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Apr 9, 2011 09:13 AM


We're taking our son and a few family and friends out for a special dinner. Any suggestions?

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    1. You can do MUCH better than Ten Prime unless you crave so-so "sushi" and steak you can get anywhere. How about the truly special like Loie Fuller's or Chez Pascal? Both are reviewed here often.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        For a 30th birthday, maybe. Chez Pascal just doesn't strike me as a 21st-birthday sort of vibe, which, IMO, is more about the drinks and the atmosphere than the food. Yeah, the food at Ten Prime isn't on the same level. It won't matter.

        1. re: Gin n Tonic

          I assumed "special dinner" means "good food". Don't think the OP wants to take their son clubbing. Not that Ten Prime qualifies for either.

      2. What kind of meal/experience are you looking for? Would be helpful to know what kind of experience you would like (i.e sophisticated fine dining, see and be scene kind of place, low key with great food etc.) and your price point.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Frobisher

          Thanks, everyone, for your input. We've been to La Laiterie and loved the food, and to Ruth's Chris and the meat eaters liked the steak; I'm looking for something memorable---for both meat and veggie eaters, could be American or ethnic, atmosphere not stuffy. Called Loie Fuller's, but they don't take reservations. What have people heard about Gracie's?

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

          1. re: natu

            Gracie's is lovely; very pretty, good food and service. If you tell them it's an occasion, they will add special complimentary touches like a glass of champagne and cake.

            1. re: natu

              New Rivers downtown might fill your needs. I'd definitely check them out.

              1. re: natu

                Gracie's is very expensive, and "fancy", if that's what you have in mind. The food is great.

                Loie Fuller's is very pretty, but much too casual for a special dinner, and their service is not what you'd want for a special occasion.

                A few years ago, I would have definitely recommend Mill's Tavern. But I haven't been in a while, and I don't know if the food or the vibe is still good.

                Ten Prime can be fun, but it's crowded, a bit trendy, and past its prime (ha ha!). If they still have the 3-D glasses for the dessert menu, it might be worth going just for that.

                I don't know when you're going, but Cafe Nuevo, if you could sit outside on a night of Waterfire, could be a very special evening.

                1. re: natu

                  Based on what you described, I think Gracies would be a great fit. You will get memorable food and great service, with an upscale but decidedly unstuffy atmosphere. Search the boards and you will find plenty of glowing recommendations.

                  New Rivers mentioned above is on par with Gracies' food and service. However, the atmosphere is more intimate/ romantic. It and Chez Pascal are me and the wife's go to spots for a date night sans kids. However, depending on how many in your party they do have a sort of a side room which you might be able to take over and be a tad bit more festive.

                  One other option is Cook & Brown. We haven't made it there yet, and have heard somewhat mixed reviews. But they do have an emphasis on craft cocktails, which might make it a good fit for a 21st. As does Local 121, which is downtown. While the space is gorgeous, my meals there have been really uneven. However, its been awhile so I'll defer if any one has more recent experiences.

                  Chez Pascal Restaurant
                  960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

                  Local 121
                  121 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903

              2. Seems like everyone's dissing on Ten Prime, but this was my take on it when we celebrated my daughter's 21st birthday there a couple years ago:


                2 Replies
                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  Your review pretty much sums it up. Nothing really remarkable or original. Expensive for what you get. Cool 3D desert menu.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    CapeCodGuy, I liked the food at Ten Prime and so did our guests. Was it the best ever steak, no, absolutely not (Balthazar and Peter Luger's in NYC are my faves). But it was a good venue for a 21st birthday party.

                2. Thanks to all who replied. We did go to Gracie's for the 21st birthday dinner, and it was a success.
                  Gracie's is in a large pleasant room room with high ceilings, but it's surprisingly not too noisy for conversation. The service was just right--attentive, but not too intrusive. Great cocktails. Appetizers were mostly very good, except for a couple that were duds--the foie gras elements did not come together to make a coherent dish, and the lamb sweetbreads were dry and tasteless. But the lamb and scallop entrees were very satisfying. We didn't order dessert, but the macaroons they serve at the end of the meal were sweet and light. All in all, Gracie's is well worth a visit.