Giusto, the first independent restaurant concept from Chef Kevin O’Donnell, has been abuzz as locals and visitors alike eagerly await its late summer grand opening.

A Rhode Island native with almost two decades of experience at celebrated restaurants in New England, New York, Italy, and France, O’Donnell’s homecoming fuses his talent and creativity to bring freestyle Italian cuisine to Newport.

Located at the new Hammetts Hotel on Commercial Wharf, Giusto boasts beautiful water views and an expansive patio alongside intimate indoor dining options. Leading the team under O’Donnell is an all-star lineup of local industry veterans:

Kyle Stamps, Executive Chef: Having grown up in North Kingstown, Stamps and O’Donnell have known each other for almost three decades. Their friendship has evolved into a partnership in the kitchen from Rhode Island to Italy to Boston and back again. With experience at some of Newport’s best restaurants, including The Mooring and 22 Bowen’s, Stamps makes for the natural choice to lead the back of the house team while working alongside O’Donnell on menu development.

Aaron Edwards, General Manager & Beverage Director: Born and raised in Rhode Island, Edwards has done it all. Growing up on a farm provided firsthand experience with local bounty and seasonal ingredients; he’s also consulted on various restaurant concepts, been an executive chef himself, and was owner-operator of the award-winning Trattoria del Corso in East Greenwich. It’s exactly this breadth of experience that makes Edwards a welcome addition to the Giusto leadership team.

Also joining the opening team are Sous Chef Kenny Lentz (Lulu’s Allston), Sous Chef Brian O’Donnell (Canary Square), Service Manager Svetlana Antonelli (22 Bowen’s), Event Manager Lauren Schaefer (41 North), and Floor Manager Christina Mignogna (Wolf Meadow Farm).

Giusto is now in the final stages of buildout and readying the team to open its doors later this summer. Since early July, guests and visitors of Hammetts Hotel have been given a sneak peek of O’Donnell’s signature freestyle Italian cuisine through the hotel’s concise food & beverage program. Available on the patio lounge seven days a week (2pm-8pm), the menu features creative, fun interpretations of more traditional Italian and New England cuisine.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.