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Rhode Island - San Vivaldo or AlForno

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  • care2 Aug 25, 2009 08:18 AM
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We will only be there one night , anyone have an opinion on which would be the better choice? I keep hearing about the great Italian food in Providence, so with only one choice, I don't want to pick the wrong one. We were planning on AlForno till I read the review here of San Vivaldo. Anyone?

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  1. If it is a choice between these two I would go with San Vivaldo. Let Alfi know that you are in from out of town and his place was reccommended to you over the restaurants in Providence. Again don't ask to see a menu ask him to prepare a meal for you and I would even go as far as letting him choose the wine to go along with the meal. Also, don't let the bathtubs full of herbs, old MGB's / Triumphs or ice cream trailer in the parking lot throw you off. The interior is quaint and the food is outstanding.

    While San Vivaldo is a little bit "Outside Providence it is worth the 10-15 minute drive but if you want to stay closer to providence I would look at this thread for other options in the City before I would go to Al Forno - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621205

    1 Reply
    1. re: FjmArch

      Forgot to post the link to the website as well. http://www.sanvivaldotrattoria.com/

    2. I agree with Fjm.

      Al Forno is resting on it's days of being the only game in town. Providence is full of amazing restaurants now that blow the doors off Al Forno. Why stand in a two hour line full of tourists to eat okay food?

      Besides Vivaldo, check out:
      Chez Pascal
      Gracie's
      Siena
      La Laiterie

      There's not a lot of love on these boards for Al Forno.

      2 Replies
      1. re: invinotheresverde

        I like Al Forno, but like invinotheresverde, there are a LOT of up and coming spots in PVD. I am personally a fan of New Rivers and La Laiterie. However, Al Forno is a no brainer. Good food, good drinks, good desserts.

        Good luck!

        http://earthlyepicurean.blogspot.com/

        1. re: allieb2031

          IMO, Al Forno is not a no-brainer. The only thing I think it's good for is having a pizza in their very pretty courtyard. Pizza's good, atmosphere is pleasant. They have a few good dishes, but the misses happen too often for meals at that price point.

      2. Go see Alfie - he will take care of you in a truly unique and delicious dining experience. Al Forno is not a place I care for. They are rude unless you are a regular, the wait is ridiculous, and you will not get the meal you'll get at San Vivaldo.

        Trust me, you will have great stories and great memories of your meal. You can get the dining experience at Al Forno in many decent, overpriced, resting-on-their-laurels restaurants anywhere in the world. There's only one Alfie (Alfiero Bigazzi).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Rhody Dave

          Ditto Dave on Al Forno a long time ago my daughter didnt want something on a dinner and asked it it could be omitted they refused. its been 15 years now Seems like people here like this place in West Warwick. Going back and forth to Italy I am spoiled but will give him a try
          thanks :)

          1. re: Frank Terranova

            Frank, I think you will find San Vivaldo very much to your liking. Having been to Italy myself, it is truly like dining in a good trattoria over there. He is the real deal.

          2. re: Rhody Dave

            The Trattoria hands down. Al Forno is little more than a tourist trap to market cookbooks. Chef Bigazzi's place is like walking through Tuscany

          3. San Vivaldo is by far the BEST italian food in RI. The owner is from italy, and you can tell by the authentic italian dishes he serves. It is one of the best kept secrets......Alfie (the owner) makes every dish from fresh herbs/veggies/meats. My husband and I have been a regular for over a year now and we have never been disappointed. There is no menu....We usually go with whatever special alfie recommends from appetizer to dessert. his prices are very reasonable and affordable (including wine). Every single dish is exceptional.
            My husband and I used to live in front of al forno.......we love their pizza and caesar salad....The italian food is good, but it does not compare to the authentic food of san vivaldo.........

            1. P.S. For a pizza, caesar salad, and wine (all to split)....it will cost you $60-80 at Al forno.
              For two appetizers, two entrees, a bottle of wine, and dessert to share....it will cost you maybe $60.00. Alfie also makes his own house port which is absolutely fabulous......