Le Provencal - Coral Gables
Le Provencal, on the west end of Miracle Mile facing out on Le Jeune Road, has been around for about as long as I can recall (and I've regularly visited, lived or worked in the Gables on and off for decades now), yet I've only been there a couple times. I paid a recent visit for lunch and was glad I did.
It's a quaint little place with every table covered in bright blue and yellow patterned linens, and various little knick knacks here and there. The lunch menu when we visited had about 6 - 8 choices, all in the range of about $11 - 17, which includes soup or salad and a dessert. I can't recall all the choices, but I had a cassoulet, while the folks with me had a nice grilled salmon, and the other a plate with merguez sausage, ratatouille and frites. I started with the salad, just a simple thing with a classic vinaigrette, which was good but I was jealous of the pumpkin soup the others ordered. The cassoulet was solid - nice, unctuous but still distinct white beans with a leg of duck confit, a garlic sausage, and a slab of meaty bacon, in an appropriately lunch-sized portion. My fellow diners were equally happy with their choices, and the dessert - a slice of some sort of bread pudding type concoction - was also quite nice.
The dinner menu - which I think you can also order at lunch, I didn't ask - basically reads like a "best of" list of French classics: soupe de poisson w/ rouille (a version which I still recall as being good even though it may be 10 years since I last had it there), onion soup, vichysoisse, a couple different foie gras preparations and other pates, escargot, coquille st. jacques, bouillabaisse, tripes a la mode de caen, kidneys a couple different ways, roasted duck with lavender ...
I've not nearly begun to eat my way through the menu here, but everything I've had has been well-prepared and tasty. It's been off my radar screen for a long time but is back on now.
Le Provencal Restaurant
266 Miracle Mile, Miami, FL 33134
Mrs. I met me here today after attending the Ina Garten booksigning and I am stunned this post went ignored. The food there today was phenomenal. Had a roast chicken done perfectly with spices and "Provencal mushrooms". I do not know what provencal mushrooms are but it lent the chicken an additional light flavor. Exquisite. The dish came with a choice of pate, soup or salad, fries and veggies, and a slice of a pear dessert. Chose the pate which was light and unintimidating and came with a requisite cornichon. Fries were good if a little salty for my taste and each bite of the pear dessert melted in my mouth before I could chew. All this for $13.99. Mrs. I went with the soup and salad, which also included the baked pears over millefeuille topped with powdered sugar. Soup was a broccoli cheese, which I am averse to but was good, and salad was ceasar, which surprisingly tasted light and refreshing, but still like a ceasar salad. Something I particularly enjoyed was that the wine list had a selection of 7 or so quality half-bottles, beyond the house glasses and 1/2 liters. It also helps that it was a perfect day outside for such a meal. Fine weather or not, this definitely became a regular rotation for us and I regret having taken so long to return.