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PVD/RI * March '14 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

Miller's Roast Beef on Mineral Spring Avenue in North
Providence closed the end of March. I believe it opened less than a year ago.

Also heard Chick-fil-a is opening in Warwick on Bald Hill Rd,

Apr 09, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Easter Brunch Providence

Nothing like a good walk after Easter Brunch - especially if the weather cooperates! If you are feeling adventurous, the Marriott is not too far away from the State House lawn (beautiful to walk the perimeter), as well as the Roger Williams National Park (Canal and North Main Street, a block east of the State House), as Smith Street is parallel to Orms.. I have a feeling the RWNP will be blooming with tulips and other spring favorites since they usually have such beautiful flower gardens there all spring and summer!

Apr 03, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Easter Brunch Providence

On Christmas, I went to the buffet/brunch at the Marriott on Charles and Orms Street (Prov.), and it was very good as well as very affordable. In the past, I have been there for Easter brunch as well, and it has always been very good. (Can't recall if they have an Easter bunny). You may want to give them a call and see what they are offering this year. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Mar 25, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Providence - Saturday night near Columbus Theater?

If you do want authentic Italian food, you can't go wrong with Spirito's Italian Restaurant at 477 Broadway - located in one of the original 'historic mansions' on the street (opposite side of the theater). If you are looking for something quick and light for breakfast on Sunday, you can't go wrong with Seven Stars Bakery - Cafe, a few blocks up from the Columbus. The pecan rolls are out of this world!

Mar 14, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

PVD/RI * March '14 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

I did post this about a month ago, but will post again here for March....Uncle Tony's Pizza will be taking over the old J&D's Restaurant on the Johnston/North Providence border of Rte. 44. From what the buzz is in town, they are scheduled to open sometime in April/May.

Mar 06, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

New York-Boston...where else??

I agree with Shutterbug. If you have never been to Newport, now is the time to go. Very cozy and romantic in the winter (especially Valentine's weekend), and you miss all the tourists that invade the area from April - December. Plenty to do there, and you can probably snag a decent room with off-season rates. Wonderful restaurants and smaller eateries as well. Great suggestion, shutterbug!

Feb 10, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

The old "J&D" location in North Providence?

MYSTERY SOLVED! I was in a near by business this morning, and the employee said Uncle Tony's Pizza & Family restaurant has bought the building and moving into the space this Spring/Summer. I do remember when UT's was in Centerdale - next door to DeBellis Pharmacy in the shopping center, going back to the mid-late 70s. I was a little kid back then and we used to order our pizzas from them every Saturday night. They moved out in the early/mid 1980s - I think there was a fire in the location...and they never returned. Glad to see them back in the neighborhood! I believe North Providence was their first location - before Warwick and East Providence.

Feb 10, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

The old "J&D" location in North Providence?

Last night I had dinner with some friends of mine, and we were talking about restaurants (as always). Two people in the group mentioned that an Italian Pizza/Restaurant had bought the building where J&D's vacated - on the Johnston/North Pvd line on Rte 44., and it is one which was in the area before and had closed...and now returning. Neither could remember the name of the place, but they both heard the same story. Does anyone know what is going in there ? It is a perfect place for a pizza /Ital restaurant (IMO).

Feb 09, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Loie Fuller review - Providence

I returned their in the Fall after being away from the restaurant for about two years or so. My first time back, it was great - the second time was fine as well. In late November it became more 'hit or miss' the few times I went, and in December and January it weighed more on the 'miss' (my friend had said the same thing). Were we bored with it? Did we go too often (about 2 -3 times each month)? Hard to say, but we gave it a rest once again.

Feb 05, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Avenue N (Rumford RI) - am I missing something?

Thanks for the replies - and Garris, I'm glad you mentioned Red Stripe...another restaurant I (and my friend) were underwhelmed by the handful of times we went - but mobbed. Avenue N reminded me very much of that place - and one of the things we mentioned when we left the restaurant.

Feb 05, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Avenue N (Rumford RI) - am I missing something?

Last night, I brought a friend to Avenue N for dinner, since he wanted to try some place new (we usually dine on the East Side). I had been to Avenue N once before - about 18 months ago, and was under-whelmed. Last night was no different. Yet the place was packed, and many of my friends rave about this place. What am I missing?

Feb 02, 2014
OOliver in Southern New England

Recs for Christmas Dinner in Providence area?

We ended up at the Bluefin Grille at the Providence Mariott for their Christmas Buffet ($35).

