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Prov. Rest. Week

  • Joanie Jun 30, 2009 08:06 AM
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Took a quick look and don't see any posts on RW coming July 12 for 2 weeks. The actual rest. week site still says wait for more information but this has the restaurants:

http://www.goprovidence.com/Restauran...

Is that correct info? We'll be there on Sat. the 18th and I'm thinking of going to Gracie's, New Rivers, mills, Pane e Vinio or Pot au Feu. What would be the best choice or is there a gem that I don't know about? The Mills and Pane look good and I saw a good review of Pot au Feu. Thanks.

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  1. No one has thoughts on these restaurants or RW in Prov. in general? How's Siena?

    What about places to eat in Bristol/Warren/Barrington? I've been to the clam place that begins with Q, anything else along those lines?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joanie

      I'm surprised there weren't more responses to your post.

      Siena is good. I've never had a bad experience there. It can get a little loud in the front restaurant and bar area.

      I really like Pane E Vino, but if you are down here for one meal, I'd probably pick a different place (unless it is a Monday night when you can take advantage of their wine special). Pane E Vino has a trattoria menu before 7 that is priced lower than the RW menu.

      I love Gracie's. I haven't been during RW though. I would expect they do a very good job.

      I've been to Mills Tavern twice. It was a disappointing experience. Food was okay, service was terribly slow and once the kitchen was having problems (chef was out sick or something).

      Pot a Feu - I don't hear much about this place anymore. I stopped in one evening several years ago for a drink and dessert and was under whelmed.

      New Rivers - Very good. It is a nice romantic place. I've had some very good experiences here during the week and one not good experience when they were very, very busy and rushing the meal. They were obviously trying to turn the tables as quickly as possible or they had overbooked. I'd be concerned that it would be like that during RW.

      Some other options from the RW list:
      Chez Pascal is consistently good and well regarded on the board.

      La Laiterie at Farmstead is great. I don't think they will take reservations so you may have to wait a while for a table. The place is small.

      In Bristol, you must go to Persimmon. Get the chef's tasting. He does an amazing job and it is a dining experience (I like it paired with wine). You won't be disappointed if you order off the menu instead of the chef's tasting.

    2. I'd skip Mills for RW, had a bad RW meal there last year, though have heard regular service is good. I love Gracie's & Chez Pascal during RW. I'm hitting up at least New Rivers and Gracies for dinner, and trying Capriccios for lunch since it one of the restaurants in PVD i've never been to.

      1. Anyone else having difficulty looking at the Restaurant week menus at the goprovidence website? I was wondering which of them also offered lunch menus.

        1. *bump*

          What were people's experience from last year? Gracies was wonderful. Which restaurants really cheaped out?

          In looking at the menu, La Laiterie seems the most constricted with 2 apps, 1 entree and 1 dessert.

          I'm hoping to hit Opa, Gracies and either Siena, Capriccios or New Rivers. Anyone do restaurant week with the last three last year?

          4 Replies
          1. re: thinks too much

            I thought Gracie's had a great menu last year and good portions

            1. re: thinks too much

              I meant to add that I was a little disappointed by the portions at New Rivers last year for Restaurant Week. Also, the dessert option for it was weak - If i'm not mistaken, it was mixed fruit with a small cookie/biscuit on the side. The food was still tasty though.

              1. re: malyna

                I don't quite understand the allure of restaurant week. Many of the more pricey places already offer 3-course prix fixe menus for $30(ish) on a regular basis. To name a few off the top of my head: Mill's, Chez Pascal, New Rivers, Gracies.
                Why fight the crowds?

                1. re: frobb

                  Gracie's dropped their prix fixe from $40 to $30 only recently which brought the cost down to Restaurant Week pricing. That $10 difference, for me anyway, is significant. Chez Pascal's bistro offerings are great in my experience, and they point out that it is a 3-course offering. New Rivers posts on their website that there is a Bistro Menu with no indication of the number of courses or what they may be like on their website. What if there's only one option and you don't like it? Is your alternative ordering a $26+ entree? On the other hand, you can read the specific menu on the RW week website, provided your server settings are good.

                  I see RW as a gateway drug and some effective advertising for a city's restaurants. I could only hope that restaurants see it my way.

            2. What's good for lunch tomorrow? Without the wait, of course :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: trail 6

                dont go to z-bar for the lunch menu

              2. i'm still unable to check out the menus! none of the links work! this is so rhode island to have this great event but then screw up on a basic necessity such as knowing what each restaurant has to offer. anyway anyone know of an alternative to finding out the menus?

                1 Reply
                1. re: sprinklez

                  I'm not having any problems seeing the menus. Do you have another computer you can try? Is there a specific restaurant you want the menu for RW?

