HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >

Discussion

Meal with my Son in\near Warwick RI

  • s

I am planning to go see my Son, who is in college in Warwick. I figure I'll take him and his roommate out for at least one good dinner. They basically live on Subway and Ramen noodles!

I'd like to go somewhere that is a "local institution" or somewhere that the boys can be comfortable but I can get something a little better than usual.

(also, I've heard a lot about that Italian bistro that doesn't have a menu and the Chef just brings you out food. Do you think that would be good or is it too "fancy" for a couple of college kids who probably don't even have a collared shirt between them)

Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. That Italian bistro is Trattoria San Vivaldo. No, it's not too fancy. I'm not sure it's risen to a "local institution", but I think you will all be pleased. There's a thread about it on this board -- some people like it a lot (I'm among them) and a few find the chef's approach a bit off-putting.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gin n Tonic

      Trattoria San Vivaldo is really good and not at all fancy...but being directionally challanged...and I have lived in Warwick most of my life...I always get lost going there!

      One of my favorite's is this little gem www.elizabethportofino.com we've gone dressed up as well as jeans...

      1. re: Gin n Tonic

        Another San Vivaldo fan here. If you go with an open mind you certainly will not regret it.

        1. re: Gin n Tonic

          Wow, thanks for the tip on San Vivaldo. i can not wait to try it now...not sure it sounds like a place for college kids, but i'm willing to "leave the island" to check this place out.

        2. Caffe Itri is really, really good Italian, and not fancy at all. It's right near Warwick, in a town called Cranston. I can't recommend it highly enough.
          They have a great wine list, too, if you're into wine at all.

          -----
          Caffe Itri
          1686 Cranston St, Cranston, RI 02920

          1. Thanks for the ideas. Any recommendations that are not Italian? I'll probably be bringing him out to dinner at least twice.

            16 Replies
            1. re: Shann

              Warwick has some nice places. 1149, Siena, in East Greenwich, Itri is C+ italian

              1. re: Frank Terranova

                I would avoid 1149. Overpriced, over designed, overrated.
                The Iron Works Tavern on Jefferson Blvd. is a nice, relatively casual place with good food.
                It's a chain but Legal Seafood is very good.
                Top of the Bay is Warwick decent food, casual and if it is nice day you can sit on the deck outside.

                -----
                Top of the Bay
                898 Oakland Beach Ave, Warwick, RI 02889

                1. re: Frank Terranova

                  Could you please give examples of how Caffe Itri is "C+ Italian"?
                  Thanks in advance.

                  -----
                  Caffe Itri
                  1686 Cranston St, Cranston, RI 02920

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      LOL! I love the food at Cafe Itri, and the service is always great. However, I have learned to avoid it on Friday/Saturday eves because it's too crowded and way too loud if you plan on having any kind of dinner conversation with your companions. (If you don't want to talk to anyone at the table, then the crowded loud atmosphere is fine.) During the week it's less full and much quieter.

                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                        Hi,

                        I didnt see your reply sorry it took so long. Cafe Itri is in my opinion C+. Its just average I went twice in a month which is unusual only thing is its only a few min from my home. Its average Italian food. I might be a bit too picky.

                        1. re: Frank Terranova

                          I super disagree and I've probably spent as much time as you, or more, eating in Italy. However, I don't eat meat, so if that's their weak point, I could easily be wrong.

                          Also, you just repeated yourself, and didn't give any examples at all. ;)

                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                            I am in the food business for many years and only will give an opinion if the product is totally horrible. Italy has nothing to do with the food. being on vacation. I think Venda and Seina are very good italian restaurants. Plain and simple food. I dont eat out much reason there isnt much I cant make, with a couple of exceptions.

                  1. re: Shann

                    Not so much in Warwick. Spain, in Cranston, is very nice, as mentioned in another thread, but people dress fairly well, and it might be too "fancy" for your son if he's not wearing a collar or buttons.

                    Frank mentions 1149, which is on the Warwick/East Greenwich border. If the weather is nice, some place on the water in E. Greenwich could be nice, like Harbourside Lobstermania. I know it doesn't get a lot of love here, but it's a great setting. But really, if you have a car and want to make things more special for your son and his friend, why not go down to Newport. It's less than a 45-minute drive, and there are many nice places to choose from; if the weather's nice it can be beautiful, and most places won't frown at you if your son is in a t-shirt.

                    1. re: Gin n Tonic

                      It's already a 4 and a half hour drive for me. I'm not driving another 45 minutes for dinner; not very foodie of me, I know. I've asked him to take me on a site-seeing tour while I'm there so we might get there during the next day.

                      1. re: Shann

                        There's Chelo's on the Waterfront in East Greenwich, they're a local chain, the food's nothing spectacular, but they have a wonderful outside dining area if it's warm out right on the water...there is also The Grill on Main and Post Office Cafe, part of another local restaurant group, both on Main St in East Greenwich - that same group also has Twist, that's a cute place near Warwick Mall...they're all pretty casual.

                        -----
                        Chelo's Restaurant
                        63 Airport Rd, Warwick, RI 02889

                        Post Office Cafe
                        11 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818

                        1. re: RIRN2008

                          Chelo's is really lame, IMO, even in comparison to the other waterfront places in EG. And Twist suffered badly in the March flood -- do you know whether they've reopened?

                          1. re: Gin n Tonic

                            Twist has not reopened after the flood damage suffered in March.

                            1. re: Gin n Tonic

                              Drove by the mall last week, Twist has a sign saying they're open for business...as for Chelo's, I know the food isn't great, but it's a pretty location and it's definately casual!

