Situated in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island, the Clarke Cooke House stands as a revered establishment that intertwines history, elegance, and superb dining experiences. With its rich heritage and stunning waterfront location, this iconic venue has been an integral part of Newport’s social fabric for over a century. From its founding as a private residence to its transformation into a legendary dining destination, the Clarke Cooke House continues to captivate locals and visitors alike with its blend of timeless charm and culinary excellence.
The Clarke Cooke House, located on Bannister’s Wharf, traces its origins back to the early 18th century. Built as a private residence for Captain Clarke, a prosperous shipowner, the house later became a center for maritime trade during Newport’s golden age. Its prime location along the bustling waterfront added to its allure, attracting notable figures of the time, including Captain James Cook, who dined there during his voyages.
Culinary Excellence and Preservation
In the 1970s, the Clarke Cooke House underwent a transformation under the visionary guidance of the Cooke family. With meticulous attention to preserving the building’s historic charm, they converted it into an elegant restaurant, maintaining its classic architecture and adding nautical elements that pay homage to its maritime heritage. Today, the venue houses multiple dining spaces, each with its own distinct ambiance, including The Candy Store, The Porch, The Skybar, and The Boom Boom Room.
Renowned for its culinary prowess, the Clarke Cooke House offers a diverse menu that showcases the best of New England’s coastal cuisine. With a commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant presents a wide array of fresh seafood dishes, from succulent lobster rolls to pan-seared Atlantic salmon. For meat lovers, there are mouthwatering steaks and chops, while vegetarians can delight in creative vegetarian and vegan options.
In addition to its exceptional cuisine, the Clarke Cooke House boasts an extensive wine list, featuring an impressive selection of vintages from around the world. The knowledgeable staff provides expert guidance in pairing the perfect wine with each dish, elevating the dining experience to new heights.
Service and Atmosphere
One of the key elements that sets the Clarke Cooke House apart is its unwavering commitment to providing exemplary service. The staff exudes professionalism and warmth, ensuring that guests feel welcomed and attended to throughout their visit. The restaurant’s timeless decor, featuring classic maritime accents, evokes a sense of elegance and relaxation, creating an atmosphere that is both refined and inviting.
Beyond the exquisite dining experience, the Clarke Cooke House also hosts an array of lively events, from live music performances to themed parties, ensuring that there is always something exciting happening within its walls. It has become a hub of social activity, attracting locals, tourists, and even celebrities, who seek to savor the combination of Newport’s vibrant spirit and the Clarke Cooke House’s unique charm.
The Many Rooms
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Cooke House is the many rooms and, levels and “nooks and crannies” within. The Candy Store is a bustling main dining room that features a delightful blend of nautical-themed decor, including vintage maritime artifacts and colorful artwork adorning the walls. The Porch provides a relaxed outdoor setting with charming wicker furniture, hanging plants and wonderful views of Newport Harbor. Perched on the third floor, The Skybar offers contemporary decor, with a sleek bar, plush seating and panoramic views of Newport Harbor . Finally, the The Boom Boom Room, located on the lower level, is a lively venue for live music and dancing.
With its great service, exceptional cuisine, and breathtaking waterfront location, this historic establishment continues to leave an indelible mark on all who have the pleasure of dining within its hallowed walls. Whether you’re a Newport resident or a curious traveler, a visit to the Clarke Cooke House promises an enchanting journey through time, taste, and tradition.