I live within walking distance of La Provence and eat there quite often. With the recent opening of the park next to La Provence we utilize the dog leash parks and bike trails during the weekends and stop in for their ""graffeo"" (not sure of the spelling) coffee, espresso, and fresh french cookies. Last time I was in they added some local producer's cheese and olive oils into their deli. It's a beautiful place that reminds me the french cafe's in Provence. \r
I am a ""foodie"", I enjoy good, fresh, regional ingredients prepared with passion. I definately recommend that you follow the Mike Dunne articles in the Sacramento Bee and enjoy his reviews and blogs. I can see why he has consistently given La Provence a top 10 rating in Sacramento. The heirloom tomatoes are actually heirloom and in their proper season! The dishes I enjoy the most are the gnocci, lamb, and the foie when they have it. I' also enjoy Hawks and Taste, but La Provence has that extra touch. As long as I remember Ruth Chris, Il Foranio and Piatti are all chains and purchase their food like a chain going into a meal, they're not bad. \r
I've attended a couple of wine dinners at La Provence, Cakebread, Jordan and Silver Oak to be specific and had a magical time. The food was to die for and the pairings amazing. The wine list has a great selection of french and foothill wines. \r
It hasn't always been perfect but when we've asked for a manager they greeted us warmly and quickly resolved any issue we had. If I had a criticism it's that they can be too busy and too loud at peak times, but their recent addition of oil paintings on the walls has seemed to help. \r
I've dined at La Provence when they've lit outdoor fire pits with real wood and we were able to go out and take our desserts and coffee outside and interact with other guests doing the same.I've actually seen them have small garden weddings at sunset during spring and fall. It is truly a romantic place that my wife and I enjoy.
Pros: Live jazz, ambience, outdoor garden dining, romantic
Cons: Can be difficult to find, noisy at peak times