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Best-Coolest Restaurant in Providence

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?

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

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jenkins

      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

        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

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

          1. re: Alica

            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

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

              1. re: sarahbeth

                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

                  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. 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. re: im hungry

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

          1. re: invinotheresverde

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

            1. re: Sean

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

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: raf945

            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

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

            6 Replies
            1. re: Brownstudent

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

              1. re: invinotheresverde

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

                1. re: Sap115

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

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    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

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

              2. re: Brownstudent

                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.