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birthday dinner for two in providence ten prime, gracies or cafe nuovo

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Birthday dinner for my spouse in providence. Heard good things and not so good things about ten prime. Lots of good things about gracies and cafe nuovo. Ten prime seems pricier and perhaps louder than the other two. Which of the three would you all pic for this nice occasion?

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  1. What do you like? What are you looking for? They are different places.

    For me personally, of the places you mentioned, I would pick, in this order, Gracie's, Ten, Nuovo.

    Gracie's is quieter. Wonderfully prepared food. Can do a lovely private/romatic dinner in the wine cellar room. Main dining room is also nice. I've had some really wonderfully prepared food there.

    Ten Prime - This is more of a scene. There is more of a vibe here. We go here to sit at the bar, soak in the scene and have some cocktails. Food is good, not always great. We shared a really well prepared steak here about 8 months ago.

    Cafe Nuovo - nice location, especially on a waterfire night. This would be bottom of my list. We had a special date night dinner there and we both were very unimpressed with our food. I had ordered a special that was discribed as a lobster claw and spring vegetable risotto. It was the smallest lobster I've ever seen (think crawfish small). the bits of lobster and vegetable were actually hard to find in the dish. My husband had a steak - it was tough. This was a few years ago. I haven't been back. At that price point and for a special dinner, I haven't been willing to chance it.

    If you might want to also consider Chez Pascal. It is well liked on the board. My experiences there have always been very nice and the food great.

    Outside of Providence, Persimmon in Bristol is really great. Two of the best meals I've ever had in RI have been here (both chefs tastings).

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    Chez Pascal Restaurant
    960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

    Cafe Nuovo
    1 Citizens Plz Ste 1B, Providence, RI 02903

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bluebird

      That's a pretty good review, although I'd reverse Nuovo and Ten based upon my own experiences. I'd also consider New Rivers.

      Regarding Gracies, I just took my wife there for her birthday and we did a seven course tasting menu with some significant restrictions (vegetarian and no shellfish) and they did an absolutely amazing job. Honestly the best meal we've had in many, many years.

      1. re: Garris

        I had decided to go with Gracies but it is Johnson and Wales Graduation. I was put on the waiting list. :( I loved the idea of the tasting menu. How fun!!! Some other time I suppose. I checked out Mills Tavern as referred to below. It looked nice and I liked the menu so we will give it a whirl. Probably stop in at ten prime for a drink.

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        Mills Tavern
        101 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903

        1. re: wolfhounds

          Mills, eh? Hmmm. Don't hear much about it anymore. I always consider it a place to bring clients, not a celebratory kind of spot.

          Someone else recommended Chez Pascal, which is my favorite spot in the city. Also, the New Rivers rec is great, too. Those definitely have more of the vibe you're looking for, IMO.

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          Chez Pascal Restaurant
          960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

    2. Thank you very much!!! This is perfectly helpful! We do enjoy a place with a vibe but usually for drinks and apps. For dinner, I would prefer something quieter and I've read here the positive reviews for Gracies. I'll check their proximity. Perhaps we can have a little of both. Early dinner was planned so maybe an after dinner cocktail at Ten would be the way to go. :)

      Thanks so much. I'll post an update after the weekend!

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfhounds

        Mills Tavern is one my favorites in Providence. You might want to check it out.

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        Mills Tavern
        101 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903

      2. We couldn't get in to Gracies so we decided to try 10 prime for drinks and Mills for dinner. We went early. Had a seat at the bar at 10 prime. I do really like that vibe and while it was early and the crew was still getting ready, the bar was about 2/3 full and there were people in the restaurant eating. We watched others munching on the sushi and decided to try a couple of pieces for ourselves. Excellent. The music was playing not too loudly but for me, I think it could get to me after a while. Still, it was nice and fun.

        We went to mills tavern next. I suppose if you had the right seat it could be considered a romantic spot. We were rather near the bar so the tv was visible from our seats...not really romantic (though it was good to watch the horse race!) It was busy with graduation dinners but the waitress was very attentive and helpful. The food was excellent. We had monkfish (special) which was very tasty and Filet Mignon which was also good (perhaps a little underdone?) The appetizers were delicious. We had salmon chowder and tuna tartar. The tuna was...amazing. The staff was super helpful and the evening went quite well.

        Would love to get back to try Gracies tasting menu. Mills Tavern would be an excellent place to bring clients, though we enjoyed our evening there as well.
        Thanks for your feedback, everyone!!

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        Mills Tavern
        101 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903