Weekend in Providence
Hi. I'm going to Providence for the weekend and plan to cram those couple days with as many tasty and fresh meals as possible. I'm not really looking for anything super high-end and am open to all kind of cuisine. Here's what I'm thinking so far, let me know if I'm missing anything. Also, please let me know if Al Forno is worth the hype. Part of me feels I really should go, but I also have this feeling that it's overrated. Thank you!
rue de l'espoir--for brunch
trinity brewhouse-for a beer
blue state coffee- for coffee
pastiche- for dessert
temple downtown-for cocktails
roma-for a cappucino
venda--for some authentic Italian goods to take back
Highly rec Nick's for bkfast or lunch - nice thing is they serve their full bkfast menu at lunch so you could go at an off time (to beat the crowds) and still bkfast foods. Julian's down the street is wonderful as well - possibly as good.
I haven't been to Rue in yrs, I can't really say. I had dinner a week or or ago at La Laiterie (hadn't been in about 6 mo) and it kinda fell flat, but someone on this board assured me it was a fluke, that it's been as good as ever.
Chez Pascal for a high end dinner. Add me to the list of unimpressed w/Al Forno. I'm like a broken record on this but I must add....their outdoor patio is so pleasant it's worth going to split one of their signature grilled pizzas and a glass or two of wine. Get there when they open at 5pm or expect a lengthy wait.
I don't personally like the changes at Roma....interior is very sterile now. Venda has great atmosphere - you have 2 choices if you want to eat there....outside tables (you can make a res) or you can order from the deli counter (lots of excellent choices but a chaotic scene w/no numbers or line) and sit on the edge of the fountain. Pastiche is such a nice place w/wonderful desserts and some inventive tea-based drinks.
Third me as not being an Al Forno fan. I think people like it because it's been their idea of a "nice meal" for years, but really, I've been 100% underwhelmed. Everything I've eaten there has been okay, but that's it-just okay.
I like your La Laiterie, Pastiche, Trinity, Venda and Nick's ideas, but the rest are just kind of "meh" to me. I'd 86 Rue and sub Julian's, switch Temple for Local 121 for cocktails, and grab cappuccino at White Electric or Coffee Exchange.
I would definitley do Rue on Saturday (for brunch) over Nick's or Julian's - both over-rated and over-priced (IMO). Rue has been consistently good, and has stayed close to tradition - not trying to be hio and cool like the other two.
On Sunday, you may want to try Waterman Grille which serves brunch from about 10 am - 3 pm. Food is excellent, service is dependable, prices are reasonable, and the view is beautiful on a summer day. Sit indoors or outside on the deck if weather is good.
Overrated? I've had meals at both (bkfast/lunch) that beat a dinner at Gracie's for sheer quality of the food, taste, etc. I defy you to have gingerbread pancakes at Julian's, w/a side of sweet potato, broccoli & swiss cheese hash, and still tell me they're overrated.
As far as Waterman Grille, very very inconsistent on the food - 50/50 at best has been my experience.