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Best-Coolest Restaurant in Providence

i
I8THERE4IAM Jan 15, 2008 04:53 PM

I will be staying in Providence over the weekend and I am looking for a really nice restaurant to celebrate my wifes B-day. Something with great food, killer wine list and a cool scene. Money is no issue. Please do not say Al Forno. Does it exist?

  1. j
    Jenkins Jan 16, 2008 04:46 AM

    Siena on Federal Hill, 10 Prime Steak and Sushi, or XO Steakhouse come to mind.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jenkins
      j
      JaneRI Jan 16, 2008 04:46 AM

      Yes, those are exactly the 3 I'd name. I'm not personally a fan of Ten Prime, but I seem to be in the minority, and I'd describe it as the most "scene-y" of the 3.

      1. re: JaneRI
        g
        Garris Jan 16, 2008 04:56 AM

        Yup, probably my three as well, especially now that Neath's is gone and Mills seems to be somewhat inconsistent. Consider Cafe Nuovo as well... Downcity's got a slick look and nice scene, but I've heard (haven't been there since the reopening) that the food is very inconsistent.

        Love or hate the Chowfun group (XO, Ten, Big Fish, and soon the Chinese Laundry), they are opening what are really the only restaurants in town with as much attention to "scene" and "vibrancy" as the food. Without their restaurants, Providence would somewhat be a mish-mosh of very similiar and vaguely upscale New American-Italian fusions...

        - Garris

        1. re: Garris
          a
          Alica Jan 16, 2008 06:59 AM

          The Chinese Laundry? Is that a new Providence restaurant opening?

          1. re: Alica
            g
            Garris Jan 16, 2008 10:02 AM

            Yes, an upscale pan-Asian "Ultra-Lounge" (ugh...) next to XO by the same folks who do XO, Ten, and Big Fish (soon to be a BBQ joint). Despite some recent (provocative) advertising, I'm not sure when their opening day will be.

            - Garris

            1. re: Garris
              s
              sarahbeth Jan 18, 2008 12:07 PM

              What about LaLaitere!!! I think that is the best new restaurant in Providence!

              1. re: sarahbeth
                g
                Garris Jan 18, 2008 12:46 PM

                La Laitere is fantastic, but I'm not sure it's "cool" or slick in the way that, say, 10 is, for example... Ambiance fits more into the vaguely upscale genre.

                - Garris

                1. re: Garris
                  j
                  JaneRI Jan 18, 2008 02:00 PM

                  Hmmmm....I will say I agree w/Sarahbeth, but it definitely depends on your definition of hip. It's certainly quietly-chic hip (that is a new category I just invented) and I for one would definitely prefer it to the bar full of poseurs at Ten.

    2. nancyhudson Jan 18, 2008 12:16 PM

      We did the Providence thing this fall and absolutely loved it! We didn't have enough time to squeeze everything in and settled on Costantino's for dinner and Nicks on Broadway for breakfast. If you have time/like to do the breakfast thing, I highly recommend this place. We were very happy with both choices, and, based on board reviews will definitely take in LaLaitere on our next visit! And, would Providence Chowhounds consider Mills Tavern to meet OP criteria?

      1. i
        im hungry Mar 9, 2008 12:26 PM

        loui fullers is my answer...

        3 Replies
        1. re: im hungry
          invinotheresverde Mar 9, 2008 07:40 PM

          I've had better and better experiences at L.F. recently.

          1. re: invinotheresverde
            s
            Sean Mar 10, 2008 05:18 AM

            LaLaitere is nice if you don't mind be seated in a sardine can...

            1. re: Sean
              c
              celeriac Mar 10, 2008 06:48 AM

              if it's the one of the tastiest sardine cans in town, I couldn't be bothered less.

        2. raf945 Mar 11, 2008 10:52 PM

          Would somebody please clarify what Pan Asian refers to.Thx.

          2 Replies
          1. re: raf945
            j
            JaneRI Mar 12, 2008 05:16 AM

            Pan-Asian refers to food from anywhere in Asia, rather than concentrating on one country or area, like just Chinese or just Thai. Pan-asian fusion is americanized, usually upscale.

            1. re: JaneRI
              g
              Garris Mar 12, 2008 01:38 PM

              It also tends to have a bad reputation as with most things Americanized since the cuisine often suffers from Americanizing problems - overpowering flavors, quantity over quality, cheesy implimentation.

              When done well, however (and I think Neath's French/Cambodian-ish was subtle and outstanding), it can be a very satisfying cuisine.

              It can also be very original. I remember a restaurant in Minneapolis that specialized in dishes all designed to use rice paper as the main theme ingredient. It was awesome.

              - Garris

              PS: From everything I know and heard, Neath's didn't close for business reasons or lack of customers/demand, but due to the desire of the owner/chef to do different things for a while or go in different directions, so I never thought it was a failure of the viability of the cuisine in town...

          2. b
            Brownstudent Nov 5, 2008 07:02 AM

            Capriccio's, Cafe Nuovo, XO Steakhouse, 242, Mill's Tavern

            6 Replies
            1. re: Brownstudent
              invinotheresverde Nov 5, 2008 08:32 AM

              You think Capriccio has a cool scene? Um, wow.

              1. re: invinotheresverde
                s
                Sap115 Nov 5, 2008 10:19 AM

                I'm not sure I would go with cool for Capriccio's, but it's got that old school charm thing.

                1. re: Sap115
                  invinotheresverde Nov 5, 2008 11:41 AM

                  Agree about the charm, but it's really the antithesis of cool.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde
                    g
                    Garris Nov 5, 2008 12:01 PM

                    While cool is oh so subjective, I've always seen Capriccio's more as a sort of time capsule throwback to my grandparents' era, like, "Oh, so this is what was cool back when Sinatra was in his 20's."

                    1. re: Garris
                      invinotheresverde Nov 5, 2008 12:43 PM

                      I'm feeling you.
                      And while I think Capriccio is so retro it's almost novel again, I just can't call it cool.
                      Cool?

              2. re: Brownstudent
                z
                Zabalburu Nov 7, 2008 03:40 PM

                While we're at it, I'm not sure I'd call Mill's Tavern cool... unless 40-70 year old lawyers and investment bankers have become the new cool crowd! This is no comment on the quality of the food or the comfort/aesthetic attraction of the room.

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