Quelle Surprise coming to Provence Marinaside in March

Provence Marinaside presents Quelle Surprise March 15-April 15

This is still comfort food season. Provence Marinaside’s Owner/Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia is craving some of the classic and comforting bistro dishes from his native France and wants to share them with diners in a unique format Provence is calling ‘Quelle Surprise’ (‘What a Surprise’). This special food feature, which will be available only from March 15 through April 15, 2023, is value-priced at $49 for two courses.

What exactly is ‘Quelle Surprise’ and what makes it a surprise? Each morning Chef Jean-Francis, and his Chef Team, will make a limited number of dishes from a rotating assortment of bistro favourites (see below). “Some days we’ll make a dozen orders of a particular Appy and Main and other days, depending on the availability of ingredients and what inspires us, we might make two dozen, or only ten” says Chef Quaglia. ‘I won’t know until that day what we’ll make or how many. So it could be Os à Moelle (Roasted Bone Marrow) and Canard Confit (Duck Confit) one day or Soupe aux Oignons (French Onion Soup) and Daube de Boeuf (Provençal Beef Stew) the next. There’s no set order to what dishes we will make, how often they’ll be presented or how many will be available each day. I think it’s a fun way to keep things fresh and the kitchen brigade get to make things not normally on the menu.

Os à Moelle
There will also be a few wine ‘surprises.’ According to Wine Director Joshua Carlson, “I have a few bottles in one’s and two’s that I’ll open depending on what the food surprises are that day. There will also be a sommelier recommendation for each of the dishes available by the glass. Each glass will be value driven, French, and limited in availability.”

Quelle Surprise will be offered in addition to Provence’s regular lunch and dinner menu. The server will inform guests at the table what the ‘Surprise’ of the day will be. Once that day’s set of dishes are gone, they’re gone.

The two-course rotating list will include such bistro favourites as:

2023 Quelle Suprise Menu

Two-course menu $49/person

Pissaladiere et sa salade
Salade Niçoise
Soupe aux Oignons
Os à Moelle
Foie de Volaille à l’Ail et Persil
Huitres au Gratin
Petite Omelette aux Champignons et Fromage
Petites Sardines à L’Huile d’Olive, Salade
Moules Gratinée
Oeuf Mimosa


Blanquette de Veau aux Petits Légumes
Canard Confit
Bavette à L’Echalotte
Tartare de Boeuf
Coq au Vin
Thon aux Olives
Daube de Boeuf
Vol au Vent au Lapin
Tartine de Boeuf

Tartare de Boeuf

The restaurant ‘may post’ what the daily surprises are each morning on its Instagram page or perhaps a photo of the mise en place to tempt you. People are encouraged to follow them if they want to catch a heads up on what the daily ‘surprise’ will be. But then it wouldn’t be a surprise, so maybe just take a chance and drop by Provence Marinaside from March 15 through April 15 to enjoy some delicious surprises.

Provence notes:
Established in February 2002, Provence Marinaside is the ‘bebe’ of Owner/Executive Chef (and Chevalier of France) Jean-Francis Quaglia. Reminiscent of Chef Qualia’s native Marseille, Provence is located at the south end of Yaletown, adjacent to the False Creek Seawall and with patios overlooking the Quayside Marina. Open every day for Brunch, Lunch, Happy Hour and Dinner. Hours are:
Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In addition to Dine-In service, Provence Marinaside continues to offer its regular menus for brunch, lunch and dinner as Takeout for personal pick-up or through delivery services Door Dash and Uber Eats.

Wine and Cocktails List , Brunch Menu, Lunch Menu, Happy Hour Menu, Dinner Menu, Dessert Menu

Provence Marinaside is also supporting The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre with the donation of meals and funds along with a donation option on their should the public also wish to support the organization. Details can be found on Provence Marinaside’s Home Page.

About Chef Jean Francis Quaglia
A native of Marseille, France, Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia comes naturally to the culinary world as his mother was acclaimed Chef Suzanne Quaglia of Marseille’s famed Le Patalain and one of the very first female chefs in France. At age eight, he made his first Tarte au Citron from his mother’s recipe. This same tarte is now featured on Provence’s menu. Following graduation, Chef Quaglia apprenticed at Hôtel Sofitel in Marseille, worked Chef Elie Mazot at Relais et Chateau’s Le Chateau de la Chevre D’Or in Eze and was Chef de Partie Tournant under the direction of his mentor, Chef Dominique LeStanc, at Hôtel Negresco in Nice (2 Michelin stars). Upon arrival in Vancouver he was Sous Chef under Chef Bruno Born at Le Coq D’Or and followed him to the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel where he became Executive Chef of the hotel’s Indigo Bistro Moderne. He opened his first restaurant, Provence Mediterranean Grill in 1997 in Point Grey and went on to open Provence Marinaside in 2002 and TWB-The Wine Bar next door in 2012 (it is now amalgamated into Provence Marinaside). In August 2021, the government of France honoured Chef Jean-Francis by naming him a Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre du Merite Agricole – one of France’s highest honours, second only to the Legion of Honour.

Media release and images provided by Nancy Wong, Culinary Communications. Images, except as noted, Emrys Horton.

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