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Jul 7, 2009 02:42 PM

Hemenway's in Providence RI

any good?

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  1. I have not been there in a while as I don't go out to eat much, I have a couple hundred worth of gift cards setting in the draw for places in Newport and Bristol. but this is one of my favorites for seafood. My wife and I just get a bunch of appetizers instead of a meal. The lobster ravioli is good and there are different oysters to choose from. They have different kinds of trout and Salmon. There caviar platter is very nice also. I think it would be hard to not like it and all but impossible to hate it. Give it a try.

    7 Replies
    1. re: chefjohn

      I agree 100%. It's mostly solid. Once in a while something will really knock your socks off, and once in a while something will really dissapoint. For the most part though, very very solid.

      1. re: dagwood

        As good as it's ever been. The prices are reasonable, and the service is always good. I've never been disappointed, whether i'm ordering off the menu or ordering one of the chef's specials.

        1. re: OOliver

          Newport Harbor Group bought it hope they dont mess it up .It had a good Rep.

          1. re: Frank Terranova

            what restaurants have newport harbor group messed up?

            1. re: Frank Terranova

              Funny how you always recommend Castle Hill to everyone, even if they're looking for a restaurant in Providence, yet that's an NHC property as well. So which is it? Good management, or at risk of messing up Hemenway's?

              And to the OP, I agree with Dagwood. It's mostly solid. I don't think it'll ever knock your socks off, though.

              1. re: Gin n Tonic

                Well the Inn at Castle Hill is famous world wide thats why they need to keep their quality to the higest tradition. Plus people ask where they can go when visiting RI I use it as a really nice place to bring out of wotn people. I bring many international chefs that visit J&W to the Inn and the company I work for in Oaklahoma will visit New England and I will take them there. I usually done visit many restaurants unless I travel out of RI. .

                1. re: Frank Terranova

                  All very nice, but you completely avoided the question asked by me and more directly by im hungry. You said you hope NHC doesn't "mess up" Hemenway's. Given that they manage several good to very good restaurants, including one you recommend at every opportunity, why do you question their abilities with Hemenway's?

      2. "As good as it's ever been" is true for me too but then I've always been of the opinion that it's one of the worst in the city.

        7 Replies
        1. re: GSM

          Prior to Newport Harbor Group purchasing it recently, it was owned and operated by Darden Restaurant Groups (Olive Garden, Red Lobster) which acquired both Hemenway's and Capital Grille when DR bought it's rival Rare Hospitality in August, 2007 for $1.4B.

          There was talk/rumors back then that the upscale seafood restaurant was going to lower it's standards to be more 'family' friendly', but luckily that never happened. It's maintained it's high standards and reputation which was founded by Ned Grace 25 years ago.

          1. re: GSM

            "One of the worst in the city"? That's quite a charge. What have you had there that's been so bad?

            1. re: Gin n Tonic

              I've been three times in the last ten years or so and each time I vow never to return. Somehow, time passes, and I forget how much I disliked it and I find myself trying it again. I can't speak for their raw bar items but I find their menu items overworked and underwhelming to say the least.

              Sorry to be a dissenter among the positives but that's my $.02

              1. re: GSM

                "Overworked and underwhelming" is a long way from "one of the worst in the city". I don't hear anyone saying it's one of the best in the city, but I don't think it's awful. I'm just wondering if the hyperbole is warranted.

                1. re: Gin n Tonic

                  It's not hyperbole to me-- I maintain that each of the three meals I've had there ranks among the worst meals I've had in the city and I've been eating in Providence for 20 years. Honestly, I think Providence is sorely lacking a stellar, high end seafood restaurant. A real shame considering we are the "ocean state" and all.

                  1. re: GSM

                    While I don't agree that it's one of the worst in the city, I have to agree that it is both surprising and a shame that we don't have better seafood options in Providence. If you head towards South County there is some better seafood to be sure, but one would think we'd have some pretty amazing places downcity. It's a shame and an obvious gaping hole in what is otherwise a fairly solid food-city.

                    1. re: dagwood

                      I have to agree with both GSM and dagwood that the dearth of really good seafood restaurants in the city is both surprising and dismaying.

          2. I agree with one of the other folks on here. It's good and consistent, but it won't knock your socks off. Anyone living in Rhode Island hs such a great opportunity for really well prepared, fresh, and inexpensive seafood, it's hard for me to focus on Hemmenway's. There are so many other places to go for good seafood, this restaurant isn't always on my radar; however, again, it's always been good when I've been. Regarding the Newport Restaurant group, I don't know how anyone could say they'd mess up this place. They have a tradition of excellent service and food. Most of their restaurants are on the very pricey side and most folks wouldn't be able to afford or have interest in paying the prices, but I'm sure anyone who frequents these restaurants are not disappointed by the experience, myself included.

            5 Replies
            1. re: JJChick

              my gf and i love seafood and i was planning on taking her there for her birthday. if hemenway's isn't so great, what do you suggest (close to providence)?

              1. re: wexnah

                It's a good place. It's the kind of place where someone asks you how your meal is and you say "good." But you'd never say "You HAVE to taste this!!!!!"

                1. re: dagwood

                  When did the Newport Harbor Group/NHC buy them?

                  I don't see it listed as one of their restaurants, and the Hemmenway website doesn't mention it....

                  1. re: milemarker0

                    Newport Harbor aquisition took place this week

              2. re: JJChick

                It will occasionally knock your socks off, or.... not at all. I think that about sums it up.
                What do you expect from a place that can't spell their name correctly?
                If you wear sandals or high heels it will not blow your socks off.

              3. Foodwise, I agree with the positive reports of previous posters. Hemenways has two other great benefits, however: They have very convenient parking in the garage next door (be sure to have your ticket validated), AND - if you go on a Waterfire night, you can park in the garage, enjoy appetizers and/or a meal, get tic validated, and leave car there for the entire Waterfire performance! We find this to be a major perq!!!