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May 16, 2005 08:38 AM

La Provence: Worth the Trip?

  • b

Looking at this place for an anniversary. Maybe it's the remote location, but little is said about it. What is your take?

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  1. Absolutely wonderful, be sure and try de-boned quail gumbo. Menu very much classic Continental, no po-boys or fried catfish. Great service and beautiful decor.

    1. I agree with Rich. It is worth a drive from Memphis, let alone a drive across Lake Ponchartrain.

      1. I heard that the longtime owner and chef, Chef Kerageorgiou, recently passed away? Any truth to that? Any idea of what will happen to the restaurant? (I grew up in Mandeville - like to browse the New Orleans boards now and then just to keep up with what's going on)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ken W

          Yes, sadly, he did. His protege, John Besh of Restaurant August, bought it (actually right before he died), and plans to keep it basically the same.

          1. re: Ken W

            Ohhhh, my goodness. I worked as a busgirl back in 1974/75 - what a wonderful man and family (awesome restaurant). I spent many years trying to duplicate some of Chris's dishes because they were so fabulous - trout almondine and steak au prouve yummmy. I probably love to cook/dine and eat because of this first experience in the restaurant business with Chris and La Provence. I graduated in Mandeville but live back in New England. I'm glad we did a recent visit & dinner at La Provence, but Chris had just left. :-( I can't tell you how many people I've sent here. I'll treasure my signed cookbook from Chris.

            1. re: Ken W

              no,besh did not keep any of chef chris cooking.It is a shame how he has let chef chris's hard work go to waste.The resturant has went downhill since he took over.

              1. re: jenoc1

                old post alert. but for current happenings and menus go to:
                Chef Randy Lewis, formerly of Indigo, is there now.

            2. When do you plan on doing this, because my understanding is that John Besh has closed the restaurant for some renovations that will take a few months. It is a charming place and will not change much from chef Chris's vision.

              1. I'm sorry to hear that - he was a nice man (or at least he seemed that way to me - I didn't work for him though). If the Chowhound team will permit me, I'd like pass along this little story as a small tribute. Several years ago my mother and her friend (picture two spunky little old ladies) went to La Provence for lunch, only to find the place closed. Walking around back to their car, they saw Chef Chris himself, and told him they were disappointed he was closed. He said, "ehhh - come in, I make you something". So, he let them in, disappeared into the kitchen and came back in a little while with a couple of plates, sat down and chatted with them while they ate, told them about his days in the French Resistance during WWII, then gave them a bread pudding on the house. The place may have fallen off a bit from it's heyday, but everytime I went it was always good. I hope Besh keeps it the same.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ken W

                  What a charming story and so in keeping with Chef Chris's loving personality. John Besh is a gentleman and a half. The restaurant is in good hands.