Newport, Rhode Island has always been a fun summer destination for Bostonians. You can be there in less than two hours from Boston, stay at some first rate hotels and have an unforgettable dinner at an incredible steakhouse.
We did just that recently when we stayed at the pet-friendly waterfront property of Forty 1° North. Formerly known as the summer destination, Christie's, the marina-side luxury boutique property changed ownership and underwent a massive facelift opening about a year ago directly on Newport Harbor.
For the most exclusive privileges, don't miss the 41° North Card, which allows priority access to the hotel during peak hours, charging privileges, invitations to special events, preferred seating at The Grill, and dinghy dockage for up to three hours each visit for a program fee of $500.
When you first drive up to the property, you will be greeted by several friendly valet personnel who are only too happy to provide luggage assistance before whisking your car away. Our spacious contemporary king guest room overlooked the water and had a gas fireplace, which was the perfect addition on the cool evening we visited.
There are two separate lofts and cottages also located across the street for larger groups. We loved all of the high tech amenities here: a 40-inch flat screen TV, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, an in-room iPad featuring hotel directories along with an in-room iPod featuring HD video and music delivery. There is also a two-person soaking tub with separate shower, wet bar, fully stocked library as well as an interesting choice of a Dr. Seuss books for youthful reading.
There are two dining options at Forty 1° North - The Grill and Christie's - but we decided to go off property (although we did have breakfast at The Grill the following morning) and headed over to 22 Bowen's, located on Bowen's Wharf, for dinner. The relaxed, upscale restaurant sits directly on the water and offers a warm inviting atmosphere with dim lighting and candlelit tables.
Be sure to request a window seat in the warmer months as the boats pull right into the wharf and you will have a great view from the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the wharf. We started off with a glass of Two Princes Riesling from Germany and a Bombay gin martini, which were the perfect complement to our starters of shrimp cocktail and fresh oysters on the half shell served with a side of lemon and spicy cocktail sauce.
Our server noted the special of the evening, which was a dry aged ribeye, which she highly recommended. The tender, juicy cut was cooked to perfection and arrived sizzling in a pool of its own juices accompanied by a side of creamy horseradish sauce. The cod Provencal was light and flaky served with four clams.
The steaks here are served a la carte so we shared a gigantic baked potato and garlicky mushrooms, which were both delicious. Finish off your dining experience here with the enormously moist slice of carrot cake topped with a decadently rich cream cheese frosting - the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.
22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grille is located on Bowen's Wharf in Newport. For more information, call 401.841.8884 or visit 22Bowens.com. Forty 1° North is located at 351 Thames Street in Newport. Rates start at $395 per night. For reservations, call 401.846.8018 or visit 41North.com.