just got back from dinner with friends at bistro provence, in north scottsdale. its been a while since I got ahold of good french food in phoenix, but this was well worth the hike.
first, i've discovered recently that in order to get a restuarant liscence in north scottsdale, apparently you must agree to have live, loud music. this was not so bad as last weeks accordionist, but after an hour, even piano with a man who is not quite michael buble becomes a bit much.
they were nothing if not attentive,and the place is small but charming. i started with the foie gras with pears in a port wine reduction. my feeling? reductions are rarely reduced enough and usually have too bold a red wine taste, but this was wonderfully light. i'm not a big pear fan, but they were perfectly done, and the foie gras itself was just beyond perfect.
the other guests had the calamari and the artichoke salad. the calamari was unlike any i'd had before, prepared in a provencal style, and was just delicious. tender, not crispy, the sauce was amazing. i didn't bother with the artichoke salad although they said they enjoyed it.
i had a really hard time deciding on dinner, but ended up with the lamb shank, while the other guests ordered the boulliabase and the special, a wall eyed pike.
my lamb shank was a very good portion (as they all were) and arrived with perfectly done veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. the meat just fell off the bone, and the reduction, again, was just wonderful. very light and non obtrusive.
i tried the pike, which my friend liked, but said was not out of his mind worth coming back for.
we were all wowed by the boulliabase, which had a broth that was absolutely perfect. light, not too tomato-y and the wine was just a flavoring...
over coffee we decided to try the "chocolate thing" as my friend put it, and the creme brulee. the brulee was... brulee. good, nothing special. i'm not a big chocolate fan, but the cake, featuring a layer of every conceivable kind of chocolate sure looked good, and they seemed pleased.
for north scottsdale, the bill was appropriate, and i've got no complaints about the food or service. i'd go back in a second and i would order absolutely anything there with a sauce :)
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