After finding out that my wifes favorite Newport restaurant (White Horse Tavern) was closed for the month of January, going the way of many other Newport restaurants in the off season, I had to scramble to find a new place. We decided on Cheeky Monkey or Café Zelda, settling for Café Zelda once we found out that Cheeky Monkey was also closed for a few weeks. The beauty of off-season Newport in January is the lack of crowds and abundance of parking spaces. The downfall is half of the restaurants are closed!
We made a reservation. which clearly wasnt necessary on this night, although many people probably didnt want to brave the sub-zero temperatures. About 5 other tables were occupied, but it is small inside. I would definitely make a reservation no matter when you go, just in case. We were seated at a cozy little table and were greeted promptly by our server.
We ordered a bottle of Merlot (good wine list, small, mostly reasonably priced wines) and had a half dozen clams broiled with an herbed garlic butter as well as an order of calamari. The clams were good and fresh. The calamari, well a little heavy on the batter, was delicious. The batter was well seasoned and the hot peppers (more like mildly hot peppers) fried with the calamari made the dish. The garlic aioli it was served with paired well with the calamari.
For our entrees, I had the Filet Mignon with roasted vegetables while my wife had the sirloin steak. The Filet was cooked perfectly to order and served on a mustard sauce that went surprisingly well with the Filet. My wifes sirloin was served au poivre. The sauce was rich and good, although the peppercorns proved to be slightly overpowering.
We enjoyed our meal immensely and the service was great. We will definitely go back to Café Zelda on another trip, and possibly try their Sunday brunch next time. Thank you all for your suggestions.