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Dec 7, 2007 03:54 AM

New Rivers in Providence Reopening

Has anyone been back to New Rivers since its October reopening? I've always heard great things, have never been, am thinking it'll be great for my husband's 40th birthday next week, but wanted to hear how it's been. Thanks for any info.

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  1. I've been a couple of times and it's been terrific, better than I remember it being before.

    3 Replies
    1. re: celeriac

      Thanks! We have a New Rivers reservation for tonight, will report back.

      1. re: jsd

        Please do so. I'm thinking about getting a gift certificate for some family members.

      2. re: celeriac

        I am going on Thursday and will also report back in.

      3. We recently went back and the food was excellent. Minor quibble, I had thought the interior was getting a refresh too, but it looked the same to me. That can be good or bad depending....

        But the food and service were still excellent.

        6 Replies
        1. re: basachs

          I can't comment on the interior as it was the first time we'd been there. Refreshed or not, it was inviting, well lit without being bright or harsh, and seasonal without going overboard.

          Food: fantastic. We started with prosecco and split 2 starters, the roasted fig and the charcuterie. Both lovely and nice together. The fig was strongest, warm just enough to bring out its figginess, with a little cheese (forgot what) and pistachios. Excellent example of making the best of what a food is rather than overwhelming it with fussiness. The charcuterie was very nice - what we had this summer at La Laiterie was more substantial and showy but this was simple and the right scale to tease the appetite rather than slake it. The pork belly - really, it was bacon! - was delicious, but didn't block out the nice pate and mousse. And lots of pickled onion for which I am a sucker.

          My dining parter had the pork ribs which were just shut! up! good. I can't remember where the pork was sourced from but it was some of the best pork I have ever had. They were falling off the bone without being sloppy, perfect ratio of meat to fat, and the corn pudding and cabbage were fine accompaniments.

          I had cod in miso sauce with wakame seaweed on top and a bit of caviar and a little cilantro pesto (I asked that to be put on sparingly, as I am not the biggest fan of cilantro). It was warm but light and airy and the fish was texturally reminicient of steamed fish I've had at good Chinese places. Lovely. It did not have the whomp! savoriness of the pork - it was somewhat boggling that the pork and the fish came out of the same kitchen.

          We had dessert - I had praline-rum ice cream with hot fudge which was like a very nice grown up sundae, a few cookies on the side (I could have eaten five more of the macaroons) and my husband had the chocolate cake which I regret to say due to the prosecco and 2 glasses of Gruner Veltliner, I cannot recall in detail, but he was very happy about it.

          One of the best dining experiences I have had in Providence. The food was lovely, the service was grown up but not stuffy.

          One thing that struck us was the age of our fellow diners. The restaurant was not more than 2/3 full the whole time we were there and it's not such a big place, so not so many people from whom to choose. We were there for my husband's 40th birthday (and 2 other patrons were celebrating birthdays, and all wished each other the best, which was lovely and covivial). Anyway - I am the same age as my husband as we were easily the youngest in the place by a couple of decades. That was in no way a problem - hey, it's great to be the spring chickies when you're turning 40! But it was a notable surprise - no idea why the younger crowd may not be going to New Rivers. They're missing out on some good eats!

          1. re: jsd

            Well the younger crowd may not have the disposable income to be spending at an upscale place like New Rivers. My guess is your evening set you back well in excess of $100. I've been there twice and each time had a fine dinner.

            1. re: Jenkins

              My wife and I also notice this when we go. We are both 29 and are always the youngest. New Rivers is not the hippest of places, not a place to be seen. Sadly, that appeals to many more people in our age bracket than quality food.

            2. re: jsd

              YUM. Thanks for the review. I am the 'younger crowd' but unfortunately New Rivers is a bit of a drive for us. I'm so glad to hear they're open and serving at the same high quality as before the fire. Definitely an incentive to make the trip to Providence sometime soon, weather permitting.

              1. re: hollerhither

                I am part of that young crowd and have been disappointed that New Rivers stops serving at 9 PM. As a young person, I want to come a bit later for dinner on a weekend night. That has kept me away since the reopening. My fiance and I never seem to want to cut our day off short to go to an early dinner and are too tired on Friday to run there right after work.

              2. re: jsd

                oh this place sounds delightful! does it have any pre-fix menus a la chez pascal? (the only way i can afford to experience chez pascal). I'm a young person and expense is definitely a big factor in dining out for me.

            3. Six of us ate at New Rivers a few days ago. Some of it was exquisite, some mediocre. None of us had ever been there before.

              Best things: Clam and grilled squid appetizer with grilled sausage, roasted potatoes, sauteed kale and grilled Portuguese bread. The seafood was fresh and perfectly cooked. Great combination of flavors. Lemon tart in a light and crisp puff pasty crust, topped with simmered dried cherries. It was very lemony and tart. Cod in carrot miso broth mentioned in another post was delicious, though the broth was a bit gloppy.

              Not so wonderful: roasted vegetable soup. It was very bland and a bit gelatinous.

              Other entrees were so-so, not bad, but nothing that wow-ed any one...Nantucket scallops, baby chicken, pork ribs.

              The wait staff was attentive but a bit forgetful. The water glasses were a bit small (pet peeve of mine) and the waiter had to keep coming back to refill the frequently empty glasses.

              It was a good time and an OK meal. I was expecting a bit better meal given the feedback from this board and the price. Was I expecting too much?

              1 Reply
              1. re: BikeToEat

                "Some of it was exquisite, some mediocre."

                I think this describes my (pre-fire) New Rivers experiences perfectly. I think for what they do (and how and where they do it) that they're a tad overpriced.

                Then again, I know people who are regulars who defend NR as being the best restaurant in the region bar none, so maybe I've missed something.

                - Garris