Tapas in Newport, RI
In August my mother and I took a trip up to Newport, Rhode Island to cap off our summer. The week before we left I had my wisdom teeth removed and I was operating off of rice and naked cake. Once the trip began I was finally able to eat more types of food, but I was chewing like a cat chews a tough piece of lunch meat (jerking jaw and head motions, it's worth googling). However, appearances would never stop me from eating a fabulous meal, especially on vacation.
Newport is a very touristy town and all for good reasons: fresh seafood, nautical vibes, rich people on their boats, coastline mansions, beaches, sailing, and rich people's designer dogs.
Here you have a bunch of Millennials watching the sunset through their phones. Thank god I got a picture of the sunset because I'm not sure that I looked at it because I was getting a picture of it. This makes a lot of sense.
As with any popular city, there are touristy restaurants that are overpriced and serve freezer french fries and cold hot dogs (please take offense if you like that). You have to dig to find the good places, but don't worry there are plenty of them! After wandering around for a while, we stumbled upon a small tapas restaurant with a quaint twinkle-lit outdoor patio. There just happened to be one table left in the center of the patio, it was as if the restaurant knew we were coming (how egotistical of me, oh la la)! The rest is history, well no, it's not, I'm going to tell you the rest.
First we ordered two glasses of wine (one for each of us, but I should have ordered two for me because they were tiny). Then the waiter brought over these olive samplers from the kitchen. I loved how well they fit into the spoon. We all have our place in this world and tempura-fried, meat-stuffed olives belong in a spoon and Donald Trump belongs in jail. Wait, who said that? Hmm, weird.
Next up we have one of my all-time favorites. Fried squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella and romesco. As you bite into each blossom a fragrant cloud of cheesy steam will puff into your nose and next thing you know, you'll be contacting your dealer for details on the next batch.
These are the Piquillo Rellenos with tuna confit and black garlic. The peppers were incredibly sweet and the confit was salty and creamy, but not enough to overpower the pepper. Truly a refreshing and varietal dish. Also, the peppers look like boats and there are a lot of boats in Newport. Are we really going to chalk that up to coincidence?
Empanadas! These pastries are stuffed with mushroom and zucchini. The vegetables cancel the fat in the pastry dough and you don't actually consume any calories. Science is so cool.
Lastly, we ate charred Port Judith squid with fingerling potatoes and olives. You can see that I rationed out my wine so I would have one sip left for this last dish and it was worth it.
At the end of the day, I love a simple dish that highlights fresh ingredients. Not every dish has to be perfect, but overall this restaurant was just what the doctor ordered: a beautiful warm summer night, friendly staff, fresh and classic dishes, good wine, and my best friend sitting across from me! I hope you can find such great pleasure in eating as I do.