Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 6:30 a.m.
It was close to 10 p.m. when the wedding-cruise riverboats began returning to the Lido Marina. They’re enormous—futuristic steamboats gleaming of glass, polished chrome and spiraling staircases. As the party guests danced their last dance, these massive vessels backed slowly into their berths, one after another, eclipsing my view of the harbor.
Though it was my second visit to Lido Marina Village this year, this was a sight I’d never witnessed before. I went to Nobu earlier in the spring, but to be at its sushi bar is to be swallowed by the whale with nary a view of the outside. It wasn’t until I ate at Lido Bottle Works that I saw these riverboats and, most important, how far Lido Marina Village has come. For years, the place was neglected and in disrepair. Now that the long-awaited restoration to this once-thriving marina—which hosted the likes of John Wayne in the 1970s—was finally complete, it’s become the perfect spot for window shopping and romantic strolls at sunset. And as proof it has resonated with the Newport glitterati, I have never witnessed fewer than two Bentleys roll up to the valet.
Of the three restaurants that are now open, Lido Bottle Works is the most accessible to the rest of us. It accepts no reservations for parties fewer than six. There’s an outdoor patio to the side, a dining room that resembles the cozy interior of a rickety houseboat and a bar that straddles the two. All sight lines go to a tall glass refrigerator stocked full of beers near the back, which is the intended focal point of the restaurant. That it looks as if it were…
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