Most 16 year olds are awkward, standing on the brink of discovering their special skills and mission in life. But this isn’t the case at Provence Marinaside as there’s no awkwardness in how the meals are executed from the fresh bread basket with its accompanying olive tapanade, fish that is never ever cooked a second too long so as to preserve their delicate flavours to each individual vegetable on your plate that never arrives looking like it’s gasping for air after being smothered in a sauce as a good chef knows that perfectly cooked vegetables retain their crispness and natural flavours.
No, Provence Marinaside hasn’t matured in 16 years, but has retained its consistent level of quality since the opening day. I’ve personally eaten here about 10+ times before I jumped on the blog bandwagon and have never had a meal that was less than spectacular. Besides Bouley Restaurant in New York, I’ve been to very few restaurants where everything I ate was spot on as there always seems to be something not quite right. When you consider the fact that Vancouver restaurants have to struggle with high rents and fickle foodies flocking to new establishments, husband and wife team of Jean-Francis and Alessandra Quaglia have managed to make Provence Marinaside a top dining destination in Vancouver for sixteen years.
Jean-Francis and Alessandra are no strangers to the culinary world. They met at Hotel Negrescu, Nice when they trained under world-renowned Chef Dominique Le Stanc and then went on to work together for Jean-Francis’ mother, Chef Suzanne at Le Patalain. Then in 1997 Jean-Francis and Alessandra opened Provence Mediterranean, followed by Provence Marinaside in 2001. Provence Mediterranean has since been sold, but Provence Marinaside continues to impress diners.
On February 20 when everything on the menu including bottles of wine were 16% off I arrived ready once again to have my taste buds seduced. Upon my arrival a glass of Joie Plein de Vie Brut arrived, with its lively bubbles preparing my palate for the feast ahead. Did you know Provence has 47 wine taps and a selection of 201 glasses of wine ranging from BC, France, Chile – name it, there’s a wine to please everyone’s wine palate.
Next, our appetizer of Crab and Shrimp Cakes arrived, so tender and chock full of crab and shrimp and crispy on the outside accompanied by a bed of beets.
Our first main course was a Seafood Platter that contained more than enough seafood for two with everything cooked perfectly as the clams and mussels were not overcooked and the large piece of albacore tuna was basically rare, although I did have to pry the lobster claw out of my friend’s hands to get my half. Along with the seafood was plenty of vegetables which were cooked perfectly.
We ordered our Rack of Lamb medium rare which arrived with tender pink flesh overflowing with meaty juices, making it the best Rack of Lamb I have had to date as the flesh was so tender. The photo above doesn’t do this dish justice as there was a total of six ribs on the plate. I think we swallowed this whole as my friend and I left not a crumb undemolished. My friend and I chose to pair the lamb with Racine Pinot Noir from France, which is a medium bodied red with elegant tannins that toned down the gaminess of the lamb.
Despite how much I eat, there’s always room for dessert as I never wear tight clothes when I go out for dinner. Been there, ate it all and popped all my buttons. If you’re a lemon fan like me, you’ll have to order the Lemon Tart as it’s always nice and tangy without going overboard.
To my delight, I found that the Berry and White Chocolate Clafoutis was just as tart as the Lemon Tart, but paired with the vanilla ice cream (which I didn’t have) would have tempered down the tartness.
Sweet Sixteen Promotions
To mark Provence Marinaside’s Sweet Sixteen, the restaurant has a number of special promotions and features planned
- ,From February 20 through March 8 (16 days) follow Provence Marinaside’s Instagram account (@provencemarinaside) to catch 16 Instagram-only daily special offers, featured items and contests
- Starting February 21 through to the end of March, Provence Marinaside’s Sweet Sixteen Menu will highlight 17 dishes that have been on the menu since the beginning. Each of these (such as Mamie Suzanne’s Fish Soup, Provence’s famed Plateau de Fruits de Mer and their Bouillabaisse) will be discounted by 16 percent for the entire time of the promotion
- Do you celebrate a 16th anniversary in 2018? Then come for dinner at Provence and they will have a special dessert platter just for you during the promotion