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Pot au Feu claims to be America's oldest French bistro, it was opened in 1972 and whether its claim to fame is true or not, the menu is filled with items that are exclusively from Lorraine, Grenoble, Provence, Paris and elsewhere in l'Hexagone. The menu isn't a compilation or fusion of modern, innovative and trendy dishes, it is unabashedly French. With hors d'oeuvres like escargot, lobster bisque, onion soup, the delectable Paté Maison (chicken liver mousse) or traditional Terrines, it feels as if the Left Bank is right outside the door. Of course, Pot au Feu (roast beef stew) is served with a side of warm crusty bread, creamy horseradish mustard and cornichons. Other classics include crepes, steak frites and the sometimes difficult to find, Coquilles St. Jacques.
Vincenzo Iemma's restaurant in the financial district is the quintessential place to go if you have tickets to a show at the nearby Providence Performing Arts Center. The tuxedo wearing waiters present classics out of the Julia Child playbook, like Beef Wellington and Dover Sole to name a few. The wine list is just as traditional, with more than 500 varietals, where you can find everything from Montepulciano d'Abruzzo to California merlot. The two dining rooms carved out of the historic cellars alongside the alcoves and cobblestone floors only add to the Old World charm. Reservations as well as a jacket are recommended.
If you want a classic romantic night which involves dinner and a show, then Gracie's and the nearby Trinity Repertory Company make a great combination. This AAA-four diamond restaurant features ingredients from local farms and fisheries as well as its own rooftop garden in order to bring the bountiful harvest of New England to diners' plates. There are two tasting menus, one is five courses, the other seven and both offer wine pairing as an option. The tasting menus as well as the prix-fixe ones present plates that vary according to season.
This restaurant on Hope Street fuses the best of the French traditional kitchen together with local New England ingredients and techniques. The homemade Paté and Charcuterie plate is almost enough for you to leave happy, but it would be foolish to do so before the local escargot a la bourguignon arrives at the table. Meat and poultry selections rotate according to season and the fish option is always market-price fresh. Another cool feature inside the restaurant is The Wurst Kitchen. Here the chefs create their own sausages, smoked meats and hot-dogs albeit these aren't your normal-run-of-the-mill ballpark dogs. The Sauerbraten, Weisswurst, Cheddarwurst or the aged Gruyère and sun-dried tomato wurst are all presented sans bun alongside different relishes, mustard and sauce. Don't forget to check out their bistro menu from Monday to Thursday, its one of the best prix-fixe menus in the city.
Touted to be the best Chinese restaurant in town, the Chan's Fine Oriental Dining certainly lives up to this image. Serving Oriental cuisines, Chan's specializes in Mandarin, Szechwan, Shanghai and Cantonese styles of cooking. The menu boasts of delicacies like Beef with Oyster Sauce, Seafood Supreme, Triple Dragon, Subgum Won Ton and other dishes; it also has a special children's menu that offers milder varieties. Calorie conscious need not fret as Chan's features Low Calorie meals too, thereby, you can enjoy your meal without a worry. This fine dining restaurant doubles up as a music venue and artists/bands from all over perform here. Though different genres of music are played at Chan's, the focus is on jazz and blues, and it has its very own Jazz and Blues Club that hosts dinner shows for guests. And, if you are completely floored with the great menu and good entertainment, you can hire Chan's Fine Oriental Dining for your next event. You can also avail other services like catering, delivery, drive-through and takeaway. For more details, call ahead or check the website.