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Providence RI Restaurants


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  • 2 months later...

Went to Gracie's last night and had another fine meal. Highlights included the celeriac soup, great sweetbreads, and perfect gnocchi. Joe Hafner was kind enough to comp us on a trio of sorbets (cherry, raspberry, pineapple) and a new buffalo carpaccio to try, both of which were great.

Chris Amirault

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  • 1 month later...
Al Forno.....FABULOUS place.

I agree that Al Forno is a must, but realize it is very expensive. The pizza with corn fresh from the farm last summer was the best I ever had. I would stick with pizza and salad there. If you want the best pasta dishes and great seafood and risottos our favorite in Providence by far was Siena!!

It was reasonable and top of the line. The freshest fish, and pasta to die for.

Great service too. Start with the eggplant parm appetizer, it was soooo good in a nice casserole dish. I only wish there was a Siena in NYC or stupid Bergen county.

SIENA, go there, I think you'll be very happy on Atwell.

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  • 2 months later...

A few updates.

Chilango's has a new menu, and it's more expensive and, frankly, not as interesting so far. You can order the suadero, chorizo, pastor, etc. tacos off the menu.

My wife loves Siena but it's damned hard to get a table there these days! We went last night for an impromptu celebration and got turned away -- on a Tuesday at 5:45p. Gotta tip your hat to a place that's so busy early Tuesday....

We ended up going to tried-and-true Sun & Moon, which was, as always, wonderful. I ordered a soju with our usual meal (bibimbap, vegetable dumplings, etc.) which wasn't very good; should've stuck with the rice punch.

In addition to the location in Central Falls that's as old as dirt, Stanley's is now open just off Point St near Jake's. Has anyone been yet?

Local 121 is showing the same inconsistency as before. I had some apps there the other day that were just ok. The pickles, which were oversalted and had too little vinegar, made me particularly grumpy.

Chris Amirault

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't often post on the New England board, but I read it often as that is where I am from. Just wanted to mention that on my last visit home I stopped by the Liberty Elm diner en route to TF Green and had a swell breakfast.

The place was hoppin' with live music on a Sunday, how cool! It was a bit of a wait even for a seat at the counter, but I was offered a beverage to sip while waiting. The folks working there were busy and friendly and the folks I sat beside were very welcoming too. I got to sit right across from the gent making the fresh fruit juices, and even though I am not a juice fan I will definitely be ordering some next visit.

Already trying to make it a stop anytime we're flying/driving up home. If this place was in my neck of the woods I'd be a fixture there for sure!

http://libertyelmdiner.com/

777 Elmwood Ave.

Providence RI

(401) 467-0777

<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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  • 2 months later...

Can anyone suggest a place for oysters on the half shell at lunch time during the week?

We'll only be in Providence a few hours, I''m thinking oysters if that's an option and then maybe Lucky Garden or Iggy's in Warwick afterwards. I would also have liked Chez Pascal or Al Forno but alas they look open only for dinner... I know the choice I have listed is pretty eclectic but I'm open to suggestions. I guess great seafood is my first hope... but excellent Chinese or Thai would also be great. We'll be there on a weekday so I think we're also out of luck for Lucky Garden's dim sum.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think that McCormick & Schmick's serves oysters and many are local. Not exactly a chowdah hut, but...

On another note: a little bird told me that Temple cleaned house (both back and front), and that I should visit in late Sept when the new crew is in full swing.

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

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  • 1 month later...

Mediocre brunch at Waterman Grille yesterday. Nice bread basket, well prepared and tasty eggs, but everything else was just ok and most was oversalted and overcooked. Three adults and a toddler rang in at $80 plus tip -- no booze either.

Yet another disappointment at Sunday brunch -- which I'm beginning to suspect is simply impossible in this town.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just checking for something and realize I never posted about a wonderful meal we had at Chez Pascal a few weeks ago. Excellent charcuterie and duck, and--the sign of a chef who really pays attention--all the garnishes and contornis and such were just spot on. For instance, the tiny bit of sherry-flavored aspic on the charcuterie plate was unbelievably delicious, and precisely right with the meat. Uncharacteristically, I ordered the vegetarian tasting menu, just because the dishes sounded so good. They were. The prices are entirely reasonable. My only quibble: although the vegetarian tasting menu says that the tasting of custards was "additional," I wasn't expecting that the "additional" would be the entire a la cart cost of the dessert.

