April Fools or d’Avril Poisson Menu at Provence

Jean Francis Quaglia kissing poisson 2011

Jean Francis Quaglia kissing poisson 2011

Learn something new every day.  It helps your brain.  So does eating fish.  Where is this discussion going you ask?  Well to the origin of April Fools, and the French restaurants, Provence in Vancouver, where you can enjoy a special fish-based menu.  Still confused?  Read the press release below.  Enjoy!


(Vancouver, BC) – We’ve all experienced the silly fun that takes place every April 1st – ‘Fool’s Day. However, do you know that the tradition probably started in France where it is called Poisson d’Avril? ‘Poisson d’Avril?’ Doesn’t that translate as ‘April’s fish?’ Like a Dadaist film, Poisson d’Avril doesn’t quite make sense. However it does make for a whale of a good time.

Being French, Provence Restaurants believe that life is to be enjoyed to the full and have transformed a one-day bit of foolery into a month-long celebration of all things ‘fish’ at both of their locations – Marinaside in Yaletown and Mediterranean Grill in Point Grey. Starting April 1st and through to the end of the month, each restaurant will be featuring a different three-course prix-fixe Poisson d’Avril Menu value priced at $45.

Both of these ‘fish forward’ menus offer a ‘school’ of choices – from trout to tuna, sablefish to sturgeon, shellfish to sea bream and everything imaginable in the bouillabaisse; there is something to please every fish fanatic. Grilled, poached, smoked, ceviche, brandade and in soup are just some of the many ways Provence will prepare the ‘finny fare.’ Not a fish lover? Not to worry – there are plenty of non-fish choices available on the regular menu.

The menu concludes with a choice of something decadent from Provence’s regular selection of hand-crafted desserts. Tarte au Citron anyone? Provence’s signature Lemon Tarte is considered the perfect end to a fishy feast.

“As an inaugural member of Ocean Wise, we serve only fish that has been harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner. That still gives us plenty of choice,” states Provence’s Executive Chef and Owner, Jean-Francis Quaglia. “Poisson d’Avril is an opportunity to welcome spring with a bit of fun. This is our fifth year doing it and everyone gets in on the fun – including some of the staff and their children who have created the whimsical fish that adorn the restaurant and menus.”

In France, Poisson d’Avril is an ‘excuse’ to play a practical joke or two. People attach fish (usually paper cut-outs) to the back of their friends and family, who, unaware of the addition to their wardrobe, continue about the day with the new accessory until someone shouts ‘Poisson d’Avril!’ and the jinx is up. During April, some lucky Provence patrons will find a paper fish under their plate or taped to their back. These Poissons come with a prize – perhaps a complimentary appetizer, meal discount, gift certificate or a copy of New World Provence by Chefs Jean-Francis and Alessandra Quaglia; are some of the possibilities.

While there is something very fishy happening at Provence Restaurants this April, diners will agree that the Poisson d’Avril menus are no joke!

Poisson d’Avril Menus:

Provence Marinaside
Provence Mediterranean Grill

MyWinePal suggests you try a Sauvignon Blanc or a rose with the fish dishes from Provence!