Carrboro >Food & Dining > Province
What a change--and not for the better.
I ate here with out-of-town relatives two years ago, and the meal was wonderful. The food and service were well above average, and the place was busy that night.
Two months ago (Oct. 2007) I went to Provence with my mother and a friend (both of whom had eaten there more times than I had), and we all agreed--everything's gone downhill.
The food took an extraordinary amount of time to get to the table, which was odd, as, aside from the three of us, there were only four other diners in the restaurant.
Our waitress apologized for the wait, and brought an extra bread basket, but neglected to bring the butter.
When we requested more butter, she was unwilling to bring it, but did eventually bring two small pats. Quite
a tussle to get some butter, and not even enough of it!
I had ordered the lemon sole Meuniere, and when it finally came, it looked as if a bare tablespoon of sauce had been carefully drizzled across the length of the fish. When I requested more sauce, it was the "butter tussle" all over again, but the waitress finally brought a dab more sauce in a tiny cup. The friend my mother and I were dining with went through the same thing with her order of beef tenderloin with peppercorn sauce--a scant spoonful was on the dish, and she had to ask for more sauce, several times. before the waitress brought it.
The desserts were on the dry side. We had coffee with the desserts, and again, there was something of a tussle to get a second cup.
Plainly, Provence is going downhill (the near-emptiness of the place when we came in should have told us something). Apparently they're really counting the pennies, and won't cut loose with butter, or sauce, or coffee, without something of a fight!
Provence has gone from a place I used to recommend unreservedly (as did my mother), to "Well, it's too bad it's not what it used to be." I really couldn't recommend it as it is now.
We had a wonderful celebration. We were a party of 8 once, of 4 another, and am looking forward to going again soon with 10 of us. Each one is treated like royalty, the baked whole fish was amazing, the desserts incredible. the tables outside really offer a lovely dining eveing. They have a well trained French chef who prepares some of the best meals around. Superb.
Can't wait to go back. What impresses me most about Provence is that we have been there over a dozen times and have yet to be disappointed. In fact, the most difficult part of the evening is choosing which wonderful items to choose from. I always feel compelled to order one of the seafood offerings because finding perfectly prepared fish is almost impossible. Salmon, sole, halibut all are prepared without too many competing flavors.s. My husband on the other hand most often orders the beef Wellington, the lamb or the wild boar, which I love to share with him. The real dilemma though is choosing appetizers: my favorites are the escargot, the bisque and the onion soup. It is so hard to save room for the chocolate mousse, but I always do. The service has been professional and friendly, not stiff or pushy. It is so nice to have a dependably good dinner.
French in Carrboro. Had a lovely dinner there on one of the hottest, most humid nights this summer. The thought of having to dress up made me feel faint so I called the restaurant before our 8pm reservation to ask about the dress code. I still wore pearls and linen, but my sweet husband blew in Carrboro-style in shorts and a crisp t-shirt. It was the nicest setting we'd been in a long time and we like to go out now that the grown kids can be left sans babysitter. The wait staff was quick and friendly and the Frenchman who greeted us couldn't have been warmer to us. (I think he told us we could wear shorts!) Everything tasted fresh and was just as pretty as the French it was written in. Some may argue this point with me, but I thought the servings were too large, even for an ugly American like me. Once it cools off some and my lipstick doesn't melt off on the rim of my Sauvignon, it will be nice to sit outside for a meal. Until then.
Find romance on a pebble-lined patio at this evocative French cafe..
A small house the color of butter welcomes gourmets to Provence's indulgent atmosphere, a respite from the surrounding vegan-tofu community. Saffron padded chairs of wrought iron sit scattered under trees. The glow from bronze pole lanterns flatters both the cuisine and diners' complexions. Inside, the French blue upholstered chairs, an intimate bar and a fluent hostess charm Francophiles. Lemon sole amandine s a classic, yet still feels young and new.
Our favorite little restaurant.
We've been there twice now, and going again tonight -- it has become our favorite "nice" dinner place in town. Doesn't look like much from the outside, but the inside is darling, quiet and romantic, unlike so many other "nice" restaurants in the area that have become overrun by business dinners...
I absolutely love their fish, and their steak is rather good too, but my favorite is the salad with goat cheese. I could eat a dozen of them! The creme brulee is excellent too -- I haven't tried the other desserts because I can't resist a good creme brulee and two desserts might be excessive...
It is pricy of course, but it's definitely worth it!
Generally Very Good.
This quaint, understated restaurant offers delicious provincial favorites served by highly attentive and--generally, fairly--knowledgable waitstaff. Among the stars is a multitude of appetizers, none of which I have found disappointing. Standard main courses such as the salt crusted fish and roast lamb in juniper sauce have brought be back on several occasions. The wine list has a nice range; there are always good, inexpensive house picks on the recommended list of bottles. Last--and in my esteem hardly not least--the desserts are outstanding. Be sure to reserve a piece of the house goat cheese cake.
N.B: Do not order the beef wellington. I ordered one medium rare, hoping it would be prepared in typical French medium rare (i.e., closer to rare); it arrived medium well. Although the waitstaff as usual acted appropriately and attentively, the burned meat ruined my meal that night.
Not what I expected.
Pros: Location, okay wine list. Waiter was nice but not well informed.
Cons: Food was cooked poorly (I ordered the tuna, was told it would be "seared" on the outside and pink on the inside. It was overcooked to saw the least with no pink. The atmosphere is poor for a french restaurant, very cheap furniture and no mood lighting. Overpriced for what you get in food quality and atmosphere. Unfortunately, other city seach recommendation missed on this one.
Impeccable. I've enjoyed two visits to this fine resaurant and look forward to many more. It was so nice to see escargots on a menu again, and they were superb. The service on both occasions was outstanding. A feature no one has yet mentioned is its accessibility, including a ramped entrance, wide-open spaces inside, and very convenient handicapped parking. The soft lighting, though, makes the sepia-toned menu a bit hard to read.
Wish I discovered it earlier. This restaurant has been around for over a year and I just heard about it for the first time on the recommendation of a co-worker. The escargot starter was superb (I recommend them in the roquefort cheese). We were presented with a tray of 3 red snappers from which to choose for the salt-crusted fish entree. It was served table side (nice touch!) with a choice of hollandaise or infused olive oil sauce on a plate with wonderfully prepared vegetables. It was perfect. We had the bread pudding in creme anglaise for dessert - very tasty. Service was very good, if slightly slow, but only because she seemed to be covering half the tables in the place (hopefully not a common occurrence). The restaurant got pretty loud when all the tables filled up, but not annoyingly so. I look forward to going back soon.
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