Providence Restaurant WeekS 2009 July 12-25th
Some very interesting choices....
I don't know about others here (though I think we discussed this here before) but restaurant week is truly disappointing in Providence. The deals and specials are rather misleading : $29.95 for a 'three course meal' when you are actually getting appetizer size offerings, rather than the true portions of what you get when you order off the menu.
I'd be happy to eat in a nice restaurant with portion control so that I can eat three courses on my own. No, I don't eat like a bird, but in my mid-thirties, I'm starting to look closer at my diet. I typically share an appetizer and dessert with the boyfriend and take a third of my entree home so that I can eat a multi-course meal. This way we can sample 6 dishes, not 4.
Lexyboo, last year I had a wonderful experience at Gracie's. Be advised that they have recently introduced a $30 prix-fixe everyday (or at least weeknights), so you don't have to get there this week. Same with Chez Pascal on weeknights. I'd like to venture out into restaurants that don't offer deals like this every week, but people seem to be snubbing restaurant week here and aren't proffering their usually generous advice.
I'm going to Opa to try their 18 mezze meal tonight. I'll post tomorrow about the results.
re: thinks too much
I had a great time at Opa last night, and it seems like they are offering a better than average deal for their menu. The service was gracious, friendly and pleasant; they cleared the empty plates promptly to make room for more.
It was a gorgeous summer evening last night on Federal Hill, with the sidewalks full and the restaurants open to the street. The weather alone after so much rain might have mellowed my judgement, but I had a wonderful meal.
They offer 18 mezze for your 29.95 dinner, and they require parties of 2 or more. I went in a group of three. You have no options; they just bring you food, small plate after plate after plate. I don't think I needed options; they balanced it all out perfectly. We weren't the only ones overwhelmed by the amount of food brought out; we watched 2 men dining on the sidewalk look overwhelmed by the time the grilled meat showed up. The meal was divided into 4 different segments: vegetable dishes, small meat dishes, small seafood dishes, grilled meat, and a slice of cheesecake for dessert. The last isn't very Lebanese, but is it Federal Hill. The garlic sauce that came on steamed broccoli and grilled mushrooms was lovely. The dolmades clearly made in house; served warm, they are vegetarian. I thought that the meat small dishes were much tastier than the grilled meat especially one with lamb, peppers and pine nuts but the second meat course also came when I was pretty full: a platter with seasoned rice and char-grilled beef, lamb, chicken and koftas. The seafood course came with some tender grilled squid that made our eyes roll. Nothing ornate done to it, just tasty. My biggest complaint (and it's a small one) was that their green salad came with pale, tasteless tomato slices, not a surprise with our wet summer thus far; the dressing (with pomegranite and sumac I think) was lovely.
On a normal day you can order 12 mezzes for $35 per person, 2 person minimum. Or you can order them individually for $7-$11 per plate.
With so many restaurants already offering prix fixe (Gracies, Chez Pascal), I'm probably not going to hurry off to them during RW, but for the places that don't, I'm still interested in trying them out the two weeks a year when I can afford them.