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Special occasion dinner in Providence

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I know there are many prior posts on this topic, and I've read through all the recent ones, but I'm still feeling the need for some guidance, given that I've lived on the other side of the country for 18 years now so I'm not exactly up on the Providence dining scene. I will be in RI next month and I want to take my parents out to celebrate a very special occasion. Our only free evening is a Friday, so I'm feeling like I should be making reservations soon. Cost is not really a consideration, except I don't want anything so outrageously expensive that they feel bad about my spending all my hard-earned money on their dinner (do parents ever get over that, no matter how grown up and self-sufficient their children become?). And I do want some place where we can get dressed up and not feel out of place. What else - no steak houses or solely seafood places, since one of us doesn't eat red meat and another doesn't eat fish. New Rivers (if it's re-opened)? Mills Tavern? Gracie's? Anything fancy-ish on Federal Hill that I don't know about? Oh, and I'm saying Providence since they live in Warwick but we will probably be going to Barrington first, and driving from Warwick to Barrington to, say, Newport, and then back to Warwick seems like a bit much. But I'm open to any other suggestions outside of Providence but along that route. Thanks very much.

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    1. re: Sean

      We ate at Persimmon for our anniversary last weekend, but this weekend we are taking my parents to Chez Pascal for my father's birthday. Persimmon is very nice if you feel like driving all the way out to Bristol, but I felt that my folks would feel less cramped at Chez Pascal. We found Raphael's too noisy, and we were not that impressed with it when we ate there a few months ago, but we are NY transpants, and somewhat particular about ambiance. Good luck.

    2. Just went to Local 121 last week and it was great, had a great mixture of meat, seafood, chicken, pork, pasta etc. All items are from the area, locally grown, raised etc. A bit slower than normal restaurants, which was great we actually got to enjoy our appetizers and had time to talk before our entree was served. Great atmosphere, really good food and the prices weren't outrageous. Highly recommend. XO is also a good one, but a bit pricier.

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      1. re: jenluxy

        I just had really great food at XO the other night.

        I don't recommend Gracie's, I thought it was a bit much and the parentals may feel that it's over the top. Mill's Tavern - might be ok. but not really that special.

        I've heard really great things about Sienna on Federal Hill.
        Also heard a few good things about the Waterman Grille (used to be the Gatehouse)

        I personally love Newport: Purini's- Great Italian, they have an outside patio. Inside isn't too fancy but really cozy, NY Bistro-ish.... The food is always good.