When it comes to Newport Restaurant Group, you can never go wrong in my opinion. I’ve dined at the majority of their restaurants (Hemenways, 22 Bowens, The Mooring, etc.) and I can honestly say that I have never had a bad experience. It’s always consistent. The food is outstanding. The servers are polite and attentive. The ambiance is classy and subdued. Ah yes, and let’s not forget how their restaurants offer waterfront views ideal for the summertime. What more can I say? They basically have everything on my restaurant checklist covered. 🙂
Despite dining at most of Newport Restaurant Group’s locations in Southern RI, I had never visited their newest addition, Waterman Grille, which is a shame because it’s only a few miles from my house. Located at the very end of Waterman Street on the East Side of Providence, this cozy eatery overlooks the Seekonk River (that means waterfront views…check!). Their menu is more diverse and inventive than their other traditional-styled, and often seafood-centric sister locations. Waterman Grille offers a perfect balance of land and sea…with a creative twist.
We were intrigued by the Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Creamed Leeks and Bacon Aioli. This appetizer seemed to be inspired by Clams Casino but was reinvented using succulent Oysters and other similar ingredients. The Bacon Aioli was rich and smoky and paired well with the sweet cornmeal crust. I preferred this modern rendition over a classic Clams Casino. It was a perfect way to start our meal. We highly recommend this tasty appetizer!
Waterman Grille’s approachable menu even offers some comfort food. Take for example the Maple Brined Pork Tenderloin with Boston Baked Beans, pan fried Corn Bread, and Apple Slaw. They took a page out of their sister restaurant, Smoke House’s book and jazzed this up for a more upscale dish. The pork was cooked medium (which is now the norm for most restaurants unless requested otherwise) and was incredibly tender. It was reminiscent of a juicy filet mignon…except with more porky goodness. Served alongside a variety of barbecue favorites and some apple slaw to brighten it all up, this was a delicious, well-rounded dish.
For our other entree, we ordered the Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Pancetta, Sage, Acorn Squash Risotto, Pear, Toasted Almonds, Pea Tendril Salad, and Dried Cranberry Gastrique. This was a complex dish that may have benefited from a few less ingredients. The toasted almonds mixed in the risotto reminded me of undercooked rice. The risotto was also a bit thicker than I would have preferred. However, the shrimp was cooked perfectly and the small, savory cubes of Pancetta were a nice surprise. I also enjoyed the Dried Cranberry Gastrique placed in beautiful dot patterns throughout the dish.
So if you are are looking for a Newport Restaurant type experience closer to Providence, visit Waterman Grille. They offer al fresco dining during the warmer months which allows you to escape your typical Downtown setting. They also have a fun cocktail menu and an extensive wine list. Whether you are looking to grab a drink with friends and dine out with family, Waterman Grille’s diverse menu offers something for everyone!