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H6yj6xVancouverSince May 20, 20092 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.5)


Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 Reviews Found
Provence Marinaside1177 Marinaside Cres, Vancouver
Why can't great food and great views coexist?
Submitted Saturday, June 6, 2009 - 12:51am [Dine in]

Provence Marinaside has one of the most delightful patios in Vancouver; minimal traffic on the adjacent road, spectacular water views and some of the most entertaining peoplewatching (the tiny expensive dogs! the enormous expensive cleavage!). Unfortunately, the restaurant seems content to rest on the laurels of these considerable assets and allow the food to slide into inoffensive but uninspired blandness. The service, too, left much to be desired on the night my friend and I had dinner there. We had made reservations for a patio table but were seated by our palpably disinterested host at a table for two that was overshadowed by a dense and oppressive topiary that completely obscured the view. I was put in mind of Charlie Brown's kite-eating tree. When we asked the bus-person if we could move to another table, he told us to ask our server when we saw her. Why couldn't he have notified her of our request himself? We waited half an hour for our meal, which, on a balmy, sunlit evening is no hardship, but doesn't speak well of the service. And our server was replaced halfway through our meal without having done us the courtesy of letting us know she was going off-shift.

The crab cakes were not bad, although they were served with a sauce that, despite its exotic pistachio green hue, tasted like mayonnaise. My friend ordered the special, a striped bass that was described as being served whole, with head and tail intact; however, our server returned a few minutes later to announce that it was now being served as a fillet instead. Unsettling. I ordered the vegetarian platter, which comprised a medley of roasted vegetables, asparagus, zucchini "spaghetti" (angel-hair strips of steamed zucchini), chickpea patties and millet pilaf. We both agreed that our meals, though adequate, were quite oily and oddly flavourless. My pilaf, in particular, was an ice-cold concoction of diced tomato and slightly undercooked grain that had no discernible dressing or flavouring--something along the lines of an unsuccessful Capers deli item. My friend was similarly disappointed in his bass (which arrived headless, tailless and ruthlessly dismembered into small chunks) and roasted fennel, both of which were oily and flavourless. We ordered a double chocolate cake to share and agreed that it could have come out of an Easy-Bake oven--two gritty, gluey layers cemented together with frosting made of icing sugar and brown crayon. (Forgive the bitterness, but I am passionate about cake.)

It was still wonderful to sit outdoors, sip wine and watch the sun set on our beautiful city but, oh, why can't we have all this AND a competent meal?

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Two Chefs and a Table305 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Hidden gem in Gastown/Downtown Eastside
Submitted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 3:48pm [Dine in]

This tiny restaurant offers great food and sensational value. Two friends and I dined there a few weeks ago. After waiting hopelessly for a table at the madly packed Au Petit Chavignol, we gave up and drifted towards Gastown.

When we passed Two Chefs, the menu posted outside lured us in, and we ended up having an unexpectedly delicious meal. We tried one of their house cocktails, the Rose, based on kirsch and dry white wine and served over ice in a short glass—delicious, refreshing and not too sweet. I chose one of the starters, an oyster mushroom tagliatelle, as an entrĂ©e, and began with the tomato Roquefort salad. My companions had the salmon with fennel and the steak frites. The two of them went into raptures over both dishes, but particularly over the steak. I’m vegetarian, so I can’t corroborate their story, but I can say the chunks of braised fennel I kept spearing off my friend’s plate were divine. We finished off with a light but deeply flavoured kirsch-chocolate mousse.

The atmosphere is very clean-lined and minimal but cozy, with nice ambient light, wooden tables and chairs, concrete walls and a warm, open kitchen. The only quibble we had with the layout was that the two big tables in the centre of the restaurant create a bit o a dead space when they’re vacant—replacing them with a number of smaller tables might make for a more intimate venue.

In sum, we had some of the best food we’ve enjoyed out in a while—reasonably priced, flavourful, unpretentious but confident West Coast/European cuisine.

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