Provost

Provost has had a sign up above their door for at least a year, so I’ve been anticipating their opening for months. After this meal, it is apparent why it took them so long to open. I’ll get down to this review because I don’t want to waste any more of my life.

The roofdeck upstairs is amazing, save for the built-in benches that it seems nobody bothered to measure (they’re about 3 inches too high and 3 inches too narrow) and has a view to the north that isn’t typical; perfect for a relaxing Friday evening. There were only two other groups seated in the whole place when we arrived, but more started to trickle in during our abnormally long meal.

Water arrived and then we waited. Everyone finished their water. It was 90 degrees out. A server walked by and asked us if we wanted our water refilled. Um. We were halfway through the second glass of water by the time someone showed up to take our drink order. My husband got a glass of red wine, my FIL asked for a blueberry margarita ($17?!?!), and my MIL and I both sprung for their “Everything But the Bar Sink” sangria. Then we sat with our food menus down for twenty minutes. It’s not a big menu; you don’t need a lot of time to choose. The waiter helped some other groups before finally alerting us that our drinks would be right up. As he delivered the drinks, he asked, “Are you all ready to order food?” FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YES. And then, because he was not anticipating us needing to order food, despite the fact that we were sitting in a restaurant, he had to go all the way back downstairs to get the little ordering machine, and I think he may have gone downstairs and back up without the use of his legs. It’s the only way I can explain the lengthy delay in his return.

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The blueberry margarita was strong and fruity, and the red wine was nice and dry, the way my husband likes it. The sangria was cool and refreshing, but I have a problem with them advertising it as “everything but the bar sink” when all it had was lime, orange, and a couple of blueberries.

Three dishes came out together: the cajun pasta that my MIL and husband both ordered, along with my FIL’s small plate: the crab-stuffed shrimp. “I’ll be right back with your side of collards,” the server told my husband (every entree comes with your choice of side dish here, so it’s not like this was some unheard-of request). No mention of my food. The rest of my family sat politely and waited for my food to arrive. I assumed it would be out immediately. At least another five minutes elapsed before they showed up with my rockfish. Still no side of collard greens. My FIL had finished his second cocktail and ordered a Flying Dog IPA. We started eating.

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Cajun chicken and shrimp pasta was cooked well and flavorful, though not spicy. It was okay.

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The picture makes this shrimp look much bigger than it actually was. Once again, it was cooked well but just kind of plain. Step 1: Cut shrimp. Step 2: Put crab in. Step 3: Bake. That’s it.

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The rockfish was admittedly a huge piece (I took half home) and it had a delicious crispy skin. The kale (my chosen side dish) was cooked with soy and garlic. But without the greens, this was just a piece of fish with a loose teriyaki sauce on the plate and a scoop of rice.

A server arrived at the top of the stairs just as we were finishing our entrees with a bowl of collard greens and a Flying Dog IPA. “Oh good, here’s the beer,” I said to my FIL. But then they handed the bottle to a man at the table next to ours before giving my husband his collards. “Aww, I feel bad that you’re already finished with your meal,” he said.

“It’s okay,” said my husband.

But no. It’s not okay. It’s actually really, really NOT okay.

“I’m still holding on for that Flying Dog,” my FIL gently reminded him.

“Ooooh,” he said, gesturing to the one at the other table. “That was our last one and it’s his birthday, so I gave it to him.”

So let me get this straight. One customer orders a beer. A second customer orders the same beer. You realize you only have one. So you give it to the second customer because it’s his birthday (maybe). But then you don’t even mention to the first customer that you’re now out? And you don’t lie and say that he ordered it first? What in the actual fuck? I hope that guy enjoyed his IPA. It’s not his fault.

My FIL ordered a different beer (why? I don’t know). I asked for a box for my leftover fish. Then we watched the waitstaff meander around for another ten minutes. The beer arrived and I asked for a box. Again. I think they went to go chop down a tree to turn into paper to make a box. It’s the only explanation.

When the check showed up, my FIL was already prepared with his credit card. If they left again before taking it, who knows how long we’d have been there? All night, probably.

Price: $50 per person.

Bottom line: Look, I’m all for slow food, but this wasn’t slow food, this was slow staff. The food was fine (just fine) but holy shit, the service here made me suspicious that I was on a hidden camera what-would-you-do-type show and the producers were trolling us to see how long it would be before we completely lost our minds.

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