Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jules Bistro

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) 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

Slow Cooked Rare Ahi Tuna "Provencale", Eggplant Caviar and Roasted Vine Tomatoes

Rice Pudding and Rhubarb Compote

Melting Chocolate Cake, Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream


CoffeeGeek Bloggin' said...

Hrmph... dumping on Italian Kitchen!?!? :) I know the owner through a friend! I hope you give it a try, it's cutting edge.

Dumpling_Girl said...

LOL. I wasn't dumping on Italian Kitchen, I was dumping on the "scene" there that opening night. I passed by tonight, and it looked much more welcoming. Then again, it was closed for Thanksgiving ;)