Dinner at Provenance

When I first started Sweet Potato Bites my main objective was to keep it real.  And while I don’t like writing posts like the one below, it’s important that I share all my food experiences – whether they are good or bad.  If you have read my blog for a while, you might remember the fact that I love Lucca Cafe.  So when we decided to have dinner at Provenance, Lucca’s new sister restaurant for my mom’s birthday, I was quite excited.

Provenance is a Napa-inspired restaurant that grows all their vegetables straight from the garden on the restaurant’s patio.  All the ingredients are fresh and seasonal, and I personally love the idea of knowing that the carrots on my plate came from a garden just a few steps away.  I took a sneak peek at the menu prior to our dinner at Provenance and was quite excited by the sound of a lot of the dishes.

While we were perusing the menu and enjoying some wine, we were presented with a lovely basket of freshly baked biscuits and butter (which were of course delicious).

Dinner at Provenance BiscuitsOur group decided to start the evening off with a few appetizers, the first being taro chips with guacamole.

dinner at provenance taro chipsI am a big fan of root vegetable chips so naturally I loved this.  The crispy taro chip paired with the guacamole was perfect.  I think I’ll have to try making my own taro chips one of these days.

The other dish we got to share was the Napa Cabbage with chives, cannelini beans, shallots and bacon.

Dinner at Provenance CabbageI’m not always the biggest cabbage fan but this was one of my favorite dishes of the night.  The warm and slightly salty cabbage paired with the bacon and the beans was perfect.  I could make a nice meal out of that alone.

A few people ordered the clipped garden lettuces as a starter and I managed to sneak a bite.

Dinner at Provenance Mixed lettucesThis was a collection of all the things growing in the garden at the moment – arugula, radishes, baby lettuce, french beans and butternut squash.  It was light and refreshing and I appreciated the use of seasonal ingredients.

After the amazing starters I was expecting the same for the entrees, which unfortunately weren’t quite as good.  First up was my jidori chicken with blistered brussels sprouts, potatoes, and carrots.

Dinner at ProvenanceThe crispy brussels sprouts and carrots were nice, as were the roasted potatoes.  My chicken came with a thigh and a drumstick, and while both were incredibly juicy, the drumstick was unfortunately pretty undercooked (to the point where there was blood on the plate).

We pointed out the issue to our waiter and he brought over the general manager who was nice enough to explain how the chicken was sous vide which was why it was so pink/red in color.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the manager’s explanation, and was even more confused that it was cooked sous vide when it said roasted on the menu, but there wasn’t much I could do about it right then and there.  I didn’t eat the bloody pieces of meat but still felt very uneasy (esp since the Englishman had taken a bite too).

The Englishman got the burger with the fried egg and bacon on top, but when it arrived there was no bacon to be found.

Dinner at Provenance BurgerOur waiter quickly rectified the situation and brought over a side of bacon but it wasn’t quite the same.  I tasted a few bites of the burger and thought the flavor was good, however the burger was definitely on the cold side.

My parents ordered the Pan-Fried New Zealand Sole and had nothing but rave reviews (Lucca is also known for delicious fish dishes).

Dinner at Provenance FishMy brother got a pork chop which I didn’t get to taste but his overall feedback was that it was quite good.

Dinner at Provenance PorkSince we were celebrating a birthday, we decided to get a variety of different desserts and share among the table, since sharing is caring.

I ordered a scoop of raspberry sorbet and homemade peanut butter ice cream.

Dinnera t provenance Ice craemI love when restaurants make their own ice cream and sorbet in-house and this did not disappoint.  The peanut butter ice cream was loaded with peanut flavor and wasn’t overly sugary, and the raspberry sorbet was the perfect palate cleanser

The homemade apple pie came in the cutest le cruset dish with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Dinnera t Provenance Apple PieI sampled a few bites of the pie and it was quite tasty.  But then again, when is apple pie not?

Lastly my brother and sister-in-law ordered a smores dessert that looked quite decadent and they both said it was amazing.

Dinner at provenance smoresUnfortunately this is where the happy part of the story ends as the Englishman, my dad and myself were knocked down hard the following day by what we can only assume is a bad case of food poisoning.

As a food blogger this is incredibly disappointing, especially since I have had so many wonderful dining experiences with Lucca in the past.  Just another reminder how important food safety is and if something doesn’t look right to you – SEND IT BACK.  I’d rather leave a restaurant hungry than experience what I just did.

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