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  • Writer's pictureJohn Boccellari

THE RED PARROT RESTAURANT - NEWPORT, RI


With this being our second visit to Newport, we decided to visit an old friend in the form of The Red Parrot for dinner. During our last visit, we enjoyed The Red Parrot so much that we dined with them twice during that trip. For whatever reason, I decided to only review Belle's Café the last time we were out here and not mention anything about The Red Parrot. Well that all changes right now.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The Red Parrot has a lot of history behind it. It was first built in 1898 as a meat packing house and has housed many different restaurants over the years. It became known as The Red Parrot back in 1993. Today, it is on the National Register of Historical Places and is known as a landmark. You can feel all of that history once you step foot through its front doors. It's loved and cherished and no one that I've heard of has ever said anything negative about it. From the polished wood to the friendly smiles, The Red Parrot makes you feel comfortable and at home.


THE SERVICE

We have not had bad service during any of our visits with The Red Parrot and tonight is no exception. I had modifications toa dish that I wanted and there was nothing but great hospitality as a response. From the front desk to the server, we felt welcomed and appreciated.


THE FOOD

I started off with drinks. I had the USA 17 Painkiller first followed by a Hendrick's Martini. The USA 17 Painkiller was a wonderful mixture of Pussers British Navy Rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple and orange juice with nutmeg. I did not expect to enjoy the drink as much as I did. However, I can only tolerate one sweet drink at a time and had to simply follow it up with my staple in the Hendrick's Gin Martini. Perfect is the only way to describe it.


I then had a tasty order of fresh oysters which really started my appetite up for me. There is nothing better than oysters in their own brine accompanied by squeezed lemon and horseradish heavy cocktail sauce. They went down easy and they were finished quickly.


The oysters were followed by a delicious lobster and shrimp over penne pasta. Garlic, white wine, lemon and herbs are all you need to give such a wonderful sauce. This dish is on the menu with a cream based sauce but the server was great when I asked for the sauce to be as described above. A simple garlic, white wine sauce takes the flavors from lobster and shrimp in such a fantastic way. Why ruin it with all the cream?


I then ended the meal with a lovely slice of key lime pie which was baked fresh today. The key lime pie was perfectly creamy and the crust only made me want more. This was truly a dinner to be remembered.


LASTING IMPRESSIONS.

I have only giving score like this a few times before and The Red Parrot definitely belongs in the same league as those restaurants who have earned the hard to achieve score of an 8.8. As I thought back to think about this score, I found myself really trying to find something that could knock this score down a peg. I did not desire to do this for any malicious reasons. I just wanted to do the best I could to give the best score that I could and make sure that it was unbiased due to the way that I already felt about the restaurant. At the end of the day, I had to look at our experience and I thought of my children and how they enjoyed their meal. I also thought that I hope we get to come again before we left Newport because there are other things on the menu that I want to have. If you are in the area, The Red Parrot is more than a recommendation, it's a must. Enjoy!


The Red Parrot is located:

348 Thames St

Newport, RI 02840 (401) 847-3800


You know how I said that I hoped we would visit The Red Parrot again before we left Newport? Well we did in fact visit them again. We actually visited them two more times after this review. We found that we have grown to truly enjoy The Red Parrot and it has in many ways become our main spot while visiting Newport. With that said, I have a few other menu items that I want to talk about while also giving an updated score. Now please keep in mind, my original score will still be the official Feast & Fandom score and be maintained as record. The score I give below will be an improvement from the original score but will not "count" for the sake of being unbiased.


THE FOOD...REVISITED

The first image shows a dish that I had modified from the menu version. As a menu item, this was the Seafood Alfredo. The dish included a variety of scallops, shrimp and crab meat. I did not want the Alfredo sauce and preferred a garlic based white wine sauce to do the seafood true justice. As you can see in the dish the crab meat browned very nicely while cooking. The scallops and shrimp were all perfectly cooked. They were super flavorful and complimented greatly by the garlic and white wine. I did tell my server that this needed to be on the menu in this form. It was too good not to have it as an option.


Then we went back again for a third night. This night I ordered The Red Parrot's Surf & Turf which is labeled "The Best of The Best" as they say. This was an 8oz filet mignon topped with succulent lobster meat scampi. The Red Parrot sure as hell does know what they have here and it is as they say, "The Best of The Best." I told the server that all Surf & Turf's should be topped with lobster meat instead of a tail on the side. Yes lobster tails have always been my favorite part of the lobster, but having claw and knuckle meat in the mix is so much more superior. Then adding scampi sauce takes the dish from being a solid ten and then raising it five more notches. You cannot go wrong with this dish.


We then finished night three with a sweet Chocolate "Lava Flow" Cake which capped the night off perfectly with my cup of espresso. The combination of the lava cake with ice cream and raspberry sauce was too much to handle in all of the right ways.


REVISITED IMPRESSIONS

As stated above, we are sticking to the 8.8 score as the official score of The Red Parrot. For the update I elevated the score to a 9.3 as the unofficial score. It would just be unfair to change the original score based on a bias that I have clearly formed. Would the score have been a 9.3 if I experienced everything that I have during all three visits in one? I don't know. Other factors were the level of service that was given between nights two and three. Night two had a less experienced server who still did a great job but needed help from his trainer through the night. Night three had the best server of the trip and completely out shined the other two and increased the level of experience. Again I say that without taking anything way from the other servers. Thank you Ross. My family and I hope they never lose you.



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