If the mark of a good French restaurant is the quality of its bread, its ratatouille and its duck, then Le Provencal wins the prize. All three are truly exceptional; the bread alone will make you swear off that gluten-free diet. As for the rest of the menu, it leans toward the Mediterranean side of French cuisine, says managing partner Carlos Duarte.
One of a group of new owners who have revamped the venerable French standard, Duarte says his team spent months in Provence testing and tasting local dishes. The result is a new menu – though Duarte says they studiously retained many of Le Provencal favorites, like escargot, veal sweetbreads and onion soup.
What really may spark a new customer base, however, is something no other French restaurant in the Gables offers: Comfortable seating outside on the wide, boulevard-like sidewalk of the new Miracle Mile. Did someone say Café society?