Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A New Years Tradition

Over the last three years it has become a tradition for my boyfriend and me to go to the restaurant Provence in Albany to indulge in escargot and a martini every New Years. Provence is one of my favorite restaurants and will receive a proper review one of these days, but our New Years tradition is always one of the most pleasant ways to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new.

One of the dishes that Provence does best is their escargots à la bourguignonne. When I first tried escargot I didn’t know what to expect. I assumed it was an overrated delicacy—how good could snails be? I soon found out—so good. Of all the places I’ve tried escargot, Provence is definitely my favorite. They are Burgundy region snails cooked in a traditional style in a cast-iron dish with garlic butter and topped with a slice of brioche. The result is delicious, moist snails that have absorbed the flavorful garlicky sauce and are complemented by the lightly toasted, yet soaked in butter, bread on top. Each order of escargot comes with six snails, so it’s perfect for sharing—especially when your boyfriend always lets you eat four out of six!

Provence also makes a perfect martini, which is my cocktail of choice—Bombay Sapphire gin, straight up, on the dry side, with olives. It’s the perfect drink for the winter time with clean flavors like freshly fallen snow and hints of juniper berries. Like Frederic described in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, martinis are “so cool and clean” and make one “feel civilized,” especially when sitting at a classy restaurant like Provence.

As the holidays wind down and the new year begins, a trip to Provence is a great opportunity to sit down for an hour, relax, and indulge in a beverage and some of the best cuisine in Albany. If you’ve wanted to try Provence but don’t quite have the monetary means for a full-fledged meal, I highly recommend sitting at the lovely bar and just ordering a cocktail or glass of wine and an appetizer. If snails aren’t your thing, they have plenty of other tasty starters to try.

Bon appétit and happy New Year!


1 comment:

  1. wow- nice - you should send it to provence-
    great photos, great description and sounds like great boyfriend too!!!