An alluring blend of past and present, North Kingstown’s Carriage Inn has garnered a reputation not just for its great food and live entertainment but also for its stories. While the main dining room offers sophisticated, modern appeal – and an enticing collection of wines displayed behind glass – the tavern, now whiskey room, dates back to 1760. Walking beneath the original stone thresholds and taking in the sounds of glasses clinking, patrons chatting, and fireplace crackling, you’ll feel transported
to a different era.
When a friend and I visited, we sat next to a tiny doorway where, our server (and storyteller) Celia explained, tavern guests would have passed through to get to the stables (now a banquet room) at the end of their stay. Celia also regaled us with chilling tales of paranormal sightings, from a mysterious small child running across the restaurant to curious ghosts who like to tamper with locks in the wine cellars.
Celia may have served up both haunts and menu highlights, but it was clear by the time our drinks arrived we had nothing to fear. My light peachy floral Blossom Cosmo with cranberry was an excellent preface to the meal. My friend had the House Special Margarita and raved over the splash of orange brightening the shot of Grand Marnier.
First out of the kitchen was the Giovanni Calamari. The sizable appetizer came with kale, red bell peppers, banana peppers, black olives, scallions, and lemon on the side. The calamari had a delicate crisp and medley of flavor from marinating in a blend of citrus and pepper juices, white wine, and garlic soy sauce.
For an entree, I had the Steak Tips filet mignon – the hearty, tender medallions were topped with grilled onion, green peppers, and mushrooms. It paired wonderfully with sweet potato fries and a side salad. My friend indulged in Seafood Delany, highly recommended by Celia. The garlicky mussels, shrimp, and scallops served over creamy pesto and tomato pasta dazzled the senses. We also indulged in the Shrimp Fajitas – a sizzling platter that included veggies, with a neat stack of warm tortillas and dish of cold chopped tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce to assemble our own perfect pockets.
We couldn’t leave without a bite (or two) of dessert. The House-Made Apple Pie is a perfect homage to the property’s historic American roots. The warm, comforting morsel was bursting with cinnamon-covered tart apple slices cooled by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A slice of Strawberry Shortcake was soft and spongy, topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Once we resurfaced from this cozy time capsule, we were already longing for a return trip. From Whiskey Dinners to Drag Brunches to Psychic Nights, along with plenty of weekly specials, the Carriage Inn isn’t just for history buffs.
1065 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown • CarriageInnDining.com
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