Spot Prawn Season is on. Need I say more? Check out this menu from Provence Marinaside and Provence Mediterranean Grill in Vancouver.
(Vancouver, BC) – May is a favourite month with Vancouverites – not just because it has finally stopped raining and the city is awash in spring blossoms – no, it’s because May marks the beginning of Spot Prawn Season. Spot Prawn season officially opens this year on Saturday, May 10th. For six weeks, Lower Mainlanders revel in the juicy sweetness of these local ‘gems of the sea.’ Whether you prefer yours steamed or grilled or poached, everyone can agree there is nothing more heavenly than enjoying spot prawns accompanied by a glass of cool, crisp wine.
Spot Prawns are a succulent, sustainable and local product of our oceans. It is a sustainable fishery endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Ocean Wise Program – but more than being environmentally correct, spot prawns are delicious. “Simply prepared there is nothing sweeter and tastier than a spot prawn,” says Jean-Francis Quaglia, owner and executive chef at Provence Restaurants.
Both Provence locations – Mediterranean Grill (P1) in Point Grey and Marinaside (P2) in Yaletown, will be featuring special three-course Spot Prawn Menus for the duration of the season which usually goes to the end of June. Each restaurant’s menu, while shining the spotlight on the spot prawn, is completely different and priced differently.
Provence Mediterranean Grill’s Menu is priced at $48 and starts with a choice of Steamed Whole BC Spot Prawns or Chilled BC Spot Prawn Salad or Spot Prawn Velouté. For mains there are two choices – Flambéed Spot Prawn Duo (with your choice of halibut or beef tenderloin) or Pearl Couscous Risotto with Spot Prawns and Dungeness Crab. Dessert is a choice from the menu – perhaps a slice of their famed Clafoutis? Full menu details here.
Provence Marinaside’s Menu includes an optional wine pairing selected by sommelier Rachelle Goudreau. The Menu price is listed as ‘at Market’ which means it should average in the $50 range with the wine pairing available for an additional $20. At Marinaside diners start with a choice of Merguez Sausage with Mixed Greens or Bocconcini and Tomato with Mixed Greens or Yellow Tomato Gazpacho (wine: Montelvini Prosecco, Italy). For mains, Marinaside offers a choice of Spot Prawn Duo – Grilled and Provençal Style (wine: Birlocho 2011 Verdejo+Sauvignon Blanc Rueda, Spain) or Lois Lake Steelhead and BC Spot Prawns (wine: Bartier Bros. 2012 Semillon Okanagan, BC) or Halibut and BC Spot Prawns (wine: Le Vieux Pin 2012 Rosé Okanagan, BC). Dessert is a choice from the restaurant’s regular menu. Its signature Lemon Tarte would make a lovely finish accompanied by a glass of the suggested wine – Unsworth Ovation Vancouver Island, BC. Full menu details here.
With special menus, such as Spot Prawn Season, or the Tomato Festival later in the summer, the two locations engage in a little friendly rivalry over who creates the best menu. Check out Provence’s Spot Prawn Video from 2012, try both menus and “you be the judge.” After all, with such a short season, you can never have too many spot prawns.