The last time I had a birthday dinner at Pinot Provence was in 2011. I remember it well as foie gras was not yet a contraband, and the meal ended with one of my favorite desserts — sabayon. Fast forward three years later and I am again at Pinot Provence for my birthday, this time with the talented Alfonso Ramirez at the helm. My party of eight left the menu pretty much in Chef Alfonso’s hands, except I had just one request, one of my favorites at Pinot Provence.
We begin with Tartare “Crabcake” topped with a fried quail egg. Big chunks of crabmeat are tossed lightly in a delightful dressing, never overwhelming the crustacean. A delicate dish packed with flavor, it is devoured ever so quickly at both ends of the table.
The second item is Hamachi Crudo. Luscious slices of yellowtail sashimi is paired with avocado mousse, citrus, pistachio and coriander vin. Just a hint of ponzu brings it all together. My penchant for sashimi means this is right up my alley!
I absolutely adore octopus and the Octopus here is tender and delicious. Paired with fingerling potatoes and micro greens, you are able to taste each component as a separate entity wonderfully, and then together as a whole with the salsa verde.
One of the biggest surprise dishes is Lobster with Mole sauce accompanied by a kabocha squash puree and baby leeks. I love lobster, but mole sauce, not so much. It usually leans on the sweet side, something I absolutely do not love. Chef Alfonso’s mole sauce is subtle, yet still possesses the hints of chocolate, however, the lobster remains the star and is allowed to shine.
Buffalo Frog Legs is the item I ask Chef Alfonso to include for the night’s dinner. It is a favorite of mine at Pinot Provence and comes with blue cheese crumbles, celery and carrot sticks. I can eat a whole plate of this on my own. If you love buffalo chicken wings, you’ll love these.
My son’s been on an Escargot craze lately and he ravishes the one here, offering me only a taste — since it’s my birthday.
I loved Mussels and the ones here are plump and meaty. A delicious white wine sauce with slivers of fennel sits underneath flavoring the mussels sits in the cast iron pot. I spoon it and eat it like a soup. The fries which are served alongside is definitely worth the carb calories.
There are several other dishes but I don’t have any photos for them. I did not bring my camera as I was not planning on writing this up, but naturally, I’m not able to go to dinner and not take any photos. These are shot with my phone so I apologize for them, but the perfect evening shared with dear friends is not something I want to miss out documenting, so there you have it. Until next year…..