Provence Marinaside RestaurantPosted: 02/25/2012
So for my first post, I’m going to blog about a cuisine that I had for the first time– French! This is my first foray into blogging, French-food-eating, and food-picture-taking… Here goes!
My friend Arnel decided to bring me here as a celebration of sorts– with my last 2 midterms behind me, I could finally begin Reading Break! Along with us were Earl (to whom I owe the magnificent pictures of the Amuse-Bouche, Duck Liver Parfait and Bouillabaisse), Johnny, Eleanor and Nanbin, making it a reunion of sorts as well. Located in Yaletown, and a convenient 5-minute walk from the Canada Line, Provence Marinaside has a nice view of False Creek on a sunny day. Too bad it was raining so hard…
The restaurant itself has a nice, warm feel to it (probably the lighting and the saffron-hued walls), and boasts a showcase of their homemade antipasti at the entrance, which you can also order off their menu.My friends and I all ended up getting the Chef’s 10th Anniversary Menu, with a little variation, of course.
We all started off with the complimentary tapenade and crostini (not pictured), which is made with olives, anchovies, and capers. It wasn’t really to my liking (I’m not an olive person. OR a capers person either)…so I don’t
really know why I had 3 pieces. The crostini itself wasn’t bad, but I would have preferred the old standby of bread and butter…
Which thankfully came next, along with our amuse-bouche of a Scallop over Mushrooms.The bread basket consisted of slices of focaccia bread and baguette served warm with butter, this was quite good (I love me some bread).The amuse-bouche was a nice treat as well– the perfectly cooked scallop, over top of a variety of woodsy mushrooms, and drizzled with basil oil and garlic was flavourful and was an excellent precursor to the rest of the meal.
The 10th Anniversary Menu is somewhat like the Vancouver DineOut menu– for $38, you get an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. Unlike DineOut, this menu had many options to choose from. For my appy, I chose the Antipasti and Salad combo, where you get to choose an antipasto from the aforementioned display to go with the salad. I picked the Tomato and Bocconcini, which is served in a balsamic vinaigrette and topped with basil leaves. The salad was pretty generic, but the antipasto was an interesting add. There were many juicy cherry tomatoes amidst the mild cheese. I wouldn’t say that it was the most flavourful dish, but it was refreshing.
Afterwards, I tried a bit of Arnel’s appetizer of Duck Liver Parfait. The little cup of liver paste (doesn’t sound that appetizing, I know) came with cornichons, pearl onions, crostini and the same salad I had. Knowing nothing at all about duck liver or foie gras or the preparation of these dishes,I was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t taste too much like the liver I despise. Rather, it was smooth, buttery, and with a slight alcohol aftertaste. Portion-wise, there were too few crostini for the duck liver, so it was a good thing we had some leftover from the tapenade!
For my main I chose the Bouillabaisse, which featured 2 large tiger prawns, scallops, mussels, clams, mackerel, sardines and saffron potatoes in a tomato-based broth. It came along with crostini (for the broth), gruyere cheese and rouille sauce, which is tasted like a more lemony tartar sauce. The seafood was prepared perfectly; the mussels and clams were all open, the prawns had a nice snap (does that make sense?), and the fish was flakey. The potatoes were cooked well, retaining their firmness.The broth was a little on the saltier side for me, though, so I didn’t finish it.
Dessert was a bit of a dilemma– I was stuck between the lemon tarte and the raspberry creme brulee. Good thing Eleanor got the tart, so I could try some! I ended up with the Raspberry Creme Brulee,which was smooth and full of vanilla flavour. The raspberries and the thin layer of caramelized sugar were just sweet enough to not overwhelm the dish. I’d say this was my favourite part of the meal– I’d go back just to get another one! The Lemon Tarte was super lemony (as you’d expect), with just the right level of tartness. It was topped with chopped hazelnuts, which provided a different texture to the smooth dish. All in all, I’d say that this was an interesting foray into the world of French food. Service was alright; nothing spectacular, though. Being that Provence is a French restaurant, there were some items on the menu that confused me, and getting an explanation didn’t really help things either… but I just didn’t order the dish, so it doesn’t matter. The food is pretty solid, though, especially their desserts; I’d probably come back to try their breakfast in the future. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!
Provence Marinaside Restaurant
1177 Marinaside Cresc