Out of the foggy mist on a late evening, on Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, raises . It looks as if it rose out of the ground fully formed.
The design echoes the miles of stone walls that line the road leading up to it.
From days past one can envision summer guests alighting from their carriages after the long ride from Providence and embracing the coolness of the oceans edge and the inviting grace of the house. The large barn on the grounds was built to accommodate the horses and carriages after the day long trek.
Built in 1854 as a summer home by David Sisson a merchant and mill owner it is a majestic statement to his status. The Stone House was meant to impress David Sisson’s guests and it was passed down in the family until the 1920-30’s when it was turned into an inn. It has passed through several owners and still remains an inn.
In the Stone House's latest incarnation green technology and sustainable development have turned it into a National Register historic renovation. It stands as a testament to architectural greatness and modern ingenuity. Waste vegetable oil from the two kitchens on the premises fuels the back-up generators. Rain water is collected and used for the kitchen gardens.
Old doors were repurposed into restaurant tables and bar tops. Sanded and polished one can see the old worm holes in the naturally distress wood. There is an on-site waste water treatment system. Recycled glass and shells are used on the path and drive ways.
There is solar power, a solar chimney and spray foam insulation. A 150-year-old slate was salvaged and reinstalled on the roof. It is expected to last another 150 years.
In the basement of the house is the 1854 Tap Room that was once a speakeasy and is now a restaurant with very low ceilings. You would not think a basement would be charming but it is. Pub like and cozy. Use your imagination and you can almost feel the roaring 20’s. The location of the house and surrounding area made it a perfect spot for bringing in illegal liquor during prohibition.
Famous chef Wayne Gibson brings his unique perspective to this very casual Tap Room.
Traditional seafood such as lobster stew, clam chowder, and shrimp cocktail for starters.
Chef Gibson’s lobster sauté on corn cakes with truffle butter was worth five stars, summer and elegance on a plate.
For larger appetites, cod loin, RI squid and mussels with cured Marzanos, leeks and Yukons in lobster broth, hot garlicky shrimp papparadelle with crushed tomatoes and garlic confit and basil was being served at quite a few tables near us. The aroma alone was delicious. Seared scallops, roasted salmon, fish and tavern fries, (combination of French fries and sweet potato fries), plus a plate of seasonal vegetables were also on the menu.
Grilled lamb, 12 oz. Tap Room Steak, buttermilk fried natural chicken breast and herb roasted chicken for the meat lovers.
Finish with apple pecan strudel, vanilla bean ice cream, lemon-butter milk pudding, bitter sweet chocolate tart or a mixed berry tart.
Since part of Chef Gibson’s philosophy is fresh, local, seasonal there are several local wines and beers on the menu; Westport Rivers Riesling, Sakonnet Cabernet Franc and Newport Storm draft to name a few.
The Stone House is located at 122 Sakonnet Point Road, Little Compton, RI 02837. The phone is 401-635-2222.
Reservations are required in the Tap Room.