There were three of us, and our reservations were for 1:30 (they had seatings every two hours beginning at 11:30, and ending at 5:30). The place was mobbed, mostly with older people, no little children (which is why we picked it). We didn't get seated until 3:30, because they were so behind - the hostess was explaining to us that some of the 11:30 people were still there 4 hours later - exchanging gifts, etc. - which was messing up their seating plans. She did send over a round of drinks to apologize.

As for the food, it was outstanding. The buffet was constantly refilled, the line moved quickly and everything went smoothly. Service was excellent. Much better than in the past (I was there for Easter once, about five years ago). Will definitely return for a holiday again.

Dec 29, 2013
OOliver in Southern New England

Do you shop at Aldi's?

Aldi has popped up in Rhode Island over the past few years, one not too far from where I live. I do shop their weekly and buy their own store brands, and through trial and error I found what I like and buy repeatedly - such as their dairy products (butter, milk, cream) and their 'snack foods'. Other items I have tried - cereal, bakery items, juices, produce - and was very disappointed, though friends of mine swear by these products as well. I have to say the stores are always very clean and well-stocked in my area, and the service is attentive and friendly.

Dec 09, 2013
OOliver in Chains

Recs for Christmas Dinner in Providence area?

Hello my friends at Chowhound! I haven' visited this board in a while, and now I come with a question...a friend of mine and his mother should be joining my dad and I for Christmas, and we've decided no one will cook...we will eat at a restaurant instead. Any good ideas of where we should venture for Christmas dinner? I'm guessing it will be mid-afternoon. We both live on the Providence/North Providence line...I don't think we want to venture too far if there are any good ideas in the Prov. area - but I am open to anything anyone can suggest. The only thing we're not looking for is seafood, since both families will be having enough of that on Christmas Eve. Thanks in advance!!

Dec 09, 2013
OOliver in Southern New England

PVD/RI * September '13 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

A few more places I have heard which recently closed in the past month or so:

The Locals (Centredale)

Ralph's Ball & Claw (Charles St, No. Providence)

Cafe Luna (Garden City, Cranston)

J&D's Family Restaurant

Oct 11, 2013
OOliver in Southern New England

PVD/RI * March '12 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

The Nathaniel Porter Inn is reopened, by a husband and wife who did mostly catering (he cooks she bakes). This is their first venture into a restaurant, and unfortunately I forgot the new name (it will always be Nathaniel Porter Inn to me, LOL!). Apparently, they did a bit of renovations, and the restaurant had a very nice write up in the Journal a few weeks ago, though I'm waiting for a review before I do go.

Mar 24, 2012
OOliver in Southern New England

How is Wright's Chicken Farm?

This has got to be one of the funniest reviews I ever read! How did the Wedding turn out with the lunatic families? Is the couple still married? How did you become part of the wedding party? LOL!

Mar 24, 2012
OOliver in Southern New England

L'Elizabeth's in Providence

The reviews for this place on the internet (trip adviser, yelp, yahoo, google) are mind boggling and entertaining. You wonder how in the world this place stays open. It must be a write off for some trust-fund baby.

Feb 11, 2012
OOliver in Southern New England

PVD/RI * February '12 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

Longtime neighborhood favorite "Mainelli's Restaurant" in Providence is gone; they apparently closed for good a few weeks ago. This restaurant was on the verge of closing in 2010, but then featured a year ago on 'Restaurant Impossible' on the Food Network to turn things around. Shortly after the ep ran a car drove through the side of the building. The most recent posting on their FB page says they may reopen at a new location in the future, in the meantime it instructs people to get refunds for gift certificates at restaurant.com. There was a 'property auction' notice in the ProJo recently for the restaurant.

"Meatball Mike's" on Cranston St. in Cranston was also shuttered, and their assets were auctioned off just a couple of weeks ago.

"Gauchos do Brazil" on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick is also closed, and the assets up for auction as well.

"Angkor Express" on Smith St. closed right after they opened, it seems. I believe they opened in early January, and then closed about two weeks later. It looks like they cleared most of their stuff out the past week.

"Europe Cafe" (or 'Cafe Europe'?) on Douglas Pike is also gone for good (re-opened and closed a number of times the past few months) and notices in the ProJo say it's up for auction as well.

Tough times for restaurants, these days.

On a brighter note, 'The Nat Porter Inn' is taking shape, and signs outside the historic building in Warren says they will be reopening soon. This comes shortly after the reopening of 'The Wharf Tavern' down the street from them.

Feb 11, 2012
OOliver in Southern New England

Roberto's or Persimmon for dinner in Bristol?