                              -----
                              Chelo's Restaurant
                              45 Newport Ave Ste D, Rumford, RI 02916

                          2. re: Shann

                            OK, it was just a suggestion. If you end up in Newport anyway, there are lots of nice places to have dinner; plenty of recs if you just do a search on this board. You said you'd be in the area for a couple of days.

                            1. re: Gin n Tonic

                              If you're going to head to Newport, I'd suggest Salvation Cafe. It's fun and funky, has a great patio, and great food. Definitely more upscale than college kids would be used to, but tshirt/jean friendly too. The eclectic atmosphere would be something I would think college kids would get a kick out of. (FYI, it's called the Salvation Cafe because it is decorated with items found at the Salvation Army next door.)

                        1. re: Td61

                          Crazy Burger is awesome and unique, fitting for college age atmosphere with quality food and AWESOME homemade juices and smoothies...

                          1. re: Sean

                            I don't trust a burger joint that serves vegan burgers!

                            1. re: dcaparco

                              Well you should probably READ the menu!

                          2. re: Td61

                            When did Crazyburger open a Warwick location?

                            1. re: Frobisher

                              They haven't opened in Warwick. I think there are people on here that just say Crazy Burger for everything. I love crazy burger but it is clear the O.P. wants to stay in and around Warwick.

                          3. Oh for heaven's sakes. Why hasn't anyone mentioned Ted's Montana Grill at Garden City in Cranston? This is a perfect place to take a couple of college kids, nice enough but not a collared shirt establishment necessarily (though a polo shirt wouldn't hurt, Mom), and really great food -- unpretentious, environmentally responsible, burgers, steaks, salads, FOOD. It's really close to Warwick, simple to get to, has ample parking (which can be a challenge around here) and won't break the bank. Also, the recommendation of Twist in Warwick is another great one as long as you verify that they are indeed open -- but I'd try Ted's out first. Won't disappoint. (And by the way...Chelo's is really lame.)

                            -----
                            Ted's Montana Grill
                            2 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, RI 02920

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: bkderosa

                              Thanks for the tip. I will check it out, as well as the other kind recommendations. He surprised us this weekend by coming home to surprise his Mother for Mother's Day and will be back Memorial weekend so I probably have delayed my own trip.

                              If his Mom comes down with me maybe she'll make him buy a new shirt but I'm a little more relaxed when it comes to proper attire than she is. I count it as a plus if the shirt is at least clean!

                              I think we ate at Chelo's one time we were there. I don't know if I'd call it lame, but it's just Applebees without the national franchise. Forgettable and not worth a return trip, but not worth fighting over if somebody else wants to go there.

                              -----
                              Chelo's Restaurant
                              45 Newport Ave Ste D, Rumford, RI 02916

                              1. re: bkderosa

                                LOVE Ted's!!! super fresh and something for everyone. order a cookie when you order dinner!

                                1. re: bkderosa

                                  Why the faux outrage ("for heaven's sakes")? Maybe nobody has mentioned it so far because it's a chain, with food only a step above Applebee's or similar. The OP asked for a local institution, or a place where s/he can get something a little better than usual. IMO, omitting Ted's from a list of suggestions is perfectly reasonable under the circumstances.

                                  1. re: Gin n Tonic

                                    Teds? really? And unless you are over 65 , enjoy bland food, or just going for dessert Chelos isnt for you. My 1 visit to San Vivaldo was unimpressive....and not a place I would take 2 college kids - the experience will be lost on them. For a good meal a few college kids would enjoy try Kon in East Greenwich...IMO the best hibachi around. In terms of local institutions, you have Twin Oaks- Cranston, Mike's at the VFW-Cranston, Angelos - on the Hill in Providence....you wont go wrong with any of those places (but none will blow you out of the water either). A Warwick restaurant that I had a good meal at recently after not visiting for several years was the Greenwood Inn - recently remodeled they have an Italian/American menu.

                                    -----
                                    The Greenwood Inn
                                    1350 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, RI 02886

                                    1. re: joe777cool

                                      Joe, Mike's and Twin Oaks in the same sentence? For shame!

                                      1. re: joe777cool

                                        i'm gonna go ahead and disagree with my esteemed chow colleagues regarding Ted's. i'm NOT easily won over by chains esp in our culinary mecca of a state, but frankly i haven't ever had bison prepared better or at a better value than at Ted's (except @ home of course). i would hardly consider it a "must see" in RI but i do agree it's a comfortable place for the younger crowd. and i think it's pretty severe to compare it to crapplebee's and frankly a bit insulting. so sue me i love a messy burger minus the 50 grams of fat.

                                        1. re: sarabean

                                          I agree that Ted's has amazing bison burgers. Truly out of this world. Unfortunately, whenever I've strayed from the bison burgers I've been let down. I agree it is nowhere near Applebee's. But definitely hit-or-miss, unless you are going strictly for burgers. If you are, you won't be disappointed.

                                  2. Shann, please do yourself a favor and go to Trattoria San Vivaldo. If you can possibly be flexible and take the chef's lead on what to order, you will absolutely love every bite. Inexpensive and just great food.

                                    1. I did make it to San Vivaldo Trattoria a few weeks ago and it was great. Chef Alfie was a lot of fun; we just put the whole meal in his hands and relaxed. There was a table that seemed a little uptight and he didn't seem to happy about it.

                                      -----
                                      San Vivaldo Trattoria
                                      570 Providence St, West Warwick, RI 02893