Going to Providence for the weekend
Any good suggestions? I've never been there-any price range, all kinds of food. I understand Italian food is wonderful in Providence so that as well. Thanks!
Oddly, I have no great Italian recs--I've never been blown away by any of the Italian I've had here, I think it must have been better in years past, or I've just missed the good ones. My most noteworthy recs:
High-end: Chez Pascal, La Laiterie, and New Rivers. They're the big three in town, in my opinion. All three do varieties of what i guess you would call "new american" with chez p on leaning towards the french, n.r. a bit lighter and cleaner, and ll a bit more toward the comfort food end, with more flexible portion sizes (small plates etc). Gracie's is supposed to be great as well, but I've never been.
Brunch: Nick's on Broadway, although they've slipped a bit from their pinnacle a couple years ago and the service is bordering on lousy these days.
Mexican: El Rancho Grande or Chilangos are both terrific for sit-down meals, and there are quite a few worthwhile taquerias.
Well Mansfield is more like 30min from Providence unless you're driving really fast (I drive to that area regularly), but I agree that the Trattoria is excellent.
Nick's is a great brunch idea, but service has been really slow lately. I recommend Gracie's if you want something high end. For cheap and good, definitely El Rancho Grande for Mexican. Actually I would probably pick them over Nick's for breakfast when you factor in the long lines and slow service at Nick's.
I can't recommend La Laiterie enough. Their burgers are phenomenal. It's a smaller and more intimitate setting.
If you want to go the Italian route, Isabella's in Smithfield is good enough for my picky Italian family to travel 25min to get to - it's about 15min from downtown Providence. If you want to stay in Providence, go to Al Forno.
Since people are recommending short drives, I'll throw in the Back Eddy in Westport, Mass. Outstanding seafood, great casual atmosphere, and the best sunsets on the East Coast.
Another good brunch spot in Prov. is Rue de L'Espoir, on Hope St. (well duh, the Francophones say).
I'm also a big fan of Al Forno. Everything is sized for sharing -- the famous grilled pizzas, the luscious pastas, dirty steak (if they have it, it's great), spicy roasted clams, made to order desserts, etc. Good wine list too.
If you're going for Italian, go to Federal Hill...the Old Cantine makes a mean manicotti. They also have some great bakeries...Pastiche is french but absolutely wonderful. There's also a couple of mexican places around there.