of the dinner spots I’ve reviewed in Newport, Fluke is very centrally located for boaters. It’s near the entrance to Bowens Wharf and a 5 minute walk from The Newport Yachting Center or 41 North.
You may want to get directions from google maps because it’s easy to miss the modest front door.
To get to Fluke you must walk up one flight of stairs which gets you to the kitchen, bar, and dining area. There is also a third floor dining room with an incredible view.
Just be aware that there is little or no air conditioning on the third floor so avoid it on hot nights in July and August.
We dined at Fluke twice in 2016. Both times we shared a variety of small plates and one or two full dinners. I can unequivocally state that the food was all excellent with beautiful presentation.
Since Fluke is also a Wine Bar, they offer a nice variety of wines by the glass.
Here are some of the dishes we tried and loved…
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I’m a huge fan of tapas style dining and sharing dishes with your friends. It’s not only fun, but you get to really indulge your palette with a variety of spectacular tastes.
There is no place like Fluke in Newport, in fact, a restaurant like this is hard to find even in major restaurant markets.
If you visit Newport, give it a try.
NOTE: I’m a little short on photo’s so much of what you’ve seen here came from my friends on Yelp and Facebook