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Friday night @ Bistro Provence: a brief recommendation.

Will Owen | Feb 6, 201005:03 PM

No need to go on and on here: four of us had what I consider early reservations, but you'd be surprised how many folks eat dinner sixish around here. Must be the Midwestern influence...

Anyway, it was Mrs. O, a Birthday Girl and her friend K, and me. BG and K went the prix fixe route, starting with salads; Mrs. O and I did entrées only, she the roasted chicken, I the beef Bourguignon. On the wine list, BG saw an Italian white none of us had ever heard of (and of course I can't remember) but it was lovely, crackly-dry but with a fruity whiff, somewhat remniscent of banana; K had a cabernet, Mrs. O a Macon white, I an Italian pinot nero. All good and well priced. K went for the rack of lamb for her entrée, while BG got the bass roulade. Mrs. O's half a chicken was a beautiful thing, delightful to look at and juicy and tender from end to end, sitting on a massive heap of garlicky fries, while my dish was a much more modest thing lurking under a pile of pale-gold fried onion ribbons. Under that was a ring of perfect puréed potatoes encircling a cup or so of elegantly rich beef and veges in red wine gravy, a simple little dish that I've never been able to make that well, not even close. We did not swap bites with our friends, but they obviously enjoyed what they had. The lamb looked especially good.

We had an eight o'clock curtain down the street and so the friends got their desserts to go, and Mrs. O had about 90% of her fries boxed up too. Damages for the two of us was just $60 plus tax and tip = $74. Not bad at all. Service was friendly if sometimes a little confused - it was three guys covering a full and busy room - and the bread is frankly the dullest I've had at a restaurant in a long time, but if you're stuck in Burbank for supper you could sure do a lot worse. Very nice little place.

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