P.S. Maybe this should go without saying, but when the bottle of wine we ordered turned out to be corked, it was immediately whisked away and another brought. The whole experience at Chez Pascal was just really pleasant.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I've been to Angkor Restaurant on Wickenden a few times now, and it's been uneven. Some staples are pretty solid, particuarly their lot (fried pork and taro rolls). However, the medicine soup and street noodles were both middling: the former used cheap dried ramen noodles that hadn't been cooked properly and precooked chicken breast that was off-tasting; the latter way oversalted and sticking together. I want to like it: I work down the street and the people seem very nice, but at least the times I've been the quality wasn't there.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi there,

Native Rhode Islander here returning for a couple weeks around the holidays. I'm interested to here of any new places worth trying. Haven't been back to eat since last year at this time, but haven't eaten anywhere new since before I left in summer '07.

I plan on hitting my standard haunts of:

Not Just Snacks (mutton curry, as soon as I get off the plane, then probably later that night too)

Ocean View (Narragansett)

La Laiterie (soft spot for the charcuterie, ok, the burger too, and whatever else looks good)

I'd be equally interested in new spots that might serve a decent drink (looking at you Chris), and any places that might have changed significantly in the past year or so (e.g., I understand Louie Fuller's is under new ownership).

So what's going on back home?

 

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Hi, Vice. A few quick responses.

Loie Fuller info above. You could also check out Bacaro (seems iffy to me), the new team at Temple, and -- hope upon hope -- see if Local 121 has pulled it together enough to follow through on an entire meal. Standbys (La Laiterie, Chez Pascal, Gracie's...) are worth a visit too.

I'm eating at Tini, Germon and Killeen's new place next to Gracie's, on Saturday night, and I'll report back on that.

And, if you've never been, I am increasingly convinced that Sun & Moon is, for the family I have, the best bet in town.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Thanks Chris.

I did indeed catch the LF info above. Local 121 had just opened when I left and I never ended up making it there. Some friends had a meal there about that time and liked it but were less enthusiastic when the food is weighted by the cost. I also haven't been to Chez Pascal in a long, long time (since there was a Pascal, in fact), so that might warrant a trip as well. Definitely interested in Tini as I've always found something to enjoy at Al Forno, so I look forward to your report.

And, if you've never been, I am increasingly convinced that Sun & Moon is, for the family I have, the best bet in town.

Have been, have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've eaten, and have to relearn how to get there every time I go. I'm convinced East Providence is the other end of the Bermuda Triangle vortex.

 

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We joke about EP as black hole all the time. Just take 195 east, stay right as you head over the bridge, and take the Warren Ave exit. Left at the end of the exit (under an overpass) onto Warren Ave. You'll see Asiana Market on the left and Sun and Moon on the right after a couple of blocks.

Chris Amirault

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We joke about EP as black hole all the time. Just take 195 east, stay right as you head over the bridge, and take the Warren Ave exit. Left at the end of the exit (under an overpass) onto Warren Ave. You'll see Asiana Market on the left and Sun and Moon on the right after a couple of blocks.

You make it sound so easy. Fellow eGers, what Chris doesn't tell you is about the constantly shifting traffic patterns, the gauntlet of one-day open, next-day closed exit ramps, and utterly confounding signage on 195.

That said, Sun and Moon is definitely worth the trip. I suppose the construction may have tapered off since my last visit, but if I were you, I would figure in some extra time and leave before you're really hungry. If you really want to be safe, bring some MREs and warm blankets - driving in East Providence is like climbing Everest in that the prepared have the best chance of making it out alive.

 

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Went to Tini last night. After chatting with George and Johanne while walking around downtown in the afternoon, we we looking forward to the experience. We left feeling... eh.

The space is, of course, tiny, with a U-shaped bar seating about 20 on stools. The front entrance has no wind block, and the base of the U is about ten feet or so from that door; on a nippy night, that means that half of the bar gets pretty cold every time someone enters or exits. Hard to carve square feet off the sidewalk or the bar itself, though, so I think they're stuck with it.

