Newport, Rhode Island, is one of my favorite places to visit in New England. Between its gorgeous coastal views, stunning historic mansions, and the thriving arts and culture scene, Newport will leave you feeling like a sophisticated socialite from the days of yore.
Newport is particularly well-suited for special occasions and private dining reservations. Whether you’re planning an engagement party, birthday dinner, or family reunion, Newport is a city for hosting.
With so many private restaurant dining opportunities, it can be difficult to sort through them all to find the perfect place for your special event.
To help, I’ve put together a guide on all of the best private dining options in Newport, Rhode Island.
- The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn
- White Horse Tavern
- 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille
- Sardella’s Italian Restaurant
- Mamma Luisa Ristorante Italiano
- The Red Parrot Restaurant
- Midtown Oyster Bar
- The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar
- Clarke Cooke House
- Safari Room Restaurant
- Showfish Newport
Read on to learn all about which restaurants offer private dining and the experiences you can expect to have. Check out my list of the best private dining in Newport below!
590 Ocean Drive, Newport, RI 02840
For a fine dining experience filled with history, you must visit the Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn. The first time I saw the Castle Hill Inn, I was awestruck by the grandeur of this nineteenth-century mansion by the sea.
Now a luxury hotel, the Castle Hill Inn is the perfect private dining venue for a wedding rehearsal dinner or special family reunion.
The Castle Hill Inn Dining Room boasts a well-appointed space with gorgeous wall-to-wall windows that show off romantic coastal views.
The menu celebrates New England cuisine and features some Can’t-miss dishes. Unsurprisingly, the Dining Room excels at seafood, so I recommend you and your guests try the grilled halibut or butter-poached lobster.
26 Marlborough St, Newport, RI 02840
If you are planning a special event in Newport, you have to take advantage of the city’s rich history.
With that in mind, I love the White Horse Tavern, which is the oldest operating restaurant in the United States.
The restaurant’s warm atmosphere of the private dining room—the house’s original formal dining room—will provide your guests with a sophisticated and intimate dinner party experience.
Not only is the White Horse Tavern rich with authenticity, but it also has a delicious dinner menu.
The beef wellington is mouth-wateringly tender, and I always suggest the pan-seared scallops for anyone craving seafood. Other popular dishes include the French onion soup and the grilled swordfish.
22 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
Those familiar with the Newport dining scene already know that 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille is the go-to place for business meetings and corporate events.
The popular harborside tavern has three private dining spaces: the Scull Room, a beautiful area on the second floor, decorated with an antique rowing scull, the Wine Room, and The Deck, which offers panoramic views of the harbor. 22 Bowen also allows guests to reserve the entire second floor for special events.
I appreciate 22 Bowen’s private event accommodations, but their food is what made me fall in love with the place.
The clam chowder is the epitome of New England cuisine, and don’t pass up the opportunity to try one of their fantastic steaks or veal chops.
30 Memorial Blvd W, Newport, RI 02840
For all the Italian cuisine lovers, I recommend Sardella’s Italian Restaurant. This family-owned restaurant is considered the best Italian dining in all of Newport.
Their private dining rooms are thoughtfully decorated to reflect different regions of Italy, including a Tuscan room, an Amalfi room, and a Pompeii room.
Conveniently, Sardella’s offers special event menu packages with a great selection of Italian appetizers and entrees.
One of the best and most popular dishes at Sardella’s is the veal parmigiana, which your guests are sure to enjoy.
For dessert, I strongly suggest the tiramisu—Sardella’s makes a perfect rendition of the classic Italian confection.
673 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840
Mamma Luisa Ristorante Italiano is a sweet, romantic Italian restaurant perfect for a small event, such as an intimate engagement celebration or birthday party.
This cozy spot is known for its excellent wine list and decadent dessert menu. I love the authenticity of this restaurant—it feels like you are sitting in an Italian grandma’s dining room.
Mamma Luisa also has a great reputation for being allergen-friendly, making it a good fit for all of your guests’ needs.
For a yummy and wholesome meal, I recommend the Garganelli Boscaiola, a mushroom pasta dish. If you want to sample some Newport seafood, you can’t go wrong with the Tagliatelle al Pesce.
