Sunday, October 07, 2007
I walked by this place a couple of times shortly after it opened in Gastown, and it was packed with the fashionable. Basically, it looked like one of those restaurants that the trendy "oh, there's a new restaurant!" crowd descends upon initially, and then moves on its way, like a ravaging hoard of well-dressed army ants eating up everything in its path. Same reaction I got when I happened to pass by Italian Kitchen during its VIP grand opening...ick. So I waited a bit for Jules (216 Abbott Street, just off Water St. and Trounce Alley, Gastown: 604-669-0033), but heard good things in the meantime - a bargain prix fixe, and general good value. Well, they were right. I tried this place out in August, on a relatively quiet night, with Potato Salad Boy, and we had lovely, down-to-earth service, genuinely tasty food, and were pleased with the value. They do indeed have a cheap prix fixe of steak frites ($21 for the salad starter, steak frites and a chocolate terrine dessert, that time), which is what I was in the mood for all week, but wound up opting for another steak dish they had because I'm not really a fan of thick, rich chocolate desserts (chocolate terrines, paté's, flourless cakes)...plus the sides on the dish I wound up getting sounded great. Filet de boeuf Poele a la Crème aux Morilles - beef tenderloin with a morel cream sauce, ratatouille and scallop potatoes ($22). It was yummy. Potato Salad Boy was very happy with his Filet de Thon mi-cuit a la Provencale - slow cooked rare ahi tuna "Provencale", eggplant caviar and roasted vine tomatoes ($17). Potato Salad Boy was also very pleased with his rice pudding and rhubarb compote dessert ($6) and I enjoyed my melty centred chocolate fondant ($6) but must admit the steamed mushy texture of the cake itself was not really to my liking, and prefer a slightly drier cakey texture. I wasn't able to figure out if this was how it always was or something went a little wrong, so I'd be willing to give it another go at some point. If we had been hungrier, there are a number of starters that sound good too. I'm sure I'll be back. They're closed Sunday and Mondays, but open for lunch and dinner Tues - Sat.
Beef tenderloin with a Morel Cream Sauce, Ratatouille and Scallop Potatoes