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Rhode Island’s Most Romantic Restaurants

Thursday, February 07, 2013

 

Valentine's Day is here again and it got us thinking about our favorite romantic spots in Rhode Island. We love fireplaces in the winter and water views in the summer. And delicious food all year around. We put together a list of our favorite spots for a romantic evening of dining, drinking and canoodling...

 

White Horse Tavern, Newport

If you're stuck with winter, at least enjoy history. People in Vegas may be warm right now, but they can't eat in front of a fireplace that's been burning for 340 years. Since more than a 100 years before the American Revolution, people have been romanticizing in this place. It lends a certain weight to everything. Ben Franklin? Check. Thomas Jefferson? Check. Once done there, move on to Chef Rich Silvia's food --he's come along and breathed fresh air into this old gal and the results are delicious. Heck, even the Beef Wellington has been taken to new levels. Local meats and fish are prepared daily by Silvia and his staff. Local farms provide an abundance of the produce that accents his dishes. Chef Silvia also pushes diners to try new things featuring different cuts of bison and even duck tongues. The recent loss of of owner Paul Hogan has the Tavern facing another challenge, but we're sure the team in place will keep this romantic gal humming along for their part of another 340 years! 26 Marlborough St. 849-3600, www.whitehorsetavern.us

New Rivers, Providence

What's more romantic than a husband and wife team running a restaurant? We're very lucky in Rhode Island to have the Speidels, the Jennings, the Gennusos, and now Beau and Elizabeth at New Rivers. This spot is a double love story, starting with original owner Bruce Tillinghast and his wife and moving, last year, to the Vestals. Exceptional food and drink served in a historic building dating to 1793 is the order of the day here. Chef Vestal is one of our state's most revered. His menus are full of robust, earthy flavors. Seasonally, you will find the best of what's out there. Year-round you will find one of the most popular $1 oyster nights going -- a constant rotation of what's fresh and available in local oysters served alongside the rest of Vestal's amazing food makes for a crowded Tuesday night. And check the charcuteire. You won't be disappointed. Vestal is one of the area's best curers and smokers, and it makes his charcuterie plate an education in whole animal use. And this small, cozy restaurant is the perfect spot for some romance. Close but never cramped, somehow it all works! 7 Steeple St. 751-0350, www.newriversrestaurant.com

Chapel Grille, Cranston

As fans of Garden City can attest, the construction at Chapel View was a welcomed sight. A gorgeous spot overlooking Cranston and Providence, it was full of promise. That promise was realized with Chapel Grille. An exceptional restaurant featuring delicious food and "weighty" cocktails. Sometimes romance needs a hand and the bar at Chapel Grille is a terrific spot to meet your new Valentine. The crowd can, sometimes, cross over into an episode of Real Housewives of Garden City but fear not...the food and drink will make you forget any unwanted advances. The menu is fun and creative and features plays on tradition. The pork buns are actually the most delicious little meatball sandwiches. The calamari has shrimp fried along with it. Don't let the playfulness fool you however, this is serious food. The Cabernet braised short ribs with cauliflower puree is a beast. It is perfectly tender and the addition of sundried cherries adds a wonderful balance. Chapel View Blvd. 944-4900, www.chapelgrilleri.com

The Boat House, Tiverton

As we head toward the impending snowpocalypse this weekend, we find ourselves dreaming of warmer months and water views. Heck...the Boat House is so good it makes a February visit almost mandatory. Part of the Newport Restaurant Group, this Tiverton hot spot is one of their crown jewels. The kitchen is held down by executive chef Jonathan Cambra and the menu runs the gamut from lobster rolls to pan roasted scallops with lemon-thyme polenta. The thing is, everything is perfectly executed. Even in the fish and chips (that in lesser hands would suffer) you see Cambra's commitment to excellence. If you are a land lover, check out the Statler chicken breast with white beans, fennel and tomatoes. Imagine looking out over Mount Hope Bay while enjoying a seasonal cocktail and some crazy good, upscale twists on clam shack classics. Sounds romantic to us. And while you're soaking in the world class view and the sublime food you can dream of July and warmth and sunsets. 227 Schooner Dr. 624-6300, www.boathousetiverton.com

Matunuck Oyster Bar, East Matunuck

Romance, thy name is oyster. You've heard the stories of the aphrodisiac qualities of oysters. Casanova was purported to dine on 50 oysters a day...for breakfast. Little Rhody has its own oyster Casanova and his name is Perry Raso. Raso has staked claim to a little slice of heaven in South Kingston and graced us with some of the best bivalves we've ever tasted. He has helped lead the aquaculture movement here in Rhode Island with a nod to sustainability. His oysters were so good that a restaurant followed and that's where you'll find us...all summer long. Sipping a sunny drink and slurping away 'till our hearts are content. The food straddles the line between fried clams and local swordfish. Hungry tourists and beachgoers flock here in the summer, but this time of year the inside is cozy and intimate... and with all those oysters, well.... 629 Succotash Rd. 783-4202, www.rhodyoysters.com

 

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