I took the wife to La Provence in Carrboro for our anniversary. The place is pleasant and friendly enough, and not outrageously expensive, but the food wavered between mediocre and dreadful. We had the pate maison, salmon terrine, lamb, and chacroute -- none of it terrible, but all of it just a little off, with a notable tendency toward saltiness. The salmon terrine was so salty as to be nearly unpleasant. The dessert --tarte tatin -- put the restaurant squarely in the red. It was flavorless and burnt, with an indelicate crust, but the strangest thing of all was an accompanying rasberry coulis that seemed to me totally inappropriate. Am I right about this? Caramelized apple paired with tart rasberry? It felt like little armies were clashing on my tongue. I myself made Tarte Tatin about a month ago, using a recipe from Linda Dannenberg's book on Paris bistros. Mine was vastly better -- delicious in fact! I seriously hold it against a restaurant when it fails to equal what I can do at home with a decent cookbook and minimal effort.
The meal totalled about $80.