I love Provence. I say this about all restaurants I've been to, but Provence has a special spot in my heart. It's the first place my dad ordered something sweet for breakfast! In my family my dad is notoriously known for turning his nose up at sweet things (dessert, brunch, and breakfast fare all included), but we know if he likes something sweet it's usually crazy delicious.
One day he came back raving about a brunch place by the sea, more specifically, about their french toast. My mother, sister, and I were all shocked. We had to try this place out. Every since that day, going to Provence by the marina has become sort of a "homecoming" tradition. We always have to go early though and this most recent time my dad and I went for brunch we had to wait 30 minutes for a table for two! Or you could be logical and make a reservation.... However, if you're impatient Provence also has a refrigerated display case full of prepared food that you can buy and eat out by the marina.
The decor is modern and lovely, warm and inviting. They utilize a lot of natural light, so some patrons might feel inclined to bring their sunglasses into the restaurant with them. The servers and waiters are efficient and moderately friendly. It was extremely crowded in the restaurant so I forgive them. ;)
Once I get my hands on the menu I'm always torn between two dishes: the Baguette French Toast and the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. The ultimate breakfast conundrum: savory or sweet? Most of the time I give in to my savory cravings, and this time was no exception. My dad ordered his staple, the Baguette French Toast.
I love Eggs Benny, it's one of my favorite savory breakfast foods. Provence's Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny ranks as one of my favorites. However there are a couple of differences that I need to point out: Provence uses a cornmeal "pancake" instead of a traditional English muffin and, as per its name, they use Smoked Salmon instead of the traditional ham. I have two statements to make on these changes: 1.) the cornmeal makes the pancake very,very crumbly, so if you're looking for that solid english muffin base, you won't get it. 2.) This particular time the smoked salmon was "cooked" a little too long on th stove, usually the salmon is virtually untouched, but due to the excess time on the stove it had a lot of excess oil and this weird over cooked texture. Don't try cooking smoked salmon for long periods of time.
Everything else, the hollandaise, poached egg, roasted potato side dish, etc. Is done to perfection. The poached egg is perfectly runny, but not runny enough to pop prematurely on the plate. While the hollandaise is rich and buttery with the perfect amount of tanginess, I felt the chefs in the kitchen were a bit stingy with the hollandaise sauce love. I had to ration the hollandaise sauce carefully while cutting my eggs benedict, and I didn't have enough to dip my potatoes into! Speaking of potatoes...the roasted potatoes were crisp and herbaceous on the outside and deliciously starchy within. It was like a breakfast party in my mouth.
My dad loves his french toast, although this time he complained about it being too sweet. I, myself, have had this French toast many a time and I enjoy it just as much, if not more, than my dad. Again like they did with the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, they added their own little twist to the traditional French Toast. You might have inferred earlier that instead of slices of white or wheat bread, Provence chefs use thick slices of french baguette to create their works of art. The Provence Chefs generously and I mean generously coat the baguette slices with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. I love the texture that you get from this! A little grainy crunch combined with the soft sweetness and resistance of the baguette...absolutely delicious. A sweet breakfast experience. The French Toast is served with a small serving of whipped cream and maple syrup. Yum, yum!
All in all, the portions are small for a hearty breakfast eater, so I might suggest ordering an appetizer as well. Pictures are included above so you can make your own judgement based on your stomach. =) I strongly recommend Provence to anyone looking for brunch or a good Bfast by the sea. <3
Thanks for coming!
Kid Friendly: Yes
Price: $$$ out of $$$$$