I admit it, Mrs. Horne and I have been working hard to make up for lost time on Vigilant due to the wave of hurricanes that messed up the second half of September.

Last week we ended up spending 3 days in Vineyard Haven thanks to some pea soup fog.

This week we threw together a last minute overnight cruise to Newport with our #1 crew – Gail and Rudy.

On the way down we stopped behind Gooseberry Island for a little gunkholing and “The Captains Rubens”.


My Rubens are unique in that I use lean “black” pastrami rather than corned beef and I make them on a rustic white pane bread that’s a lot like ciabatta.

Benjamin’s Raw Bar

Our destination was The Newport Yachting Center and dinner at The Moorings, but that’s not the story. The real story underlying this trip is Benjamin’s Raw Bar – my newest favorite restaurant in Newport.

We stopped in around 3:00 in the afternoon and although we didn’t think we were hungry, we ended up sampling their seafood and more.

Rudy and I shared a dozen local oysters ($2/each).

Two things immediately jumped out. First of all, they were incredibly fresh. Second, they were perfectly shucked, no residual shells and completely intact.

The girls split an order of steamers ($27.95).

They were perfectly cooked, sweet, and offered up a portion large enough to justify the nearly $30 price tag.

Tons of Fun

We sat at the bar upstairs and we were very well cared for by a lovely young lady named Kelsey.

Kelsey – Benjamin’s Upstairs Bar

I think seasoned bartenders (old and crusty) tend to keep to themselves asking customers a series of canned questions designed to simulate hospitality.

Not Kelsey.  She engaged us in a very interesting nonstop conversation sharing her interesting life and genuinely interested in ours.

It was the afternoon following the tragic massacre in Las Vegas and she relived her experience on 9/11/2001.

We also talked about golf (her dog’s name is Bogie) and her late boyfriend who grew up on Block Island and fell victim to the drug epidemic sweeping the country.  If I lived in Newport, this would easily become my “go to” bar.

Pineapple Vodka

One of the bar specialties is vodka infused with pineapple.

The jug is filled with sliced pineapple and vodka and left to sit for up to three days “getting happy”. Kelsey told us that day two is probably the best day to have it.

She serves it by shaking it with ice – martini style and then adding a splash of seltzer water.

It is a very refreshing drink and not very strong in either alcohol or pineapple.

Breakfast at Benjamin’s

Although we did have dinner at The Moorings, we loved Benjamin’s so much we returned for breakfast.

I like to try out unique or signature dishes and Kelsey had tipped me off to their Crows Nest breakfast house special.

It’s basically Eggs Benedict with Corned Beef Hash rather than Canadian Bacon.

The Corned Beef Hash was an excellent rendition of the classic dish. The potatoes were also unique in that they were spicy.  I’d guess a little cayenne was involved.

Rudy went “all in” on the Hash and ordered it with an egg on top.

The girls each had egg and bacon muffin sandwiches.

This was probably the most hearty egg sandwiches I’ve ever seen – Two eggs, plenty of bacon, and home fries.

Local Charm

We had breakfast downstairs and two other interesting aspects of Benjamin’s jumped out – the walls are covered with bottles of Grand Marnier.

It turns out Benjamin’s has a “Bottle Club” for locals and regulars. These 363 bottles are owned by various club members and numbered. When a member comes in they take down their bottle and drink up.

Sadly, Benjamin’s had to draw the line at 363 because they didn’t have space to put up more bottles.

Speed Shucking

As I mentioned above, the raw oysters we enjoyed on Monday afternoon were perfectly shucked. This is no easy feat. After breakfast we noticed this guy shucking quahogs like greased lightening.


We started talking and learned his name was Steve and he’s an honest to goodness nationally recognized clam shucker. If fact, he’s going to compete in the Clam Shucking National Championship in Maryland next Month.

Tuesday Buck a Shuck

Yesterday was Tuesday and Tuesday is Buck a Shuck Day at Benjamin’s. If you’re anywhere near Newport on a Tuesday, do yourself a favor and indulge in the fruits of Steve’s labor.

October Dinner Plans

I already love Benjamin’s after just sampling the raw bar and breakfast – I haven’t eaten dinner there yet. As we were eating breakfast yesterday, I pulled out my iPhone, called up Yelp, and discovered Benjamin’s Raw Bar had moved to #4 in their Newport Restaurant Rankings.

That was enough for me. We’re back in Newport for the Seafood Festival in October with our friends Peter and Mary Lee along with Ellen and Paul on-board the Dulcet. I had booked one of Newport’s famous waterfront venue for dinner, but I changed my reseravtions to Benjamin’s.

A Video Travelogue

My latest favorite app is iMovie on my iPhone 7 Plus. I snapped a few video clips and assembled a brief travelogue of our trip from Mattapoisett to Newport. I hope you like it.