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Avoid Cafe L'Elizabeth's in Providence

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Ugh. Where to begin. Myself, my wife, and three other couples went this past weekend for dessert during Waterfire. Never again.

The prices aren't on the menu and we didn't ask. Our bad. Buyer beware from now on.

The atmosphere is quaint at first glance, but when you look beyond the mismatched furniture from your Aunt Ruth's house, you'll see it to be dingy and rundown.

The Sir Thomas chocolate dessert was average at best. It could have been Sara Lee pound cake for all I know, but the whipped cream was good. My friend had the torte cake and said it was good. They were out of the cheesecake special, so my friend ordered plain cheesecake and said it was very good. The coffee drinks were average.

They were out of milk for the tea, but provided half/half. They didn't bring sugar, we had to ask. The credit card machine was down, so we were all lucky to have enough cash.

We ordered 4 pots of tea, 3 coffees with liquor, 1 soda, and 4 desserts. Grand total = $170. The cheapest item was a $6 can of Coke, the coffees were more than 2x that. They automatically added a 20% tip for our group of 8, although the service didn't merit that much. When my friend asked one of the hosts about the accuracy of the soda cost, the man didn't return with an answer.

This was a somewhat spontaneous decision to visit. I had been 8-10 years ago and remembered it to be a charming place with great desserts. I didn't even know if it was still in business, but as were were out already walking for Waterfire, I had no means to research and had to draw from memory. If I had prepared, I would have checked the web beforehand. In doing so, I would have found most people had the same experience (or worse) and I could have saved my friends and myself a quite a bit of money.

This place offers average food and mediocre service for criminally high prices. In fact, our dinner earlier (for 10 people) at Uno's was less $. Even if you have money to burn, you can do better elsewhere.

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  1. wow that is pretty ridiculous. I would've been so pissed! Yeah you should always be wary when a menu doesn't list the prices. Thanks for the warning; I'd definitely avoid this place. Listen up restauranteurs, it is not ok to charge that much for a can of soda! That's like a 1000% mark up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sprinklez

      At the marshfield Fair I got one for $1.

    2. That place has been there for many years.

      We once went to inquire about an after-dinner port with dessert and I remember asking about the prices (there were a couple people sitting at a rear bar on the right in the back). I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling from the person behind the counter. Do they also sell antiques? I cannot imagine how the place has been around for so long.

      9 Replies
      1. re: bewley

        I got engaged to my wife there. prices are F***! ridiculous but they have been in business for over fifteen years and have a second place in Newport. Quite a scam...

        1. re: Sean

          Are you sure the same people own Elizabeth's in Newport? I never heard that.

          1. re: Alica

            I just did a little research and it appears that you are correct. I assumed it was the same because the theme is identical and very expensive.
            However, it is Elizibeth's in Newport unlike L'Elizibeths in Providence.

            1. re: Sean

              I thought so, I guess it is surprising that BOTH are still open. They have both been open for a long time.

              1. re: Alica

                I'm in the minority who love L'Elizabeth. Yes, there's no question it's overpriced but I've never had anything but cordial service there. It's a great once in blue moon treat, imho.

                1. re: GSM

                  I used to think that 20 yrs ago (an occasional treat) but I can't see anything treat-like it these days. Desserts taste boxed, and I think they have like four mediocre wines to choose from?

          2. re: Sean

            Fifteen? Try 30. And I haven't been there in 25. Doesn't look like I've missed anything.

            1. re: ccferg

              Ahhh, the 70s in Providence. An evening on South Main St. Browsing at the Opulent Owl, an arty flick at the Cable Car, and a nightcap at L'Elizabeth's. Tres chic!

              1. re: Bob W

                Yeah, nothing spelled chic like musty old sofas. But I have to say, I do remember (sort of) a fun late night of Irish coffees at Elizabeth's in the 70s. I don't remember, however, who paid the bill -- or how I got home.

        2. Outrageous! That place should be shut down. What, was the cheesecake plated on a hundred-euro bill? Thanks, you're doing a public service by alerting people to these scammers.

          1. OUCH OUCH OUCH!

            Next time, go up to Federal Hill and try La (LE?) Pastiche. We did that on Aug2 before the Firewaters. It was crowded, so we did takeout and then took it down to the river. There's also a park up there on Federal Hill. It's hit or miss on parking up there, but we managed to find 2 spaces.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

              I think it's just Pastiche, no Le or La. Their desserts are great!

              Also, it's Water Fire. :)

            2. I was there with a friend last night who paid for both of us. The shock of the bill almost sent me to RI Hospital! $38 for a Sam Adams, chocolate martini, and a fruit cobbler...unreal!

              Also, the bartender was asleep in an easy chair for at least 7/8ths of the time we were there. Two patrons walked in, sat down, then left after about ten minutes while the bartender slept.
              We could have easily walked out without paying.

              If this place can survive, any place can!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mr. Jeff

                I have to say, I haven't been here in about two years since her 'odd' son took over the place and drove it into the ground single handedly. It's more than obvious the guy doesn't know what he's doing there. According to a former bartender there who works at another bar, he has no staff working there any longer except himself and his mother (and an occasional stray family member). He has managed to alienate his staff, as well as his customers in one swoop. It's a shame to read so many horrible reviews of a place that was once highly regarded.

                1. re: OOliver

                  I was there a few weeks ago. He had two waitstaff on that evening.