Newport has always been the playground of the well-heeled. The Rhode Island hot-spot hotel, Forty 1º North, sits at the end of Christie’s Landing and brings a touch of boutique modernity to the colonial city by the sea. It offers two restaurants: Christie’s a family-friendly spot and The Grill, which adds a more upscale eating space spread over two floors: one inside, one out.

On sunny days and warm nights, the South Beachy dockside deck is extra posh spice for Newport’s fabled party crowd. Overlooking the deck and Newport Harbor, the tastefully simple interior has a relaxed, but refined, ambiance. Something like the food.

Waitstaff in crisp yacht-crew whites bring big prime steaks, organic chicken and seafood — an organic salmon’s rich oiliness was perfectly complemented by a sweet corn and mushroom ragout with a hint of thyme, and the zesty barely-cooked minced garlic and braised spinach ($33).

But there’s nothing like a well-dressed salad to tickle the palate. Well-dressed in a little gray dress kind of way, that is. The frisee and arugula, accompanied by a blue cheese and bacon souffle ($11), had just enough salt, black pepper, oil and lemon to make the leaves sing.

A strong supporting cast of salads is the essence of summer dining: caramelized scallops topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan with a tender truffle risotto ($36), orange and fennel brightened a buttery Maine Jonah crab cake ($16) and all that the roasted golden and red beets and fennel ($10) needed was a touch of light Vermont goat cheese.

Soak it up

The Grill includes salad on the dessert menu. Fortunately, not with the creamy lavender creme brulee ($8), which was garnished with raw grapefruit slices. Unannounced as a savory course, the warm baked goat cheese ($8) sat with greenery, and splashes of tangy balsamic. Salad days are here, soak it up.