Dîner en Blanc originated in Paris over 20 years ago and has now expanded into a global phenomenon spanning 5 continents in cities including Montreal, Milan,
Les Faux Bourgeois (663 East 15th Avenue) is a dimly lit French restaurant located in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood by Fraser and Kingsway. The restaurant is a partnership between the former co-owners of Jules Bistro in Gastown and Go Fish near Granville Island. I have had my eye on the place before it even opened its doors and I extremely excited to finally visit Les Faux Bourgeois for dinner last night. When we went, the 50-seat restaurant was completely full and bustling, with a few empty seats at the bar. The rustic and relaxed feel to the place makes it unpretentious French dining despite the restaurant’s seeming success. A chalkboard marked the “poisson du jour” and wine glasses were abundant at every table. It was a pleasant surprise to still be seated comfortably with a fair-sized gap between us and the next table. A few tables were left open for walk-in’s and even those were constantly being filled.
I had previously been turned away for weekend sittings, and have read only positive reviews about Les Faux Bourgeois. Perhaps these two things raised the bar just a bit because I was disappointed by what I ate. The fausse nicoise ($10) was overdressed with vinegariette, while the lamb tenderloin ($18), although tender, was too salty and there was nothing special about the french fries. The bread for the table was cold and hard. Despite all this, I must admit I would still return for another visit. Considering the value, location and atmosphere of the place, it is worth a second shot.
They are now open on Sundays for dinner, and just recently opened their Cafe side, which serves local organic and fair-trade coffee in the day time.
Jules Bistro (216 Abbott Street) is a French bistro located in Gastown and where I went for an afternoon sit-down on Saturday. Nonetheless, I would not recommend going there for tea and coffee as we did – save that for a specialty coffee or teahouse instead. With outdoor seating and the weekend sunshine, the patio was great for people watching while enjoying a reasonably priced light afternoon dish or a $6 dessert. True to its European flair, the restaurant is closed on Sundays. Otherwise, visit between 11:30am to 10pm.
Looking for something to do? Every Monday morning, we present to you “Modern Mix Monday”, a brief but link-filled one-liner review of our past weekend loaded with suggestions to inspire you for your next!