All this month Provence Restaurants – Provence Mediterranean Grill (P1) in Point Grey and Provence Marinaside (P2) in Yaletown celebrate all things tomato with its Fifth Annual Tomato Festival– featuring special three-course prix fixe menus. Mediterranean Grill’s offers a prix fixe menu for $45 while over at Marinaside, they are offering a multiple-choice three-course menu for $48 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $20.
Provence Mediterranean Grill’smenu ($45) starts with Tomato Three Ways that includes chilled tomato ‘cappuccino,’ buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad and a Provençal tomato tartlette. Once you’ve polished that off, you must then decide between one of two main courses – how do you choose between Duck Breast Scaloppini or Pan-Seared Mediterranean Sea Bass Filet ? Both come accompanied by smoked tomato and bacon marmalade, fiddleheads and sun-dried tomato gnocchi. For dessert, there is Candied Tomato Panna Cotta served with rhubarb honey and a pistachio tuile.
At Provence Marinaside in Yaletown, the $48 menu offers a multiple choices for each course. Sommelier Rachelle Goudreau has also suggested an optional wine pairing ($20) to enhance your meal. Starters in include three tough choices – Fresh Tomato Tarte, accompanied by black olive tapenade, tomato, garlic chips and puff pastry makes an appearance on the menu as a starter. The suggested wine pairing is Joiefarm 2013 Noble Blend, Naramata, BC. Or, you may choose a Tomato Festival favourite – Chilled Yellow Campari Tomato Soup with tomato and black garlic vinaigrette (Unsworth 2013 Rosé, Cowichan Valley, BC). The third starter choice is a refreshing Tomato and Nectarine Salad with grilled prawns and basil oil (Covert Farms 2013 Amicitia White, Okanagan, BC)
Chef Jean-Francis is also offering three choices of mains:
• Halibut Puttanesca accompanied by zucchini ribbons, polenta anchovy, black olive, tomato caper sauce (Muga 2013 Rosé, Rioja, Spain)
• Dungeness Crab and Heirloom Tomato Stew – another perennial Festival favourite chock full of crab, mussels, clams, scallops fennel and roasted tomatoes in a white wine garlic broth (Clos du Soleil 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Similkameen, BC)
• Seared Sockeye Salmon accompanied by yellow tomato and warm vegetable salad, oven-roasted plum tomato vinaigrette (Covert Farms 2012 Rosé, Okanagan, BC)
To end on a sweet note Marinaside diners choose a dessert from the restaurant’s regular menu. Crème Caramel is a classic choice or you may opt for Provence’s signature Lemon Tarte or their version of a traditional favourite – Berry and White Chocolate Clafoutis to name but three of the many choices available (Unsworth Ovation, Cowichan Valley, BC).
To get you into the ‘Tomato Spirit’ Chefs Jean-Francis and Alessandra enlisted the help of their talented elder son Matisse to make Provence’s Tomato Festival Video.