For my birthday this year, I asked my husband to take me out to eat at La Provence Restaurant in Lacombe, Louisiana
Purchased by Slidell area native John Besh after the death of his mentor chef Chris Kerageorgiou, La Provence provided us with one of the most delicious meals of our lives.
The kitchen is run by Master French Chef Rene Bajeux.
From the above link,
Bajeux’s culinary philosophy of terroir cooking is classically French. Meaning “of the earth,” it describes dishes that reflect the area in which their ingredients are produced. Bajeux believes strongly that a chef should be connected to the foods he serves by using strictly local ingredients – very local, if not actually raised by the chef himself... In this, he is a kindred spirit of Chef John Besh, a longtime friend and colleague who shares a fierce devotion to the terroir approach.
That devotion is apparent in the new "farm" created in the back of the restaurant. Check out this spot at Youtube, where Besh explains how this biodynamic farm is run.
Our salads were served after we experienced the absolutely delicious pate with crusty bread. My daughter's salad was beets and greens with a hazelnut vinaigrette. My husband and I opted for the heirloom tomato salad with fresh Pontchartrain crabmeat. Next all three of us enjoyed the ricotta gnocchi in a crab sauce. Our main courses consisted of bouillabaisse for hubby, speckled trout with crabmeat for me (can you tell I love crab?> and a leg of lamb for my daughter. I have never tasted lamb so tender and lacking in that "wild" flavor.
I recommend this restaurant if you are looking for comfort food served meticulously in a very warm atmosphere. The waitstaff is friendly and extremely attentive, though not to the point of being annoying (like at Emerils).
The history of La Provence 2007 was written up in the epicurious blog of Bon Apetit magazine last spring