“Summer in Provence”

I’m not a wine person, but I do love pizza. So when I got the offer to sample Cafe Provençal’s pizza (plus wine) from my friend Paul Pajo, I jumped at the chance.

Cafe Provençal is one of those places that have been around forever in Shangri-La Mall. It’s also, unfortunately, one of the places I’d never tried. So, armed with my empty stomach, I and around 25 other bloggers descended on Cafe Provençal last Tuesday for pizza and wine — and then some.

Bonjour!
“Bonjour!”

“Pizza?” you say. “At a French restaurant?” But Cafe Provençal is French Mediterranean cuisine, which means they can pretty much serve any food from that area. The twist on this: the Napoletana-style thin crust pizza can be served with rosé wine. Tres French, oui?

Roasted Garlic, Asparagus pizza halves Spicy Chorizo, Tarragon Chicken pizza halves
PIZZA!

They served four varieties of pizza: Roasted Garlic, Asparagus, Spicy Chorizo, and Tarragon Chicken. We were able to try two wines: the Alexis Syrah Grenache, and then the Corail from Provence.

Rosé wine from Provence

I found that the Corail fit the food better because it was lighter. The pizzas had a delicate flavor that could be overwhelmed by the Syrah Grenache, which had a bitter aftertaste.

And then there were these:

Beef Burgundy Pasta Provençal
Beef Burgundy and Pasta Provençal

Beef Burgundy is local beef stewed for hours in reduced red wine. It was paired with mashed potatoes that helped our tongues cope with the richness of the stew (although I would have wanted some rice instead — mmm!). Pasta Provençal is, simply put, puttanesca; I initially didn’t think anything special of it until I tried it with the Corail. Then its full flavor came alive. It was a good thing I’d gotten full on the pizza, or I might have had another plate of pasta and a full glass of wine. If you must know, I don’t hold my liquor too well.

Beignet: a French doughnut?We capped the meal with beignet; it’s the French version of a doughnut, and is served with chocolate sauce. At that point in the evening, the good food and liberal flow of wine had us all in a jovial mood, and I left for home feeling sated and just a little bit tingly. I’m not a wine person but that combination just might have made me fall in love with the idea.

Next time I want to experience “Summer in Provence” maybe with my family or friends. I’ve only got until the end of March to do so, because next month there’ll be a different featured item.

with the Cafe Provençal managers and chef
with Cafe Provençal’s chef Jacq Tan, Kathleen and Bryan Chua, and Marvin Chua

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3 thoughts on ““Summer in Provence”

  • March 12, 2009 at 10:19 am
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    Hi Az! Yeah, had to leave because I was tired from the whole day. I wanted to stay to meet all the bloggers though. Maybe at the next event!

    Thanks for the mass invite, Pageman Paul!

    Reply

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