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A Taste of the South of France at Burbank’s Bistro Provence

Posted By Karen Young On January 6, 2010 @ 1:50 am In Dinner,Eat,Featured,Food,French,Lunch,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight | No Comments

carole rosner90BY CAROLE ROSNER

It took me less than 20 minutes to get to France last night. I didn’t have to drive to LAX and hop onto a 10-and-a-half-hour transatlantic flight. I just drove to Burbank, parked at a strip mall, walked through the glass doors at Bistro Provence, and I was there.

When I want to go somewhere special, Bistro Provence is my pick. The delicious food has flavors from the south of France, so it is fresh and not too heavy and the wine list is extensive. With tables dressed in white linen cloths, the room awash in candle light and French music playing throughout the tiny bistro, I am miles away from the San Fernando Valley. If it’s a special occasion or just a dinner (or lunch) out, this is a great neighborhood spot.

Interior bar

The bar at Bistro Provence. Photo: Carole Rosner

The food at Bistro Provence is always tasty, the portions are generous and the three course prix fixe menu is still a value at $32.50 per person. There are 10 different starters to choose from. I picked the Compressed Manchego salad with baby spinach, walnuts, the Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, Manchego, and thick and meaty Majol dates. My husband is a big Ahi tuna lover so he had the fennel crusted Ahi (cooked perfectly rare) served on top of two crispy baguette slices with red bell peppers, shallots, and a tomato confit.

Appetizer of Fennel crusted Ahi. Photo: Carole Rosner

Appetizer of Fennel crusted Ahi. Photo: Carole Rosner

Other appetizers include roasted beet Napoleon with herbed goat cheese, toasted almond and yellow frisse as well as crispy gnocchi with truffled ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and potato tarragon coulis.

Creme Brulee for dessert. Photo: Carole Rosner

Creme Brulee for dessert. Photo: Carole Rosner

I am a fan of Bistro Provence’s Beef Bourguignon—slow cooked with wine, carrots and celery, it is placed on top of horseradish mashed potatoes and sprinkled with crispy onions. The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth. There are at least nine other main course options including Bouillabaisse (made with scallops, bass, clams, shrimp, and mussels in a lobster broth), grilled Atlantic salmon (with lentils and shallots in a shrimp consommé) and a very satisfying vegetarian option, a cheesy, creamy mushroom and corn risotto (mixed with aged parmesan and shallots with a balsamic reduction).

Beef Bourguignon. Photo: Carole Rosner

Beef Bourguignon. Photo: Carole Rosner

For the last course, there are always a variety of decadent dessert options including warm chocolate truffle cake with vanilla bean ice cream, apple tart tartin with vanilla bean ice cream, and crème brulee.

Mushroom and corn risotto. Photo: Carole Rosner

Mushroom and corn risotto. Photo: Carole Rosner

Miki Zivkovic, Owner and Executive Chef, used to work at The Four Seasons Aviara Resort and was the Executive Chef at Pinot Bistro in Studio City for five years, so he knows how to please his customers. With the success of Bistro Provence, Chef Zivkovic has recently opened two new Burbank restaurants, Lucas Trattoria and Third and Olive.

Bistro Provence 345 North Pass Avenue Burbank, CA 91505-3859 (818) 840-9050www.bistroprovenceburbank.com Open: Monday to Friday – 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. lunch Monday to Friday – 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. dinner  Saturdays 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. dinner only Closed Sunday.

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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