348 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840
Connect with the shipping and trading history of Newport by eating at the Red Parrot Restaurant, which has a blend of New England classics and Caribbean-inspired cuisine.
I recommend the Red Parrot Restaurant if you want your dining event to have a fun and adventurous feel.
The Red Parrot has a diverse and eclectic menu, perfect for pleasing all of your guests’ tastes. One of the most popular dishes is the surf and turf, a filet mignon topped with a scrumptious lobster scampi.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, I suggest trying the lobster pizza, a strange but delicious menu item reflecting the Red Parrot’s creative take on New England seafood.
345 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840
Midtown Oyster Bar is a classy Newport restaurant with a vibrant atmosphere. The seaside aesthetic is perfect for Newport, with warm wood tones and plenty of natural light, making it an ideal event venue.
The loft is available for private dining and can fit up to 50 guests sitting and 70 standing. I love that this event space has a private bar and access to a rooftop deck with harbor views—perfect for a rehearsal dinner or anniversary party.
As the name suggests, the oysters are the star of the show at Midtown Oyster Bar. The best way to order here is to share one of their big oyster and shellfish platters, a delicious sampling of Newport seafood delicacies. If oysters aren’t your thing, their signature lobster roll is also one of my favorites.
1 Sayers Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar is best known for its classy waterfront dining atmosphere, making it ideal for a special occasion.
Each of their private dining spaces offers ocean views, ranging from the elegant Harborview Room to the nautical-themed Yacht Club room, as well as several alfresco patio and deck areas.
This fine-dining restaurant has an award-winning wine selection and an extremely popular seafood menu: this is the place to go if you want to impress your guests.
The Maine lobster with drawn butter and potatoes is an elevated take on the New England classic, and if you want to be indulgent, you can opt to get it stuffed with scallops and shrimp.
For dessert, I have to shout out to the snickerdoodle creme brulee, a delightful blend of cinnamon spice and espresso custard.
24 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
The Clarke Cooke House is a sophisticated and iconic Newport restaurant known for its eclectic atmosphere and commitment to excellent food and service.
This elegant Bannister’s Wharf restaurant is a charming and impressive location for a special event.
Whether it’s a family party or a celebration with colleagues, the Clarke Cooke House has a fantastic range of formal and casual dining spaces to choose from.
This upscale restaurant has a delightful menu put together with careful attention to quality. I recommend the tuna steak, or, for meat lovers, the steak au poivre.
For the complete Newport dining experience, be sure to order some oysters from the raw bar. And don’t forget to try their famous “flaming snowball” dessert!
OceanCliff 65, Ridge Rd, Newport, RI 02840
For a private dining event with a funky theme, check out the Safari Room Restaurant at the OceanCliff Hotel.
This bar and restaurant have a playful tropical theme, which, when paired with stunning seaside views, makes for a memorable and intimate evening.
The Safari Room can host 15 to 70 guests for a private event and provides private dining directors to assist you with event planning and choosing the menu.
The seasonal menu at the Safari Room consists of classic, perfected dishes that highlight the best that the local cuisine offers.
My favorites include the steak frites and the lobster roll. The Safari Room also has some unique signature cocktails—their innovative drinks menu is constantly changing—that will add some extra festiveness to your special event.
1 Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840
Located within Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina, Showfish Newport is an elegant venue for enjoying high-end cuisine while enjoying an ocean view.
This signature hotel restaurant serves food within the lounge or outside on the hotel deck, making it a perfect location for a unique dining event, such as a wedding rehearsal or graduation party.
Showfish Newport focuses on making elevated versions of New England mainstays, and the menu is a delicious selection of seafood and meat.
For dinner, I recommend the Maine Lobster mac and cheese—a fine dining ambiance with a view of the harbor is the best way to enjoy this classic dish.
Newport is a beautiful city for hosting a special event. The iconic history, gorgeous scenery, and eclectic arts culture make it the perfect place to celebrate significant milestones in life.
This city by the sea is home to so many beautiful restaurants that you are sure to find the ideal dining location here.
From fresh seafood to juicy steaks and handcrafted cocktails, the Newport dining scene will give you and your loved ones a charming blend of elegance, sophistication, and creativity while you enjoy your private dining experience.
To learn more about dining in Newport, check out this article on more great places to eat.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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