In a city whose competitive culinary scene causes many restaurants to shutter within a year of opening, a dining establishment that manages to thrive after decades in business has indeed achieved a venerable feat.
Now approaching its 20th year in operation, Bistro Provence is one of the few that can make such a claim and therefore should add “Houston institution” to its ever-growing list of accolades and honors.
Bistro served its first dinner in the first days of October 1998, in a cozy space decorated in warm yellow and blue hues that was located in what was then an otherwise lackluster strip center along Memorial Drive. Owners George and Monique Guy took a chance on Houstonians, who in the late 20th century weren’t generally too keen on continental cuisine, let alone French food.
Fortunately, however, we took a chance on Bistro Provence and in the years that followed what was initially just a small neighborhood following grew to substantial loyal patronage composed of expats, born-and-bred Texans, local Francophiles, and those, like this writer, who really appreciate their incredible escargot bathing in butter.
Today, Bistro Provence is led by the Guy's daughter-in-law, Genevieve, who in celebration of the restaurant’s upcoming 20-year anniversary is reintroducing a series of traditional dishes that were on the Bistro’s inaugural menu. Selections include but are not limited to: a hearty, fragrant vegetable and basil ‘Provence Soup,' mussels stuffed with garlic and parsley butter, and a large-and-in-charge Provence-style veal chop. All main courses are accompanied by fresh-baked Provence-style bread and the original Guy’s ‘Bistro’ potato, a roasted pomme de terre dressed in with bearnaise sauce.
What makes this edible nostalgia taste even better? All the dishes available at their original prices, some as low as just around $6.
The anniversary specials at Bistro Provence will be on offer for both lunch and dinner, in addition to the regular menu, through Saturday.