Location: 62 Bridge St. Newport, RI 02840
Price: Fairly expensive
Would I eat there again? Yes, when I can afford it.
Rhumbline is my first reviewed restaurant on Aquidneck Island (Middletown, Portsmouth, and Newport, RI). Newport is only 45 minutes away from Providence, but this is Rhode Island we are talking about, where a 45 minute drive seems like a voyage to Europe. Service was not speedy, but for a relaxed evening with good food, drinks, and live music (Friday and Saturday), Rhumbline delivers the goods.
Parking can be rough in Newport, especially in the season (anytime you dare go outside with a bare head) and parking enforcement is renowed. Invest in a spot at the parking garage, it is well worth the peace of mind and not getting a $35 ticket!
Rhumbline has a decent wine list and makes a mean manhattan. As the name suggests, it is devoted to the sea, with nautical adornments on the walls, and a goodly selection of seafood on the menu. We started off with the steamed mussels- plump and juicy with a refreshingly simple and traditional preparation. Refills of bread were well appreciated for the tasty broth. For our entrees we shared the scallops and blue-cheese stuffed burger. The burger was right on- well seasoned, a little pink in the middle with chunks of fragrant, gooey cheese dripping out, and a sturdy, well proportioned bun. The scallops were again fairly straightforward in their presentation (and you pay $27 for 4), but cooked just right. Flavors were full and balanced, letting the named ingredient of the dish shine through the framing of the seasonings.
Rhumbline is not cheap, expect to pay $30-$50 a person. But it is very comfortable, popular with locals, and clearly has a dedicated hand in the kitchen maintaining a high level of quality in the dishes. For a good night out on the town when you aren't feeling too broke, the Rhumbline offers a nice alternative to the standard Providence options.