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Jul 21, 2008 12:35 PM

LA Chowhounds 2 Days in Providence For The First Time

Flying to Providence for a wedding in Danielson CT but opted to spend an extra couple days in Providence as we have never been. Looking for great grub of all sorts, we will have a car and are more than willing to drive for great food. Price is not an object but we only have, "Fancy" clothes for the wedding so we are looking for casual places, any kind of food, great wine or beer options are a MAJOR plus.
So where would you send a couple of Los Angeles hounds to get a real Providence experience?
Thanks in advance for the advice!

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  1. ok,ill start this off with acouple of things,first place would be federal hill,loads of great italian markets,great dining,bars,etc.theres nothing even close to this in La,next place to go is Al Forno,you can sit at the bar,casual attire is fine,wood fired pizza started here,and its amazing.accross the street is a cool outdoor bar called the hot club,good mix of people,and good people watching too.providence has loads more to offer,search the boards,youll find tons more....and since youll have a car,id take a nice ride out to little compton,maybe an hours drive,and about as new england as it gets,farms,stone walls,water views,etc.Evelyns in tiverton is a great place to stop and get fried clams,lobster,or whatever else .everthing in rhode island is close by,with in a hour at the most,so theres all kinds of options,enjoy and have a great time!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: im hungry

      Awesome list thank you im hungry! Federal Hill sounds just like what I am looking for and Evelyns was on my list so we will have to check that out.

      1. re: bubbles4me

        If you can get some reservations, try New Rivers. One of the best restaurants in the city and doesn't have that sometimes-chintzy Federal Hill feeling.

      1. re: edinaeats

        Cool thanks. Anyone know of anything that may be open all night....just found out we are getting in around 11pm tomorrow.

        1. re: bubbles4me

          I'm not a night owl so I'm not familiar w/the late night eats scene....I could only suggest Haven Bros, a weenie joint on wheels that parks near City Hall, until 4AM I think.

          1. re: bubbles4me

            You could try Temple, the new hotel on Francis St by the mall. It's a hotel restaurant (and also very good) so they might serve later than usual...

            1. re: lloconte

              I've heard nothing but terrible things about Temple - I'd hate to think someone would fly 3000 miles to go there.

            2. re: bubbles4me

              Try one of the city's famous "NY System" weiner joints. My favorite is the one on Smith St, near the State House. It's open all night. The weiners are small; you should be able to pound down 3 or 4 each. Order them "all the way," which means mustard, onions, meat sauce, and celery salt, then watch the counterman prepare them "up the arm." Accompany with a glass of coffee milk, and you will have an utterly unique RI experience.

              Haven Bros. is great, but it's best experienced at least slightly inebriated.

              1. re: Bob W

                That is exactly what we are looking for Bob W! Thanks everyone for the tips...everyone has been very helpful, cant wait to get to RI now!

                1. re: bubbles4me

                  Agree w/the New Rivers rec, and I can't believe Nick's on Broadway hasn't been mentioned. Go for bkfast or lunch (it's like an upscale diner and just not quite enough atmosphere/comfort for dinner, IMO).

              2. re: edinaeats

                I have to disagree w/the Al Forno rec - there's only one thing I think is a consistent good time there these days.....cocktails & a grilled pizza on their lovely outdoor patio. Anything more than that and you stand a good chance of being disappointed.

                1. re: JaneRI

                  Agreed. I've found Al Forno to be overpriced, overhyped and overcrowded, but not overly delicious (although the pizza really is good- and should be, for $20 for Margherita).

                  Jane, I've also experienced your large-dish-decorated-with-a-few-shells debacle. It was literally 30 cents worth of pasta. Thank you, no.

                  I'd make a beeline for Chez Pascal, New Rivers and Gracies for upper scale. La Laiterie, Siena, Pane e Vino, Louie Fuller (which I've had a change of heart about) and Caffe Itri (Cranston) all have their merits and shouldn't be overlooked.

