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Restaurant recommendation in Providence for this Friday night

ptrefler Oct 25, 2006 08:46 PM

I will be in Providence this Friday, October 27 and was hoping to get some restaurant recommendations. There will be two of us, we are there for a trade show and are staying at the Westin. I am looking for something with very good food and a nice wine selection, within walking distance would be great, price isn't an issue. I like many types of food but would prefer a place where the service is excellent and you don't have to shout to be heard.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  1. atheorist Oct 26, 2006 02:30 AM

    Mediterraneo on Atwells Ave. Modern Italian, excellent food and wine, casual but very professional service. Busy but not raucous.

    Pot au Feu on Custom House Street, if it has not changed in the years since I have gone, is very good. I mention it because it seems the top choice for a tranquil environment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: atheorist
      a l i c e Oct 26, 2006 03:11 PM

      I second the Pot Au Feu (bistro downstairs is more casual) although I haven't been in ages, either.

    2. b
      booper Oct 26, 2006 04:22 AM


      As close to a sure thing as possible in my opinion.

      1. l
        Lucy Ambrose Oct 26, 2006 02:19 PM

        Ten Prime on Pine Street is one of my favorites.....fun, eclectric decor and great variety of food and drinks.

        Also Providence Prime on Atwells Avenue (Federal Hill) is good.

        1. MrBigTime Oct 26, 2006 02:24 PM

          I reccomend Fire and Ice. It is a Mongolian BBQ, where you get to pick the ingredients you want from a buffet - meat, veggies, sauces - and watch the chefs cook them in front of you on a huge griddle. Many different tasty options, and unlimited trips to the buffet. http://www.fire-ice.com/locations/pro...

          1 Reply
          1. re: MrBigTime
            Chris VR Oct 26, 2006 02:36 PM

            I've never had a really good meal at Fire and Ice. I don't think it has a particularly good wine list and it's not quiet. Plus you're always out of your seat, assembling yur meal or waiting for it to cook. The sauces are also pretty salty and everything ends up tasting the same. I don't think it meets this poster's requirements at all.

          2. 0
            02903 Oct 26, 2006 02:27 PM

            I would recommend new rivers. Menus always is changing and pretty good wine list. Also, a very small setting that is usually not too loud. http://www.newriversrestaurant.com/ (menu and wine list on web site).

            Another two places to consider are mill's tavern and gracies.

            All 3 are within walking distance.

            1. a l i c e Oct 26, 2006 03:08 PM

              My favorites in the Downcity area are:

              1) Red Fez. Funky, fun, and inexpensive. The food is very eclectic (haven't been in months, so I have no idea what is on the menu right now). At one time, they might offer soba noodle soup, yummy quesadilas, jerk chicken, and I cannot mention Red Fez withouth talking up their much-lauded grilled cheese sandwich, served on Pullman bread. The bar upstairs is great fun! Lots of interesting artsy folks!

              2) Tacqueria Pacifica. Used to operate out of a truck, but they have their very own space now, in the beautifully remodeled AS220 space (a gallery/performance art space - quintessential Providence place). You get food on one side, beer and wine from the other.

              3) On a more upscale tip, Gracie's (I've not been myself, but the food is supposed to be spectacular - they just hosted a James Beard dinner) on Washington or lower on the scale, 3 Steeple Street (comfort food, nothing ground-shaking, but just a cozy restaurant, located in the oldest continually commerical use building in the US).

              2 Replies
              1. re: a l i c e
                opinionatedchef Oct 27, 2006 04:54 AM

                alice, enjoyed learning about these 1st 2 places; will have to try. Just FYI, 'Pullman'refers to a SHAPE of bread (Loaf- style)not type of bread. unless that's the name of a new bakery or something.....

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  a l i c e Oct 30, 2006 05:07 PM

                  The Pullman bread is from a local bakery, called Olga's Cup and Saucer. It is what they call it and it is EXCELLENT, particularly for sandwiches. Give Red Fez and TP a try next time you are in Prov. Happy eating!

              2. j
                Jenkins Oct 26, 2006 05:25 PM

                If price is no issue, then I absolutely recommend Gracie's. Faultless service, excellent wine list, wonderful food, elegant but not stuffy/boring atmosphere.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jenkins
                  ptrefler Oct 26, 2006 09:35 PM

                  Glad to hear all the positive comments about Gracies, I am going there on Saturday night.

