Monday, March 14, 2016

As they say in Guilderland: Bon Appetit!!!

Sometimes the start of the weekend is on a Wednesday. Life is good.

We took Puppy Sweet Cheeks out for her (mon dieu!) 60th birthday last week, choosing Provence because it is elegant, slightly beat up, sedate and charming, like us (non!). Located in the upscale Stuyvesant Plaza it's a lovely place to wine and dine, and has been since it opened in 1999.
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear
The bar is small but often crowded comme les sardines, so my special powers are very useful when it comes time to fighting a way out towards the dining area.  Noisy, but friendly, it's a foule de fantaisie enjoying a fine wine selection and some very good cocktails. I loved the Chamisal Vineyards 2014 un-oaked chardonnay ($8), and Puppy took on a Moscow Mule (ginger beer, vodka and lime) while we waited for K2 to join us. They offer a small selection of $5 wine and drink specials from 3:00 to 7:00. Monsieur, that is MY kinda happy "hour".
Dining areas are dark, cozy and comfortable, but Zena needed a booster seat on the banquette 
In addition to their regular menu (which, if you haven't been in de nombreuses années, is much improved, with lighter choices, more small plates, and some hearty salads) they take the trouble to print off a small menu of daily specials, which I usually avoid, thinking someone is trying to unload aging ingredients, but this list was trés trés intéressant. Puppy loved the soup du jour of the day, Potato and Corned Beef Soup ($7) - simple, not too salty or thickened with thickeners - and a salad laced with cranberries and walnuts with mixed greens ($11).
A thoughtfully prepared dinner-sized salad with a cup of the soup du jour of the day
I enjoyed the Poisson - pan seared striped bass (perfectly cooked, simply seasoned), served with garlicky broccoli rabe and fingerlings ($26) - plain but in the spirit of the paysans - the quality of the ingredients was allowed to shine.

The poaching liquid, or nage, is beautiful and delicious
K2 won with the Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin ($25), one of their regular entrees, a rich winter delight of super tender pan-roasted pork, dried fruit, pecans and bacon with a side of braised cabbage. We all appreciated that the greens and potatoes with these two dishes were different.
Light whipped mashed, tender pork and perfectly prepared green beans were a delight.
Nous avons mangé tout. Then we celebrated la vie by sharing an Apple Tarte Tatin ($7.5) - generous for just one! - a nice combination of tart cooked apples, vanilla ice cream, caramel and whipped. A perfect way to end the day in the company of friends.
Bon anniversaire, Puppy Sweet Cheeks!
Dinner for three, including three drinks (in addition to the ones we had at the bar!) was $122 plus tax and tip. As they say in Guilderland: bon appetit!!!

Zena, Goddess of Fire

1 comment:

Albany Landlord said...

As they say in Guilderland, nobody goes to Provence anymore - its too crowded...

Thanks for the reminder of a nice place.