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's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).