On Chalkstone Avenue, the border of Valley and Elmhurst, Los Andes Bolivian and Peruvian dishes bring in people from all over Providence. Los Andes' warm decor with blood-orange walls and live entertainment come second to the large portions and interesting ingredient pairings. Small changes to traditional items such as corn nuts in ceviche add complex textures and flavor to an already flavorful dish. Its menu features pan-seared sirloins, chicken breast with chorizo and calamari tossed with queso blanco, cloves of garlic and mint that rivals most Italian restaurants in Providence. Los Andes has quite a following, and Friday night seating can result in waits up to 45 minutes, so be sure to make reservations when planning a weekend dinner at this local hot spot.
A five-minute ride into Federal Hill, Siena on Atwells Avenue serves northern Italian dishes in an elegant atmosphere. This award-winning restaurant has three Rhode Island locations, each with a different menu. Siena soars with dishes incorporating fresh herbs, creams and truffle oil, including the Scaloppine di Vitello Porcini — a veal dish deglazed with white wine. The Manzo di Giuseppe delivers a 14-ounce Black Angus sirloin with sea salt and warm Gorgonzola cream cheese, a taste that marries well with the fresh lemon juice drizzle. Siena has a wide-ranging wine list and meal pairings with bottles from New Zealand, France, California and Italy. Much like Los Andes, this northern Italian-inspired bistro receives heavy volume on the weekends, with wait times that sometimes extend to hours. During peak hours, Siena often gets quite loud in the dining area, so save the romantic night out for a weekday night when Siena provides more intimacy.
For a frolicking good time, check out the Comedy Connection to find a variety of visiting A-List comedians from shows such as Last Comic Standing and stay for the extravagant drag queen gathering and some local talent. The small menu of pizza and wraps awaits along with a nice variety of appetizers such as the fried ravioli. The Hardcore Fries loaded with cheese, jalapenos, bacon, scallions and sour cream prove nothing to laugh at, but they remain a favorite with locals nonetheless. The converted bank building also houses
a full bar and special nights of poker and music. If you fancy yourself a would-be stand-up comic, check out this establishment's comedy lessons.