We've all heard of eating "farm-to-table", but Chef Cathy Pavlos – also of OC's famed Lucca Cafe – takes it to the next level. Located in Eastbluff village in Newport Beach, one would never guess there's a 1300 sq. ft. organic garden sprouting Spinach and Lemon Balm on the backyard patio at Provenance.
In fact, Provenance is full of surprises, from the regular strip mall storefront to the modern yet rustic interior brought to you by the same group who decorated The Ranch Restaurant of Anaheim, Vanrooy Design. To the left is a seated concrete bar. To the right is a sitting area with tufted chairs, followed by a wall of glass-cabinet wine refrigerators, and the dining room leading to the garden. The interior colors are minimalist with grays, whites and woods, allowing the greenery of the garden out back to shine.
The food is healthy, high-quality, and seasonal with dishes changing monthly, and a self-proclaimed "contemporary California Napa Valley cuisine". Dressings and Sauces are all made in-house, and the Meats & Fish are free-range, hormone-free, and wild.
The hand model, family and I went for a low-key, non prix-fixe Easter Brunch, and I suggest you do the same for Mother's Day.
- one of the best pancakes i've ever eaten, buttery, fluffy not dense, like a banana flambe, Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas, Blueberries, Apple Butter & Maple Syrup $11
- thinly pounded, tender with some fatty bites, make sure to get all three sauces in one mouthful, Breakfast Heirloom Pork Chops with Red Adobo Chile Sauce, Pan Potatoes, Caramelized Apples, Sweet Carrot Marmalade & Citrus $15.50
- Housemade Whiskey and Brown Sugar-Cured Wild Salmon Gravadlax on Housemade English Muffin with Poached Farm Eggs, Dilled Hollandaise & Fried Capers $16
- CAB Shortrib Corned Beef Hash with Sunny Side Up Eggs, Butternut Squash Succotash, Cabbage, Wasabi Cream & Rosemary $16.50
- herbacious, mellow sweetness without a spicy bite, House-Crafted Citrus-Honey Ginger Ale with Muddled Basil $6
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to taste the latter two dishes, but if this is what's served for brunch, I can't wait to go back for dinner.
Provenance really impressed, and has become my second favorite strip mall restaurant in OC, next to Juliette Kitchen & Bar. Who knew?!?
Happy Mother's Day!