By Laura House and Kate Thorman for Fathom | Team Mr & Mrs Smith kicked off summer with a good old-fashioned road trip. We capped off a whirlwind New England tour with a night in Newport. And more than one strong latte in the morning. Here’s what we found.
At its port-town peak in the mid-1800s, Newport had 22 rum distilleries. So where has the rum gone? Award-winning bartender Jason Kindness, the bar manager at the Revolving Door, returned to his native Newport passionate about its rum-runner past and intent on reviving this potent history, one rum cocktail at a time. He was drawn to Revolving Door for the eatery’s rotating chef concept, where guest chefs are invited to workshop dishes and set menus for a few weeks at a time.
Taking a seat at the bar, we were suspicious about the late 90s-inspired décor of dark wood and faux-Chihuly lighting, as well as a menu that screamed at diners in bold, block-face font. But one taste of chef Ezra Lewis’ artistic and delicate dishes was all it took to win us over. We started with tasty bites of king crab and yucca drizzled with avocado puree and crowned with herbs, then moved on to roasted Cornish hen and lobster-filled tortellini. It all paired perfectly with a smoky, spice-inflected rum cocktail Kindness whipped up for us. Chefs rotate in and out, so you never do know what you’ll get, but it’s worth perusing the menu (the style-sensitive should put on blinders) over an inventive cocktail at the bar.