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DINNER MEETING THIS THURSDAY IN PROVIDENCE - help with recommendation

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I'm meeting a colleague in Providence this Thursday for a dinner meeting. I'm driving from Boston; he's driving from CT. Neither of us know the city well. Can anyone recommend a restaurant that 1. Will be easy for us to find and won't involve either of us driving around lost, 2. Has interesting/good food - no Applebee-type places, please, 3. Where we can sit and spread out for awhile and won't be rushed out or glared at. 4. Where we won't need reservations and won't have a long wait for a table.

Does such a place exist? I know it's a tall order. Would love not to resort to a Starbucks...Please!

Thanks!

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Red Fez
49 Peck St, Providence, RI 02903

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  1. If you dont mind a small 5 minute ride outside Providence...

    Brewed Awakenings in Johnston is great for a Coffee Shop place

    if not there, try Union Station (mid week, it wont be busy, and the food is very good)

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    Brewed Awakenings
    1395 Atwood Ave Ste 110, Johnston, RI 02919

    1. Southern New England Board here has a bunch on PVD

      4 Replies
      1. re: L2k

        Yeah, I meant to post it on the Southern New England board...Don't know why it ended up here. Will try again...

        1. re: suprt8str

          super, i can save you some trouble. the So. N Eng Prov contingent has died out pretty much, due to heavy handed local moderator problems , according to those CHs anyway......

          I wanted to find a spot for Sunday night, a few wks ago, coming back from CT trip, and there was hardly a place open, much less recommended. But the places that were recommended, and which I would have chosen from (not open on Sundays) are, in descending order of what appeals to me:

          Bacaro

          Cafe Pascal

          La Laiterie

          Gracie's

          Local 121 http://www.local121.com/menus/dinner

          XO

          Tini's

          here was the original thread re my search:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/790678

          PLEASE do report back! Current reports are badly needed down there!

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          Local 121
          121 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903

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

          Bacaro Restaurant
          262 S Water St, Providence, RI 02903

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            You know, the comment about moderation was made by precisely one person. I think the reports of the deaths of PVD hounds are pretty well exaggerated.

            As was noted in that post, part of the problem is that the questions that come in are either repetitive and banal (where should I eat before Waterfire) or so specific as to be difficult if not impossible to answer (need a vegan-friendly place with a waterfront terrace and room for 60 people this Friday.) The OP's question is close to the latter -- they want a place that's simple to get to from two opposite directions, has creative food, doesn't require a reservation but won't make them wait, and where they can sit all night without getting the bum's rush or the stinkeye. You're surprised they weren't overwhelmed with responses? Nearly every place on your list fails one or more of those tests, and you have eaten at none of them anyway. Most of them come in at a fairly high price point, too.

            In fact, there is discussion here, and several of the places in my regular or semi-regular rotation are because of recs here, as they are in neighborhoods I don't otherwise go through, and have opened in recent years: Los Andes, Pho Horn, Ama, United BBQ. There is knowledgeable discussion of Latin American places in Olneyville or CF. Local TV food personality and culinary teacher Frank Terranova pops in fairly often. "Died out" is harsh and, IMO, unwarranted.

            All that said, I think the OP could do a lot worse than Broadway Bistro. It's 3-4 blocks off of I-95, you can park there, it has interesting fresh food at a far lower price point than almost all of your suggestions, it's intimate enough that you can have an adult conversation, and it doesn't seem like the sort of place you'd feel bad about lingering after you've finished your coffee.

            1. re: Gin n Tonic

              I can't agree with you more Gin n Tonic. I'm constantly on here, but just don't have much new to post. Providence posters have been getting an undeserved bashing lately.

              OP, I'm going to suggest Blue Grotto on Atwells Ave. I've had several really enjoyable meals there lately. They have done some lovely renovations that have really opened up the place and updated it. The food was great. I've had leisurely dinners with friends twice in the last month. We took our time and never felt rushed. It is also spacious so you would probably have luck getting a table that is away from other diners if needed or a four top instead of a two top so you have more room to spread out. The downside is that they do not have a parking lot, but they do have valet parking.

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