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Sep 17, 2012 03:20 PM

Downtown Providence for dinner

Seeking a fish/seafood place or ethnic restaurant that is special. Will be staying at the Renaissance so walking distance would be preferred but we will have a car so we can travel. Have any suggestions for us? Many thanks, in advance!

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  1. It would help if you were a bit more specific. What does "ethnic" mean for you? Italian? Portuguese? Vietnamese? Ethiopean? What is "walking distance" for you? 5 minutes? 20 minutes? What's your budget?

    Unfortunately that hotel is a bit far from anything that's worth going to, for walking. Not unreasonable if the weather is good and you want to walk for a while, but can be far if it's raining or cold or you're tired.

    That said, there (oddly, perhaps) aren't that many really good seafood restaurants in PVD. Of those specializing, I can think of Hemenway's and Providence Oyster Bar, which are good but not outstanding. Most of the top-tier restaurants have good relationships with the local fishermen and will almost invariably have top-notch fish dishes on the menu, but among other dishes. I've had excellent fluke, skate, mahi, monkfish, etc at Nick's (which you'll need a car for); New Rivers always has a variety of oysters and a variety of "charcuterie" items based on local fish; Farmstead has wowed me with baby octopus and a few other things. All of those, plus Gracie's, The Dorrance, Chez Pascal, Cook & Brown would be considered in the top tier (maybe "special" by you definition) but none are "ethnic". They are all in what can loosely be considered "New American" or locavore, for want of a better term. Most will require you to use your car. All are easy places to spend $100-150 for dinner for two, depending on your alcohol consumption.

    I recommend running a search on this board and a little more clarity on what you're looking for.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gin n Tonic

      Sorry for omitting more details. As New Yorkers, we are open to all ethnic foods, but especially love Italian cuisine.

      The price range you mentioned is acceptable to us so if there are no other recs, I'll just choose one of your suggested places.

      We do enjoy BYOB restaurants, but am not sure they are legal in your area. Much thanks,Gin n Tonic for your response.

      1. re: hopegoode

        Ended up eating at Providence Oyster Bar and loved the $1 oysters and little necks at Happy Hour. We will certainly return on our next visit to town. Thanks for your help!