Video: Mixing Drinks at the Revolving Door in Newport
Beverage Director Jason Kindness stirs up a couple cocktails.
Our April issue is all about Rhode Island’s best bars and nightlife, so we went behind the scenes to make some drinks at the Revolving Door in Newport, a place where the cocktail program is as exciting as the food.
When guest chefs arrive at the restaurant, their stays range from two to four weeks, giving them the opportunity to showcase their craft and specific styles without having to worry about the logistics of running a business. It’s the job of beverage director Jason Kindness to create cocktails that complement the temporary menus.
Kindness says his style of culinary bartending fits in well with the restaurant’s concept because he loves to play off food and seasonal ingredients. “Every time I have a new chef, I have a new set of ingredients to play with, whether it’s an herb, a spice, a syrup, something that I can incorporate to accentuate their food — still keep their food at the forefront of the dining experience but to also give another dimension that fits with it.”
Here, Kindness makes the Bazil Yuzu, a drink to complement the menu of guest chef Basil Yu, and the Malt Whitman, a permanent fixture at the Revolving Door and its most popular cocktail.
Connecticut Bartenders Featured at Newport’s Revolving Door
On July 31, Newport’s Revolving Door hosted United States Bartenders Guild Connecticut (USBG CT) Chapter President Dimitrios Zahariadis and Vice President Carl Summa, also known as The Cocktail Chemists, for a bar takeover. Roger Gross, a previous winner of Last Bartender Standing, Las Vegas Best Bartender Competition served alongside The Cocktail Chemists for the evening. Gross, also a USBG member, recently moved to Connecticut to open the Highland Brass Co. with Zahariadis and Summa in Waterbury. The three guest bartenders collaborated with house bartender Jason Kindness to create a special cocktail menu.
A new chef every two to four weeks: No, it’s not a restaurant owner’s worst nightmare. It’s the concept that ensures that Albert and Sarah Bouchard’s latest venture will perpetually be Newport’s most buzz-worthy dining experience. Short stints by well-vetted guest chefs challenge barman Jason Kindness to continually invent rum-centric cocktail pairings, too. Entrées: from $24. Best Newport Newcomer
Dining Review: Newport’s Revolving Door keeps its menu in motion
The Providence Journal
A succession of visiting chefs, anchored by a winning kitchen team, offers appealing variety that draws diners back.
NEWPORT, R.I. — We’re heading into football season, and just imagine if the offensive line had a new quarterback calling the plays every two weeks. While there might be some mixed signals, it would not devolve into total chaos on the field because the tight ends and wide receivers would play together as the team they are.
That is how Albert and Sarah Bouchard have structured Revolving Door, which opened in January 2014 adjacent to Bouchard Restaurant and Inn on lower Thames Street. They’ve got the offensive line all tuned up and working in total harmony, and then a new quarterback arrives every two to four weeks.
Revolving Door is not a pop-up, a term now constantly bandied about in the restaurant world. A pop-up is an ephemeral operation in a temporary location. Revolving Door is a permanent bricks-and-mortar environment that has its own identity. But the foundation of that identity is to feature the culinary creations of a succession of chefs.
What goes around
New concept in dining out brings rotating cast of chefs to the kitchen
“So what type of restaurant is it?”
That question has never been so difficult to answer as when describing The Revolving Door. Because the answer is this: It depends.
The newly opened lower Thames Street brainchild of Chef Albert Bouchard and his wife Sarah plans to introduce a new guest chef every two weeks to a month, keeping the restaurant’s identity constantly in flux with a rotating menu of cuisine.
The Newport Blast
Our Four Favorite Newport, RI Craft Cocktail Bars
These spots are taking artisanal mixology to the next level.
A decade ago, if you walked into a bar and told the bartender, “I don’t know what I want. Make me something.” they’d likely punch you in the face (in their imagination) while telling you, through gritted teeth, that you need to ask for something specific.
Now, there’s a difference between simply tossing together variety of hooch from your mother’s liquor cabinet when you’re 16 and being a craft mixologist, just as there’s a difference between picking up a trumpet for the first time and making different noises with it…and jazz improvisation.
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