Visiting the historic mansions of Newport, RI, gives you a glimpse into the unimaginable wealth that some families had amassed in the late 19th Century. Well, dining on the dock at The Grill at Forty 1 North gives you a glimpse into the unimaginable wealth that exists right now — if you get to sit within cocktail-flinging distance to a 155-foot yacht like we did on a Monday night in August.
By the way, I certainly did not fling my drink at the $100 million boat, because I was drinking a delicious signature cocktail called On the Docks (10 Cane Rum, lime juice, simple syrup and passion fruit purée) and I wasn’t about to waste a single sip.
The exterior of hotel Forty 1 North is very classic seaside New England. You don’t know you’re in for a hip, modern experience, until you drive all the way up and you’re greeted by a valet. Another sign: If you decide to walk up the steps and enter the hotel, you’re met with a unique mosaic made of metallic shells. And perhaps the most clear sign that this isn’t your typical bloody-mary and clam-chowda destination: the giant chess (which calls to mind the Delano in Miami) that set you see on the way to the outdoor bar and restaurant.
During the weekends, the outdoor area is packed, but it was quiet on this Monday night. This is easily the hippest place in Newport, with more of an international vibe than anywhere else in this quintessentially American city. Normally old-school preppy rules the roost in Newport. But this is new-school style all the way. The hotel is small: 24 rooms, two lofts and two cottages. But the marina, nightlife and restaurants make for a much larger complex. The marina provides a full program of yacht services, including dockside dining, onboard cleaning, launch services, wash‐downs and pump‐outs.
Often when you’re dining at a place described as hip, the food is second-rate. My husband and I were thrilled to discover that this was not the case at The Grill at Forty 1 North.
I started with a crispy artichoke salad, which also had goat cheese and roasted red peppers. It was a fresh, delicious salad, and quite large — it could almost suffice as an entree if you weren’t too hungry. My husband opted for the Lobster and Tomato Bisque with corn pudding. The soup was light, even the pudding in it, so it was the perfect precursor to his Colorado Double Cut Rack of Lamb entree.
For my main, I chose the Pan Roasted Atlantic Salmon which came with soba noodles and crispy vegetables. This Asian-influenced entree was excellent. I rarely order salmon at restaurants because it’s one of the few dishes I cook regularly at home. So the bar is set pretty high when I do and I was not disappointed: crisp exterior, moist inside. And I loved the noodles.
The dish wasn’t heavy but it was filling. So between that and the salad, I was unfortunately too full to sample dessert, and my husband felt the same way. But there’s always next time. And now I know exactly where I want to park my yacht.
Comped But Never Compromised: I received a comped dinner at The Grill at Forty 1 North, but I am free to write whatever I want.