Talk to people about dining out in Westchester and things will fall into two camps. The first camp will tell you that there is a dearth of good restaurants in Westchester and everything is poor quality and overpriced. The other camp thinks there are all kinds of exciting restaurants in the area.
I just have one problem with finding out just how many good restaurants there are around here.
Okay. It's not super-duper laziness. There may very well be some great new restaurants in White Plains. I know that if I'm willing to drive to Yonkers I could hit the exalted X20. It's just that Kevin often doesn't come home from his Manhattan-based job until at least 8PM most nights. On weekends we're in NJ riding and we tend to get home between 6 and 7 and are dirty and sweaty and exhausted and we want to eat somewhere easy to get to.
What it boils down to is that when it comes to eating out, we just want to go somewhere within walking distance. Maybe we'll drive a few blocks. But most nights even a quick trip to Harrison or Larchmont or New Rochelle seems like too much effort. White Plains is even more effort since parking is either difficult or expensive.
Fortunately, there is one place that is suited to special occasions that is right at the end of the strip we live on. It's called Le Provencal. It's a French restaurant (duh) serving traditional bistro fare with a few interesting twists thrown in. We've never had a bad meal there. I did want to take it easy that night because I had eaten so much the night before. Although our meal was pretty good, I've had better meals here. They were slightly off their game.
My first course was a jicama and apple salad that also had mango, scallions, and parmesan. There needed to be a little more apple and a little more dressing or something to add a little more depth of flavor. I tasted too much scallion and cheese and a lot of underseasoned jicama. It was an interesting idea and very light and refreshing after having eaten platters of french fries, hash browns, and fried zucchini the night before.
Kevin had a lobster bisque. I found this an interesting bowl of soup since I often think of lobster bisque as being white and creamy. (But what do I know? I don't eat lobster.) He said it was VERY filling. I know it smelled very lobstery.
I had a roast duck with a thyme and apricot sauce. The green beans on this plate were nice and buttery and the sauce was delicious. There was a nice little ratatouille on the side as well. My only complaint is that the duck skin wasn't crispier. It was sort of limp. At least the meat wasn't dry.
Can someone explain how a mere TWO spears of asparagus, just TWO SPEARS, can cause that long-lasting effect that asparagus has. Really, I shouldn't have been noticing it this morning after having eaten two spears last night.Kevin had crabcakes again. He's so original.
I forgot to photograph dessert. He had ice cream profiteroles (which I sampled). They were really good. I had some hazelnut gelato. I just couldn't do a heavy dessert last night. Even I have my limits. I got two scoops and wished I had asked them if I could mix flavors. I had been tempted to get the pistachio and it would have been nice to have both.
Service was excellent. The restaurant wasn't crowded on a Monday night, so the pace was leisurely and the waitstaff was attentive. They put candles in our desserts for our anniversary.
Kevin gave me a cute new watch (a cat-themed Swatch) and I gave him a new tie (pictures of gas pumps and signs that said, "Gas, 99 cents).
Here's to another 7 years!