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Fish dinner in Providence RI

Help! I'm expected to treat someone to a fish dinner this Friday night in Providence. Ideally it would be within walking distance of the Convention Center or a short cab ride. I've only been to Hemingways once and wasn't sure it was worth the money. That same weekend, years ago, we also went to a restaurant that was in a private Italian Men's Club. The meal there was wonderful but I don't think they have their restaurant open to the pubic anymore. The friend I went with thought it was "Jimmy's". Maybe Hemingways is the place to go but my husband would prefer a place that isn't so fancy. He also likes fish but not with sauces.

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  1. The Bluefin Grille (in the Marriot, which is attached right to the convention center) is very good. Much better than Heminways (which I used to work directly upstairs from).

    1. Parkside serves some very nice fish dishes. Less fancy than Hemmingways, but it is still upscale. Your entree price for fish would run in the $20 neighborhood.

      1. While I'm a big fan of Parkside, I wouldn't recommend it when you specifically want a fish dinner....not a lack of quality by any means, just a lack of choices.

        Bluefin's a great choice, and both Agora at the Westin Hotel and Providence Oyster Bar should be considered. Agora would be adjacent to the Convention Center, and POB a 10 minute walk or 2 minute cab ride.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JaneRI

          Good point, only a couple selections each night.

        2. An obvious answer is McCormick & Schmick's, in easy walking distance of the convention center and not too fancy at all. Not sure what your budget is, but the prices seem reasonable.

          Bostonbob3, I think you might be confused about the location of the Marriott and Bluefin Grill, which are not adjcaent to the convention center. The hotel that is adjacent to the cc is the Westin.

          1. Has the Bluefin Grill improved? In 2004, I had two horrible meals there. I thought it was too bad because it was a nice space and the service was so good.

            1. Thanks for the advice. We opted for McCormick and Schmick's because it was within walking distance and I had enjoyed a visit to another of their restaurants in another city. The others had never been to one. The variety of fish choices delighted our guest. She chose the seafood sampler and thought it was fabulous. My husband's mahi mahi was on the dry side. My jumbo scallops with pea risotto were a bit peppery but I would recommend. The risotto was very flavorful. Two of us dared to have spinach and strawberry salad. Yummy balsamic dressing but too much of it. I may have to learn to request dressing on the side. Desserts were good but almost not worth the extra calories although our guest was delighted with the creme brulee which is her most favorite dessert. Our waiter was very friendly and personable but left us waiting and did not refill water glasses. This is in comparison to a recent Chowhound recommended visit to Zafferano's near Suffolk Downs in MA where service was incredible. I would expect that since M&S is so large they would have someone assigned just to re-fill water. My husband and I also made a return visit to Joe's American Grill hoping for fried clams again but they are no longer on the menu. I was happy with the day's special of stuff flounder. My husband's prime rib was okay (he thought the baked potato was great). Our last meal of the trip was a return to Union Station where my husband thought his surf and turf was the best meal he had all weekend. Unfortunately for me, Mr Frugal Yankee doesn't like high priced restaurants and food with fancy sauces so Union Station's menu is more to his liking. We like to share a beer sampler even though we usually don't have beer with our meals. All were good but Oktoberfest was best. I opted for the salad with grilled scallop and shrimp which a friend recommended. Since she chose the Mediterranean Salad which she enjoyed except for the hot peppers. After one accidental bite, she picked the rest out of her salad. Way too hot. On the whole, Union Station seems to be reliably good. Another friend who was staying at the Marriott ate at the Bluefin and enjoyed it very much. We had one quick lunch at New Japan that we enjoyed. We appreciated that the waiter told us not to get the iced tea because it was too old. My husband can sniff out the slightest off taste in iced tea so bad tea would have ruined his lunch. Unfortunately, Providence tap water is also pretty bad.
              Although Mr Frugal Yankee would not want to return to McCormick and Schmick ... our guest was thrilled with the selection and so was I. Thanks for your help.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dfrostnh

                "Desserts were good but almost not worth the extra calories."

                Did no one get the wonderful apple dessert at Mc & S? I haven't been in a while but that was always a wonderfully reliable and tasty dessert choice.

                "Although Mr Frugal Yankee would not want to return to McCormick and Schmick ... our guest was thrilled with the selection and so was I."

                Because he thought it was too expensive or something else? I think the prices are fairly reasonable but again, it's been a while. And I have a $20 off coupon, it's time for a return.

                1. re: Joanie

                  Two loved their creme brulee which is their most favorite dessert. I had a chocolate flourless torte with raspberry sauce - good but not special. Mr Frugal Yankee had cheese cake which was good. I was the only one of the 4 who ate recently at a Chowhound recommended Italian Restaurant near Suffolk Downs (Zafferano's) where the desserts were fabulous and I was comparing Mc & S's offerings to Zafferano's. I don't recall the apple dessert but if it was on the tray, I wouldn't have ordered it. Apple desserts aren't my usual choice. Sounds like I may have missed a good one. Mr Frugal Yankee's fish was overcooked and dry. Since he grills fish at home he expects fish at a restaurant to be just as good. For city dining, the prices were reasonable. We have visited Union Station each time we are in Providence for the weekend and this seems to be his favorite place but it didn't have the menu I thought our guest would like. Mc&S definitely provided her with a great choice of fish. She was impressed with the selection and tells everyone the meal was fantastic. Mr Frugal Yankee is hard to please since his idea of a great fish dinner is lobster on some dock in Maine, preferably Waterman's Beach. ... how does one get $20 off coupons??? One year we went to Cafe Nuovo which I thought we both enjoyed, esp the desserts, but he has not wanted to return. Typically the restaurants he likes best are in an old farmhouse someplace in the woods.

              2. Thanks for posting about your experience (not everyone does!). I am always loathe to recommend a chain restaurant, but sometimes, it's a necessary evil. I was glad to read that it worked out for your guest!