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Providence Neighborhood Restaurant

Mrs Carroll Aug 6, 2007 01:58 PM

Hi everyone...I am looking for a Providence restaurant recommendation.
I've heard certain restaurants described as "neighborhood restaurants". I believe that this means that they are not special destination restaurants (such as Gracie's, Capriccio, etc.) and are slightly less expensive with more of a local and casual crowd.
I've heard Red Stripe described this way and my fiancee and I have been there once but had just an average experience. We loved the ambiance and energy of the place and the drinks, but the food was just so-so and the service not so great. We had a very similar experience at Citron.

That being said, does anyone have recommendations for another neighborhood restaurant with good food and fun drinks? I'd like to go somewhere with an upbeat (not too stuffy or dressy) atmosphere and some quality eats. Also, am I missing somewhere on Federal Hill that fits these qualifications?


  1. Keithel Aug 6, 2007 03:10 PM

    I'm no expert, but I'd describe Angelo's Civita Farnese as a neighborhood restaurant.
    Good, cheap (~$7-8/entree!) authentic red sauce Italian that has been there forever.

    Right up on Federal Hill on your right after passing Mediterrano.

    They also have inexpensive but decent wine by the bottle or glass.

    Angelo's Civita Farnese
    141 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

    1. t
      Trnrbrnr Aug 6, 2007 06:53 PM

      Mexico Restaurant at 948 Atwells on the other side of Rt 10 is pretty good. There's a Guatemalan place near by on the other side of the street that's been recommended to me. I'll also second Angelo's. The communal seating there is pretty different.Tony's Colonial on Atwells also has an area where you can sit to eat the food that they have in their prepared food area (or at least it used to).


      1. f
        Frobisher Aug 7, 2007 05:13 AM

        Try Blaze. They now have two locations, Thayer and Hope. I have only tried Hope. It fits the bill: very good food, price points 5 to 10 dollars lower than a Gracies, and plenty of ambience/energy. Bravo on Empire St. would also work. It has a similar menu to Red Stripe, but executes much better.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Frobisher
          atheorist Aug 8, 2007 04:03 PM

          Blaze. The food is spot on but the drinks are skimpy! Any drink is fun I guess but $8.00 for a tiny sangria?? Wussy little beer glasses, no pints. I'll go back when I am on the wagon. The food is way above average bar food at Ivy Tavern and at least you can feel your first cocktail.

          1. re: atheorist
            Frobisher Aug 9, 2007 05:28 AM

            Good to know, I'll avoid the sangria. As to the beer, when I have been there most of the brews on tap were Belgians, which are not typically served in pub-style pint glass at any establishement. As to the cocktails, they have always given me a very generous pour on my whiskey, of course a healthy tip on the first round, as is my custom, never hurts.

            1. re: atheorist
              coconutz Aug 21, 2007 11:40 AM

              I was at Blaze this week for a drink. I didn't have the sangria, but it was listed at $6 on the menu ($22 for a pitcher, I think). I also had a been at the Ivy Tavern. It was simple and cute and the menu looked great. I want to go back for the chowder with clams and scallops.

          2. b
            basachs Aug 7, 2007 06:07 AM

            Try Loie Fuller's on Westminster St in Federal Hill. Definitely a neighborhood bistro with good food, excellent ambience and a great little bar.

            Nick's and Julian's on Broadway are also nieghborhood joints to try for breakast, lunch or dinner.

            5 Replies
            1. re: basachs
              HopeRI Aug 8, 2007 07:30 PM

              I would add some of my other usual suspects - Taqueria Pacifica, Red Fez, Garden Grille (yummy all-veggie), Local 121, La Laiterie, Ichiban. Lili Marlene (from the folks who bring you Loie Fuller) on the Hill.

              1. re: HopeRI
                Jenkins Aug 9, 2007 08:21 AM

                Do they serve food at Lili Marlene's?

                1. re: Jenkins
                  basachs Aug 9, 2007 08:55 AM

                  yes they do. Good 'Po Boys if you can believe....

                2. re: HopeRI
                  coconutz Aug 21, 2007 11:41 AM

                  Thanks for mentioning La Laiterie in Wayland Square eastside. We adored it. I wrote a full report elsewhere.

                  1. re: coconutz
                    im hungry Aug 21, 2007 02:57 PM

                    we liked lili marlenes too.good cheap burgers too.but damn, its dark in there,get out your flashlight.mumu s on atwells has the best chinese crispy beef ive ever tried.

              2. tomatosoup Aug 21, 2007 06:53 PM

                i will second (or third) blaze- but make sure to go to the hope st. location it's much, much better in terms of atmosphere. also agree with loie fullers. while not authentic, i often enjoy the atmosphere at india on hope street. also try el rancho grande in olneyville, julian's on broadway, and tortilla flats on hope street (more for the atmosphere and less for the food. the fajitas are usually a no fail choice and the sangria for $15 a pitcher is always delicious).

                1. p
                  providencediner Aug 22, 2007 08:36 PM

                  Enjoy Bravo, Blaze, Loie Fullers (if you can take it), Venda Ravioli (create an Italian cold cut sandwich of your dreams for a pittance with delicious sides), Cuban Revolution (cool, in, & very reasonable), Twist in Wayland Manor (decidedly better than other locations of this small local chain).

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