It's hard to say out loud, but summer 2010 will be over soon.
With all the ads for back-to-school gear out now, and our need for fans dwindling, it seems our days for the beach and dinners on the deck are numbered. That's why it's important to take advantage of some of Newport's top outdoor dining now, before it's too late.
Whether you prefer a cozy garden setting, a view from high atop the city, or a seat right by the water, Newport's numerous restaurants offer it all, and then some. Definitely don't let these last summer weeks pass by without taking advantage of one of them. If you do, you'll surely regret it by January.
Below are our picks for best outdoor dining, but we'd love to hear from you. Share your favorite summer spots in the comments section below.
Belle's Cafe at The Newport Shipyard
Just because you don't own a megayacht doesn't mean you can't dine with one. Head down to Belle's Cafe at the Newport Shipyard and pick up a coffee and bagel, or grab a sandwich, while sitting dockside next to some of the biggest boats in town. Depending on the day, you'll see beautiful wooden sailboats, giant yachts, and some of the world's best race boats, all while catching a glimpse of the hard-working crews who prep and maintain them. Belle's Cafe is also a great place to bring the kids. It's open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
At the risk of being too obvious, we just couldn't leave out Castle Hill. There is nothing quite like the view from the terrace with all of the boats coming up and down the bay. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. A lawn menu is also available from 3:30 p.m. til sunset each day. If you can't make it for a meal, at least be sure to stop by and enjoy a cocktail while relaxing in one of their Adirondack chairs. That's always a hit with the out-of-town guests. Dinner: 5:45 to 8 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Lunch: noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Sunday Brunch, featuring live jazz: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Top of Newport at the Hotel Viking
The Top of Newport, a rooftop bar and restaurant at the Hotel Viking, might just be one of Newport's best kept secrets, for both locals and tourists alike. With sweeping views of Newport Harbor on one side, and a unique vantage point of Bellevue Avenue and Kay Street on the other, this is a can't miss stop for light bites and bar food, as well as specialty cocktails. Open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Behind the fence of a historic colonial building on Charles Street is the patio at Perro Salado. With colored lights strung along the fence, and trees providing a natural shade, the outdoor seating at Perro Salado is a great place to gather for some well-priced, tasty Mexican food in a fun, but cozy, atmosphere. Open nightly at 5 p.m.
For a few months out of the year, Puerini's on Memorial Boulevard has an outdoor bar (their only bar) and seating on the patio. Sit beside over-sized flower pots in full bloom and enjoy authentic homemade Italian food by the flicker of candlelight, all while watching the hustle of the season pass you by. Open from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 5 to 9 p.m., Sunday.
One of Newport's coziest and most romantic restaurants is also one of the best places to people watch in the summer. Tucker's Bistro adds funky grass umbrellas and eclectic table settings to their sidewalk, along with a wrought iron fence topped with overflowing window boxes. Dine on one of their always delicious entrees and watch the always interesting nightlife on Broadway unfold. Open 6 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 6 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.