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d.carlo trattoria smithfield ri- still awesome

s
sarabean Jul 14, 2010 12:56 PM

after reading some unsettling reviews, we went for a light dinner at the bar and found the same cheery girls eager to serve us and a nice summer cocktail menu. we shared a melon salad w/ pea tendrils and baby radish greens, crispy prosciutto and a vanilla bean vinaigrette. we continued to munch on bread as the bartender swiftly cleared and resilvered us, and our entree arrived promptly. we split the night's pasta special, their fresh made fettuccine ( my favorite fresh pasta EVER) with rock shrimp and bay scallops, andouille sausage, shaved onion and celery in a charred tomato cream sauce. the kitchen split the dish for us and it was lovely, bursting with flavor and impeccably executed. the dining room was @ half full at 6:30 on friday, and as we were leaving i noticed several tables with children. i was a little surprised because i am particularly sensitive to the sound of children and i had no idea they were there until i saw them. thanks responsible parents!
much to my delight, it seems all is well at d.carlo and it continues to climb up my list of all time favorites.

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  1. j
    JaneRI Jul 15, 2010 11:10 AM

    Phew! Good to read! My fave there is the buttermilk chicken w/polenta. Or maybe the arancini. And I agree about the cheery girls at the bar and the overall good service. It could only be improved by having a patio overlooking water.

    13 Replies
    1. re: JaneRI
      o
      OOliver Jul 15, 2010 12:03 PM

      This is funny - this morning I was on the phone making plans with a friend whom I haven't seen in about ten years (Facebook can do wonders in finding lost friends!). We decided to get together this Saturday night, and deciding where to go for a good dinner an catching up. After reading the positive reviews since my last post, I suggested we go to d.carlo, since her condo is in that area . She asked if I had been there recently, I answered "Yes...why?" and she told me she thought the place was going downhill, and it used to be a favorite of hers and her ex-husband's. She was there about a month ago for her Mother's birthday on a Saturday evening, a group of six.

      (She suggested going to Andrew's Bistro in Cumberland).

      So I come here to read up on Andrew's, and I find this review. I guess if we want to sit at the bar at d.carlo, it's guaranteed we'll get good service and good food. However, to sit with someone and catch up on the past ten years - the dining room is more preferable, and d.carlo is "hit or miss" in that area from my recent experiences as well as a few others'.

      -----
      Andrew's Bistro
      3755 Mendon Rd, Cumberland, RI 02864

      1. re: OOliver
        t
        tanker64 Jul 16, 2010 07:15 AM

        I have been to both d.carlo and Andrews ( I live in the area) and find Andrews to be a better experience hands down. I rank Andrews, Vintage, and d.carlo in order.

        1. re: tanker64
          b
          blackstone Jul 16, 2010 08:16 AM

          I live about 5 minutes away from Andrews but have never been. I've heard it has gotten better since opening a few years back. It has managed to succeed in a tough location,( an older retail strip set pretty far back from Rt. 122) where others failed. Vintage was really good, but overpriced, when I went three years ago and it was under different ownership. But I really like d. Carlo Trattoria and have been there a half-dozen times over the years. d. Carlo is like one of the upscale restaurants in Providence, (such as Siena) at about 10% less in price. I forget I am in a retail strip when I eat there. My only complaint is that they don't change their menu often enough, and when I go they seem to be out of the specials.

          1. re: blackstone
            j
            jandj Jul 17, 2010 05:31 AM

            Andrews was sold a few months ago

          2. re: tanker64
            j
            JaneRI Jul 16, 2010 08:48 AM

            I would reverse those exactly (for food alone, not service) - d.carlo, Vintage, Andrews. I've never had a bad experience w/service at d.carlo, not at the bar or in the dining room. Agree w/Blackstone, closer to Siena but at 'burbs pricing.

            1. re: JaneRI
              o
              OOliver Jul 16, 2010 04:06 PM

              Is Vintage still open? That's another restaurant which was all 'the rage' a while ago, and then really fizzled out. I haven't heard anything about it in a very long time. It was a place I wanted to try, but was waiting until all the hype died down, and the 'word-of-mouth' reviews came in. Alas, the hype died down - but nothing has been even murmured. This may be a possibility for tom'w night as well, if it;s open and still good.

              1. re: OOliver
                b
                Bluebird Jul 19, 2010 09:45 AM

                Yes, Vintage is still open. the owners are the same people who own The Blue Grotto. Service at the bar is usually pretty good. I think the food at d.carlo is better than Andrew's or Vintage. But the service at Vintage is better than at Andrew's or d.carlo (we sit at the bar).

                -----
                Blue Grotto Restaurant
                210 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903

                1. re: OOliver
                  j
                  JaneRI Jul 22, 2010 09:42 AM

                  To northern RI'ers, it's still very relevant. They have an awesome special - not sure if they're still doing it both Mon & Tues nights, but all entrees are HALF PRICE. Off an already reasonably priced menu. Pistachio encrusted tuna? $8.50. A terrific filet? $9. Can't beat it.

                  1. re: JaneRI
                    f
                    Frank Terranova Jul 22, 2010 10:51 AM

                    I checked the menu at Vintage why are they all over the place. They have sushi, asian appetizers entwined with italian the dinner menu is mostly italian. The kitchen must be a hoot. I have to check this out

                    thanks

                    1. re: Frank Terranova
                      j
                      JaneRI Jul 22, 2010 05:18 PM

                      I guess you would have to ask them why they are all over the place.

                    2. re: JaneRI
                      b
                      Bluebird Jul 22, 2010 01:01 PM

                      I agree on the terrific specials early in the week. I love the $9 filet!

                      1. re: Bluebird
                        o
                        OOliver Jul 22, 2010 01:20 PM

                        Oh wow - this place sounds pretty tempting. I guess I'll see you all there on a Monday evening! Save a $9 filet for me! (Goodbye, d.carlo - hello Vintage!)

                        1. re: OOliver
                          j
                          JaneRI Jul 22, 2010 05:19 PM

                          I would never give up d.carlo.....love the arancini, and love the buttermilk chicken w/polenta.

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