July 21, 2024


Simply The Best Food

Community restaurant chain is not as previous as you believe

4 min read

A person of the greatest surprises of my deep dive into the historical past of Rhode Island places to eat, was how younger the state’s greatest community restaurant chain is.

a hand holding a glass of wine: The Mooring is a classic Newport spot to dine right on the waterfront in the heart of the city by the sea.

© The Providence Journal, file
The Mooring is a traditional Newport location to dine suitable on the waterfront in the coronary heart of the city by the sea.

The Newport Restaurant Group has been these kinds of a significant player on the regional scene. Still, it is really oldest restaurant was only open for 14 yrs right before including the second.

The company was founded as the Newport Oil Corp. by a team of neighborhood businessmen led by J.T. O’Connell, president and CEO Paul O’Reilly’s excellent-grandfather.

In the 1980s, the corporation started diversifying and obtained the Newport Yachting Center and the Boat Display.

They made their to start with restaurant acquire, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen area & Bar, in 1981. It appeared to established the tone for much that arrived after: waterfront, sophisticated and upscale. 

Matters seriously took off as they began operating the jewel in their crown, the Castle Hill Inn in 1995. They experienced obtained it in the 1940s as operate down property, according to a company record.

a boat sitting on top of a table: A window table in the dining room at Castle Hill Inn at the height of summer. Castle Hill was the first purchase by the then Newport Harbor Corporation.

© The Providence Journal, file
A window desk in the dining area at Castle Hill Inn at the height of summer season. Castle Hill was the initially order by the then Newport Harbor Company.

Far more: Eating places in RI: A 348-yr timeline of our state’s most beloved dining places, bars, and food stuff corporations

A lot more: RI is a cradle of culinary ingenuity and groundbreaking dining. But when did it all start?

That year, the company also adopted an staff stock ownership program. They are now 100% employee-owned.

They opened Smokehouse Cafe with a barbecue concept in front of the Mooring in 1996. 

A meat-centric 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille opened in 2001 in the coronary heart of Newport on Bowen’s Wharf.

In 2005, they adjusted their identify to the Newport Restaurant Team and opened Boat Residence Waterfront Eating in Tiverton.

In 2006, they opened the Waterman Grille on the Seekonk River in Providence and in 2008, they opened Trio in Narragansett.

In 2009, they purchased the common seafood restaurant Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar. The seafood cafe overlooking the Providence River was founded by Ned Grace in 1985 but owned by Darden Dining places by the time of the sale. 

They bought the Papa Razzi chain in 2012.

By the time they introduced Iron Operates in Warwick into the fold in 2018, it appeared like small business as regular.

Just after the Papa Razzi acquisition, they converted the Garden Town cafe in Cranston to Avvio Ristorante with a great Italian pizza oven and Italian regional dishes. There are however two Papa Razzis in Wellesley and Concord, Massachusetts.  

They launched a new concept in 2019 with Bar ‘Cino in Newport, that includes cocktails and exciting pizza and little plates. They expanded to Brookline, Massachusetts to open up a second Bar ‘Cino.

Nonetheless to come in summer 2021, Foodlove, a new business enterprise in Middletown that will feature upscale well prepared foodstuff, local artisan goods, homemade ice cream, sushi, pizza and far more. What is actually heading to be incredible is to have foods curated from all their diverse dining places below a person roof. 

And that may well very well be the most intriguing element of the tale which is how different every single of their restaurants is from the following.

Much more: Following all these decades, Providence is even now contending for the very best meals town with the finest chefs

Much more: Foods for Assumed: Getting misplaced in meals memories is easy this Rhode Island food editor

a bowl of soup sitting next to a cup of coffee: Corn and Crab Chowder from The Smokehouse in Newport from the archives in 2004.

© The Providence Journal, file / Invoice Murphy
Corn and Crab Chowder from The Smokehouse in Newport from the archives in 2004.

The Smokehouse in Newport received a Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off with this smoked corn and crab chowder.


  • 6 crabs
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch) diced potatoes
  • 1/2 adhere butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup all-function flour
  • 4 cups 50 % & 50 percent
  • 1 cup hickory smoked corn from 2-3 ears of corn (see observe)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry pepper sauce (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon Mount Gay rum
  • Paprika, for garnish

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a big pot. Insert crabs and prepare dinner right until tender and cooked as a result of take away crabs and established aside to awesome. Reserve liquid in pot.

Around high heat, make a crab stock by cutting down crab liquid to 2 cups transfer to a bowl. When crabs are interesting sufficient, decide on shells from crabmeat (must yield about 1³2 pound of meat) set apart.

Put potatoes in a huge saucepan with more than enough chilly h2o to cover. Provide to a boil and cook dinner potatoes until eventually al dente. Drain and transfer potatoes to a bowl of ice water to prevent the cooking. Drain all over again and established aside.

In a significant pot, soften butter over medium-lower warmth. Include onion and celery cook dinner right up until tender. Insert flour and cook dinner, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Include crab inventory, potatoes, half & half, smoked corn, sherry pepper sauce, rum and crabmeat cook dinner until eventually heated via. Sprinkle with paprika to provide.

Recipe notes: Outerbridges Initial Sherry Pepper Sauce is proposed. It will come from Bermuda.

If you do not have a smoker, grill the corn to give it a smoky taste or use steamed fresh corn or canned corn and increase Liquid Smoke to flavor.

Helps make 4 to 6 servings.

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This report at first appeared on The Providence Journal: Area restaurant chain is not as previous as you consider

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