                2. 0
                  02903 Oct 26, 2006 06:44 PM

                  I agree about fire and ice. except for large dinners where you dont want to split the bill, I do not see a reason to go there...

                  1. l
                    lmuller Oct 26, 2006 07:43 PM

                    I had a GREAT meal last weekend at Mediterraneo. We had a fabulous waiter, good food and I love that they give out the Limoncello shots after dinner!

                    1. o
                      orangecar Oct 26, 2006 08:42 PM

                      I wish I had a duggestion, but Fire & Ice does not meet the criteria and though I've had very good meals at Mills Tavern, I suggest you bring a bull-horn to talk to your dining mates.

                      It is easily the noisiest restaurant I have ever eaten in.

                      1. opinionatedchef Oct 27, 2006 04:48 AM

                        trefler, i have read your reviews and feel simpatico with your tastes. if you are going to gracie's sat night, then i would recommend a completely different cuisine experience for fri night. Neath's. enter Neath's into the search box and my long and glowing review of last monday? will come up.

                        Garris(from Providence), who also seems to share your taste, has posted that his 3 tops for prov are neath's, gracies and mill tavern.

                        do tell us about your experiences after your return. sorry your trade show didn't coincide with the Waterfire of last wkend; hope you will catch it next yr.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          ptrefler Oct 27, 2006 12:32 PM

                          thank you for the feedback, and I will post what I find. I'm going to look up Neath's right now.

                          1. re: ptrefler
                            Frankie811 Oct 27, 2006 05:09 PM

                            Well, since your staying at the Westin, you can find a great wine selection at the Napa Valley Grille @ the Providence Place Mall.

                        2. g
                          ginqueen Oct 27, 2006 07:25 PM

                          just to throw one more option in, i would recommend red stripe on angell street. it would be a cab ride (or, er, leisurely stroll) away but it's all very good. the hanger steak and frites is incredible, and their lovely steaming pots of mussels are wonderful, too. but mediterraneo, neath's and pot au feu are all so good.
                          as for gracie's i hope you enjoy it! i took my boyfriend for his birthday in june and we basically spent the entire meal eating in blissful silence. i would highly recommend their martinis--there seems to be some sort of subtle spice to them which is delicious.

                          1. j
                            jacobsdeception Oct 31, 2006 02:31 AM

                            I know this is a little late, but for the sake of posterity . . .

                            I'm going to have to beg to differ on the recommendation of Pot au Feu. I just went about a month ago in the Salon upstairs and I was sorely disappointed with the level of service and the quality of the food. The waitstaff was made of mostly young college kids and their inexperience showed and the food lived up to neither the price nor reputation.

                            Fire and Ice is what it is, a novelty. The food isn't bad, per se, just nothing to write home about. The lure of a place like Fire and Ice is the atmosphere and entertainment. That and the price is right for most people. Not a bad place but certainly not a restaurant I would frequent.

                            In all honesty, I've never had a bad meal at the Capitol Grill. Granted it's a chain restaurant but they are consistent in their quality.

                            1. j
                              JaneRI Oct 31, 2006 12:10 PM

                              I too was once underwhelmed at Pot au Feu. We ate in the bistro downstairs and it was just okay.

                              Capitol Grill is certainly consistent, but I just can't understand going out to dinner and getting a steak and mashed potatoes. IMO, that's food to eat at home. I go out to dinner to order items I can't or won't make at home.

                              1. s
                                Sean Nov 1, 2006 12:57 PM

                                My new favorite in Providence:


                                1. m
                                  madgee Nov 11, 2006 06:13 PM

                                  I couldn't agree more with you, JaneRI, about the lack of appeal of Capitol Grill. Boring, uninteresting and expensive at that.

                                  I certainly find it scary and sad to hear that MORE chain restaurants are moving in very soon in downtown Providence. There are so many good to very good spots in the city (and around the state too, in fact). Those big corporations shouldn't "eat up" the city like they have in Boston and everywhere else. Let's hope diners still support the local restaurateurs and chefs!

                                  1. k
                                    karlssoni Nov 17, 2006 02:16 AM

                                    L' Epicureo in Hotel Providence!

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