It's usually best not to try a place during 'Restaurant Week' (which is happening a little too often now). I (and others) have found in the past that they do indeed give you 'samplings' of their dinners and try to pass it off as the real deal for a 'special price' - which it is not. Avoid at all costs.

Apr 12, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Providence - decent place for a group near the Convention Center

I have never been to Fire&Ice, but have always been intrigued to go. However, every time I mention it to any friends of mine the response is always the same - "It's Horrible!" Then i read how horrible it is here on the forum as well, so I'm glad I never went. So how does this place stay open, when I have yet to hear a good thing about it in the past ten years?

Apr 01, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Casual/swanky dining in/near Providence

Fat Belly's in Providence offers what you're looking for as well. I had a great brurger there a few weeks ago, not expensive at all.

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Fat Bellys
254 Old Forge Rd, Warwick, RI 02886

Apr 01, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

It's St. Joseph's Day - who has the best Zeppole?

I've never heard of the place, but I will have to make a trip out there and grab some. I bought some more from DeLuise (not DeFusco!!!) this morning - and they are as delicious as ever.

Apr 01, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Rye Bread in RI

LaSalle Bakery in Providence makes a very good rye bread, and they usually sell out quickly.

Apr 01, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Easter buffet near Bristol RI

I believe Audrey's in Seekonk (owned by J&W) does a brunch/buiffet for Easter Sunday. Also, 1149 in Seekonk does Easter brunch/buffet as well - theirs is very good. Both are casual.

Apr 01, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

It's St. Joseph's Day - who has the best Zeppole?

Today is St. Joseph's Day and for us Italians (and those who want to be Italian today!) that means we celebrate with the delicious Zeppole! Who do you think has the best?

My family has been going to DeLuise Bakery (corner of Chalkstone and Mt. Pleasant Ave) forever, and I have to say nothing compares to their zeppole. They offer fried and baked, and I can't decide which one I like better - so I always have one of each!

Lately, LaSalle Bakery has gotten much attention for their zeppole since they do multiple flavors of the cream - to me it's not authentic. I never liked any of the ones from Lasalle, and quite frankly fined them over-priced (like the rest of their products). However, I'm sure LaSalle has their fans.

So grab a zeppole or two or three, and post which ones you like the best. And Happy St. Joseph's day to all!

Mar 19, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Mainelli's, Providence RI

I've been back to Mainelli's a number of times since their 'renovation'. The food is delicious - really home-made Italian, not 'pretentious' (like some other restaurants offer). The prices are more than reasonable. Yes, a car ran into the building a few weeks ago (lesson learned: never use your cell phone when leaving a gas station?) and there was damage to the rear of the building, but they are still open for business.

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Mainelli's Restaurant
1366 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02909

Mar 19, 2011
OOliver in Southern New England

Providence - help us branch out

I had my favorite - lobster mac-n-cheese (I raved about this before), while my friend got the steak special which she said was one of the best steaks she has had in a long time (she's a gourmet cook herself, and is hesitant about getting steaks in restaurants).

Oct 29, 2010
OOliver in Southern New England

Providence - help us branch out

I know Chez Pascal gets all the attention on Hope Street, but I'm a bigger fan of the Rue at the other end of Hope Street. I met an out-of-town friend there this past Saturday night (good thing I made a reservation - it was Brown parents weekend, and the line was out the door) and the food was incredible. When we sat down in the packed dining room, we were afraid we would get 'lost in the shuffle', but we didn't - service was wonderful and the food came out in a timely manner. This is a great place to have dinner with a friend, or something romantic. The prices are very reasonable - they know what they are doing here.

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Chez Pascal Restaurant
960 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

Oct 28, 2010
OOliver in Southern New England

Everyman Bistro (Providence) - Closed for good

Another sad sign of the times - The Everyman Bistro on Valley St in Providence has closed it's doors for good. It opened in July, 2008.

I went there a number of times in the past two years, and the it was always hit-or-miss with food and service. They did a great bleu-cheese-stuffed hamburger, and great clamcakes, but they were very pricey for the portions they served. Service was either over-the-top, or non-existant. (Reviews on other sites suggest the same). I know other people who went there and loved it.

I think they went through an identity problem as well, in the past year - were they a bistro (as they started out)? a cafe (as they called themselves at lunch time)? a bar? They tried to be everything to 'everyman', but didn't seem to quite catch on. Still, it's sad to see another restaurant shutter after they took a gamble in a struggling economy (which only grew worse).

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Everyman Bistro
311 Iron Horse Way, Providence, RI

Oct 28, 2010
OOliver in Southern New England