We’ve stayed at The Newport Yachting Center more than anywhere else in Newport. It’s a great marina, centrally located, and just a few steps from the #1 rated restaurant in Newport – The Moorings.

Unlike most of the better restaurants on America’s Cup Way, the Moorings has a large parking lot. This is good is you’re driving here, but it may also account for the difficulty landing dinner reservations.

Moorings Parking Lot

The next notable aspect of The Moorings is it’s premier waterfront location. You enter through a beautiful dinner room with a classic bar that comes alive most nights.

Moorings Bar

About halfway through, there are steps down to a sunken dining room that literally hangs over the water!

Mooring View

If you’re looking to dine semi “Al Fresco” during the summer months, you’d be hard pressed to find a better venue. We did dine there a few times in early October when the sun was going down around 6:00 and with it came a chill in the air.

The first time we sat in the front dining room and it was warm, cozy, but hard to tell you were on the water. The second time we sat downstairs in the corner right on the water.

Mooring Magical Night

No. there wasn’t a meteor shower that night! When it gets cool, they have clear plastic curtains that drop down to keep the patrons warm and out of the wind. These worked for the most part, but it was much cooler here than in the front dinning room. If you or your guests chill easily, I suggest booking a table up front outside the summer months.

The Food

Did I mention that The Moorings pretty much sits in the #1 spot on Yelp among the hundreds of restaurants reviewed. If you’re familiar with Yelp, you know that a lot of their rankings come from younger people who slam restaurants with an expensive menu. This makes The Moorings ranking even more impressive because no one would ever accuse them of having an inexpensive menu.

The first time we dined there Mrs. Horne and I share the oysters on the half shell, a “Bag of Donuts”, and the NY Strip Steak.

The Oysters are local, very clean, and fresh…

Mooring Oysters #2

One of the things that often distinguishes a great restaurant is a unique signature dish. In the case of The Moorings, this is the “Bag of Donuts”. This is a brown paper bag filled with perfectly prepared fries and an ample number of lobster, crab and shrimp fritters. It also has a chipotle-maple aioli on the side for $12.

Mooring Bag of Donuts 2

While far from cheap, the NY Strip was perfectly prepared and it included sides for $35, which in the land of great steaks is a bit of a bargain.

I’m a total sucker for a well seasoned medium rare Prime steak with some kind of Blue Cheese sauce or compound butter on the side. This is exactly what I got at The Moorings:

Mooring Steak

As great as the steak was, The Moorings in much more than a Steak House. The menu (click here for the full menu) offers a wide variety of proteins and preparations, particularly seafood dishes.

Here are a few more photos from my friends on Yelp:

Mooring Lobster Roll
The Lobster Roll
Moorings Scallops
Seared Scallops
Mooring Stak and Lobster
NY Strip and Lobster Tail
Mooring Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips
Mooring Seafood Pasta
Seafood Pasta

There are so many great restaurants in Newport, but I think The Moorings has earned it’s #1 rank by combining a broad menu, excellently prepared dishes, all served in a spectacular setting.

Just be aware that you have to make your reservations weeks or even a month in advance.