Monday, August 10, 2015
Barking Crab Newport
Our trip to Newport, Rhode Island could not have been more fun. We hit town just before the tourist season rush, comfortably ensconced in our elegant but not overly ostentatious digs, the seasonal home of a great TBF friend, with stunning ocean cliff views and acres of wide open, lush green land.
Naturally, we engaged everyone we met with a discussion of the local food scene. We had invites galore to dine here and there, meet people for drinks and explore new business ventures with young entrepreneurs. We randomly picked because even a week was not enough to do and see all that wanted to.
On our first evening we ended up at The Barking Crab. Sometimes a restaurant that is located in a place where the population swells in the summer as people flock to the oceanside can be spotty. The number of patrons that visit can be overwhelming. There's always that one place where the drinks and the fun crowd make food take a back seat. So, if I were to describe this place to a friend I would say that it is one of those places. Most of the locals we spoke to concurred. The food is okay but not a standout. I also have to say that I have found the Boston location to do much better on the food while still being a fun place to visit and enjoy a beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
The dip served with our locally crafted beers, Wachusett Blueberry, was not a bad start. It was early and admittedly less crowded in the pre-July 4 season. And we were guests of the restaurant.
The appetizer plate of Hummus, Tuna and Chips with Cucumber Caviar was okay, too. The little jewels of caviar were probably the best part and playful but not exactly a new idea.
My main course was the Grilled Salmon and Citrus With Beets. Again, a great idea yet executed in an average way with a super thin, slightly dry flank that lacked the rich flavor of a good salmon.
The Lobster Roll and Sweet Fries looked good but, again, not stellar. Flaky meat was more prevalent than rich chunks. And the bits of green onion might have been more fun on the fries as a new twist.
The slice of Key Lime Pie, however, was clearly fresh and made on the premises. It was creamy and rich and beautiful and, really, one of the best we've had. This was a clear hit and the highlight of our dinner.
The locals we surveyed all gave us the same report: popular with tourists looking for a drinking crowd. Although we never made it back after dark we're pretty sure it's not a top dining hot spot. It does, however, seem like a conveniently located venue for sips and flirts. And if you can fit in a slice of that pie, you'll enjoy it.
The Barking Crab Newport
Newport, RI 02840