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“Great food in a crowd”
Review of Al Forno

Al Forno
Ranked #19 of 810 Restaurants in Providence
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Fox Point
Description: telephone #401-273-9760Fodor's choice star rating
Skowhegan, Maine
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great food in a crowd”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Well-known and popular, there are no reservations. The eggplant with buffalo mozzarello came in a truly "meaty" tomato concasse sauce! Delicious! The famous brick oven pizza was ultra thin and delicious as well. the pepperoni was slicing style and very flavorful. The table for two was not big enough for two! My shoulder was against the wall yet my right leg was outside the table leg in the aisle! And the four-toppers against the windows - banquet under the window and two chairs in the aisle - were within elbow distance as one removed a coat! Waitress was very, very knowledgible of the wine list, which was very helpful since many of the Italians listed were unknown to us.

Visited March 2013
Thank SkowMaineacs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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473 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Most Over-Rated Restaurant in R.I.”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I have been to almost every restaurant in the state of RI and enjoy fine dining ....after years of hearing how good Al forno and how it came across as a premiere restaurant I was excited to go finally. Ambiance is great, nice atmosphere, everyone who works there is poorly dressed and looks sloppy. They say us upstairs again great ambiance, but the chairs ?? Really for a place that has entrees at 30 and up again I'm not cheap by any means but your place has to match your price ...they could do better ....anyways our waitress was like a zombie had no life to her..she was no waitress's she took your order and then that's it you only saw her when she brought your food out and when the bill was ready. Other than that the hostess/coat lady/ busser did all the foot work....water was never refilled and I chose a glass of wine off the 5 or 6 wine glass choices this premier restaurant had on its menu...anyways about the food ....we chose the pizza I heard about for years and how good it is etc....okay it had a tasty grilled taste to it and was very good, but I'm sorry for the size and for being grilled dough w cheese and sauce it's not worth $20.00 I mean after all it's an appetizer....entrees we got 5 cheese baked pasta ...again $20.00 and I'm not complaining for prices, but nothing special, maybe I would have cared more about it if their wasnt a large black hair In it......other entrée choice was the dirty steak special ...very good, but again I'm not a huge fan of when my steak is pre-cut it was a tad bit dry but had a sauce that filled the plate which the steak sat on that had a little kick....overall I wasn't impressed with al forno I think for the money any other elite restaurant in RI beats it (cappricio's, prime, Siena, etc). I won't be returning anytime soon!

I should point out they took the pasta which had the hair in it off of the bill, however the waitress never made any mention of it and the hostess lady who also bussed and hung costs apologized....I never asked for it to be taken off the bill, because like I said I'm not cheap, but it was the right thing to do...I should also point out we did have a busser as well as this lady.....we only saw him once

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    • Food
2 Thank MPRI84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great atmosphere, delicious food, fantastic service”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

While visiting Providence for a girl's weekend, we had a delicious meal at Alforno. We had heard how highly rated it is nationally and also knew that they do not accept reservations for smaller parties - so we got there for an early dinner and definitely had the meal of our trip! It was hard to choose what to order, but the waitress knew every dish on the menu so well - you would think she moonlights as a chef - and helped us to choose several items to share vs order one entree per person. The grilled pizza with pumpkin was so good and so unique; the rigatoni with veal bolognese was a favorite; the eggplant Al Forno is something I wish I could figure out how to make on my own because I would eat it all the time; the brussel sprouts as a side were perfect; and the chocolate bread pudding just melted in our mouths (then we tried scraping the bowl!).

I will definitely make a point to return to this restaurant when I am in the area - even if that means driving a distance to get there.

Visited March 2013
Thank jerziu12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, RI
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Much-touted but not worth the (very long!!) wait”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

My husband and I went to Al Forno last night to celebrate a special occasion (our two March birthdays), hoping to have a fun, relaxing evening and great food. While the food was good, our evening at Al Forno was anything but fun and relaxing! We knew that this restaurant did not take reservations for parties of less than six, and that, as there were just two of us, we'd have to wait. And wait we did -- for two hours in a very hot, crowded and uncomfortable bar where patrons were allowed to eat standing up as there was not enough room for them to sit down. (Three students stood behind and around us and consumed an entire wood-grilled pizza). After we had waited two hours with no sign of progress (having already drunk most of the bottle of prosecco we had planned on drinking with our 'celebratory' meal), my husband went to check on the progress of our table, and was told there were still two parties ahead of us! About 15 min thereafter we were offered to eat at a very small table in the bar area (they call this 'the lounge' though it was in the same hot, crowded room we'd been sitting in for the last two hours, at the bar). We were told that if we wanted to wait for a proper table in the restaurant instead of the bar, the wait would be an additional 40 minutes!! At this point, though I was furious enough to want to walk out, it was 9:30 pm and we felt we'd better take what we could get. The meal arrived quickly thereafter with surly wait-service and considerable discomfort for my husband, who at 6 ft. 3 could barely fit his legs under the quite small table where we'd been seated. And that was our lovely birthday celebration! As noted above, the food when it came was good -- but I was almost too mad to taste it. Basically, our special evening was ruined. It is clear this restaurant doesn't care about its customers but about keeping the tables packed at all times and turning them over as quickly as possible. A potentially 3-hour wait for a table? Two hours wait and all that money spent, to eat in a bar? Sorry, Al Forno, we will not be returning!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
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2 Thank Clarissa_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Worth a trip to Providence”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Although Al Forno is pricey, I try to make it there when I travel to Providence. The menu is challenging, bringing together unusual combos, but the dishes people in my party have tried work and are memorable. Alas, for the last 15 years, I've stopped experiementing, since I find the 'dirty steak' (Delmonico steak cooked on coals) delicious and unique. Our last visit was a party of 7 on a Friday night - in addition to the dirty steak, we had a pizza with duxelles, lamb chop/lamb sausage, short rib ravioli, chicken breast, and a fish dish. We shared the double chocolate cake, the cranberry apple tart, and the pear and walnut tart. The double chocolate cake is indescribably worth while.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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