Monday, June 18, 2012

Cocktail Buzz Takes You to Rhode Island: Drinking and Dining in Providence and Newport

A morel mushroom bruschetta at La Laiterie, in Providence.

Several years back, we planned a New England Trip that would culminate in Rhode Island. For some reason we were hellbent on spending a night or two in Providence, and perhaps touring some mansions in Newport, but those plans came to a crashing halt when we were dining in Boston and ran into a friend Paul hadn’t seen in almost twenty years. And this was after Paul just finished saying, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we ran into my friend Jim? I haven’t seen him in twenty years.” Well, there Jim was, dining right behind us in the restaurant. We never made it to Providence; Jim invited us to his and his partner’s house on the North Shore of Boston, and we’ve been visiting every summer since.

Old School Diners, like the Seaplane, are good bets in Providence and its neighboring towns.

So, it was time to reconsider Rhode Island: we decided on two nights in Providence and one night in Newport, and then we’d visit Jim on the North Shore.

What a trip it proved to be. Providence and Newport welcomed us with wide-open arms, loaded with superb cocktails, delicious and creative food, and spectacularly curated museums and mansions. While in Providence, we bar-hopped with new friends Matthew Lawrence and Jason Tranchida, partners who edit the spectacularly curated gay art periodical Headmaster [NSFW], and toured the RISD and Culinary Museums. And in Newport, after gazing at rich people’s furniture in insanely decorated mansions, we were thirsty and hungry. So we searched for a restaurant that offered fresh seafood prepared à la New American with a New York City–style cocktail menu, in a tranquil setting, and found exactly that.

Paul and Steve at Doris Duke’s Rough Point, in Newport.

Click here to experience our trip, with photos and write-ups of our favorite bars, restaurants, and museums.

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