After what felt like a double-long week, we decided to abandon the Friday night kitchen drill and hit a new place. After picking up my partner-in-dine after work, we headed to look for the nearest bistro with outdoor seating on west 10th. Voila, Provence had a few sidewalk tables as we drove by.
Never actually been there and wasn't quite sure what to expect, I was surprised and pleased with their ambience, staff and service.
For appies we enjoyed two choices, spicy lamb sausage with fennel in tomato sauce and grilled asparagus. While nice on their own, I thought the sausages were neither spicy enough nor lamb-ey (baaad spelling). The asparagus was tender but a tad too delicate and frail.
Things improved considerably by the time we got to the mains. My wife had the brochette duo of prawns and scallops with lemon mustard vinaigrette, sautéed spinach and roasted cherry tomatoes. She thought the vinaigrette was spectacularly done, and the scallops and prawns were huge by even my standards and totally plump and fresh. I had the seafood linguine and was also treated to a mound of fresh mussels, clams, prawns and grilled fish on a bed of delicate al dente linguine smothered with a reduction of chopped tomatoes, shallots and garlic. I noted to our very friendly waiter that I could use more garlic in the linguine next time, but hey I'm just a garlic fiend. But it was certainly the best pasta I've had in quite a long time.
Although too full for dessert (and boy did we miss out), with a couple of glasses of Côtes du Luberon 2001 our total tab came to just under $70 before gratuities. I think only in Vancouver can one enjoy such fresh, world-class cuisine (in a great neighbourhood to boot !)
Bon apetit, SaabKen
Contributed by SaabKen