Given that I was spending New Year’s Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island this year- I wanted to start my 2021 off right by treating myself to a quiet and delicious dinner-for-one at what remains my favorite restaurant in Rhode Island (and the oldest operating restaurant in the United States!)– The White Horse Tavern.
Established in 1673 after serving as a residence for a wealthy landowner, The White Horse Tavern was, at first, the designated meeting place for City Council and members of the Colonial Legislature throughout it’s early years. When the elements and time started to take their toll on the building, however- it was acquired by the Preservation Society of Newport County (who had also swooped in to rescue other unique and stunning properties- like The Elms- from facing potential demolition) and restored through the generosity of the Van Beuren family in the 1950s- eventually becoming a Historical Landmark in the 1970s.
Although ownership has changed hands and has been passed down through generations for over 350 years- the tavern retains it’s colonial charm and continues to serve incredible brunches, lunches and dinners.
I had suspected that with the holiday, the dining room would undoubtedly be busy- and I made a reservation early enough in the evening where I could enjoy my meal without feeling rushed or crowded. Although I arrived before my scheduled time, the staff were so sweet and had no issue seating me right away to get me started with a drink and an appetizer- and it worked out- because I was the only one there up until I was paying my check and getting ready to head back to my room!
The dining room, spaced out to keep guests safe- was beautiful and still decorated for the recent holidays. The fireplace was going and the room was dimly lit which made me feel extra cozy and comfy. I enjoyed a cup of clam chowder, Beef Wellington with roasted vegetables, and a banana cream pie that was amazing.
I also had a really fantastic Prosecco and pomegranate cocktail that had me feeling especially festive.
Although there’s so much to do and see in Newport, I always recommend that friends traveling through or visiting the area stop by The White Horse Tavern for a meal since it’s a historical and one-of-a-kind experience all in itself.
I know that when I head back to Newport eventually, I’m definitely going to be eating there again- and I can’t wait until I’ll be able to bring friends with me to enjoy it too whenever it’s safe to do so!