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Hemenway's is a restaurant along the edge of the Providence River that specializes in seafood, in fact, it's one of College Hill's most beloved oyster houses. Since Providence is close to New England's greatest seaports like New Bedford, Boston, Gloucester, Cape Elizabeth and many more, Hemenway's is where you'll find the fruits of the Atlantic. The restaurant is dedicated to the founder's grandfather, Charles M. Hemenway, a local and big-city entrepreneur who loved New England. Needless to say, almost every ingredient on the menu can be sourced from local farms, fisheries and producers, just ask your waiter and they will know.
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.
New Harvest takes pride in serving some of the best brews this side of Providence. Directly sourcing their beans from independent producers and farmers, the cafe advocates sustainable retail practices. Each roast has its own distinct personality and aroma, and you can explore them all here. A laid-back coffee shop during the day, New Harvest morphs into an intimate bar for whiskey and coffee cocktails come evening. Team up you cup of java with dessert from local pastry shops like Humble Pie and Foremost Baking. Use the speakeasy entrance post 8p.
The Dorrance has garnered a reputation over the years as one of the best restaurants in Providence, or all of Rhode Island for that matter. The ambiance exudes elegance just like the menu, with dishes that contain exotic ingredients like Burrata, Blue Mussels in saffron and a selection of Rillettes on their Charcuterie plate. The food menu changes according to season, however the cocktails stay fairly static, that is because they have perfected them. A couple of the highlights include the Creole Lemonade made with Damask Gin or the potent Kentucky Fire made with both Heaven Hill 8 year Bourbon and Laphroaig scottish whiskey!
Ten Prime Steak and Sushi is the ultimate dining experience in a romantic yet fun filled atmosphere. A lot of crowd from all over the city pours in here to taste the amazing hand cut steaks from corn-fed mid-western beef! Along with the steaks, you can also enjoy a full sushi menu featuring nigiri and sashimi and designer rolls. The Octopus-tako, cooked shrimp and Fresh Water Eel—or Unagi as it is called—come highly recommended.