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Al Forno in Providence was disappointing

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The dining room had an excellent ambiance, the food was decent, but I was not overlly impressed. The menu was very expensive, even for a fine dining concept, and our server was very short with us.

Though I am willing to give it another chance someday, it won't be any time soon.

Am I alone in this experience, or has anyone had a similar one?

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  1. Search this board and you'll find (many?) more negatives than positives. The prevailing opinion is that it's coasting on a 15-year-old reputation, and now caters mostly to out-of-towners who don't know better. There are plenty of interesting and innovative restaurants in Providence.

    1. I could've told you that without even going. ;)

      When we went, we had mediocre food and very good service. While the great service was appreciated, at the end of the day, we were there for the food, and it was just average.

      Save Al Forno for the tourists and parents of university kids.

      2 Replies
      1. re: invinotheresverde

        Correct right on about a tourist place. I have not been in there in 15 years only because they think the food should only be eaten in their presentation and recipe. Good thing I can cook at least

        1. re: Frank Terranova

          What Frank says is absolutely true. They have a "dirty steak" (cooked in wood ash) that's only cooked one temp (rare or med rare??) and a few other dishes they won't tweak at the customer's request. The place is a bit pretentious and full of themselves, but the food is good and they do have some innovative one hit wonders, oven roasted clams, grilled pizza, etc.

          I think it's a good place to go for the a couple of drinks, some grilled pizzas and their home made desserts (the tarts) and forget the rest.

      2. Everyone summed it up very well below. I still say it's a great place for a summer night because the outdoor patio is so pretty. But only for a glass of wine and a grilled pizza. I'm insulted at being charged $20+ for a dish of shells in a single layer, maybe 15 or 20 total, of the little shells?

        1 Reply
        1. re: JaneRI

          It seems when Brian Kingsford left they lost their focus. Glad he doing great in his own place.