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Anniversary dinner this Saturday in Providence

Bivalve88 May 19, 2010 07:42 AM

My DH and I will be starting our Saturday evening at a birthday get-together at Trinity Brewhouse and are looking for a nice place for our anniversary dinner afterwards. Bravo Brasserie has been suggested. Any others? We're foodies who will try anything, but I've been recently diagnosed with an allergy to cow's milk, so I'm concerned about a French place like Bravo. French food without butter isn't worth eating, in my opinion. <grin> Italian is proving to be tough for me, too, as almost everything has cheese on or in it.

Don't need a view, don't need a super fancy place. Nice atmosphere, reliably excellent (preferably local) food, and a good wine list will make our night.

Suggestions?

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Bravo Brasserie Restaurant
123 Empire St, Providence, RI 02903

  1. f
    Frobisher May 19, 2010 11:50 AM

    If you want something within a short walk of the Brewhouse I would suggest Gracies. It is fancy, maybe even super fancy, but the food and the service are top notch. My bet is that if you call ahead and explain the allergy they would be willing to accommodate, if the existing menu did not already have good lactose free options.

    FWIW, it also happens to be our anniversary this weekend. We'll be at Chez Pascal.

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    Chez Pascal Restaurant
    960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

    1. invinotheresverde May 19, 2010 12:06 PM

      Italian only is covered with cheese if it's pasta/lasagna/etc. None of the seafood has cheese and the meat doesn't see much, either.

      If you were even still contemplating Bravo, skip it and join Frobisher at Chez Pascal. The food is simple and gorgeous, and easily the best in the city.

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      Chez Pascal Restaurant
      960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

      5 Replies
      1. re: invinotheresverde
        j
        Jenkins May 19, 2010 12:43 PM

        Please do not go to Bravo for your anniversary - it is less than mediocre at this point. Gracies or Sienna would be good bets.

        1. re: Jenkins
          j
          JaneRI May 21, 2010 06:18 AM

          Agree, Gracie's or Siena....forget Bravo!

          1. re: JaneRI
            invinotheresverde May 21, 2010 10:43 AM

            Siena's so loud. I always think of it as more a girl's night out kind of place, not really appropriate for an anniversary. YMMV.

            1. re: invinotheresverde
              b
              bawc May 23, 2010 09:18 AM

              Local. 121 is nearby

              1. re: bawc
                invinotheresverde May 23, 2010 09:37 AM

                Yep, but it's not particularly good (except for cocktails).

      2. Bivalve88 May 23, 2010 03:22 PM

        Thanks for all the advice!

        We ended up at Gracie's and had a very nice meal. I won't call it outstanding, because pan-fried fish with your basic sauteed veggies doesn't spin my head around. The dish, however, was executed perfectly and the service was good. Our server made several trips to the kitchen to ask about what could be done with certain dishes (not all that much, as it turned out) to accomodate "the allergy". Many sauces and sides that went with the dishes I was interested in were done ahead of time and were full of butter, of course. And the dishes just didn't sound very exciting without them. The scallop entree with curried cauliflower, for example, wasn't really worth it without the cauliflower - otherwise, it would just be sauteed scallops. Yawn. I was a bit surprised that the kitchen didn't offer to make up something more interesting with the dishes I was interested in, as I've had chefs do before in high-end places. But I was steered to the one dish on the menu that I could eat as-is. Hmph.

        All the staff who came to our table were aware of what I could and couldn't eat. They steered me to the foccacia from the breadbasket. They provided olive oil instead of butter without asking. One strange thing that happened was the server asked me how severe my allergy was. Really, I have to quantify it? Do you really want to know if my skin just breaks out in a rash or if you'll be calling 9-1-1 if I have some butter? I said I have an allergy, I don't want the offending item. At all. Sheesh.

        But whatever. We had a nice time, although how much that had to do with the three (four?) hours we spent at Trinity Brewhouse beforehand, I'm not sure. We won't be rushing back, but it wasn't a bust, either. If we had gone three years ago (before I became allergic) I'm sure we would have had a much better experience.

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        Gracie's
        194 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bivalve88
          g
          Gin n Tonic May 24, 2010 01:11 PM

          Nice of you to report back. However, I don't think you can hold it against a server for trying to understand the severity. Some allergies (sensitivities, more correctly) are really potentialy life-threatening for even minute exposures.

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