The design is Euro-steel, and everything looks very new. I've never been to Italy, so I can't compare to anything there, but I kept wanting it to feel cozier, more like the pintxo bars in Barcelona, say. The drink menu made me think the same thing: it's the sort of food that would benefit from a good cocktail menu and some other quirks, like, say, homemade vermouth. No such luck -- though there is a good selection of wines, bottles and glasses both.

The menu is displayed on a large TV screen, and it's a bit odd. We've always liked Al Forno because the flavors were very bold and those of us on a tight budget can split the big plates (at big prices). So adjusting to Tini's selection takes some doing.

For example, one of the dishes we didn't get was a broccoli dish for (iirc) $5. The people on our right got it, and as far as we could tell it was a handful of florets that had been sauteed in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. I'm sure that they were tasty, but it's hard to understand what that dish is doing on that menu.

The things we did order were all good. The pork confit tacos were my favorite, with two good tortillas and moist, flavorful meat that needed a bit more salt and acid. (My wife Andrea thought that the lack of acid completely killed the dish.) We also had a Tini Weenie, their take on a NY system hot dog. Having had some pretty fantastic high-end hot dogs (including Blais's foie dog), I thought this was a real disappointment -- and, hard to believe, it was smaller than the real thing. It was fine, but we both wanted one of the dogs from the Chez Pascal cart, especially given the humdrum chowchow.

The other two dishes we had were the button mushroom gnochetti in a standard-issue sherry sauce and a batch of shoestring fries. The latter was served with "hot" sauce and garlic mayo sprayed all throughout the fries themselves, as if the fries were a salad and the sauces dressing, with the obvious result being soggy fries.

There are service kinks (the bartenders/servers are getting their bearings in the tight space) and a few missteps to correct (sauces on the side, better balance on the pork, etc.), but on the walk back to the car we talked about how surprised we were to lack a single memorable dish. No dirty steak, no clams and spicy sausages, no pizza margherita....

Wee servings require bold, interesting flavors, and none were in evidence last night. So, though everything was executed perfectly well, the visit was a disappointment.

Chris Amirault

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  • 4 months later...

Went to Chinese Laundry last weekend on a date. It ain't Chinese -- you can get soju cocktails and sushi -- and I'm pretty convinced it doesn't know what it actually is.

The food was utterly meritless: bland noodles, butchered sushi, characterless duck. I am not one to trash a restaurant based on one visit, but it's hard to understand what's going on there. Won't be back.

Chris Amirault

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went to Pho Horn's the other night with a group of international students. Apparently this is the place that existing students tell the newly arrived international population about.

I only tasted vegetarian dishes -- I thought they were delicious. Some of the dishes were off the menu; my favorite was a special of the evening.

The others in the group were quite pleased with the other dishes ordered for the table. Here, like other pho restaurants, the vegetarian pho is served in chicken broth. The only truly vegetarian pho I have found is at Pho Paradise on Broad St.

The pricing is modest. The dining area is clean and had a flat screen tuned to the playoffs.

Pho Horn's -- 50 Ann Mary Street -- Pawtucket, RI 02860 -- in the Shaw's Plaza

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I think that Paradise, Hon's, and Horn's (the last two owned by the same family, I think), are all solid pho joints. Minh Hai is the top step of Vietnamese places, though: another incredible goi con, chicken hot pot, and more today. Best coffee too -- after years we can't figure out how they do it -- and Minh himself is a peach.

Chris Amirault

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  • 2 weeks later...

New Middle Eastern place on Broad Street called Oasis Grill, run by a friendly guy named Sammy and appearing to lean Lebanese. The website is slim but includes a standard menu, and the interior is set up for a real operation: huge kitchen, ME general store in the back that will include at least some produce (unlike Sonia's in Cranston). Very interesting....

Chris Amirault

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  • 1 month later...

Very interesting and promising meal at Ebisu last night. Big hits were the tuna tostada, deep-fried sandwiches of nori and rice topped with tuna tartare, the ebi wonton soup (great wontons) and shumai, and the shiitake and geso robata yaki.

The chicken dishes (sasami and tori yakisoba) were marred by overcooked chicken; I suspect they had been par-cooked and then finished instead of cooked a la minute. But lots of little details are solid: great pork stock in the wonton soup, interesting shumai filling, sort of a pate of shrimp, cabbage, etc.

It was very quiet, with only the last few minutes bringing in any customers. However, we'll be back and with the kids and guests. I'm really excited that something like this is in town.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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