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Providence Restaurant Week Recommendations?

I'm a college student who's never participated in a restaurant week, but I'd love to check out the one in Providence in January because its relatively inexpensive ($30) and close to home. Unfortunately I haven't any idea what would be the best place to try out. Any recommendations?

These are the participating restaurants right now:
Caffe Dolce Vita - 2 for 1 Dinner Specials
Capital Grille, The
Capriccio
Chez Pascal
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Fred & Steve's Steakhouse
Gracie's
Il Piccolo Ristorante
Iron Works Tavern
Legal Sea Foods
Libations Restaurant and Lounge
Mediterraneo
Pane e Vino
Pizzico Ristorante
Providence Oyster Bar
Providence Prime
Rue De L'espoir
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Siena (Providence)
Union Station Brewery - 2 for 1 Dinner Specials
Wicked Good Bar & Grill - 2 for 1 Lunch and Dinner Special

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Chez Pascal Restaurant
960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

Providence Oyster Bar
283 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

Ruth's Chris Steak House
2513 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06111

Prime Steakhouse & Bar
15 Franklin St, Lenox, MA 01240

Mediterraneo
134 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

Caffe Dolce Vita
59 De Pasquale Ave, Providence, RI 02903

Capital Grille
1 Union Sta Ste 1, Providence, RI 02903

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  1. If you are picking just one, I would go with Capriccio for my first choice and Capital Grille for my second. I would check out both menus on line to see what you would like best. Enjoy and I hope you find some good food. Providenc is the place to find it!

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    Capital Grille
    230 Tresser Boulevard, Stamford, CT 06901

    3 Replies
    1. re: smallfry

      Can't understand why a college student would want to go to Capriccio or Capital Grille, unless he/she were going with his/her grandparents.

      There is indeed good food in Providence. Those two ain't it.

      To the OP, go to Gracie's or Chez Pascal. You won't be disappointed. If you want a bit more "bar" atmosphere, and a chance of running into people your age, but still have good food, Siena or Providence Prime/Oyster Bar would fit the bill. I can't really speak to the Restaurant Week options as compared to regular, but some people have complained here in the past that options can be fairly limited.

      Fleming's, Ruth's Chris and Capital Grille are chains -- you may as well be in Cleveland or Dallas. Il Piccolo, Iron Works, Legal and a couple others aren't even *in* Providence, so they're out if you don't have a car.

      1. re: Gin n Tonic

        Second the rec of Chez Pascal and Gracies.

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        Chez Pascal Restaurant
        960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

        1. re: Gin n Tonic

          I happened to be in Prov for RW last summer -- went to Chez Pascal and was very pleased.

          I personally like Capital Grille -- which did start in Providence -- but they really give you too much food. So for college kids that may actually be a plus. 8>D

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          Chez Pascal Restaurant
          960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

          Capital Grille
          1 Union Sta Ste 1, Providence, RI 02903

      2. Hi Chow-Hounders,
        Just a friendly bump to this topic. The list has since been updated with more than 60 restaurants, including some newly-opened eateries. Great time to try out some new places.

        Winter Providence Restaurant Week runs from January 23-29. For a full list of participating restaurants, including menus, check out our site here:
        http://www.goprovidence.com/Restauran...

        We do hope this winter event is successful and becomes an annual tradition, akin to the popular summer version. Your feedback is both welcome and appreciated.
        Cheers and happy dining.

        Brian H.
        PWCVB

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brian_Hodge

          Some nice places here but I didnt know Providence extended to Warwick or Lincoln or even further out. from Pvd.

        2. Bump!

          Providence Restaurant Weeks is back again, with more than 95 restaurants. Check it out at http://www.providencerestaurantweeks.com!

          Where are you going? What are your favorites? Who crushed it this year?

          Check out the menus and "like" your favorites. And we are tweeting with the hashtag #PRW

          Happy dining!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Brian_Hodge

            Went last year to three places. My response is that this is not a deal. I don't apply this attitude to Gracie's; however, last I checked, they offer a similar deal all year, so I wouldn't put a press to go there when the restaurants are fuller than usual. For the most part, restaurants put out their dull chicken entrees, plus mass-produced desserts. Often the appetizers have been the most inventive part of the meal. I walk out thinking that I could have gone in for 2 appetizers and a glass of wine, spent less money and enjoyed myself more. Furthermore, I have watched the waitstaff just turn off as soon as I mentioned Restaurant Week. Most especially I experienced this at Cav and Siena. That said I went to Opa once (I think this was 2 years ago) and the treatment couldn't have been more different. They were wonderful and warm, and they seemed delighted that we came just because of Restaurant Week.

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            Cav
            14 Imperial Pl Unit 101, Providence, RI 02903

            1. re: thinks too much

              I can understand how the service might suffer, or your favorite restaurant might be a bit more crowded...

              But I definitely think it's a good deal, especially at lunch. I just had a great meal at Hemingway's. I got the chowder, burger (normally ~$10 itself), and dessert for $12.95.

              1. re: Brian_Hodge

                I wasn't complaining about the crowds at all. I was merely pointing out that you don't need to go to Gracie's for the special deal during restaurant week, since they offer it year round.

                I have often been told that lunch is a much better deal than dinner, but I have a job that didn't allow me to drive up to Providence midweek and midday.

                What I was pointing out, was that the restaurants typically offer their cheapest and least imaginative entrees, rather than showcasing themselves to new diners. Sure from a dollar perspective it may be a deal, but if I wouldn't order the creme brulee anyway it may not be such a bargain.

                Pairing that with servers who are roll their eyes at you since you are not bringing in their average-size check, I no longer feel that Restaurant Week is a great opportunity any more

                I'm not trying to be negative. There are some restaurants offering some great food for prices, but I haven't found that to be the norm.

                1. re: thinks too much

                  I think your critique is spot on for many places. But I think restaurant week still offers some great values, if you know where to look.

                  Yes, you are going to see a fair bit of chicken, but that's because it is an inexpensive protein. However, it need not be offered in a boring presentation.

                  My experience is that best places in the city (Gracies, New Rivers, Chez Pascal) offer the best meals for restaurant week.

                  In terms of service, I have not yet experienced any haughty servers. I would expect that they do as well if not better during restaurant week than the rest of the summer (smaller individual checks vs. lots more of them), although they may have to work a bit harder for it.

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                  Chez Pascal Restaurant
                  960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

          2. I do believe Mills Tavern participates...I live in the Berkshires but am a native Rhode Islander and am there as much as possible. We went there Saturday night for my birthday; I have not been there is almost a year...it was as good as ever.

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            Mills Tavern
            101 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903