Not surprisingly, several of the most touted New Orleans restaurants are owned by local favorite, chef John Besh. His name alone has become synonymous with culinary expertise of and dedication to south Louisiana. Still, with nine of his 12 restaurants residing in New Orleans, it is easy to forget about one of Besh’s hidden gems and sentimental projects — La Provence. A 40-minute drive across Lake Pontchartain will take you to Lacombe, Louisiana, where a three-acre farm surrounds the French farmhouse-style restaurant where Besh first held the title of chef de cuisine more than 20 years ago. The restaurant’s rustic setting and lush grounds are near impossible to forget.
The charming Northshore eatery focuses on French-Creole cuisine created by current chef de cuisine Erick Loos. Loos takes pride in sustainable farming and uses the surrounding farmland to grow seasonal vegetables and herbs, and raise Mangalitsa pigs, chickens, and hens. The pigs are prepared as cured meat, bacon, and prosciutto, and the hen’s eggs are used daily, most notably during Sunday brunch. In addition, the restaurant also harvests its own honey seasonally. The full menu, which features a special “market menu” section, highlights the incorporation of farm-fresh ingredients in every dish. Don’t forget to dine as the French do by ordering a glass of wine, or even a bottle, from the carefully selected wine list.
Courtesy of the restaurant
La Provence’s French countryside feel and warm ambiance will make the hustle and bustle of New Orleans city life seems worlds away. The interior is completely renovated and has sprawling wood floors, oak beams, and stucco work reminiscent of Provencal France. Boasting a handful of working fireplaces and impeccable service, La Provence is the perfect place to host a holiday party or dine out on a cold winter’s night — or any night, really! The hot spot has become a coveted location for birthdays, anniversary, and proposals. It’s no wonder that the establishment was voted one of America’s most romantic restaurants by Travel + Leisure.
Visit La Provence Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., or Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information on La Provence, or to view its current menu, visit the restaurant’s website by clicking here.