I have a directive from my dad to make reservations for The Cannery, Arches on the Water, or Chart House for Mother's Day. I don't know Newport and they've never been out here. My tastes run far more eclectic than theirs, which is why I'd love thoughts, but it MUST be limited to one of these three (unless they all stink) because my dad likes to make decisions and I've already steered him away from some of his other choices for his visit.
They tend towards classic meat-and-potatoes fare--simple, but classy. That is, bearnaise sauce, or feta on a salad=good. Mango salsa, or chili-encrusted anything=bad. Atmosphere--view of the water preferably, but definitely don't want stuffy or a place that feels like it's nothing but retirees.