Newport Restaurant Week (NRW) returns today (running through November 14th) featuring three-course prix fixe lunches for $16 and dinners for $30 (beverages, gratuity and tax not included). With nearly 50 participating restaurants, it’s best to take a strategic approach to try and land reservations at some of Newport County and Bristol’s hottest eateries. It’s also an ideal time to experiment with a restaurant you’ve never been to but have been tempted to give a whirl. Here’s a few tips to navigating this delicious 10-day event:
1. Start by picking up the official NRW insert that has the complete listing and brief descriptions of participating restaurants, web sites with menus, etc. There’s a copy in all East Bay Newspapers, all RING newspapers, this week’s edition of Newport This Week, in the Newport Daily News and available at the Newport County Convention & Visitors Bureau and area hotels. Grab your trusty highlighter to create a “favorites” list and start prioritizing.
2. Fine dining/upscale restaurants are often the first to book solid for
dinner reservations (Spiced Pear, The White Horse Tavern, The Clarke Cooke House, Tallulah on Thames, Persimmon in Bristol). You’ll have better luck trying for a weeknight, and when you call to make a reservation, be sure to let the maître d’ or hostess how flexible you are in terms of day or time.
3. This is the perfect promotion to go out with a group as there won’t be any awkward check splitting at the end of the night (“Um, who had the surf n’ turf and the bottle of Château Pétrus…?”) Ok, maybe not quite Château Pétrus, but with every selection the same cost, penny pinchers and American Express Black Card holders can dine side by side with ease.
4. Most restaurants offer a special NRW menu, which many make available on their web site. If you have a food allergy or someone in our party does, you may want to call ahead and inform the restaurant so they can make accommodations.