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La Table Provençale, The Dinner Room in L'Auberge Provençale B&B in White Post, VA

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We hadn’t been to L’Auberge Provencal in a few years, but headed out last weekend with a couple friends for a German Wine dinner, hosted by Elite Imports. We had a five course meal with accompanying wines. Each course paired very well, and we wouldn’t hesitate to return to La Table Provencal for a “regular” meal.

Fluke Sashimi, preserved lemon, green apple, mango vinegar

-          Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Kabinett, Joh. Jos. Prum 2015

Excellent first dish – the preserved lemon and green apple matched particularly well with the Kabinett. We also received a peach gazpacho as an amuse, but this was rather unceremoniously plunked in front of us and as a result didn’t know what it was (apart from obviously being a gazpacho of some type) until later. Service was a bit choppy – we were often left to review the printed menus to understand what we were eating. The waitstaff didn’t describe the dishes at all.

Scallop, spaetzle, heirloom tomato, chili flake

-          Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015

Maybe my favorite course of the afternoon – I taste any chili flake, but the acidity in the Spatlese and the tomato cut the richness of the scallop and spaetzli nicely. A small portion though - as the scallop was definitely singular.

Maultaschen, bratwurst, Asian pear, dates, caramelized onion

-          Zeltinger Sonnenhur Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015

Another good example of how an off-dry or even sweet wine with enough acidity can pair with heartier foods. This dish included three silver dollar sized pieces of bratwurst – the maultaschen was in a ravioli-like format and the pear and onion were carmelized in a sort of rustic jam. At this point we began to notice two things – that the portions were pretty small, and that wine glasses were not topped up during courses (and were relatively small pours to begin with).

Baker Farm pork roulade, potato, cabbage, fig, juniper

-          Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden Pinot Noir Spatburgunder Trocken, 2014

Excellent dish – and a great pairing with the Spatburgunder, however I think that the wine suffered by comparison as it was such a departure from the gradually building sugar profiles in the wines until this point. The majority of the group ranked this wine as their least favorite of the afternoon, but I wonder if that would have been the case were it served earlier. The roulade was good, but two slices – cabbage manifested itself in the form of two cabbage leaves, and the potato salad was two spheres of potato with the traditional accompaniments.

Peaches, Olive oil cake, vanilla yogurt, pine nut brittle

-          Wehlener Sonnenhur Reisling Auslese, Joh. Jos Prum, 2015

I was fully prepared to hate this course, but boy was I wrong. As delightful as a box of birds. Enjoyed the olive oil cake and yogurt as they were on the savory side and provided a very nice contrast to the sweetest wine of the evening.

A great time was had by all - with two caveats. Portions were on the small side, as were the pours. I understand that there is a fine line in tasting menu portion control and wine dinner/ lunch pours, but the pours were considerably less than a half glass. The other caveat was the service – I’d describe it as perfunctory – bring plate, drop plate, clear plate. The service may have been compromised by the fact that the reps from Elite were often talking to the group between courses. Given the 2015 vintage’s reputation in Germany it was a nice opportunity to taste through some Rieslings and bring back a few cases.

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Returned to Auberge Provencal for dinner last Saturday evening. We were here back in June for a meal - for whatever reason Auberge never stays on our radar, which is our loss. Had the Bistro menu as opposed to the prix fixe tasting menu. The Inn continues to do an excellent job with well-spaced tables and servers clad in masks & gloves. For those looking for a long weekend, I believe that the majority of the Inn's suites have exterior entrances, so one could come and go, and have a room service dinner featuring the entire menu and the Inn's fantastic wine list without seeing another guest.

The bistro menu focuses on simpler fare as opposed to the more ambitious prix-fixe menu, and it's worth noting that Auberge has had some serious talent come through the kitchen over the years, like Ryan Ratino, for example. With the exception of a particularly sherry-heavy French Onion soup, everything we had was perfectly cooked. We remembered (and enjoyed) the cauliflower soup from the Auberge Delivery Service last Spring, and the soup was as good as ever. Wild Rockfish was a particular highlight - perfectly cooked and well seasoned. I appreciated the clearly handmade lobster tortellini that accompanied the Rockfish, as well as the potato puree. All classically prepared, though I was a bit surprised to see a fennel espuma on the plate, as though 2010 had returned. Steak Frites was also prepared perfectly, albeit with a New York strip as opposed to bavette or a more "traditional bistro" cut of meat. Add to that a well-chosen and abundant cheese/ charcuterie plate and we left thinking that we should return more often.

Although Dry January was still in effect for us, it's worth mentioning the Auberge Wine List again. Exceptional in depth/ breadth. Easily the best list over the mountain, and possibly the between Winchester and 2941, though haven't seen that one in a while.


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21 hours ago, naxos said:

Planning an overnight at the end of the month to celebrate a big anniversary. Any recent meals or stays?


No stay, but ate there last week. Really enjoyed the soft shells and the Halibut bouillabaise (we ate off of the bistro menu), but the sleeper dish here is the fried chicken. Really, really good. Given that you are headed out for a big anniversary, I'd recommend the tasting menu. They do a much better job than most about keeping the website menu up to date as well, so that may help inform some of your choices.

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