My first day in New England was spent wandering around Rhode Island. For it to be the smallest state, they really seem to have a lot to offer tourists. Since this is a food blog, let me start with that! For dinner we went to Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island which is their Little Italy. It’s a pretty historic area.
We had dinner at Camille’s, an Italian restaurant that has been around for a 100 years. My sister is forever pushing to me try something different. Last time I visited her in New England, I was 18 years old trying filet mignon. Maybe that is where I first got the taste for the good life. This go around it was zucchini flowers. Who knew people actually fried real flowers from a zucchini plants and served them. More importantly who would have guessed that it would be good? Camille’s tops their flowers with balsamic vinegar. I love anything with balsamic vinegar, so it was not hard to win me over.
For my entree, I had the Gnocchi alla Vodka with shrimp. I am pasta fanatic. It remains one of my diet problems. This pasta felt like it was homemade, making it all the better. The sauce was great as well. Then they threw in these super sized shrimp and I was sold instantly.
After leaving Camille’s we stopped at Pastiche, a French bakery in walking distance from Camille’s. I did not indulge in anything because I knew I was going on a cupcake tour the next day, but everything looked delicious and my sister swears by this bakery.
Earlier in the day, we stopped in Newport, Rhode Island. All I could recall about Newport were the Guilded age mansions that America’s robber barons built in the 1800s. I’m the nerdy person who spends her birthday weekend touring old buildings, but they are SO beautiful.
We only had time to tour one mansion, but it is the ONE to see. The Breakers was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, great grandfather of Anderson Cooper. The home really is magnificent and worth the tour. It is the largest of that era and still houses some Vanderbilt heirs on the top floor during the summer months. As you tour the home, you feel as though you have gone back in time or if you are in a scene from Leonardo DiCarprio’s version of the Great Gatsby. We honored their request for no photography inside the home, so the below pictures are from the exterior.
I did get to see a few other ones from the street including the Elms. The back of this home was jaw dropping! Most of the mansions are owned by the Newport Preservation society now and a few of them even allow for events such as weddings to be hosted there. One of those mansions would be the perfect spot for my milestone birthday next year, if only I were a billionaire!