Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Most everybody knows that Gracie's in downtown Providence (194 Washington Street  401-272-7811) runs the Star Chef Series. In the last couple of years some pretty notable chefs have created dinners there. On August 11, a very local and well known chef, Bruce Tillinghast, beloved former owner of New Rivers ( will be the star in charge. Good news!

$125 per person before tax & tip

Call Gracie's to reserve (401) 272-7811


When Trafford (285 Warren Street, Warren  401-289-2265) first opened it seemed cavernous to me, and under-designed. Our first dinners weren't notable - disappointing because Warren needs this literal lift (the restaurant is two stories) to its dining scene and Trafford has excellent views of water, boats and pretty homes, winter and summer. Everyone wants to get close to the water and seats by the windows go fast but the whole place, upstairs and down, gives you a seaside feeling. Anyone who has ever dined on the water in Warren knows that it's especially fun on race nights when, if you're really early, you can watch boats set out or, later, watch them sail in with the setting sun. The waterway is narrow here, near enough to almost touch.

There have been decorating tweaks since those first visits and though Trafford doesn't deliver any culinary knock-outs (it's not a place where the waitstaff tells you the origin of every dish, e.g., where your clams were 24 hours ago) but it consistently serves good enough fare at non-outrageous prices. It's a menu to put you in a summer mood - lots of chowder, mussels, lobsters and salads, stuffies too. Of course, burgers and steaks. Gluten-free options too. No pressure to order big. And the drinks are good, with a couple of silly but fun martini-type drinks that aren't yucky sweet. They are totally agreeable about altering the drinks to suit you.

Maybe the best news is that Trafford is open for lunch everyday and for breakfast (8:00 a.m.) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.