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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.
Camille's has served specialties from Italy since 1914 on the edge of Federal Hill, the city's major Italian neighborhood. The kitchen makes plates that are hard to find anywhere else in town, like the melt-in-your-mouth tuna carpaccio or the crisp spinach and melon salad served with pancetta and goat cheese in a creamy apple-cider vinaigrette. The kitchen also has the freshest pollo (chicken), carne (meat) and frutti di mare (seafood) this side of New York City. The atmosphere is quiet, low-key elegance where diners have their choice of dining in the modern lounge or in the main dining room. The main room contains frescoes and other works of art as well as alcoves and bigger tables for groups.
Al Forno has is a nice little nondescript gem in the Fox Point neighborhood. It's hidden in a warehouse type structure along South Main Street and the ambiance is quiet and casually romantic. The owners have published a couple of cookbooks and they present all the regions of Italy on diners' plates, from Reggio-Calabria to Campania. Their wood-grilled pizza and clam appetizers are very popular as well as their fresh fish and pasta dinners. An impressive selection of 250 wines completes the menu and the service is impeccable.
Siena Resturant in Federal Hill focuses on specialties from the Tuscan and Roman kitchen like Maiale con Pere (pork & pears) and Saltimbocca alla Romana where the latter literally 'jumps in the mouth.' All of the recipes appear as they would at a quaint table in the Italian countryside with prosciutto and figs, baked lobster cavatappi or veal scalloppini all made authentically. The homemade pizzas are also out-of-this-world, don't forget to try the margherita or vodka if you can't decide on anything else.
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.
This is a true Irish pub, complete with lacy curtains and a stove burning in the winter. Hearty fare like bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes), shepherd's pie, and farmers stew are featured along with pots of Irish tea and homemade apple pie. The pub serves Irish brunch every Sunday, and boast of the East Bay's best selection of European ales. Food is available from 11:30am until 10pm, 11pm on the weekends. It is located 20 minutes south of Providence on picturesque Bristol Harbor.