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“The good and the bad”

La Provence Restaurant
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Ranked #1 of 15 Restaurants in Lacombe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

The complimentary pate is excellent and a great starter. The infused watermelon salad was also very well prepared and tasty. The desserts we had were excellent. The issue was I should have skipped the weak entrees. My wife and I had lamb and duck and both were very average. The lamb had a bitter sauce under it and the two duck breast were too dry and fairly tasteless. It is a nice place but better choices in New Orleans.

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1  Thank nibblett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (152)
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88 - 92 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2014

You definitely have to want to dine here as the drive is about 45 minutes and it is in the expensive range. You start with a freebie of chicken pate and homemade melba toasts and have to keep from stuffing yourself. We chose three appetizers for the four of us and shared:the oysters, shrimp, and ravioli. All were delicious but the shrimp got the most positive votes. I had the quail gumbo for my second dish and others had fish. Each was a marevellous combination of flavors. The wines by the glass are excellent choices and not ordinary. The list of half bottles is small but the rest of the list is more than adequate. The service was attentive but not overbearing and the atmosphere was very relaxed and almost felt homey. I wish I went here more often. Maybe I will.

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Thank Yvonne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

La Provence in Lacombe, Louisiana was our anniversary place of choice for many years while we lived in Slidell. Sadly, Chef Chris has passed but John Besh has kept his tradition alive while adding new and unique dishes. Service and presentation is excellent. He has also added a beautiful room in the back to have parties.
We now live in central Florida and when we found out we were going back to the area for a wedding I called and made reservations right away. The welcoming entrée of Pate du Foie Gras and toast points is a tradition I'm glad Mr. Besh decided to maintain. I asked for a Pinot Noir and the server brought out an excellent selection, I believe it was Latour. There was no one at the piano on that Thursday night, that would have made the rainy evening perfect!

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Thank MCpadron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Well prepared food, service, ambiance.
45 minute drive from New Orleans.
Plan your trip so that you are on the Pontchartrain causeway at sunset for an unforgettable drive across the lake.

La Provence is a French restaurant that uses fresh Louisiana ingredients. So, although French, don't be surprised to find fried softshell crab (highly recommended) on the menu. Although excellent, we gave the restaurant an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 for reasons explained below.

The ambiance is welcoming, warm and intimate--5 stars. The noise level is low making this venue ideal for intimate conversation. The service is excellent; but, in our case, a little too hurried. At first we thought that they were just trying to turn over our table; but there were empty tables when we left. Our conclusion is that the service was just too hurried for whatever reason--4 stars.

The complimentary chicken pate with toasted points of bread is excellent--5 stars out of 5. For us this was our appetizer. Patrons may wish to keep this in mind when considering their menu.

We had Crispy Gulf Sheephead with jumbo lump crabmeat, mushrooms, and brown butter hollandaise. The hollandaise was out of this world, smooth, creamy, almost airy; just excellent. The fish itself, although, beautifully grilled at our request (it is usually fried), was overly salty; not inedible, just too salty. We downgraded this dish for this reason to 4 stars.

We also had Parmesan Crusted Black Grouper (note that the actual fish may change depending on availability) local crawfish, green asparagus, edamame beans, potato gnocchi, sweet garlic. This dish was superb. The gnocchi were as light as air; the greens and the sauce were excellent; the fish was superbly done with a crusty parmesan finish--5 stars.

For dessert we shared a Dark Chocolate Clafoutis with brown butter hazelnut ice cream. The chocolate was dark and luscious with hazelnuts. The home made ice cream was very good but not outstanding. Although very good, we rated the dessert just above average in its class--4 stars.

Now we come to the wine and this is the main reason the restaurant lost its fifth star. For openers we ordered two glasses of Francois Montand French pink sparkler (champagne). Instead of the lively bubbles rising to the surface, the wine looked flat. On drinking, the wine had some sparkle to it; it wasn't dead, just moribund. We concluded that the bottle must have been open for some time. At a price per glass which is almost equal to the retail cost of a whole bottle, the bar should have provided us with a lively wine. On reflection, we should have returned the glasses, but we didn't. Next we ordered two glasses of pinot blanc to accompany our meal. This wine, although very good, was served at a temperature higher than normal--not warm, just not cool enough. Later, when I ordered another glass of the same wine, it came at a proper temperature. Our conclusion was that the first bottle must have been sitting on the bar shelf and not in the cooler as it should have been. The second glass obviously came from a properly cooled bottle. We paired our dessert with an excellent merlot/cabernet blend.

At this price point, $200 per couple, we expect perfection. The bar failed to deliver perfection and this is the main reason for the down-grade. The service needs to slow down a little to give patrons time to enjoy the pate, the drinks, the food, and the conversation.

Overall score: 4 points.

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1  Thank exaramco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

This John Besh restaurant is out of the way but worth the trouble. We've visited dozens of times and have never had a bad experience. It's relaxed, comfortable, the waiters let you linger if you like, and the food is fabulous. Go any time, but brunch is a special treat and very reasonably priced.

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1  Thank daisygirl2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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