Friday, April 29, 2016

Provence Marinaside

Restaurants with a view are not my first choice of establishments to visit anymore when it comes to dining out because I am biased and believe the food may not be great, such as the Boathouse chain, Top of Vancouver, Fraiche, Seasons in the Park, Sandbar and Horizons. So when my friend wanted to try Provence Marinaside located in Yaletown and with a view of False Creek, my initial reaction was meh... Well, it was more like could we try Bella Gelateria next door instead? Okay fine, it was more like a beg instead of a suggestion!

Trying to be selfless however, Provence Marinaside was fine and we came here for lunch. When we entered the restaurant, we were a bit put off because the hostess kept her back facing towards us and seemed very indifferent. No worries though since all the servers we encountered including the manager was very personable and friendly. Given the option of patio or indoor, we chose the latter since it was chilly out. The atmosphere at Provence Marinaside is casual, laid back and inviting. 

Rating: 3.5/5
To start off, we received a basket of fresh and warm baguette along with focaccia bread. I had a huge craving for bread and butter and this killed it!

STEAMED MUSSELS, "Garlic, white wine, onion, cream and fresh herbs, garlic crouton" ($14.00).
Rating: 4/5.
The fresh and plump mussels taste juicy and perfectly cooked, not a second over. In addition, the sauce is REALLY good. Rich, creamy and flavourful, we do not care the mussels are on the smaller side. As for the side of crouton, I love it. It is really garlicky, exhibits a hint of spice, crumbles in the mouth and is not too crunchy.

CRAB AND SHRIMP CAKES, "Frisee sald and spring onion aioli" ($18.00).
Rating: 2.5/5.
Available on the dinner menu as an appetizer, this is the lunch entree version we ordered as an appie. The crab cakes are well formed and not too stiff, but are also more wet than moist. The cakes have a compressed texture rather than fluffy despite the good amount of crab meat and are a touch more seared than what I would have liked, which resulted in a chewy exterior. In addition, the small baby shrimp are overcooked and taste rubbery.

CRAB AND LOBSTER BAMBOO RICE, "White wine butter sauce, snap peas, tomato, fresh herbs" ($27.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
Coming from someone who was against ordering this dish, I love it. The bamboo rice is well executed, tasting soft and chewy - pretty much perfectly cooked! The rice tastes so good that I could have had it on its own with that rich, buttery, creamy and flavourful sauce. The sauce is definitely the star of this plate and makes me forget about the fluffy crab and bouncy lobster meat, which are of course delicious as well. Usually I eat only have protein or seafood and leave the carbs behind, but this rice and sauce... man so good!

SEARED SMOKED SABLEFISH, "Grilled tomato, spinach, cornmeal crusted eggplant, yellow pepper coulis" ($36.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
Struggling to find something I like on the lunch menu, I inquired if we could order off the dinner menu and am fortunate the manager okay'd it because the sable fish is delicious. The sable fish like the entree above is perfectly prepared, tasting moist, flaky and melts in the mouth while exhibiting a crisp skin. Moreover, there is a nice smokey flavour that does not overhwhelm and the pepper coulis compliments the seafood. I also like the addition of spinach underneath. As for the eggplant, I wish I read the menu description because I do not prefer the addition or texture of the corn meal.

Provence Marinaside exceeded my expectations and the food is well executed from the perfectly cooked mussels and sablefish to the flavourful (but yet not too heavy) sauces. The prices are also reasonable and the dishes are of good portion. In regards to the service, the servers and managers were welcoming and inviting. There are not many restaurants in Vancouver that I would go out of my way to revisit unless it was for a special occasion based on someone else's choice, but I would come back to Provence Marinaside to try their dinner menu.

- Friendly staff
- Above average food
- Good value for portion and location

- Indifferent hostess

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5

1177 Marinaside Crescent Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Y3
Telephone (604) 681-4144

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