When the history books are written on Provence, there will be stories of period of decline, followed by a great rebirth. And the rebirth will said be at the hands of Vicki Freeman, Marc Meyer, Lynn McNeely and Aibhinn Wilson O'Keefe, who have spent the last six months first acquiring, then renovating and restoring the aging Soho destination. Just re-opened yesterday, the new Provence, despite what Vicki Freeman calls a near gut renovation, feels reassuringly like the old Provence, but reinvigorated— the color palette of the restaurant is unchanged, as is the wood paneling and bar (minus a new marble surface). The rest is new, from the kitchen to a completely redone middle room.
Meyer and McNeely are exec and de cuisine chefs, respectively, and they'll be churning out a menu of French country staples, from grilled whole fish to more hearty red meat fare. Freeman, Meyer's better half inside the restaurant and out, runs the front of house along with O'Keefe, who is the GM. If the opening night crowd was any indication, you can expect a combination of Freeman/Meyer friends (this is Freeman/Meyer of Cookshop and Five Points fame, of course), food industry insiders and Soho locals. If you don't go this week or come bearing a reservation expect to wait 30-45 minutes for a table.
Above is the front room. Below your more cozy, intimate option: the back room.