Located on the Seawall in Yaletown
Several times this summer we biked around the Seawall from Coal Harbour to Yaletown with a plan to indulge in brunch at Provence Marinaside. And every time we arrived the line was so long that we opted for the Hurricane Grill next door instead (previous blog October 7th) which we do really enjoy. So last week we decided to meet some friends at Provence for lunch on a weekday when we could make a reservation (they do not take reservations for weekend brunch). It was still busy but the restaurant was not full and there was no line-up anyway and the whole experience turned out to be not quite what we had expected.

Expectations Not Met
The hostess was very pleasant and sat us right away at a table by the window with a view of False Creek but things went downhill from there. Our waiter was very…‘pretentious’ is a nice way of saying it…and acted like he was doing us a favor just by being there. Strike One. The menu did offer a lot of great choices for lunch including eggs all day as well as a fixed lunch menu that consisted of three courses for $25. I chose the fixed lunch while Jeff chose a breakfast option. For my starter I chose the soup of the day which the waiter informed me was Vegetable/Lentil. However, when it arrived there was not a lentil in sight, the soup was made from a beef stock base and had a good deal of bacon floating in it. Strike Two. I do have to say though that my main course, a Wild Mushroom Ravioli, served in a white wine butter sauce with a hint of tomato was very good. For desert I had the Berry & White Chocolate Clafoutis which is a french style cake I had not heard of before but it had a very nice light crust and was quite good. Jeff opted for eggs over medium with bacon, toast and fruit. Although you could tell that the eggs were farm fresh and they were cooked well, the toast was actually a baguette and there was very little fruit. At $13 for breakfast a similar meal could be had in the West End for half the price and right next door for $9.99 (and only $5.99 on Sundays). Strike Three.

Would Rather Go to the Hurricane Grill or Marmalade
Needless to say this experience was not one of the better ones we have had dining in downtown Vancouver. Perhaps our expectations were too high after having not been able to get in for brunch on several attempts. But with so many options to choose from, why waste a meal going back for a second try. Next time around the ‘wall’ we will be back for Bennys at the Hurricane Grill or Pancakes at Marmalade.

Food – OK, Service – NOT OK, Atmosphere – AVERAGE (but with a decent view)

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