I'm planning our second Parents Weekend, and am looking for some restaurant recommendations. In particular, looking for a restaurant that will work for 7 -8 people (parents and students) not too far from campus, if possible. As the parents are from NY and San Francisco, we do expect quality (although need not be expensive!) Any suggestions? Thinking of Gracie's for one, but looking for a second.
Mediterraneo on Federal Hill is quite good if you're willing to go that far. Al Forno's great, but expensive, and you'd need to make reservations now - they tend to fill up really quickly for Parents Weekend.
Thank you for all of the great suggestions! I checked and Al Forno is already booked for large groups over Parents Weekend, so that will have to be a place to visit next year. I will check out some of these other good ideas. Yes, I know I should have reserved early. I reserved early for the hotel, but forgot about restaurants!
Pane E Vino
And some restaurant with a blue awning right by the river (it's also a club) I can't remember what it's called, maybe someone can remind me...
Rue de l'Espoire on Hope Street (get it?!) It's walkable, but in a direction most people don't think of when they think of dining out. It was great when I was at Brown many years ago. I bet it's still wonderful! Rue De L?Espoir of Providence, Rhode Island
The restaurant on the river that you are trying to think of - was the bar downstairs and the restaurant upstairs? Bella or something?
The Rue is great for lunch, but the tables are a bit close together and it's a little outdated for a nice dinner. Good and simple French food, though. From I-wanna-brown's list, I like Mills Tavern and the Waterman Grill, both really cozy and good choices for fall. I was at Cafe Nuovo a few days ago and while the food is fine, the location in the lobby of the Citizen's Bank building is boring. I only like to go there when it is warm enough to sit outside. Avoid Red Stripe - cute place, poor food. Hemenways is sort of like a local Legal Seafood - tried and true but nothing outstanding. Capital Grille is just like Capital Grille in any city in the U.S. Pane E Vino is quiet and very nice - Cav is rather dumpy and I wonder about the hygiene in the kitchen. My two cents!
I'm missing parent's weekend this year, so I'm willing to "give away" my favorites. (actually going for a very short weekend on a less crowded weekend first of Nov. so one thing I'm looking forward to is less crowded places!)
Cav is actually really interesting and definitely different from most. The decor is eclectic and yes maybe a bit dusty, but Food is good, and can often take a crowd with reservations. This is one of the most popular "fancy dining" of the discerning palate students I know. (I think in large part due to the atmosphere, and maybe that there are number of alcohol infused items?) Do expect a wait to be served etc with crowd of parent's weekend.
My and gourmet cook student's favorite place is Chez Pasqual. This is where we book every time in Providence. Gourmands will not be disappointed. Portions are smaller and prices a bit higher than some places, but worth it. Save room for dessert! They will not book very many larger groups, as just not set up for it. You may have trouble booking this "late" at many places.
If that is true, and you don't mind a bit noisy place, there is an interesting upscale (by my standard, not as likely by NY standards) restaurant with good food a bit farther out in Warwick area called Spain (food is just that, highly recommend the Paella). It is a bit more likely to have space. Along with an "authentically tacky" NE mobster atmosphere.
And I agree that unfortunately "Rue" has declined in quality and ambiance.
Right on Thayer st., the best place is Kabob and Curry. Mid range prices and good food.
There is also a restaurant on Federal Hill call Siena that has pretty good food, again I think a bit overpriced for the lack of service and unfortunately just is overbooked on Parent's weekend, so after 2 year's of similar problems with meals, we haven't been back. It might be worth it on a less crowded time.
Last edited by BrownAlumParent; 10-09-2012 at 09:09 PM.