La Provincia: An Elegant Setting for Decadent Dining

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Escargot tortellini
Escargot tortellini
Table for one
Table for one

In a continuation of my eternal quest to find the best restaurants in Medellin, I dropped into La Provincia for lunch last August.

I’d been hearing good things, and it ranked well on TripAdvisor, a site whose customer reviews I always take with a healthy grain of salt. Luckily, I was able to nab one of the last tables in the main room.

The white tablecloths and fresh flowers on every table are a nice touch, and help elevate the restaurant’s ambience above most other places in the city. Such a simple thing, yet so few restaurants seem to do it.

I settled in, ordering a small jar of fresh cold lemonade. If it looks green to you, that’s because they only use limes here in Colombia, not the yellow lemons we’re use to in the United States.

Escargot-stuffed Tortellini
Escargot-stuffed Tortellini in a cream sauce

I knew I was in for a treat when I began reviewing the menu.

Appetizers averaged about 17,000 pesos ($9) each, with the fresh ceviche for two, and oysters being the exception at 40,000 pesos ($22) and 45,000 pesos ($25) respectively.

Amongst the beef carpaccio, soups, salads, and seafood, I spotted a true surprise for Medellin, escargot-stuffed tortellini in a cream sauce. Being a fan of French cuisine, I had to give it a try.

The portion size may have been small, but there were enough calories in it to cover my entire meal. Snails aren’t the tastiest of critters, so they’re usually bathed in melted (garlic) butter.

The chefs executed this dish perfectly. It may be high in fat, but it was a rich and delicious way to start the lunch.

Mango-filled chicken breast with grilled vegetables
Mango-filled chicken breast with grilled vegetables

Choosing a main course wasn’t any easier. From pastas and risotto, to steaks and poultry, salmon and langostinos, there’s something for everyone on the menu.

I opted for the chicken filled with mango, and bathed in a coconut sauce, served alongside grilled vegetables for 39,000 pesos ($21.50).

The dish reminded me of my berry-filled chicken entree at In Situ in the botanical gardens.

Chocolate pie with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce
Chocolate pie with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce

Lastly, it’s not a proper fine dining experience without a test of the pastry chefs’ skills.

Dessert lovers will not be at a loss in this restaurant. With nine options to choose from, all priced equally at 14,000 pesos ($8) apiece, your best bet is to order a couple and share.

La Provincia features one of my favorite desserts, volcano cake, both the classic chocolate, as well as an arequipe (caramel) version. Mousse, creme brulee, and several ice cream options are also available.

I opted for a chocolate pie, which was served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a few drops of raspberry sauce. Yum.

Large reserved table
Large reserved table

As I said from the start, I lucked out getting a table for a weekday lunch, as La Provincia attracts a business crowd by day. It’s best to arrive at Noon, when it opens, to ensure seating.

The restaurant lends itself well to romance once the sun goes down, and thus it’d a smart idea to make reservations in advance for the weekends. Reservations can be made online via the restaurant’s website.

After my 3-course lunch, I’m confident in saying La Provincia is one of Medellin’s top five restaurants in terms of food quality, ambience, and service.

Have you dined at La Provincia? Share your experience in the Comments below.

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