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Best Providence Dinners These Days>>What do you think of My List?

opinionatedchef Jun 27, 2011 02:33 PM

Providence is probably my fav small city in New England. Visually ( domestic and commercial architecture; trees and green; water presence) and culturally, I can't think of a better small city. Portland ME I guess( a much handsomer downtown in that it retains more 19th c. architecture, but nowhere near the wealth of great domestic architecture that Prov has.) And it's awfully cold up in Portland!

Anyway, have lived in the culinary haven of Boston these last 40 yrs. but we love coming down to Prov. We will be coming through for dinner and/or Waterfire a number of times before the end of this year. Since almost no really goodProv. restnts are open on Sundays, we will come NOT on Sundays.Here is the list I have come up with , after getting CH tips etc., working backwards from the most appealing for my taste (first and foremost- Great food; after that, innovative, artisinal....)

I would appreciate any comments/experiences to help guide me. Thanks much for your help!

Bacaro

Chez Pascal

La Laiterie

Gracie's

Louie Fuller's

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

XO

Tini's

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Chez Pascal Restaurant
960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

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

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  1. g
    Gin n Tonic RE: opinionatedchef Jun 27, 2011 06:25 PM

    New Rivers, Nick's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gin n Tonic
      opinionatedchef RE: Gin n Tonic Jun 28, 2011 12:29 AM

      gnt, any experiences at the places i listed?

    2. p
      pollymerase RE: opinionatedchef Jun 28, 2011 10:32 AM

      I'm an out of towner myself, so my experiences are limited to single visits, but I loved, loved, loved Loie Fuller. The interior is gorgeous and our food was spectacular. We started with the escargot and I had the pistachio ravioli and my friend had the duck. Everything was great. We had been worried about the service, but we had no problems. It was at a rather leisurely pace, so it might not be great if you are in a rush, but pleasant. It's definitely on my list to return to on a future visit. I thought it was tremendous value, as well.

      I had really high expectations for La Laiterie and the food was very good. I think we had some type of cheese biscuits and oysters for starters and then split the other small plates that were on the menu at the time. I'm not usually a huge fan of chicken livers, but they were phenomenal. I was a little underwhelmed by the mac & cheese, but it could be because it was served last and I was getting slightly stuffed.

      Broadway Bistro, while not on your list, is probably the best meal I've had in PVD and I highly, highly recommend it. I've also had a great brunch at Julian's.

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

      Broadway Bistro
      205 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903

      3 Replies
      1. re: pollymerase
        s
        smoky RE: pollymerase Jun 28, 2011 07:35 PM

        Love the handle.

        1. re: pollymerase
          opinionatedchef RE: pollymerase Jul 1, 2011 09:23 PM

          we'll have to try BB; you and another poster really like it, so we must go!

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          Broadway Bistro
          205 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            g
            Gin n Tonic RE: opinionatedchef Jul 5, 2011 08:53 AM

            I don't want to leave the wrong impression, as I like Broadway Bistro, but it's not a place I'd drive from Boston to get to. It is basically a very good neighborhood place, not so much a destination. It's run by Patrick Lowney, ex of Salvation Cafe in Newport, and serves what I can best describe as funkified home cooking -- contemporary American, with seasonal and locavore strains, but stick-to-your-ribs kind of food, mostly. Fettucine with pulled short ribs, fried soft-shell crab with risotto, that sort of thing. It's small, under 40 seats, has an eclectic and inexpensive (bottled) beer and wine list, and a very limited menu -- maybe eight mains -- but inexpensive, as none are under $20. And no dessert service, period.

            Is it the best meal in Providence? No. But I'll keep going back because it's pretty convenient for me to get to, and I can eat well-executed interesting food at a reasonable price.

        2. invinotheresverde RE: opinionatedchef Jul 1, 2011 04:24 PM

          I lived in PVD for the last ten years and can't think of many restaurants (other than Al Forno/Bacaro/Tini, which are all in the same family) closed on Sunday. Monday, yes, but not Sunday. Chez Pascal might be, but really, most places are open.

          Of the places you listed, Chez Pascal is my favorite by a mile, followed by Loie Fuller as a distant second. Gracie's in also wonderful, but gets spendy quickly. I'd skip Local 121: great cocktails, subpar food.

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          Chez Pascal Restaurant
          960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

          Local 121
          121 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903

          7 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde
            opinionatedchef RE: invinotheresverde Jul 1, 2011 09:19 PM

            verde, Surprise! All of the ones on my list are closed on sunday except local 121 and louie fuller!
            btw, i asked this a couple times before but people must not have noticed- is Gracie's a high victorian interior? i'm trying to figure out if that's the place we went a few years ago. (i don't mean louie fuller; i've seen photos of them and that is not the place. this place was downtown area.)

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              invinotheresverde RE: opinionatedchef Jul 2, 2011 04:25 AM

              Gracie's and XO are open Sundays, as well. I would not describe Gracie's as Victorie in decor. I believe you're thinking of the restaurant that used to be in Hotel Providence, which is now Aspire. I'm blanking on what it used to be called (Renaissance?). The decor was definitely over the top.

              1. re: invinotheresverde
                invinotheresverde RE: invinotheresverde Jul 2, 2011 04:27 AM

                Victorian*
                Stupid autocorrect.

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  opinionatedchef RE: invinotheresverde Jul 2, 2011 08:44 PM

                  really? open on sundays? i remember diligently checking each website and finding them closed sundays. hmmmmmmm.
                  the restnt i am thinking of was not in a hotel. kitschy heavy dark decor (maybe not victorian, but that's what i thought)first or basement level of an old building.maybe on a side street, near or in downtown (not on bustling busy commercial street). Ah the vagaries of memory....!

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    b
                    Bluebird RE: opinionatedchef Jul 2, 2011 08:53 PM

                    Opinionated, were you attending a function? Maybe the Federal Reserve? What kind of food did they serve? Any more details to help us help you?

                    Another thought, Capriccio's is down a level and dark.

                  2. re: invinotheresverde
                    f
                    FjmArch RE: invinotheresverde Jul 3, 2011 07:00 AM

                    The old restaurant in Hotel Providence was "L'Epicureo." It was Neo-victorian.

                    Gracies is in fact not open on Sundays and they are closed this entire week for vacation.

                    1. re: FjmArch
                      invinotheresverde RE: FjmArch Jul 3, 2011 07:05 AM

                      Odd that it says they are online. Must be a mistake.

              2. 5
                5thAndNowhere RE: opinionatedchef Jul 15, 2011 10:37 AM

                i keep seeing the ravioli mentioned at Loie Fullers. any other not to miss dishes there?

                1 Reply
                1. re: 5thAndNowhere
                  b
                  barfly RE: 5thAndNowhere Jul 16, 2011 11:57 AM

                  Don't miss the cajun shrimp! the sauce is addicting!

                2. w
                  Wannabfoode RE: opinionatedchef Jul 15, 2011 10:44 AM

                  no al forno? also like cooke & browne

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Wannabfoode
                    invinotheresverde RE: Wannabfoode Jul 15, 2011 10:50 AM

                    Al Forno is definitely not a PVD Chowhound favorite.

                  2. opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Dec 9, 2013 11:23 PM

                    edit: had the worst, bar none, restnt experience at Bacaro a few yrs ago and vowed never to return. The owner was an unbelievable b_tch. I will NEVER rec it.

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