                2. I wouldn't be put off by la laiterie's lack of choices. They are consistently good in my opinion and I have yet to have a bad meal there.
                  Last year we went to Gracie's, La Laiterie, New Rivers, and Bravo. Bravo was ok, Gracie's and La Laiterie were excellent, and New Rivers was underwhelming. The food was good but service was dismissive and arrogant and the restaurant was uncomfortably loud and cramped.
                  Tonight I'm going to Opa, which I am looking forward to trying. I'm also going to New Rivers again (I was outvoted by my 3 companions), and Siena. Looking for another place to go on Tuesday that offers outdoor seating and a decent drink menu.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bookwrm

                    opa was a disappointment. there were 3 of us and we did the restaurant week menu which is mainly lebanese. basically, they brought out many plates of food to be shared between the 3 of us. i enjoyed the lesuirely pace of the meal and most of the plates were good but i didn't think the meal was comparable in value to a gracies or chez pascal. the plates were mainly hummus or grilled vegetables with garlic sauce. my favorite plate was this fried piece of fish. it was great -- except that there was only 1 small filet of fish to be shared among the 3 of us. the entree portion was good (grilled meatballs, lamb, steak, and chicken) but the meats were dry. the desserts were the most disappointing. a slice of tiramisu and 3 pieces of baklava to be shared between 3. the baklava at east side pockets is significantly better than the ones offered at opa

                    i left feeling like i was tricked. i don't think a family style meal for 3 in which most of the plates were shared is worth $100

                  2. Went to Siena (on Federal Hill) last night. Appetizers were wonderful. Entrees were ok, so were the desserts. Nothing terrible, just nothing terribly exciting either. Service was fine, even though it got a little perfunctory when we declined to opt for martinis to start. A few things struck me as strange. First of all I had to ask explicitly for the restaurant week menu, but other tables got it without asking. This has happened to me 3 times now for restaurant week, and I have watched the menu go down automatically at other tables. Secondly, at Siena, everyone had to opt for the Restauant Week Meal or no one could. Why wouldn't you increase the food bill elsewhere? My only theory went to the third odd thing: the mandatory 18% gratuity added on to anyone ordering the RW deal.

                    There have been discussions on this board about whether this is a good idea or not. I understand why the restaurant would want to take care of their servers. But they way they handled it struck me as especially odd. Not only was it printed out on the bill, but when they rang it up in the cash register, they hand-wrote the tip into the tip slot, so there was no way to increase the tip at my discression. Elsewhere, when I have had large party automatic gratuities added in, I've always had the option to add more in on the slip.

                    I typically tip a generous 25% during RW, just because I know that the servers are working harder for a lower tab. However, this time it just struck me as patronizing: let's walk the rubes through the proper way to pay a bill. They shorted themselves on the tip since I wasn't tempted to boost it up.

                    I'd go back to Siena again, but probably stick with apps and a salad.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: thinks too much

                      My one and only experience at Siena was a couple of years ago when I had confirmed reservations on a Saturday night.. We waited an hour beyond the reservation-standing near the entrance because there was no place to sit-and then were offered a table in the bar ,which was jammed with standing, waiting customers. We left and went next door to Opa where our business was apprecitated.

                      1. re: elle

                        So glad I read the Rec's thanks, not that favorable on Prov. Restaurant Week.

                      2. re: thinks too much

                        Tacky as this tipping procedure is, you still shouldn't take it out on your server. I'm sure it's not he/she who is making this policy.

                        1. re: stephen2208

                          I agree that the server did not make up this policy, which was probably intended to protect the servers anyway. But it made the process inconvenient. I went to a restaurant that I knew took plastic, so there wasn't much of a need to pack much cash. The receipt was presented in such a way that there was no way to increase the tip on the credit card. I could therefore only beef it up with cash. Doesn't create a system that makes it easy to be more generous.

                          Secondly, while the service was fine, I did get slotted into a second class citizen slot twice: once when I requested restaurant week and once when I declined the $10 cocktails. At Opa, I got beamed at for requesting the same.

                          Finally, in most circles 18% isn't a terrible tip, just not stellar, which reflected my experience. In creating a system where more thought and effort are required, my thoughts led me to stray from my habits (larger tip) to one more aligned with my experience (smaller tip)

                      3. you must've missed

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/634848

                        wonders what I misspelled? :)

                        1. I saw the discussions about asking for a menu. I went to two places on the RW list. At both places, regular menus were presented and the specials were read with no mention of the RW menu. Both times, I had to specifically ask for the RW menu. Both times, the server downplayed it as an oversight. We got "oh I forgot because usually people sitting at the bar don't want RW menus" and at the other "it isn't inside your menu?". Even after that, I didn't observe anyone who was seated after us being given or told about the RW menu. It really made me feel like these establishments really didn't want to be serving the RW menu. Why participate then? During visits to places in previous years, the RW menus have always been presented along with the regular menu.

                          One of the places was Providence Prime. My husband and I both ordered off the RW week menu. I haven't been there before for dinner so I don't know if the portion size was smaller than usual. We both thought the portion size was very good and didn't feel like they were making it smaller. We had the baked clam and wedge appetizers. Both were good. We had the steak tips and pork chop. My husband really enjoyed his pork chop. My steak tips were good, but a little salty for me. We had the s'mores and creme brule for dessert. The creme brule was very nice. the s'mores were, well smores. The service was fine. My only complaint is that we had to order each course, including the dessert at the same time. The place was empty and we would have preferred to order the dessert a little later while we finished up our dinner drinks and were ready for dessert. The desserts were not ones that required lots of extra prep. The place was empty so I'm not sure why they had this requirement. This has not been my experience at other RW meals at other places in previous years. Service was fine. Nothing remarkable. Nothing horrible either.

                          At the second place, we ended up not ordering the RW menu.