Castle Hill Inn & Resort is all very F. Scott Fitzgerald: a rolling hill covered in a rich carpet of emerald-green grass, cascading to the water’s edge; sun-filled patio and a sea of umbrellas; the regulars in crisp linens and print sundresses sipping champagne and discussing whose yacht is in the harbor. But you don’t have to be of pedigreed heritage to enjoy the excellent food and outstanding vista from this 1874 grand dame situated on a 40-acre peninsula.
We prefer lunch on a clear day. The vast ocean is perpetually in motion as Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic. It’s mesmerizing. Chef Jonathan Cambra offers fresh oysters with black-pepper gelee, or an ahi-tuna spring roll (tender, silky fish with crisp vegetables)–or even a juicy, perfectly cooked burger. And, trust us, few things are more heavenly than the banana split.
590 Ocean Ave., Newport, RI. 888-466-1355, 401-849-3800; castlehillinn.com
Nestled next to Apponaug Cove, near a marina, this local favorite has been in business since the ’60s. Personal favorites include the peel-and-eat shrimp, steamers, and clam cakes.
288 Arnold’s Neck Drive, Warwick, RI. 401-732-6575; crowsnestri.com
EAST FERRY MARKET & DELI
Across from the ferry landing, which takes in a view of Newport and the Pell Bridge over Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, this spot is “the office” to its regulars, because so much local business gets done here. This father/daughter operation is known for its fresh muffins and a great crab-salad sandwich.
47 Conanicus Ave., Jamestown, RI; 401-423-1592; jamestownri.com/efdeli
Our smallest state knows a thing or two about clams, especially “stuffies,” and this place treats them well. Boaters of all types pull in and tie up for lunch and dinner here on Nannaquaket Pond.
2335 Main Road (Route 77), Tiverton, RI. 401-624-3100; evelynsdrivein.com
FLO’S CLAM SHACK
Local surfers and beachgoers have long known that few things surpass the fried clams here, across from Newport’s Easton’s Beach–hot and crispy on the outside, sweet and briny inside.
4 Wave Ave., Middletown, RI. 401-847-8141; flosclamshack.net
Along Newport’s famed Cliff Walk, the dining room at the Chanler hotel cleaves to the rocks above the dramatic, crashing waves of Easton Bay. Dinner is a gourmet symphony in three, four, six, or nine movements (courses), each available with paired wines. 117 Memorial Blvd., Newport, RI. 401-847-2244; spicedpear.com
SPRING HOUSE HOTEL
There’s a water view from just about everywhere on Block Island, but the wraparound verandah here makes you feel as though you could see Portugal. The food is sophisticated, with plates including mussels with truffled French fries, seared scallops, and thoughtful pasta options. 52 Spring St., Block Island, RI. 401-466-5844; springhousehotel.com
Chef Joe Simone honed his skills in Boston and San Francisco, and now he’s home to roost in his own breakfast, lunch, and brunch spot on the Warren River, just above Narragansett Bay, where his passion for local ingredients and Mediterranean flavors hits the spot. 267 Water St., Warren, RI. 401-247-1200; thesunnysideri.com