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Aug 5, 2009 12:05 PM

New Rivers - Providence

Used to love New Rivers, but haven't been in at least a couple years. Thinking of going for an anniversary dinner - anyone been more recently that has any thoughts?

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  1. I've had many good meals there within the past year. I haven't been since they started the renovations recently - they are still open to the public.

    1. Funny this topic came up as my wife and I just visited here last night.

      As mentioned, it is undergoing renovations which puts a damper on things seeing as when you look out the window all you see are metal scaffolding pipes. It also darkens the room a bit more. We sat in the first smaller room and found it a little to cozy and slightly loud when full.

      For an app we had the heirloom tomato plate which was great. My wife had the roasted polenta which she liked. She said it wasn't as creamy as most. I went with the roasted half chicken with charred baby leeks, fingerlings and yellow squash. The chicken was great and the leeks were as well. I thought the fingerlings were a little overcooked and the squash was nothing special. For dessert we split the warm lemon tartlet with flaky crust and berries. This was definitely the best dish of the evening.

      We would probably go again but agreed there are others places we'd go first.

      1. I had (another) great meal there in April, but that was before the renovations.

        5 Replies
        1. re: hollerhither

          Geez you've got to cut some people a break! The construction is on the exterior of the building and you are dining in the evening when the light is fading. Business is tough enough. Was the food and service great? These (the staff) are dedicated people throughout the whole operation.

          1. re: Ichewonthis

            I have to make it soon to New Rivers I have never been and have heard all nice things about Bruce is a great guy and his attention to business shows.

            1. re: Ichewonthis

              ?! What about my post wasn't "giving someone a break?" All I said was that I was last there before the renovations, so I can't speak to a more recent experience. I've done nothing but praise this restaurant multiple times on these boards over the years.

              "Geez" yourself.

              1. re: hollerhither

                I agree with you holler, you said nothing unkind about the service.

                As for the renovations to the 'outside' of the building, I too would mention that in my review as well. Part of the whole dining experience is the ambience and scenery - it would be a negative to me as well (and definitely worth mentioning) to be seated in a dining room, and have to face the scaffolding outside, instead of the usual pleasant view of passer-by. It's certainly not the restaurant's fault, but it is fair and worth mentioning to diners (maybe the owners can put curtains on the window to distract it a bit? There's always a solution)..

                I myself will enjoy it when the renovations are complete, and the view outside is available once again. If everyone went to a fine establishment just for 'the food only', we could all order take-out, and enjoy the view from our own windows at home.

                1. re: hollerhither

                  I think chew may have been replying to another poster in this thread, who did indeed comment on the view of scaffolding, etc.

            2. I was actually there on Sunday night! Last time I went was a year/year and a half ago -- right after they reopened after the fire. Before the fire, it was my favorite place to go, with super fresh locally sourced foods (Eva's Greens! Wolfe's Neck meat). I was OBSESSED with the burger (special ingredients make it oh so yum). Then, the time I went right after the fire, something wasn't right. Granted, it could have been an off night, but who knows.

              I was worried about going on Sunday, given my disappointing experience before, but BOY was I surprised!

              1. When we called for a reso, Bruce immediately recognized our names and was so sweet and friendly. He truly is a wonderful person and chef/owner!

              2. Good wine selection - a Southern Australian red and a local white (which can be bad -- but this was great!). They are super helpful in navigating the list, too, and will offer a taste if you are not sure. Satisfaction guaranteed!

              3. Menu - seasonally influenced, simple yet harmonious and lipsmacking combinations!!!! The bread to start, with the eggplant (??) hummus is delish (I like the foccacia) - always a good sign. I had the baby greens salad (I love Eva, her farm, and her greens), while my dad had the heirloom tomato plate (came from Bristol -- tomatoes this good this year with the horrible blight are like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow - rare and special!). For our entrees, I had the burger (my FAVORITE!!!!) with pesto, bacon, lettuce and tomato (and some aioli). I'm usually a ketchup girl, but ketchup would kill the fresh garden flavors of this burger! My dad had the cavatelli with veggies - good, but having been in Italy 2 months ago, it was hard to compare to the pici we had in Tuscany!

              Overall - A wonderful spot and perfect for an anniversary dinner. Don't worry about the scaffolding outside - they're renovating the building (and New Rivers will have a bigger and better bar when it's said and done) and hasn't affected the inside yet....

              Let us know how it is!!!

              ps. Their cocktails are super good too --- I LOVE the margarita!