A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.; 1 at Houston St.; N, R at Prince St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
At Provence these days, escargot tongs and sturdy crocks of onion soup are relics of the past. The restaurant has new owners (Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer of Five Points and Cookshop), a new menu, and a refurbished set of rooms designed to exude a polished new-millennium sheen. The façade is still blue and the tall windows still open onto the street, but the walls have been painted in shades of orange and mustard and there are fresh sprays of flowers in all the rooms. The garden room is painted a kind of glowing golden yellow instead of dank green, and curtains of cloth have been folded over the ceiling to give the aged room an airy, angelic feel. Up front, there’s a new marble bar sporting a de rigueur display case for fresh oysters and other fruits of the sea, and all the tables are covered in snappy white linens and set with those totems of modern Mediterranean dining: a bottle of rosemary-flavored extra-virgin olive oil and a bowl of artisanal salt. For devotees of the old restaurant, this revamped look isn’t an unpleasant thing. The space feels familiar but also brand-new, like a shambling country house you’ve visited before that has been carefully reimagined by eager new owners and their well-compensated decorator. Not surprisingly, the new menu has a similarly studied au courant look. There are seasonal plates of shellfish (oysters from Skookum, Washington, scallops from Taylor Bay) and selections of charcuterie tastefully arranged on a wooden butcher block in accordance with the rustic dining fashions of today. Since this is Provence, there’s also a dense, greasy, anchovy-rich pissaladière tart on the menu; round, crunchy cod fritters with a sidecar of garlicky aïoli; and pots of smooth, faintly chewy duck and pork rillettes you can spread on slices of raisin bread, with mustard, pickles, and prunes soaked in armagnac.Happy Hour
Daily, 5 p.m.—6:30 p.m.; $2 oysters; $6 glasses of champagneIdeal Meal
Duck and pork rillettes, lamb cutlet, Pavlova.