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Business (expense account!) dinner near Providence

I am driving from Boston to meet a colleague in the Providence area. He is coming from the New Haven area. We have picked Providence (or Warwick or East Greenwich) as mutually inconvenient.

I am looking for ideas for a restaurant that has very good food, an interesting wine list and professional grade service. It should be easy to find from the Interstate.

In Boston, I like Sage and Icarus and Petit Robert and Troquet and Maurizio's.

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  1. expensec, toward ital - al forno; more to french- chez pascal. more intimate, la laiterie.

    1. Gracie's would fit the bill, as would Pane E Vino on the Hill. I would also take a look at New Rivers.

      Chez Pascal is wonderful and among my favorites, but not exactly right off the highway. La Laterie is great but is also removed from downtown. It is also tiny and does not accept reservations. If you are willing to take the risk of a decent wait for a table it is a fine choice, if not I would consider some other options.

      1. I'd say Gracie's or New Rivers. I'm mildly anti-Al Forno. La Laiterie and Chez Pascal are a bit more work to get to after a long drive like that (I'm trying to think in terms of your friend, whose drive is doubley as long as yours, coming up from the south). And w/the no reservations policy, I don't see it working for this.

        http://www.graciesprov.com/

        3 Replies
        1. re: JaneRI

          I'd also like to recommend staying away fro La Laiterie. The food is fantastic and it's a lovely, intimate place for a meal, but not for dinner with a business associate. The wait can be over two hours on the weekends, and they include the bar as a seating-space, so you can't even sit at the bar while you wait. Also, it's definitely not right off of the highway.

          1. re: dagwood

            Yep, definitely need a place that will take a reservation.
            Could help but notice that Ten Steak and Sushi, as well as Gracie's were on Open Table.
            But now I am going to look at Mills Tavern, too.

          2. re: JaneRI

            My goegraphy is not so hot. I was thinking our colleague is in Madison CT and we are in downtown Boston....
            When I think of south of Providence, my mind goes blank - though I did mention East Greenwich.

          3. I think for "interesting" I'd choose 10...for my personal taste I always see Gracies as the special place for anniversaries, etc. The food is great, but in my opinion more of a couples spot. If I was meeting an associate in PVD I would choose 10. I hear good things about Temple haven't been yet...can't go wrong with Ruth's Chris if steak is your thing. 10, Temple and RC's are all very easy to get to off the highway.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jmac42

              I would stay FAR from Temple -- the food was not good at all on both our visits there, and definitely service not the kind you'd want to share w/ business associates (or anyone you like/want to impress)
              (that was a couple months ago... maybe they've changed drastically?)
              Not a chain please. Too much pride in local dining scene to do that route!!
              Try Gracie's or Chez Pascal...

              1. re: jmac42

                I think we will pass on Ruth's Chris. Though I cannot argue that it is predictable and a safe choice.

                Seems like Gracie is a good place to look at.

                Thanks!

              2. I would also suggest Mills Tavern and Ten Prime Steak & Sushi, if you want to generously use your expense budget. I assume you aren''t looking anything intimate but exceptional food and service that will impress your colleague.

                3 Replies
                1. re: sarahbeth

                  I think you hit the nail on the head with Mills Tavern. It's relatively easy off the highway (not Atwells-easy, but easy enough), has pretty good food, a solid wine list, and almost a business meeting kind of vibe. It can get a bit loud sometimes, so I'd personally just ask for a table in the quietest area.

                  Mills isn't one of my go-to spots, but I think it fits the OP's criteria perfectly.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    I have been to Mill's twice and both times the service was awful, and the food was good, but not worth the $$ nor the wait. But many folks here rave about it, so maybe I caught it on bad nights...but there are too many very good places around to give it a third try

                    1. re: jmac42

                      I sort of agree about Mills, though my experience was opposite. Our service was pretty good (on a slow night), and the food was, meh. Still, I like the room there. How about a drink at Mills and then walk across the street to New Rivers for dinner. It's a little on the romantic side, but darned good food.

                2. Honestly, you cannot beet Gracie's (they are NOT open on Monday). Sit in the bar area, not at the bar, at a table and let Brandon wait on you. Order the five plate tasting menu with wine pairing. (Mention that you will pay extra to keep your glasses full, they will say no and keep them full). Order the fois gras or the gnocci as an extra course. Prepare to swoon. Feel free to invite me :)
                  FYI - although the mac and cheese is good at Temple unless you want techno and love hanging out with peole from Fall River - STAY FAR AWAY.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tabasc

                    I definitely ditto the Gracie's recommendation. I know quite a few people that go there for business meetings, so you won't be out of place.

                    1. re: Jenz

                      Thank you all - sounds like it is going to be Gracie.

                      Appreciate the help!