Jenkins and I live pretty close to Provence Marinaside and we often go there for a nice brunch when we feeling like jazzing things up. I used to go to Provence for dinner a lot more frequently before I moved into the neighbourhood but for some reason, I never blogged about it even though I had written about my brunch experience before.. Since we were going to dinner at Provence Marinaside to celebrate Jenkins’ mom’s birthday, I thought it would be a nice time to also do a review.
Shortly after we ordered, we were presented with a basket of bread. There was an assortment including baguette slices and focaccia. The focaccia had some herbs on top so I was able to eat it plain but for the baguette, I spread a little bit of tapenade on it to give it an extra flavour kick. Sorry about the blurry picture but it was fairly dark in the restaurant.
It was a dark and stormy evening…so I was in the mood for some soup. I started with the soup of the day, which was a cream of tomato with basil oil and basil chiffonade on top. The acidity of the tomato was balanced with a little cream and I really enjoyed the strong tomato flavour emanating from this soup. It went really well with the bread.
Sablefish is one of my favourite types of fish and since I hadn’t eaten it in a while, I decided to order the herb crusted sablefish for my main. The fish itself was perfectly cooked and despite the herb crust, the skin itself was still quite crunchy so I was able to eat the skin as well. The buttery flakes of fish was pretty rich and the accompanying broccolini added a nice hint of bitterness to the dish. I also liked the al dente lentils which picked up the flavour of the chorizo that it was also cooked with. Although this dish did not look huge, it was quite filling.
Jenkins really likes the seafood linguini at both Provence restaurants so that is what he ended up choosing for his main. As you can see below, there was a lot of seafood included in this dish, including clams, mussels, salmon, halibut, and prawns, which were tossed in a light garlic and tomato sauce. The seafood was all excellently prepared but my favourite was the crunchy prawns, which Jenkins let me sample. When I was in university, I used to order this dish from Provence Mediterranean Grill on 10th a lot…partly because it was one of the cheaper things on the menu at $18 (back then) and also because it was just so tasty.
I was pretty full at this point but Jenkins’ mom and dad’s meals came with dessert and since they were also full, they said we should all share their desserts. One of our choices was the dessert special, which was a raspberry tart. I enjoyed this one quite a bit since it was pretty light, with the sweet yet tangy raspberries going well with the vanilla cream filling for the tart.
The other dessert we chose was the double chocolate kahlua cake, which was definitely the favourite for everyone else at our table. It was very rich and definitely very chocolatey. Surprisingly, I couldn’t really taste much of the kahlua flavour though but that did not bother me. This cake was really dense and would appeal to any chocolate fan out there but I would have liked a little more berry coulis to contrast with the chocolate.
It was Jenkins’ parents’ first time at Provence Marinaside and they enjoyed their dinner there. There are a lot more high end dining places now than there used to be when Provence first started out but I think they are always a reliable place to go for a nice dinner out. I don’t know if I’d necessarily classify their food as Provencal these days but it is is well executed and the service is always great.
1177 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver