Friday, May 23, 2014


For Rhode Islanders West Side usually means Federal Hill. If you're young, or reasonably hip, or a foodie, West Side means Broadway. Venture farther still and try Loie Fuller's (1455 Westminster Street, Providence  401-273-4375), a bar resplendent with Art Deco woodwork and painting.

Dinner here is bistro fare featuring about ten main courses: a couple of steaks, duck, maybe bass,  scallops, something with chicken and always vegetarian choices. Small plates include excellent salads (lardon aplenty), snails, mussels and frites. A little high in the calorie count but that's comfort food. And it's good comfort. The dining room, open to the bar, is just a fraction up the dress scale from neighborhood bar - casual, it just happens to evoke Piaf and give the sense that it's okay to linger.

You see all kinds of people here, young to old (no tots). Prices are reasonable, main courses range from $15 to $21, but it's common to see a table of "graduate student types" (my, probably totally inaccurate, catch-all phrases for young, interesting-looking persons who don't look rich) eating appetizers and drinking beer.

A plus for me is that the bartender knows what he's doing and can mix modern no-nonsense cocktails (i.e., not the sweet trash served at 95% of local venues).

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