A romantic Newport treasure

The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a boutique hotel situated on Newport’s famous Cliff Walk, is home to Cara, one of the area’s newest upscale restaurants. From proper place settings of elegant silver and classic white linen tablecloths to colorful dishes that play with texture, Cara blends Old World romance with hints of modern luxury.

Helmed by executive chef Matt Voskuil, the restaurant is intimately nestled in the back corner of the hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The muted color palette of the main dining room serves as a neutral backdrop to attention-stealing dishes.

All of these components are brought together with a stellar service team. At a time when personalization is paramount to stand out from all the noise, Cara certainly delivers.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • This venue exudes a palpable air of romance. Dim lighting, soft jazz background music and glimpses of ocean waves rolling ashore create an enticing environment for a special occasion.
  • Cara features curated menus: two tasting options (Plunge and Forage) and a three-course prix fixe selection (Crave).
  • With an extensive vino list, Cara is a great choice for wine aficionados. And don’t worry: if you get stumped, the knowledgeable staff can help with pairings.
  • The experience is in the details. Each visit to the Newport restaurant is marked with personalized elements, including pairing suggestions and after-dinner treats. This surprise-and-delight mentality is also the intention behind the menu’s rather vague descriptions.

Things to Know

  • On first visit, the venue’s entrance can be easy to miss, so look for the black wrought-iron gates. Coming from downtown Newport, it’s the last right before approaching Easton’s Beach.
  • Sitting front and center facing the open kitchen, the chef’s table offers a behind-the-dish experience. There are also private rooms available for larger parties —reservations are required for both.
  • While it brings in a more mature crowd, the place is far from stuffy. Still, the dress code at Cara is business casual.
  • For any food allergies or other dietary restrictions, call the fine-dining restaurant ahead of time to let it know. Or, if you make a reservation ahead of time, a staff member will call you the morning of your visit to check for last-minute details.

The Food

  • Two of Cara’s menus feature six-course tastings: Plunge highlights fresh underwater delights, like fluke, sea urchin and skate, and Forage is an ode to nature’s simple delicacies, such as tomato, semolina and romanesco. Both menus offer the option of select or signature wine pairings.
  • For a smaller indulgence, opt for the three-course prix fixe Crave menu. The lobster with tortellini and sweet corn, and the filet mignon with potatoes, broccoli and cheddar are the most commonly ordered dishes, but the duck — accompanied by purple potatoes, spinach, reduced apple chutney soaked in port wine, shallots and foie gras — is a standout not to be missed.
  • While the menu rotates on a seasonal basis, well-thought-out tweaks are sometimes made to dishes as inspiration strikes.
  • Don’t skip the pre-dinner carbs. Cara offers warm, house-made Vermont bread and butter topped with black Himalayan sea salt — in fact, almost all of the ingredients on the menu are sourced from New England.

The Chef

  • Voskuil (also director of food and beverage at the hotel) is new to the Newport scene by way of Las Vegas.
  • His impressive résumé includes working alongside household names like Michael Mina and Thomas Keller, and as personal chef to Steve and Elaine Wynn of the eponymous hotel chain.
  • The chef’s approach to dish selection is strategic and dynamic. For as many plates that are experimental and slightly outside the box, there’s also balance for diners who stick to what they like, but with Voskuil’s personal, modern touch.

Business casual
Outdoor seating
Private dining
Getting There
117 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, Rhode Island 02840
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