                  Bubbles, I've read your posts for a long time. I'm so glad you're coming to our little city. Eat, eat, eat! If you'd like to meet for a bit of bubbly, say the word! :)

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    I feel a little relieved that it happened to someone else....I hear so many people talk about huge portions of pasta, enough to share, blah blah....I was wondering if I had ordered an appie by mistake.

                    Is it you who's moving to the Worcester area? I believe you said 35 mins so I'm going to guess just a bit south of, not right in Wista? I have a friend who lives in Sutton and it's a challenge finding eats in that area.

                    1. re: JaneRI

                      Yes, it's me. I'm pretty sad to go, but the crime in the Armory lately has gotten out of control. I'll be in Auburn, right next to Worcester.

                      Worcester has a few ethnic joints, which will keep my husband and me pretty happy, as well as Bocado (a cute tapas-style lounge). We're also pretty close to an orchard (forget the name) that I've heard is killer. There's Shrewsbury St., which is the best area to get passable food, although not even close to as good as Providence.

                      I'll probably drop ten pounds the first month. :)

                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                        Oh, as long as you're that close to Worc, you'll be fine. She's in Sutton, I'm in Cumberland, so Uxbridge/Douglas is about halfway and that's a culinary black hole.

                        1. re: JaneRI

                          Jane, I thought you might be in Cumberland, I grew up there.

                          1. re: Alica

                            hi! Are you still living close by?

                            1. re: JaneRI

                              My parents are there, I live near westerly.

                    2. re: invinotheresverde

                      Wow, thanks for the greeting! Feels like I have a friend there....if I ever get there. Got to Chicago with a delay in LA and they had cancelled the flight so we are now stuck, (I wish I could say in Chicago but the whole of downtown seems sold out) Schaumburg IL...I ate at clothes and no fluids, (make-up, shampoo) and I ate at freaking IHOP in Schaumburg IL! Grumble...can not wait for a RI wheenie! On the 8pm flight tomorrow, (fingers crossed) so will be getting in around 11pm hitting that stand for an all the way and coffee milk. Wish me luck! I am down for bubbles anytime!

                      1. re: bubbles4me

                        bubbles, I think we better give you a refresher course 8>D

                        1. In RI, never call them weenies. These are weiners.

                        2. Don't bother ordering just one; you'll just have to order more. A typical order is three -- even then you still might want more. Plus, half the fun is watching the guy prepare them "up the arm." He won't have to do that if you order just one.

                        3. Even though it's right up the street from the State House, area around the NY System weiner joint on Smith St. can be pretty sketchy at night. So be careful! And have fun in RI!

                        1. re: Bob W

                          hehehe tried to wing my answer without expanding the posts, got it now thanks Bob. Coming from LA I think we are pretty comfortable with sketchy but I will be careful.

                        2. re: bubbles4me

                          I just passed a Court of Master Sommelier exam (although not the Master level...yet), so I'm celebrating with some Billecart Salmon Rose tonight! I'll raise a glass to a safe journey for you.

                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                            First of all congratulations on passing the exam...not easy, trust me I have been in this wacky wine business for almost 12 years now...things keep changing so a well earned glass of Billecart Raose, (one of my personal favorites along with Camille Saves, Agrapart & Billiot) so wish I could have had a sip!
                            Made it to Providence, (it's about 12:40 am) and we are heading out to Havens Brothers, (receptionist at the hotel went all crazy when I asked..printed us maps and called to see when they close) for a dog and then crawling into bed. Have a chunk of time tomorrow to explore the other tips. Thanks everyone.

                            1. re: bubbles4me

                              Thanksfor the kind words! Glad you made it safely into the city, and I hope the wedding is gorgeous.

                              PS- Here's to more women getting into the wine industry!

                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                Welcome to Rhode Island! I have to mention one more of our specialties here - New England SEAFOOD! "Hemenway's Restaurant' is a must for spme of the best seafood. Try to go for lunch/late lunch and order the Lobster BLT. Unbelievable! If you go for dinner, anything is sure to be incredible (have the lobster bisque to start).

                                The restaurant is located on South Main Street - eat indoors or on their outside patio. If you want some of the best seafood, you can't go wrong there.

                                1. re: OOliver

                                  Why are you replying to me? I live in RI. :)

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