Every time I get on the New England board, my computer freezes so I'll ask this quickly. Does anyone have a recommendation for a casual but nice place in Prov. for this Sat.? We'll be going to Lupos so we won't be looking too nice. A place with a few options from sandwiches to nicer dinners is good. I know there's a decent brew pub but wanted to try something else. Anyone been to XO, Prov. Bookstore Cafe, Eclectic or Adesso? Thanks.
How about Apsara? This isn't exactly convenient to Lupo's, as it involves a bit of a drive into the depths of Providence, but it's very worth it. Apsara is a pan-asian place, which typically one is told to avoid like the plague... I guess that this must be the exception that proves the rule, as it's absolutely phenomenal. My personal favs there include chive dumplings and something called bee ba (sp?)--a vermicelli dish with coconut milk, a choice of meat, and fresh mint and basil... And, of course, all the Thai standbys.
Someone might have to help me out with the location. It's on Broadway, on the other side of 95 from Lupo's, on the left. Just not sure about which cross street...
So even tho I had a list of many different possible restaurants to try in Prov., I ended up at place I've been to twice. We were on Atwells Ave. and saw a sign for grilled pizza and since we didn't want to eat much, checked it out. I thought Bob and Timmy's sounded familiar but they've moved from that cute little courtyard off Atwells to a more tavern looking place and I wasn't positive til we sat down. Oh well. Decent grilled clam pizza altho it lacked a little pizazz and I actually put salt on it which I never do.
We saved some of our appetite for after the show and Spike's Junkyard Dogs on Thayer St. Thayer St. was like being at spring break, idiots walking around with video cameras yelling show us your you know what. The dogs were okay but I'm not sure how they were cooked, I missed them taking them out of wherever they were stored. They were pretty big with a fresh roll but the dog kept squeezing out as you tried to eat. I got a basic onion, mustard relish and my friend got some "freaking hot" dog with peppers and a hot sauce. Lots of different choices but I never get too crazy with my dogs. Glad we went but I've had better.
I can think of a couple of good restaurants that are within short walking distance of Lupos. Trinity Brewhouse is about three blocks away. It is, just like it sounds, a brewpub. They have great sandwiches and pub food. A little closer is DownCity Food & Cocktails. I haven't been there in a few years, but they always had some delicious homestyle food like meatloaf, prime rib, etc.
The last time I ate at Adesso was over ten years ago, but apparently it hasn't changed much since then. It's still very popular.
In other words, I would expect Cal-Ital pizzas, pastas, etc. that were extremely hip in the 80s but are just good food now.
A place I have heard good things about but haven't been to (since I don't get up to Prov. too often, sob) is Downcity Food and Cocktails (check that name, I know it starts with Downcity). It's close to Lupo's too.
I've been to XO. It's absolutely fantastic. Wonderful eclectic food, great atomosphere, and unusual & tasty cocktails (I recommend the Vong chamgpagne cocktail). There's a counter you can sit at overlooking the ktichen and the chefs give you little tastes of everything in addition to your meal.
Definitely check it out.