Agent B: One week after Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. our next Dine Out Vancouver mission was Provence Mediterranean Grill which was voted the best 2011 DOV $38 menu. This was our first venture into a French restaurant (before Le Crocodile) so we came in with high expectations.
Agent J: When I first looked up the restaurant, I wasn’t sure what to think. A small, old-fashioned, quaint place in Kits? But when we arrived, we were pleasantly greeted by the host, who offered to hang our jackets, and so I decided old-fashioned was good. We were seated in a cozy corner, although the tables are quite close to each other.
Agent B: For a busy Friday during dine-out season, the service was acceptable though considering the price I would still have appreciated something more than just prompt service. Maybe take the time to explain the dishes like other higher-end places. But anyway, the food!
B: The appetizer choices for dineout weren’t exceptionally creative, with your choices of the daily soup, a mixed green salad or the Sea Scallop and Wild Prawn Croquette pictured above. Normally we like to have different things, but I wasn’t too excited to try some green salad or the daily soup (don’t remember what it was) so we both got the croquette.
J: When I thought of ‘croquette’, I thought it’d look like a spring roll and be very oily. So I was happy to be presented with something similar to a crab cake instead. It was not oily at all, and was a sizable portion. I couldn’t really detect anything unique in using scallops and prawns, so I found it to be quite an average dish.
B: Yeah, it was alright. Wasn’t what I expected, which was a good thing but it also wasn’t amazing either.
B: For our main course I got the Bouillabaise (and embarrassed myself trying to pronounce it) which is supposedly their chef’s signature dish. It came with the usual suspects of seafood (clams, mussels, salmon, shrimp, scallop) in a tomato-y, vegetable-y broth which was pretty good. The description mentioned that it came with a “gruyere et la rouille” which I later looked up to be a cheesy-mayo served with bread. This might explain this:
which I thought was another complimentary dish for us. I guess if the server had bothered to explain the dishes to us, we would have understood.
J: I had the Pan-Roasted Sablefish, which was a conservative choice on my part, but I just felt like having fish that day. The portion was large, and the fish was perfectly cooked and moist. Unfortunately the sauce was lacking and the vegetables were average, making the overall dish just satisfactory. However, from Agent B’s dish and mine, I can assure you that the seafood here is definitely fresh and always comes in large portions!
B: I love sablefish so I definitely tried to get my share of J’s dish. So far I still prefer the miso preparation of sablefish as I think that brings out the butteryness of the fish better, so this dish was just average for me.
J: For dessert I opted for the Trio of Sorbet since there were only two choices and Agent B picked the other one. The flavours were meant to be raspberry, kiwi, and mango, but being a sorbet, it was mostly sweet and I found it hard to distinguish the flavours.
B: The terrine was chocolatey of course, and it’s hard to say no to chocolate. It was good, but maybe a bit too sweet and I probably would have preferred something more on the dark chocolate side but that’s my personal preference. The Refinery (post to come!) had quite a good mix of dark and milk chocolate terrine which I enjoyed a bit more.
J: As a chocolate lover, even I found this a bit too sweet!
FINAL AGENT REPORT
Atmosphere: Fine Dining
B: 4. The food was overall good, but not the exceptional quality I expected coming into a restaurant that won best dine-out menu last year. I wish they had more creative appetizer choices than soup and salad, but the croquette was nicely done. The bouillabaisse was good with nice portions but I’ve had better sablefish than what J got. Dessert was acceptable but a bit too sweet.
J: 3.5. The seafood was clearly fresh and spot on, but not very unique. For the price and as an award-winning restaurant, I suppose I expected something more special. Overall, it seems to be a reliable restaurant to go to if you’re out of ideas.
B:3.5. Service was adequate considering it was a busy, Friday, dineout evening. For the price I was paying I would have appreciated a bit more elaboration of the dishes instead of just setting it down with the name (I can read). Otherwise, everything else was alright.
J: 3.5. A step-up from typical service, as they were genuinely friendly throughout. However, dishes weren’t explained and there wasn’t much interaction when our dishes came out.
Overall Rating (/5): 3.5