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Feb 21, 2008 06:02 AM

Siena or Pane E Vino Providence?

Have reservations at both this Saturday, can't decide which to keep? I have been to Siena once before and enjoyed my meal although my husband has never experienced it. We have also heard great things about Pane E Vino. Some people stating it is the best Italian on the Hill. I am not a big red sauce/pasta person but husband is. I know Siena has many great entree choices. Any opinions on what to do??

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  1. I enjoy them both. Siena is a little more lively (especially in the front) than Pane E Vino. Both have many options for the non-red sauce/pasta diners. I don't think you can go wrong at either place. Here are links to the dinner menus they have posted on line.

    Please report back and let us know where you end up and how it was!

    1. I think Siena is excellent but it's going to be busy & noisy on a Saturday. I went to Pane e Vino once, about 5 yrs ago and was not impressed. But a week or so ago a regular on here (can't recall who) said he goes frequently and it's always maybe I'll have to give it another shot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JaneRI

        I too have had two mediocre Pane E Vino experiences, one of which I reviewed here:

        I love Siena, but as noted, it can trend towards the noiser side.

        - Garris

      2. As someone who has dined many, many, many times at both, I'd sum both up as:

        * Siena has better food, hands down. Not to say the food at PV isn't good, as it is; it's just more hit or miss.

        * Siena's atmosphere is dark, lively and loud; PV's is much brighter (too bright?) and quieter.

        * Service at both restaurants has been fantastic (and I'm critical).

        * The 50% wine discount at PV on Mondays has not only brought me back time and time again, it's brought many of my family, friends and acquaintances in. The owners of my restaurant have dined there and had a great experience (they're also critical).

        * The golden raisin bread pudding at PV is the most delicious dessert I've ever tasted. My friends and I LITERALLY can't get enough of it, even though it's huge.

        I'm sure you'll have a great dinner at either spot. I'd probably choose Siena on Saturday and save PV for a Monday to get the wine discount.

        4 Replies
        1. re: invinotheresverde

          Thanks for all of your advice. We ended up at Siena and had an oustanding meal. The place was mobbed! It was loud but not uncomfortably loud, we could hold a conversation at all times. It was lively and seemed like everyone was out and at Siena! We took that as a sure sign that the food and experience should bo good. We were seated in a little table tucked away in the corner of the restaurant. Husband and I started with the portabella mushroom appetizer which was delicious. The mushrooms were really large and stuffed with herbs and feta cheese? I think... they were topped with bacon. We also received a bread basket with assorted of great tasting breads. For an entree, I got the Chilean Sea Bass (which came with grilled scallops covered in a wonderful sauce, also came with roasted potatoes and green beans). I am usually not a big fan of seabass, but our waitress reccomended it and I am glad I took her advice it was wonderful. Husband got the Veal Chop, also reccomended by our waitress. That too, was cooked perfectly. We didn't have time for dessert since we had tickets to a show, but we will definately head back to Siena to try some of the other menu items that sounded great and dessert that looked scrumptious on other tables! I will be sure to try Pane e Vino before I head back to Siena though since I would love to compare the two.

          1. re: Nanay

            Why is Siena so loud? I went to the EG location on Saturday and it was incredibly loud. It makes no sense to me...

            1. re: Sean

              It must be the acoustics in the buildings?? I just thought it was Saturday night packed with people conversing loudly?! Funny, that the one in E.G. is the same way.

              1. re: Sean

                There was a story in the food section of the projo w/in the last couple of years about how some restaurants are actually designed to maximize noise. Sounds crazy to me but I guess there is a certain element who feels they're in a hip popular place if it's crazy-loud. They use hard surfaces, sharp corners, no carpeting, etc. I don't find that to be the case w/Siena (it's carpeted if I recall?) so I don't know.....people have just gotten really inconsiderate I think, and don't care if they're loud and disturbing others?

          2. If you decide to go to Pane e Vino, try to go on a Monday they have a great wine special on Monday nights!