We spent Near Year's Eve in Newport, RI this year, making a reservation for Sardella's, a popular Italian restaurant that has been around for a long time (it is located on Memorial Boulevard, just up the hill from the center of town near the Tennis Hall of Fame). Sardella's is a large restaurant, with 5 rooms and enough seating for more than 200 people. We were seated in the front room (across from the bar area), which was a particularly nice dining section, complete with fireplace, low lighting, and windows that looked out at the street.
We started with a decent Caesar salad and excellent garlic bread (lots of butter and garlic). I also had a glass of Crosspoint Pinot Noir from Monterey, which was buttery and mild. The dirty martini that my GF ordered, however was a tad too salty, even for a dirty martini.
For entrees, we ordered the gemilini e pollo al fungi (twisted pasta, grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms, in a gorgonzola cream sauce) and the spinaci di tortalloni (large tortalloni with spinach, smoked mozzarella, in a pesto cream sauce). The chicken dish was outstanding, with chewy, textured pasta and a slightly bitter taste from the gorgonzola. The tortalloni dish was every bit as good, with tender pasta pockets filled with spinach, cheese, and herbs, and a mild sauce that blended perfectly with the pasta.
Service was good overall, though our waitress seemed a bit rushed and harried, though granted it was New Year's Eve and the place was jammed.
I would definitely return to Sardella's, as the food and ambiance was top notch, and the prices weren't bad for this type of restaurant.