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Providence Restaurant Week: Where would you go?

My ususal strategy for restaurant week is to go somewhere where the $30 charge is way lower than a usual dinner at the particular establishment, or somewhere I havn't been for a while. Steak houses fit into the high-price category, but I'm less than inspired...Gracie's? Camille's? (havn't been for 30 years....). Where would you go if you were going to choose one place?

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  1. I was underwhelmed by Gracie's when we went pre-theater, although I know some people rave about it. I thought L'epicureo was better. I liked New Rivers, although it has received some mixed reviews lately. How is Camille's I have never been?

    1. Hmm... wasn't totally blown away by the list of options. I'll probably shoot to visit Providence Oyster Bar and Local 121. Though, based on recent reviews, it seems like Local 121 can be normally had for not much more than the $30 price point...

      If Bacaro were on that list, I'd be all over it. I'm really looking forward to trying that one out.

      4 Replies
      1. re: LMWW

        Maybe New Rivers is worth trying again now that it is re-opening; I have gone for years and always liked it well enough. Bacaro may feel they are not "ready." Camille's was great years ago, but tastes have changed, so who knows... I've never been to L'epicureo, so maybe I should try. But I don't really want Italian...Fussy, I know.

        1. re: janeer

          Well, Italian restaurants do dominate in Providence. How about Waterman Grille--I heard it was quite expensive, and no where near as casual as promised in the promotional material. Also I have heard good things about XO, although I am not really a steak person. I have Bacaro on my list for my Birthday!

          1. re: bawc

            Thanks; Waterman Grille looks like a possibility/fits the bill. Have been to XO; it's fine, but I generally save the steak house outings for NY.

          2. re: janeer

            How about Chez Pascal? Wonderful french food.

        2. I have been hearing great things about Local 121.
          Siena would be another choice.

          Where is everyone else going???

          I had a great meal at XO recently. (and it wasn't steak- not sure what their rest. week menu is though)

          I do wish that more restaurants were on OPEN TABLE- then we could all be earning points to eat out more!

          I also did not enjoy a visit to Gracie's last year. I thought it was just a bit much and the food was good- but overall experience was not worth the money.

          I know a few people going to Waterman Grille for the rest week menu-

          Anyone been anywhere yet?

          2 Replies
          1. re: pcktbks

            I did go to the Waterman Grille for the Rest. Week menu. It was just okay. The first course and dessert were winners, but the entrees were average. The salmon was fishy and didn't have much flavor other than that. The steak was chewy, though flavorful. The service was very slow.

            I also went to the Capital Grille which was very good. Classic.

            1. re: Sap115

              I went to Waterman Grille two weeks ago for my Dad's birthday, and also found it sort of mixed. The small plates--we shared lobster fritters, calamari, and crab cakes--were excellent (the calamari surprisingly so---it was deep-fried and then covered in spicy tomato sauce, which made the batter a little soggy and not deep-fried crispy, but the squid itself was so tender and the whole thing was so tasty that it worked for us). Cocktails were also really good (and generously portioned), and creative in a good way--no fussy stuff that you wouldn't actually want to drink. The entrees were just OK though, nothing special, and not worth the price.
              I'm going to stick up for Gracie's--I went last summer for my bf's birthday, and we were in bliss for days, we just had a perfect experience from beginning to end. Maybe it's faltering a little bit, since so many people seem to have not enjoyed it lately. But I'd give it a shot during restaurant week.

          2. Check out the choices at Blaze....so far, that seems to be my fave (just going by what's on paper, not actually having dined). I was underwhelmed by a lot of them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JaneRI

              I am going to 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, and they don't even have sushi as an option for restaurant week!!!

              1. re: Jenkins

                They did have the sushi on RW for lunch - i was there on Tues & it was excellent,

                Also highly recommend Mills tavern. we had a great RW dinner there last night!

                1. re: Trufflebaby

                  Which makes it even stranger that they don't have sushi for dinner.

            2. we went to capital grille for restaurant week.. it was excellent. the first course, i got the fried calamari whereas my friends got the clam chowder and the salad. for the 2nd course, we all got the steak.. it was an aged steak with a coffee rub on the outside. it was very delish! third course, we got creme brulee and flourless choc cake. i didn't like the choc cake but the creme brulee was very good

              1. We went to L'Epicureo last night and were not impressed. The hostess table was unmanned when we arrived - we had to wait about 10 minutes to be greeted. The food was also nothing special - especially for the price. The 'slow-roasted' pork was tough, and the lobster risotto quite unflavorful. On the upside, desserts were good, and our waiter provided great service (once we were finally seated).

                1. We went to Gracie's last night, also with the thought of going someplace that would typically cost more than the RW price and where the RW offerings were food we actually wanted to eat. It was lovely. Gracious and attentive, but not obtrusive service, all kinds of little extras. All three courses were good; we had salads, sea bass with light and flavorful gnocchi, duck, a chocolate banana terrine and a peach shortcake with a peach liqueur (extra charge) I can still taste. Wonderful foccacio.

                  1. Went to Gracie's last night for restaurant week. My fiance had the corn soup which was delicious. I had the baby greens salad which was tasty for a few bites, but I unfortunately could not finish it due to the overwhelming flavor of bleu cheese. For main courses we had the bass and the duck, both of which were flavorful and excellent. He had the creme brulee for dessert, which was also very good. The peach shortcake was underwhelming and slightly dull. We got the dessert wine and peches liquor recommended on the menu with the desserts and both were well worth the extra charge.
                    In addition, the restaurant provided bread, an heirloom tomato amuse bouche and an intermezzo mango sorbet. Cocktails were perfectly prepared (there is nothing worse than a bad martini) and the service was excellent.
                    I've been hearing some bad experiences from friends at other restaurants during restaurant week but we were both very impressed with Gracie's.

                    1. I ended up going to Rafael's because a group of old college friends planned it. I was SHOCKED at how empty it was, considering especially it was restaurant week. The offerings were two Southern Italian pastas and salmon. Some of the group ordered off the regular menu, I had the Veal Parm, acceptable, which came with a first course salad (good) and a chocolate truffle cake (excellent--best part of the meal). Service was good. Those who ordered the salmon were disappointed. I keep coming back to the same old thought: go to a steak house for restaurant week: best value, consistent quality.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: janeer

                        Went to 10 Prime Steak and Sushi Friday night and was also surprised at the lack of patrons. We had 8pm reservations, and the tables were maybe 1/2 occupied. As for the food, I had the clam chowder (good), sliced tenerloin with mashed potatoes (both very good) and ice cream for dessert (very good). Probably would not go back here, though, based on the price point. My tenderloin meal listed at $35 on the menu, and did not even come with a vegetable, so not good value for the money. I'd much rather do steak frites at Bravo or Blaze for $19.

                        1. re: janeer

                          I tend to disagree as to the recomendation in favor steakhouses for restaurant week. My thiniking is as follows. At a steakhouse the cost of your meal primarily reflects the cost of the ingredient, not cost of retaining a staff to prepare and servie it. I work under the assumption that a restaurant will not offer a RW menu that would consitute a net loss for the house. I think that is borne out in terms of most steakhouses's RW menu's which typically feature a salmon dish and the ubiquitous filet.

                          I think as a diner you are usually better served going to an establishment where the chef's skill is a signficant component of the cost of dining there (i.e. Gracies, Chez Pascal). That chef's salary is a fixed or sunk cost for the restaurant. Accordingly, the rest. does not have to cut too many corners to put out a quality product for RW.