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THE DISH: La Provence Bakery and Cafe

Staff Photos: Jonathan Phillips. La Provence serves homemmade French toast dipped in creme brulee batter with fresh berries and cream. Also served is the fresh fruit tart, the vegitarian paninni with roasted peppers, grilled onions, eggplant, portabella mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes and the cote sud salad with portabella mushrooms, roasted peppers goat cheese and prosciutto.

Staff Photos: Jonathan Phillips. La Provence serves homemmade French toast dipped in creme brulee batter with fresh berries and cream. Also served is the fresh fruit tart, the vegitarian paninni with roasted peppers, grilled onions, eggplant, portabella mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes and the cote sud salad with portabella mushrooms, roasted peppers goat cheese and prosciutto.

Map

La Provence Bakery and Cafe

La Provence Bakery and Cafe

La Provence Bakery and Cafe

50 S. Clayton St., Lawrenceville

678-377-8745

  • Open since: December

  • Location: La Provence is in downtown Lawrenceville nestled between City Hall and the Lawrenceville Police Department.

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday

  • Owner: Chef Alain Poux hails from Aurielle, France, where his endeavors in the culinary arts began at age 17. Poux moved to the U.S. in 1991 and began working at the French restaurant Chez Daniel in New Orleans. He and his family -- his wife, Lisa, and their three daughters -- moved to Lawrenceville in 2005.

  • Atmosphere: La Provence offers a colorful and cozy cafe atmosphere with regular table seating and a couple stools pulled up to a counter. The open kitchen area allows guests to observe Poux and his staff at work preparing authentic French food.

Guests will want to get a close look inside the large display case boasting a variety of tempting pastries.

  • Menu: La Provence offers a standard menu of breakfast, soup, salad and sandwich selections complemented by weekly specials ranging from pasta to seafood dishes.

The most popular special is the lamb, which is marinated and grilled and served with a green salad and fried potatoes and served every other week. Other recent specials include fresh pasta drizzled with a red sauce and mixed with fresh artichokes, escargot in a butter garlic sauce and what Poux calls ficelles de picardie -- braised endive rolled in ham and baked in a four-cheese Bechamel sauce.

Popular breakfast items always on the menu include the omelette du jour and the French toast -- a butter croissant battered in creme brulee and cinnamon.

Popular lunch selections include the cote sud -- a salad of mixed greens, prosciutto, goat cheese, Swiss cheese, croutons and seasonal vegetables served with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing -- and the vegetarian panini -- grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, eggplant, onions, tomato, cheese and pesto served on homemade bread.

La Provence also offers a variety of cookies, pastries and cakes.

Beverage selections include sparkling water, coffee, assorted bottled sodas and juices.

  • Things you might not know: The first Saturday of each month, La Provence offers an exclusive, five-course traditional French dinner. Guests will start with soup, followed by a choice of two appetizers. Three entree selections include a seafood dish, a white meat and a red meat. Poux said he typically offers something guests will likely be acquainted with and an unusual dish. For the fourth course, guests can choose between cheeses or a green salad. In French dining culture, green salads, separate from other salads served as appetizers, are always served after the entrees. Guests can cap off their dinner with a dessert selection.

Although La Provence doesn't serve wine, guests are invited to bring their own.

La Provence will offer its next five-course dinner Dec. 5 with seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. Dinner is $25 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the cafe.