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May 16, 2010 04:12 AM

Providence or Other for foodies

Will be in Wrentham and want to come into Boston for one evening. The three of us gals are foodies and don't want Italian since we'll be doing that in Boston. What is quntessentially Providence?
Should we be eating somewhere else that'll be on our way in?

We like fresh, simple foods and casual. Not high end; atmosphere/outdoor dining/view/neighborhood would be a bonus.

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  1. I just read that Federal Hill and Wayland Square would be nice places to park the car and find dining (people watch, stroll and shop). Anyone confirm this? What are good, casual not overly pricey places there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: itryalot

      Wayland Sqare is a very good option, a nice neighborhood, fairly easy parking, and I really like Red Stripe for a casual dinner. They don't really have outdoor seating, but if the weather's warm they open all of the front windows, and if you can sit there it's lovely--it really feels to me like I'm in France.

      Federal Hill can be very fun to stroll and people watch, but the food can be hit or miss (and almost always Italian.) Parking on Saturday night can be tough, but can be done. If you want to see it, I'd recommend the excellent Pastiche Cafe for coffee and dessert after your meal. The coffee and pastries are the best in RI, but it does get quite crowded. Fun atmosphere, though.

      Red Stripe
      465 Angell St, Providence, RI 02906

    2. We love Farmstead cheese shop on Wayland Avenue and they have a little bistro next door called La Laiterie at Farmstead.
      Photos of the cheese shop here:

      We lived in Providence for years and when people ask what we miss and what we always get when were back there we have a quick answer. Pizza at Al Forno.

      Stop in, grab a seat at the bar and share a pizza. That and one of their tarts and I'm happy.

      Photos here:

      La Laiterie
      184-188 Wayland Avenue, Providence, RI 02906

      1. Any place for after dinner authentic Italian gelato wher there is a city view or river view?

        2 Replies
        1. re: itryalot

          Probably your best bet for gelato is Caffe Dolce Vita on Federal Hill. If you eat dinner in Wayland Sq., it might be a pain to get up and move to the Hill especially as (as noted by winedude) parking can be difficult. I'd join with the dude and recommend Pastiche over getting gelato if you're going to head up there.

          The views are no great shakes, and you're not terribly close to the river. Sorry.

          1. re: itryalot

            There's no gellateria near the river or with any city views.

            That said, there is one on Federal Hill (I'm blanking on the name) that I remember being decent. If you park behind Bank of America, there's usually a spot. It says parking for BoA customers only, but I parked there for ten years with no problems.

          2. Go to Newport you cant miss espically with the food and bars all safe and then you can go wild spending at the shops. If you do go try Fluke upstairs facing Newport Harbor.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Frank Terranova

              But the big question is: how long will it take us from Wrentham MA to Newport?

              1. re: itryalot

                little over an hour but worth it unless you have visited there before. Plus the restaurants are as good if not better than Prov. IMO. Look at Fluke, Clarke Cook House, Restaurant Bouchards, Yesterdays, Zeldas, Mooring, Inn at Castle Hill espically there for a best water view not some river

                1. re: itryalot

                  It's probably twice the drive it is to Providence.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    OK; bring it on. We're game for a drive if we get a view.

                    1. re: itryalot

                      Castle Hill is the best for Views, The Mooring is also both are a bit semi expensive and the only thing that would ruin your visit would be bad weather. Just keep away from the Barking Crab its a chain and a poor one. Hope you like it

                      1. re: Frank Terranova

                        I agree with Frank, the Inn at Castle Hill is best for views. (They have a great brunch too.) Though you can sit at the windows at the top floor of Al Forno and get views of the old electric company across the way . . .

                      2. re: itryalot

                        Do you want great food or do you want a view? There's not much view action in Providence, but I didn't think legit foodies gave a damn about crap like a view/neighborhood/etc.

                        That said, Chez Pascal is awesome French, isn't stuffy, sources locally and always has a lively crowd. It's not cheap; we always rack up a bill in the few hundreds, but that's mostly wine. Two people could get out of there for under $100 with conservative ordering, and definitely less if you go before 7:00pm and take advantage of their prix fixe.

                        I also agree with Frobisher that the following Newport rec's are going to super blow your budget, and are fairly formal, besides, especially Castle Hill.

                        Chez Pascal Restaurant
                        960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                          I couldn't agree more with everything you just said. (Although I do think those of us that live here take DePasquale square on The Hill for granted. I remember when I first moved here absolutely falling in love with it. It's not a "view" per se, but it is beautiful and incredibly charming.)

                    2. re: itryalot

                      As a native Newporter I am not trying to dissuade you from Castle Hill, but you asked for "causal" and "not high end".

                      Castle Hill definitely does not fit that bill. I can't recall if jackets are required, but they are certainly the norm for dinner. Likewise, the prices are among the most expensive in Newport, if not the state. I am not suggesting they are overpriced, just that they don't match the criteria you initially set forth.

                      Also Wrentham to Newport, is about an hour and a half assuming no traffic.