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Oct 3, 2012 08:16 AM

Providence Dinner with Friends

Hello All--

I live in Prov, but don't get out much for good food as much as I'd like, and I'd love some input on this. Some friends and I are getting together here (the rest of them are not from Prov, but know the city a little bit/went to school here) for the collective 45th b-day in a few weeks.

There will be six of us. Two of us love to eat and care about having a great dinner---the rest would always choose the mall restaurants by default. I'm in charge of picking the restaurant for this dinner, and I'm torn. Staying away from seafood (not hard in the city) and anything *too* ethnic (ehhhh). Last big b-day, we all went to Vegas, they agreed to do one great dinner, and everyone was in LOVE with the food and had a great time.

I'm not a big fan of the Hill scene, but Adesso was one of my very favorite restaurants, from its opening to the years right before its closing (most of my Last Meal Before the Execution comes from Adesso's menu and has not changed in over 25 years). I have great, great memories of the place and am very curious about how its new incarnation is----has anyone been there?

My other thought was Al Forno. Just was there recently after not going for a few years, and it was really fantastic. I think people will like the food, and the friends will love, love the desserts.

Are there any great places that I'm missing? They're all staying at the Biltmore (probably me too) and we'd like to stay in the city----west side wouldn't kill us.

Any input on this would be much, much appreciated.

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  1. Can't go wrong with Al Forno, but while not "fine dining", you may want to consider Providence Coal Fired Pizza. It's definitely not your typical pizza parlor. Theirs (Rocket is recommended) probably ranks about the best anywhere plus it's within walking distance of the Biltmore.

    Their outstanding wing appetizer is also not to be missed (some feel it's worth a stop just for the wings) - see yelp for reviews. A few were reportedly not pleased, but most rank it highly. Not sure where one could get a better pizza in RI, unless a bit of char (added aromatic character) is objectionable..

    4 Replies
    1. re: Clams047

      Coal Fired Pizza was very noisy the saturday evening we went. I would recommend Chez Pascal, one of my favorites in town. We were there on Saturday evening with five people, and had great food, good service, and we could all talk together. We have had mixed experiences at al forno and baccaro.

      1. re: bawc

        Thanks for this. I love Chez Pascal and live right nearby. I think they'd like it too---I think we're staying more downtownish and less out in the neighborhoods this time---but thanks.

      2. re: Clams047

        New Rivers would be my vote-- excellent food, warm, professional service, and walkable from the Biltmore. Also, not so noisy that it's hard to have a conversation. Every time I eat the, I just leave so happy.

        Another idea is Gracie's, for a bit more pizzazz and razzle dazzle, and also excellent food.

        1. re: Clams047

          +1 with PCFP - great atmosphere and food. Went for a group outing and was very happy! reasonable price point too!

        2. Had dinner at Bacaro last week with a similarly sized group. It was outstanding. I have been before, but now think it is best appreciated with a group because you can order a larger selection of goodies to share..

          3 Replies
          1. re: Frobisher

            Great info---thanks to those who provided it.

            I'll add Bacaro to the short list. I think the friends would like it. I haven't been there in a few years, and I wasn't sure if it was still as great as I remember it.

            Has anyone been to the new Adesso?

            1. re: MellieB

              Bacaro is one of my favorites...they handle groups of your size very well.

              1. re: AikiLou

                I'll third Bacaro. Awesome for groups because of all their small plates.

                Re: "Can't go wrong with Al Forno"

                It's been my experience that you can't go right w/Al Forno.

          2. I have to add my praise for this restaurant. We were in town last week to visit relatives and we were taken there. Outstanding ! And the menu offered so many choices.Amongst the standouts, the baked pasta. It seemed expensive until they brought it to the table,where it served six!