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Providence recommendations

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celestialmundane Mar 1, 2011 06:08 AM

In a few days, my friend and I will be spending our third mini-weekend in Providence (Friday afternoon through Saturday night). We really like the city and have had some great meals. Here's where we've dined:

Cook and Brown. Good -- though not amazing -- food, great service. Enjoyed our experience there -- but one of the best new restaurants of 2010?

Harry's Bar & Burger. Sat at the bar for lunch. Great beer selection. Loved the simple (almost) slider-only menu.

Al Forno. Though I live less than an hour away in Boston, I'd never been there. Food was enjoyable. Menu is very long. Would like to try it again, perhaps in the summer when we might sit outside.

Gracie's. Delicious, inventive food.

Julian's. For brunch. Good food. Fun, relaxed atomosphere. I was impressed by the attention to the plating of my order of three a la carte items.

Providence Oyster Bar. LIked this place as well.

We've had very good luck. So Providentialists -- where should we eat this weekend?

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Providence Oyster Bar
283 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

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  1. j
    JaneRI RE: celestialmundane Mar 1, 2011 09:26 AM

    Chez Pascal, Siena, Nick's for brunch.

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    Chez Pascal Restaurant
    960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

    6 Replies
    1. re: JaneRI
      invinotheresverde RE: JaneRI Mar 1, 2011 09:59 AM

      Great recs, although I'd personally swap Siena for Loie Fuller. Siena has never wowed me, although it's a board fave.

      1. re: invinotheresverde
        g
        Garris RE: invinotheresverde Mar 1, 2011 10:09 AM

        I completely agree. Loie Fuller instead of Siena. Siena is actually one of my favorites, but for someone coming from Boston, Loie Fuller is the far more unique experience as far as decor and food. There are lots of "Sienas" in Boston.

        1. re: Garris
          j
          JaneRI RE: Garris Mar 1, 2011 10:23 AM

          Never been to Loie Fuller....seemed really iffy based on lots of posts...has that changed?

          1. re: JaneRI
            invinotheresverde RE: JaneRI Mar 1, 2011 10:32 AM

            The only questionable meal I had there was when they had barely opened. Since then, and about 20 meals later, it's all been good. Service is slow sometimes, but we usually eat at the bar, where it's quicker.

            1. re: invinotheresverde
              j
              JaneRI RE: invinotheresverde Mar 1, 2011 10:36 AM

              Good to know, thanks! A bit of slow service or even inept service isn't the end of the world for me, it's only nasty/snotty service that will keep me from coming back.

              1. re: JaneRI
                invinotheresverde RE: JaneRI Mar 1, 2011 10:48 AM

                Their drink prices are low, too, which is a bonus for a drunk like me, and they have some fairly obscure booze. Bonus.

                Plus, I don't know, it's so beautiul inside that you forget you're in Providence. The space is really something amazing.

    2. nancyhudson RE: celestialmundane Mar 1, 2011 10:12 AM

      Second Nicks!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nancyhudson
        j
        Jenkins RE: nancyhudson Mar 1, 2011 11:58 AM

        Broadway Bistro.

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        Broadway Bistro
        205 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903

      2. b
        Bluebird RE: celestialmundane Mar 1, 2011 06:16 PM

        Second Chez Pascal (or hit up the truck for lunch on Friday) and would like to add La Laiterie.

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        Chez Pascal Restaurant
        960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

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

        1. c
          celestialmundane RE: celestialmundane Mar 2, 2011 01:23 PM

          Would you recommend Nick's for dinner? Or is better for brunch?

          1 Reply
          1. re: celestialmundane
            invinotheresverde RE: celestialmundane Mar 2, 2011 01:54 PM

            Way, way better for brunch (not to say it stinks for dinner).

          2. c
            celestialmundane RE: celestialmundane Mar 10, 2011 05:27 PM

            Thank you for your picks.

            We had dinner at Chez Pascal. It was a happy place. We were on our way in, waiting in the reception area. Patrons were laughing on their way out. The charcuterie plate looked like a Martian landscape. We particularly liked the bologna (so not like Oscar Mayer), and I was enchanted by the candied fennel. The pancetta-wrapped cod was perfectly cooked -- tender, ethereal -- with earthy turnip puree. My friend had the steak -- carmelized on the outside, tender and tasty on the inside. And the wine list: fairly priced, good bottles -- and half bottles. Nice place.

            Our brunch was at Nick's, which we also quite liked. I had the special, hit-the-spot cassoulet, with eggs over easy. Great.

            Later we stopped at the Providence Oyster Bar for Prosecco, oysters, bacon-wrapped scallops with maple sauce, and seared tuna with wasabi. Yum.

            We plan to try your other picks soon. Thank you.

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            Chez Pascal Restaurant
            960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

            Providence Oyster Bar
            283 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

            1. c
              celestialmundane RE: celestialmundane Mar 10, 2011 05:40 PM

              I almost forgot! I wanted to ask about two other places.

              Old Canteen. Our cab driver (Egyptian) recommended this place. He used to cook there and was quite enthusiastic. We peeked in and loved the grand hotel look of the dining rooms.

              Walter's. Wandering up and down Atwells, we checked out all the restaurants. Interesting menu here. It appealed to us. Seeing us peering in, the hostess came rushing out to ask us in -- but we had eaten. What do you think of Walter's?

              Another question: the restaurants on Atwells Ave. were either packed to the gills -- or sparsely populated (like Walter's, like Old Canteen). Why is this?

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              Old Canteen
              120 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

              1 Reply
              1. re: celestialmundane
                j
                JaneRI RE: celestialmundane Mar 11, 2011 07:52 AM

                I haven't eaten at Walter's in years, and it's because I wasn't that thrilled....the food was just ok, and it was a tense atmosphere. It was an open kitchen and you could see and hear him yelling at his employees, the waitstaff was on edge. Not fun.

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