Happy 4th of July! Our post is up late today, I know, but I’m very excited to tell you about the 4th of July outing we just had so you can check out some of amazing places we went. We decided to take a trip down to Newport tonight to see the Newport Harbor Fireworks (post going up on Wednesday!), but on the way, we stopped for dinner at Pasta Beach.
Right on Memorial Boulevard, just a block up from Bellevue, Pasta Beach has an ideal location right in the center of the action on Aquidneck Island during the summer. It splits the distance between everything in downtown Newport and everything over by First Beach. There’s also a great little outdoor farmer’s market held every Wednesday from May to October just across the street.
I have my friend Jen to thank for learning about this place. She was working as music director for a production of Spring Awakening at the Casino Theatre just around the corner this past April and when I came to see the show she took me to lunch here.
When you walk in you’re met by a unique blend of a mint green and driftwood grey beachy color scheme and all the charming elements of an Italian café. The first time I visited we sat at the counter, but this time we made a reservation and sat at a table.
After being seated by Lady Liberty, we took a look at the menu. Originally we were planning to get two of their tasty sandwiches served on their famous house-made focaccia bread, but, unfortunately, they ran out of the bread! So, fair warning, if you want to sample any of their paninis you have to get them at lunch time. They bake the bread fresh every morning, but they almost always run out by dinner time (and its worth going there early to get one, trust me).
Luckily, there was a lot of other items we wanted to try and, after seeing a few other mouthwatering dishes pass our table, we decided we would get a pizza and a pasta dish to share. We’re a fan of the classics so we went with the Margherita Pizza and, after reading the menu description, we just had to get the Pumpkin Ravioli.
The pizza ended up coming out first, but we were happy to treat it like our primi (or first course) and dig in. As a self-proclaimed pizza snob, I have to say that this one passed all the tests. Perfectly thin crust, well-seasoned, slightly sweet sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese, all expertly balanced. Delish.
Then, as our secondi (or second course) we got to try the ravioli. You could definitely taste that the pasta was made fresh that day. The filling was an exquisite blend of spices and sweet pumpkin puree with a beautifully light house-made sauce. Again, delicious.
Even though Italians would balk at having one at any time of day except breakfast, we couldn’t resist getting a cappuccino each after finishing our pizza and pasta. Honestly, I can never resist a cappuccino. Our lovely waitress Hayley was also very kind and agreed to pose for a picture. She was fantastic! Ask for her if you visit.
As we sat there sipping our coffee until we had to leave for the fireworks, they slowly dimmed the lights until it felt a bit more like mood lighting and brought out tealight candles for each of the tables.
Then, just as we were paying, Hayley stopped by our table to let us know that there was a spectacular sunset outside we should photograph and spectacular it was.
We had so much fun at Pasta Beach and it was the perfect kick-off to our 4th of July night!
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm
Friday: 11:30am – 11pm
Saturday: 9am – 11pm
PASTA BEACH: $ – $$
Key $: $14 and under $$: $15 to $30 $$$: $31 to $50 $$$$ More than $50
7 Memorial Blvd
Newport, RI 02840
There is some parking in a small lot behind the restaurant and usually on-street parking can be found on Memorial Boulevard.